Friday, 11 July 2008

My Best Shots

The Nature Inc.

Salman Rushdie wins booker again. Good news, but I don't care. I am into writing blogs, but I can't read books. A very good friend of mine sometimes used to read novels. I wondered how? So many pages of dull text, even the font is not very good. I like cartoons. Its not that I like reading comics either, but it should be colorful, short, and crisp.

I don't know what was the topic of his book: Midnight's Children. Who cares? What I care about is that he is "communicating" with Riya Sen a little too often. Some people are born lucky!!! It has nothing to do with Riya anyways, its about the undue leverage God has given to some people. Even Charles Sobhraj is talking about girls at 64. I can't stop myself from talking about Shane - The Warne. I don't know how India survived him for 6 weeks while he was playing in IPL. But, as soon as he went back home, he started doing what he does best - yielding to nature. People say he is the best captain Australian cricket never had.

Its not about the Salmans, or Charles, or Warnes of the world, its about nature. We are animals - alright, social animals, happy? We live in houses, wear clothes, make buildings and computer systems. But never find any happiness in what we create.

I don't know about everyone, but I think a cool natural breeze can give you what an AC can't. Alright, what would you prefer? Constant bombardment of chilling air on your face inside a room or lovely, cool, fragrant breeze near a mountain/hill/whatever? Do you prefer watching snow clad mountains on your 42" LCD TV or being there to feel it? What about watching Katrina Kaif on TV than seeing her in person? Oh my God. What? I only said "seeing her in person".

The real thing is that nothing gives you more peace and satisfaction than Nature. There are no alternatives to Natural beauties of the world. Your alignment might differ - you may prefer a man or a woman/women, hills, cliffs, mountains, oceans, sandy beaches... All the beautiful things in life that God has given to us. You can't ever get enough of it. I love natural beauties of the world - did you guess my preference?

Don't forget to share your preference. What do you like?

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Lively By Google.

Allow me the privilege of presenting to you: The Google Lively

Its a new chatting platform that allows you to create 3D ambiance and let you and your friend's avatars to communicate with each other.

They can show emotions(animated emotions) as you chat. Other features like File sharing has never been this exciting. Its not like what you have seen or done before. Have you ever seen your avatar moving inside the room you created?

I am sure it going to be loved by one and all. Its like playing a video game while chatting - its more interactive and a gives you a richer feeling.

For more information see this.


Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The God Of Small Things

What makes you happy? What possibly can make you happy? Is it the accomplishment of a goal or achievement of something that you always asked for? I feel its relative. It tends to vary from person to person. As I am not a professional psychiatrist, I will talk about myself. However, I have a feeling that people who shared my kind of upbringing and values will definitely agree at some points.

I have grown up in a small town, in a middle class family where less was more. Now I am growing up in a larger town, own a middle class family where more is less. I have been like this for a long time now. However, I had been influenced by a person in a big way - for good. I am an improved person now, but still there are some things that were never exposed to the person in question so they are just hanging around. People around me feel that I have matured, have immense patience and never show off emotions easily. But there are certain other things that have cropped up, and growing. I am into a phase where more is indeed less.

I have grown in patience but my quest for the next big thing is increasing by the moment. The only question I keep asking myself is: Great, What Next? I am enjoying a rather successful career. Wait, I beg to differ with the word "enjoying". Once I wanted to work with the "best company"(another relative thing) in the world, I did. Once I got into it, I thought What Next? I worked harder, tried to prove myself among a bunch of super-minds, got it done, What Next? I wanted to work for a huge bank(currently world #1 in terms of assets), joined it, and currently working for it. Learned quite a few investment banking skills, now what next? The next thing in my mind is to assume a big and influential role in the organization. I am working hard to achieve it.

The question remains the same - What Next? Is there any upper limit to ambition? Am I doing anything strange that others aren't? I don't think its a problem. I think its a bliss. But for how long? What if I indulge too much into it? What if it spills over to other aspects of my life? I hope its good for me and my family as long its with my career.

When I was in school, I used to get happy when I managed to get a day off from school. Weekends were the best part, but if I could manage a weekday, I used to be very happy. I could do a lot of things. I was in a habit of exploring, so I used to explore the already visited areas of my neighborhood and tried to find something new. A new face or an old friend was enough for the day. So finding people used to make me happy. People were very important to me, I used to give all my toys to my friends and cousins so that they can spend whole day with me. In fact they have played with my toys more than I ever did. But I was happy because I wanted to be with them.

Gradually the toys gained importance in my life. I started to lose my friends and cousins since then. These things are known to keep you away from humans. But reality is that toys can never replace humans.

I can still remember the day when I was insisting my father to buy me a computer. He said: Thanks to God that you are studying Computers; what if you had decided to study Aeronautics? I would have to buy a plane for you!!! It took me about 2 months to get it. It was my prized possession.

But only after 2 months I thought - What Next? That was the end of small town me. Then I fell in love. Got it too, but lost it because I didn't deserve it. That episode changed a lot of me for good.

Never mind, realization is the bliss. The fact that I am writing about it makes me aware of it. The inner turmoil will be put to rest soon once I achieve my next objective.

You will be happy once you start to enjoy the small things in your life. The day a new flower in your balcony puts a smile on your face is the day you should be looking for. Money, fame and power can never make anybody happy. There is no upper limit to beauty, money, fame and power. There is no upper limit to lust. There is no upper limit to ambition. But there is a upper limit to the number of words I can write here!!! So, take care, and look within.

Friday, 4 July 2008

How to make money in a falling market?

First things first - you may make money by following the suggestions if you are lucky enough. I have been losing money ever since I figured out how to make money in a falling market. So apart from the various instruments, you need to have a great timing to enter the market.

You need to be informed and take calculated guesses. A very obvious news might not move a market, an unexpected news does. For example, everyone knows that crude/bbl will continue to move around $140-$150 this week if it reaches $160 this week you can expect a crash. Same goes with inflation, the market will react if it reaches 14% instead of 12% this week as everyone has already guessed.

In one of my previous blogs I wrote about "Positions" in a market. It could be either Long or Short. You go long in a rising market. You expect that the price of a stock will rise, so in that speculation you buy at lower levels and sell at higher levels. In other words, you go Long. An active Demat account is a prerequisite.

In recent time markets have been witnessing a free fall, obeying Newton's laws of gravity. Just like migratory birds go south during summer, the market is going south these days. The reasons are many. So, going long is a bad idea. But the scenario can change any time. Once people start to think that its over-sold you will see an uptrend. The market fundamentals are strong and in safe hands.

So the strategy for the season is to go Short. You speculate that the market will fall, so instead of buying first, you sell. Yes, this is possible. You take a short position and expect the price of the stock to go down. Sounds like a winning idea? Not always. Just as you can't guess when its going to rise, you can't guess when is it going to fall. There are millions of factors that drive the market, so you need to be well informed of all the major business activities around the world. As I said, I have been losing as I always enter the market at the wrong time :(

Alright, so you have the strategy in place, but you don't know the products. The products that I know are: Individual stock, Index and Commodities. You can short "n" number of an individual stock like Reliance Capital, but you will have to square it off(perform equal and opposite trade) within a specified time frame.

However, in Futures contracts you can keep the contract until expiry. Its usually a 3 month contract with 3 contracts active at any point in time. Depending upon the market trend and your position in the market you can continue to make or break money. If the market is going up and you are long you will make money. No points in guessing, if the market is going down and you are holding a short position you will make money till the time you hold the contract before expiry.

Whenever equity is in tatters, commodities take over. Have you checked Gold, and Crude these days? Futures in commodities promises to be a hedge for any possible risks in Futures in Equities.

Just an FYI. The crude oil price is touching new heights each day due to speculation and futures trading. You must be aware of the fact that OPEC doesn't control price of crude anymore... US does. For in depth analysis read this: The real reason why oil prices are rising

All the best.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Do you believe in ghosts?

Do you believe in ghosts?

I can't say for sure whether I do or not. I may tend to say no. People who claim to have witnessed it will say that its just a matter of time when you see one. Scientists and researchers may attribute it to anomalous magnetic and electric fields at certain locations. They do not believe in God either. They never have found any proof!!!

When I was in college, I studied about Id, Ego, and SuperEgo. Id is stubbornness, ego is based on the moral values you gain over time - the good and bad of things, and SuperEgo is all about beliefs. It could be your belief in religion, its teachings. These are the various states of your mind. Id tends to overpower your sensibilities and you may end up crying for moon. Ego provides a healing touch and explains to you that you can't have moon because: its too large, too far, impossible to bring to earth, and simply because its not yours!!! I am unsure if everybody can have SuperEgo - the inner eye that can see God and can seek his answers.

Believing in Ghosts could be a state of mind. Is it the Id in you? It can't be Ego, or SuperEgo for sure. If its Id then it has to be intense and it is. Its a known fact that hatred is the easiest and the most intense emotion. It usually comes naturally. Its the Id in you. It simply captivates your mind. Love on the other hand is a milder emotion. What about Fear? What about devotion?

If there is good, there has to be some evil to balance the world. You may call them the positive and negative forces. Even atoms - the building blocks of matter have them in equal proportion. The constant shift of balance provides the energy necessary to keep things moving.

I think if you believe in God, you have to believe in the negative forces also. Ghosts could be one of them. Existence of Gods is an entirely different and debatable story altogether. Its your brain that decides. Let it decide.

In the meantime take a look at the picture below. I captured this in London.

Doesn't it seem like I photographed a ghost? Its 100% original photograph, and explains a lot a camera can do. There are technical limitations to a camera. This image is of a fast moving car with a person sitting inside it as it passes by me.

This is what I see as proofs presented by a lot of people around in various articles over the Net, be it the ghosts of Bhangarh, or Scotland. Never mind, the real proof is in your head. Its how you see or feel or perceive things around you.
If you believe in it, you will feel it someday. If you don't you will not. But, its not as easy. Even if you don't and if you are subjected to such a circumstance that has led others to believe, chances are that you will tend to believe in it too. Why? Your brain might not have a ready-made answer, and you have been hearing stories about it for years. So, you will end up believing.

How many times have you been scared within your own home when the light goes off and there is darkness all around? Don't you feel sometimes that a pair of eyes is watching you at that moment? There is no ghost around but you feel like having one. Your brain is a smart thing...