Run and you will be safe

Consider that you are working in a multi-storeyed sophisticated building. Chances are high that you were taught by the fire squad team there, how to escape in case of fire. If you had ever attended that drill you will know that at the time of fire and asked to exit, you have to simply get up and start moving towards the exit (staircase) without any other thought. No saving your files, no shutting off your computer. No searching for valuables.
Now consider that as you are reading this a fire breaks out. Will any of you stop and try to figure out why? What caused the fire? That person will easily be termed as a stupid, foolish idiot and is most likely to lose a considerable portion of his body if not his life. How in the world would anyone be investigating the cause of the fire when all he has to do is run away from it.
Though so obvious, we all do the same when there is a fire in the stock market. Instead of running with whatever we have, we sit back and start analysing the reason for the same. How foolish!! And the fire slowly starts eating our profits (if any) and pushing us deeper into loss (read debt for most people). Still no reaction from the mass. But the funniest part is that those who run are termed as ‘Panic Sellers’. The stock market sometime falls further and touches a new 1 year low. Still people sit and watch without even reacting. “It will bounce’ they say and keep waiting. This foolishness may not be so obvious in the case of an index (say Sensex or Nasdaq) as probably (even this is not true) it will start moving back on the positive side.
But consider the case of individual stocks. The chances of a rebound are slim atleast in a definite time period considering that you could have earned a lot more booking profits and investing the amount elsewhere instead of waiting for the stock to come back to life. Let us say you buy stock XYZ for 500 Rs. It goes to 700 Rs., then something happens (the analysts in the TV show will tell you 1001 reasons why) and the stock starts falling to 600, 550 and then to 400. Ideally you must have had some stop loss below 700 booking you a decent profit. But people keep waiting even after it reaches 250. They say it will bounce back. But please note that the stock has fallen 50% from 500 to 250. But to even come back to 500 it has to rise 100%. That is maths for you and it will always work against you.
But this does not mean that stocks that fall to 50% below their value will never come up back to 100% or even move 1000% up. Many people investigate why the stock has fallen and somewhere (either in a TV show: CNBC or still worse in some blogs or messageboards) they get a valid reason for holding the stock. Chances are slim. It is like trying to find a reason not to run in case of a fire inside your building and still being alive at the end. Will you take that chance???

DINK, DINS and SINS

Well DINK stands for Double Income No Kids. It is not a new word by any means, and has been discussed in lengths in the west. But for bangalore and an urban India on a roll, it sure is a new phenomenon. It is about couples who are married (live together) earn and don’t want a kid.

They just don’t feel like bringing up a kid. Either they are too busy working and are afraid that a kid might cut short their otherwise brilliant career or they are of the opinion that a kid is a hinderance to their blissful world.

Without a kid and with two, mostly high incomes they are all set to enjoy every conceivable happiness the world is to offer. But is this right? Atleast in India we are not too worried about it as we are one of the leaders in human production and no one can rightly estimate the rate at which this production is bound to increase. We beat all analyst estimation every year, year after year. As usual some stupid christian organisation is bound to pop up shouting at the top of their voice that ‘God asked us to fill this world and we are not going to stop till it is done’ They might even come up with a law that couples not having kid on purpose might be depromoted to ‘non-christians’ or they might not get their weekly feed of repentance.

How does it affect the people involved. Are they happy together and interested in life. A kid in most cases binds the parents together as now they have another criteria to be ticked off before they can depart. In that way it helps keep marriages intact – sort of a stamp on an agreement. Also there is some sort of a pride and happiness associated with bringing up a kid. Also when older, it is nice to fall back on someone atleast for emotional dependency. But those who are part of the DINK are there after understanding what they are upto and are pretty happy about it.

An issue far more concerning is the DINS. It stands for ‘Double Income No Sex’. Now that is something of a bother. It is about couples who work hard to move up the career and end up drying their sex life. It might also be because of the misfit in their work hours. Stress both physical and mental drains them off their sexual energy and they end up just sharing their bed and not using it. It is a pathetic thing and when you have the career you had always dreamed and a wealth so huge but you are already 50, sex may not be the first thing in your mind, with all those ailments waiting to attack you. So if anyone out there is into DINS, stop now, take some time off and jump right back to where you belong to.

The last one, SINS is what I came up with. It is meant to stand for ‘Single Income No Spouse’. It might seem a joke for now, but this is soon to catch up, especially with the guys. Having a wife at home and having to answer her, and more importantly not having the freedom to move around with other girls FREELY might push a few guys into SINS. Another factor that works in favor of SINS is the fear-factor attached with marriage and the nuances of running a family. Girls are not to be left behind, as the more independent they become the more their choice of delaying their marriage or god-forbid calling it OFF.

Cricket

After a looooooong time, atleast 5 years, I happened to play a proper cricket match (at Broadcom). I was waiting eagerly for the match for a week atleast and then the day came. It was Saturday, 15th of July. My wife did encourage me to play well though she actually preferred me staying back and taking care of Smitha (who was not feeling well) as she had exam duty on that day. But I ended up at the venue (Koramangala : St. John’s Medical college ground). I was apprehensive and so took to practice bowling. I then got the confidence that it was still there in me.

The match started and we won the toss and elected to bat. Our team did well to post 80 plus in the alloted 15 overs.  I did not get to bat, and so could not figure out how I would have ended up had I got a chance. When it was our turn to bowl, the worst happened. I got the first over to bowl, the team confident in me. The first two deliveries were no-balls and the third was way too short. I had images of Zaheer khan in the world cup, but I did not stupidly stare back at the batsman like zaheer did as if the no-ball was his mistake. I came for the third over and in the 12 balls I bowled I went for 10 runs, including a four. To be frank I bowled 15 balls in all including 2 no balls and 1 wide.

I was totally upset, and took to keeping wickets. Then something funny happened. I felt like I was back to the old times. I felt much better and more energetic and was ready to try my best. But our team was way into trouble by the end of 8th over and only a miracle could have helped us.

Eventually we lost, in the first ball of the 12th over itself and there was no much dissapointment as it was nowhere a close finish.

After the match, had anyone interviewed me, I might have ended up with some foolish statements like “I bowled well during our practice session” (Azhar did say that he played well in the nets) or “I was the captain during my college days” (Ganguly speaking of his past glory). Luckily it did not happen.

I was waiting for some muscle pulls and body aches the next day, but apart from minor discomforts I was pretty much ok. That was a great moral boost to me, the fact that I am still fit for a rugged cricket match !!