1 Have you noticed that discussions on summer is no longer about how hot it is? References are inevitably made to grand expressions – 'climate change', 'global warming'. Everybody is contemporary and trendy, and know what all evils have to be attributed to. I guess these are modern expressions for what my grandmother used to say – Kalyug. But, frankly, summers do not bother me. Grew up in Madras where 10 months were hot and 2 months hotter.
2 In April, I hosted a group of sophisticated investors from Norway. And, as is the trend with most lunch conversations, we discussed weather; a topic that is easy to slide into a discussion but difficult to close. Norway's long winters and midnight sun in summers are more popular. Even I know about those. Wanting to appear intelligent and sound different, I asked them when it was summer in Norway. Pat came the reply – July 20th.
3 A friend of mine – who had
relocated to the US 25 years ago – was in Mumbai recently. Both of us enjoy discussing stock markets over copious consumption of coloured liquids. [Remember someone saying, stock markets are about liquidity?] My friend asked me how I viewed the markets in India. I said 'If the monsoons are good, then we are in for a big run up'. He muttered – nothing's changed!
4 As temperatures cool in India with the move from summer to monsoon season, the heat is set to rise in the US. No, not about global warming. But it is the US Elections. Hillary Clinton v Donald Trump. The former believes in technology and data analytics to
support her campaign; and uses a hi-tech start-up called Timshel. The latter is nonchalant and prefers Bombshell!
5 BTW - A quick question – with the number of jobless politicians in India, do you think the POTUS job can be outsourced to one of them? Just asking.
6 Politics and elections bring out the best in people; and the worst in people. You know that, don't you? You have seen it all in several elections here in India. While new tie-ups happen, it is as common to see breakups; and bitter ones at that. Just as the best wine makes the sharpest vinegar, the truest lover may turn into a worst enemy. If Clinton and Trump know what's good for them, they should start reading this column and get some free advice. Will one of you please let them know? Thank You!
7 I had my share of fun and learning at work. Recently, I had been to Myanmar to look-see what The Mahindra Group could do there. On landing, at the airport I found men in lungis (pronounced lun-jis). In business meetings, men were in lun-jis. At restaurants and parties, men were in lun-jis. Brought back memories from 1970s Madras. Felt completely at home. A man is known by the lungi he wears!
8 Like all good men away from home, the first thing I did on landing in Yangon was call my wife and announce my safe arrival. My wife started singing –Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon, Kiya Wahan Se Telepoon Tumhari Yaad Satati Hai, Jiya Me Aag Lagati Hai… Touche!
9 Quick Quiz – If WAITERS serve GREEN CURRY made by BUTLER with LOVE, what would you get? No, not a spicy dish. But a great NBA BasketBall Team! Gotcha!
10 Have you seen the movie Ki & Ka? My wife and I did. Nice movie but fanciful concept of 'house-husband'. Take my word, it works only in movies. I made a similar offer to my wife 12 years ago – she is yet to accept it.
11 Time for a PJ. I propose that 4thJune be called Carlos Brathwaite Day – to honour the four sixes he hit to help West Indies win the T20 World Cup. 4 sixes is 4 6 is 4th June! Please don't scream – I had warned you. Stretching it, in Madras, 6th May is Orange Day. Now, go figure that out.
12 Moving on to serious stuff. Would you ever ever invest in a business that always offers discounts and can never make profit? Unthinkable, right? But sophisticated global PE/VC investors do. I think that is a combination of quantitative easing and social redistribution of wealth. Mind you, it always ends badly. Remember the DotCom bubble of 2000! The metrics moved from websites to eyeballs to sticky eyeballs! But no mention of profit.
What would a dyslexic insomniac agnostic do all night? Sit up wondering if there is DOG!