Thursday, November 20, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The janitors are an unknown lot. They arrive regularly, on time, clean up your junk, throw you a fake smile (because seriously there is nothing to smile about for them) and get out of there. Sometimes they catch you on your way out of the toilet, just after you took an obnoxious crap, and you know that he knows that it was you. You smile at him knowing very well that he is going to have to clean up your mess. He smiles back but in his mind he is crying and cursing your entire family tree.
There is never a "good" time for this kind of disaster to happen, but this strike happened at an especially opportune moment. There was a big conference being hosted by a company that week (name withheld upon request). Big ideas for the next generation mobile technologies were being discussed. Well respected men and women from various fields were presenting their research. Rich investors looking to fund projects were present too. Everybody was looking to make the world faster, better, to move it forward. But they forgot that more importantly their backwards needed to keep moving too. They were hit by the strike and didn't have a clue on how to fix it. They didn't think that the janitors would have anything to protest about.
But the janitors wanted a place in the conference to air their grievances. They started protesting outside. Security was called to calm them down, but calm down they won't. Finally the CEO of that company, alarmed by this situation, came down and talked to the protest leaders. A few enthusiastic protestors had banners like "Don't you like it clean?" or "Wanna use the forest instead?" and apparently that had an effect on the CEO. He allowed a woman janitor to take a place in the conference.
This woman, in her mid forties, slightly overweight, low on confidence, oiled hair tied in a ponytail, took a seat next to some of the richest men in the world. This was a day of unprecedented importance. People who moved the world forward and people who kept it flowing backwards, sitting side by side, under one roof, discussing issues and resolving crises. This was bigger than Obama being the president of USA. But this woman had a hard time expressing her ideas because the elite men and women didn't give her a chance to speak for a long time. People all around were screaming technology jargon like "Decrease processor size", "increase transistor count", "more processor cores", "less cores but faster". Tired of this constant shouting that she couldn't understand the woman gave up and screamed "GAANDU LOG TUMHARA SANDHAAS SAAF MANGTA HAIN KI NAHI ?!?!". The room went silent. People listened to her speak about her issues. Her demands were met and the strike ended. Business resumed, forward and backwards.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
p.s. The ambience is a little noisy - Mumbai hain baap - so be patient, turn the volume up and you will be rewarded.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
40 yrs after Ashok Vaidya invented the gastronomic miracle, his sons join the Shiv Sena’s vada pav relaunch campaign
|HE STARTED IT: Ashok Vaidya (centre)with his wife, two sons and sister. Ashok started the first vadapav stall in Mumbai|
Each time, Vinayak Vaidya went for an interview, he hoped his future employer would ask the one question, he waited to answer — ‘what does your dad do?’ For the answer, filled him with pride, every time.
“I would tell them my father, Ashok Vaidya, invented the vadapav! It made a difference. In fact, we’ve learnt a lot from his business acumen and entrepreneurial skills,” said Vinayak, who is an MBA, and is not involved in the family business.
In 1966, Ashok started the first vadapav stall in Mumbai outside Dadar station with help from Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. Now, 10 years after Ashok’s death and 40 years after the day that changed every Mumbaikar’s gastronomic destiny, whatever the social strata, the Shiv Sena, as approached the Vaidyas to start selling their ‘invention’ under the Sena umbrella — the Maharashtra Vadapav Vikreta Sena.
Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, “Ashok was a hard-core Shiv Sainik. We’re happy to have his family on board. He was the pioneer in this business.”
Ashok’s wife Mangal said they have ensured there’s no compromise on quality. “When we started out, the price was 20 paise per vadapav, now 42 years on, we have priced them at Rs 6, because of the hike in fuel prices,” she said.
Their stall in Dadar sells 600 vadapavs a day.
Said Dinu Randive former chief reporter of Maharashtra Times, “Big restaurants have opened in Dadar, but Ashok’s vadapav is still sought after.”
Vinayak and his brother Narendra (31) said, “We owe everything to the Sena and especially to Balasaheb Thackeray. It was Thackeray who personally requested them to stop harassing my father, when he first started selling vadapavs.”
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:40:02 AM): just saw your offline msg.
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:40:18 AM): they call it a dead cat bounce. not a bull mkt rally
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:40:25 AM): as usual. i'm a bear
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:43:17 AM): oh please, your bear is going to get destroyed
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:43:30 AM): you will be left with its rough hard fur
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:43:32 AM):
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:44:05 AM): sure. we will see. do you know from 1966 - 1982 the market was essentially flat. unless you picked every bottom and top in that duartion
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:44:22 AM): holy shit
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:44:33 AM): you gotta be kidding me
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:44:40 AM): which indicator are you referring to?
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:44:47 AM): S&P 500
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:45:31 AM): You have small bull and bear markets, but the market could not get out of high valuations (P/E) for a long time
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:45:45 AM): you are talking about 50 years ago
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:45:49 AM): lot of changes since then
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:45:57 AM): more productivity, efficiency etc
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:46:20 AM): i'm sure people said the same in 1966 compared to 1900s
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:46:57 AM): sure there is more global connectivity; but VALUATIONS ARE THE IRON LAW OF FINANCE
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:47:19 AM): who is to say what valuations are sustainable or not
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:47:38 AM): the market obviously.
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:48:44 AM): the world can't retreat, it has only one way to go. you talk aout 1966 but if you bought in 1966 , 20 years down the line the market has grown gazzilion times. what about that
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:49:34 AM): i'm not sure of people's patience, but I know that I can't be patient for 15 years. You need to be a robot to see yourself earning less than a CD for 15 years
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:49:58 AM): what were CD rates from 1966 to 1982
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:50:12 AM): on average about 6 -7%
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:50:59 AM): I don't think i will be excited when the market is just 15% below its ALL TIME HIGH.
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:51:15 AM): sure the market can go up. I don't know.
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:51:25 AM): I am totally vested
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:51:29 AM): invested I mean
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:51:35 AM): classic bull bear struggle
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:51:43 AM): until now I have not done well
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:51:56 AM): but next 5 years we'll see.
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:52:19 AM): I'm 50% vested, but only 15 -20% in equities
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:52:54 AM): I am less of a risk taker as you know, I rather don't make much, but I dont want to lose much.
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:53:22 AM): we agree to disagree
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:53:23 AM):
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:53:30 AM):
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:53:37 AM): if we had this discussion in 2001 I would have won
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:53:40 AM): today you seem to be winning
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:53:47 AM): here is one more thing: you lose 50% you have to make 100% to break-even. think abt it.
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:54:08 AM): thats just a matter of perception, if you stick with the good guys you will do well
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:54:16 AM): challenge is finding the good guys
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:54:56 AM): which is always the case. so you buy the market when it is cheap; not when it is fairly-valued or overvalued. that is a safer way to play it
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:55:27 AM): so now is it cheap or overvalued?
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:57:40 AM): range of fair-value, between 14 - 25 P/E. How you calculate P/E is another long topic of discussion, but suffice it to say that corporate profits are near all-time high which is you 'E' portion, and if there is anything called as mean-reversion these profits will come down and drag the stock prices if history is a guide
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:58:03 AM): market is about fairly valued at 17 - 19 times earnings
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:58:25 AM): yep, profits is everything
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:58:44 AM): this earnings season there have been mixed results, so no clear indicator
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 10:59:05 AM): AGAIN, Remember in 1991, the last housing crisis more than 1000 depository institutes FAILED; we aint seen nothing yet
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 10:59:47 AM): markets get more and more efficient with every fall
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:00:00 AM): people correct their models, their assumptions
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:00:03 AM): I dont know this qtr or next qtr; i do know that corporate profits will fall as a % of GDP and markets wont like it at some point in time
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:00:35 AM): so basically you are saying the world will go back to primitive ages
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:01:45 AM): no. i'm saying that markets are fairly valued; it is NOT WORTH THE RISK OF INVESTING IN STOCKS when things are going good.
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:02:03 AM): you buy when nobody wants stocks, not when everyone wants it
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:02:19 AM): that can be a double edged sword, kinda like sigmatel
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:02:32 AM): so now, the huge banks citibank etc have falled more than 50%
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:02:38 AM): that is why you buy the market, a good diversified set of busineess
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:02:40 AM): not one stock
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:03:12 AM): amen.
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:03:19 AM): essentially what you are telling me is buy low sell high
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:03:34 AM): amen.
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:03:45 AM): again, the writedowns have just started. it will be another year before we know about the total writedown
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:04:06 AM): to say that we have discounted writedowns which people dont know how much is coming is wishful thinking
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:04:26 AM): true but you think it is going to get the banks into a net loss? over the years these banks have amassed hundreds of billions of dollars, what is 20-30 billion dollar loss for them?
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:06:03 AM): yes, with acknowledging that you can't pick the bottom,but when corporate profits have fallen, yes that is the time to buy. You may not be at the bottom but your returns will definitely be better than buy-hold at fair value crap.
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:07:21 AM): that I agree, getting in at drops but in the big picture of 20-30 year horizons the dips seem insignificant. to each his own, if you can hold for a longer time you should be in the market , if you can't then you shouldnt
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:07:52 AM): well, if they had so much money why are they begging sovereign wealth funds for money. the terms are ridiculous, if the stocks go down further, the SWFs have negotiated a deal where they get a lower price reinstated meaning higher yields. why would these banks be so desperate if they had money
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:08:34 AM): they don't want to cash out on their "other" investments, its a credit/liquidity crisis, but you don't sell everything when you don't have enough bank balance
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:08:41 AM): it is easier said that done. that is why i gave the 1966-1982 example
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:09:20 AM): for e.g. they are digging oil rigs in nigeria, shit load of money if they find oil , but just because they have liquidity issues doesn't mean they should stop progress
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:09:52 AM): and isn't is surprising that sovereign funds are falling head over heels to bail out these "troubled" banks
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:10:01 AM): sure. you have a point. they are pretty diversified. too big to fail. but if you have to weather the storm for a couple of years, at get into huge amount of debts, not sure how long it will be before you finish paying up
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:11:53 AM): anyway, good discussions.
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:11:58 AM): let the fight continue
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:12:31 AM): It will be interesting to see when you will be a 'bear' and I will be a 'bull'. maybe when S&P hits 1200
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:13:48 AM): dude,if markets fall so low, you are talking poverty, layoffs, high crime rates, shit hitting the ceiling. At that point you'll have to worry more about protecting your family and gold more than buying stocks
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:14:41 AM): and you and I would be out of jobs
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:15:14 AM): your brawn power will be more valued than your brain power
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:15:19 AM): essentially going back to stone ages
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:24:43 AM): the market hit 1100 in 2002; i am not in stone age
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:25:28 AM): the market fell by 80% in the depression and still didn't go into stone age
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:26:03 AM): depression was a horrible time to grow up, people growing up in depression have terrible memories
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:26:30 AM): pictures of squalor spring up when they think about the great depression, long lines, random corruption etc was common
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:27:41 AM): the tech bubble in 2001-2002 was pretty depressing too; ask me i worked thru that time. Markets/economy correct; all I'm saying is I'll wait for the correction. a 15% drop is not a correction
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:29:47 AM): did you buy after 2002 ?
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:34:12 AM): i bought a bunch of stocks in 2002; the mistake I made was I sold too early as I was still my first stab; i did mistakes buying in early 2001. bought sun for $10 and broadcom for $40
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:34:42 AM): after my mistakes, i learnt abt value investing and bought depressed stocks in 2002.
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:35:11 AM): so that turned you into a bear I guess, and of course that Maudlin cult
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:35:43 AM): I think I believe that the way to success is to not lose much.
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:35:59 AM): but take risks only when you are paid for it.
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:36:06 AM): that so so boring
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:36:07 AM):
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:36:14 AM): yeah. I'm OLD MAN
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:36:28 AM): today google announces
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:36:34 AM): I think its going to drop after that
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:36:35 AM): that is good. I don't want people to think like me.
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:37:13 AM): i heard abt the ad rev drop. they kind of masked it saying it was internal report and can be wrong... some bs like that
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:37:26 AM): heh e
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:37:34 AM): dude if google drops, industry drops
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:37:35 AM): apple drops
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:37:44 AM): yeah. i've noticed.
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:37:46 AM): and now I just got vested my first installment and I so want it to go up
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:37:56 AM): i hope that internal report was WRONG.
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:39:04 AM): dude. if history (read sgtl) is a guide, you are a great market timer
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:39:38 AM): you know how much I wrote down in personal losses this time finally after dumping off sgtl
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 11:39:50 AM): any guesses?
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:40:12 AM): you are a sharp guy man. you will come back. you are in a blue-chip now. not sgtl.
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:40:46 AM): if i've to bet msft vs aapl over the next decade; my money would be on aapl.
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:46:47 AM): u can right down over a 3 -5 year period right?
Dukhiya (4/17/2008 11:46:54 AM): write down
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 1:17:18 PM): goog crushed estimates
Pulkit Desai (4/17/2008 1:17:22 PM): long live the bull market
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
I knew it. Nana Patekar now officially belongs to the "Shakti Kapoor Hawas Ka Pujari" club. An upcoming actress Tanushree Dutta accused him of, over a period of hours, subtly making sexual passes at her. She was shooting an item number and Nana Patekar's role in it was only a few seconds long and he was supposed to go away after that. Instead, he insisted on staying back and tried to teach her the dance steps and got uncomfortably close to her. aaoo, come on baby, aaoo. Dance choreographer ko bithaa diya. And the height was that he asked the choreographer to re-write the steps so that he could get blissfully close to her. This made the nubile Tanushree very uncomfortable, after all she is from a decent family and only does decent item numbers. So she raised a storm and stopped the shoot. She bared her heart out to the media and now the MNS (Raj Thackeray's party) is marching to her house and accusing her of spreading false news about their respected Nana (marathi manoos). They say he is a senior actor and you cannot falsely accuse him like this. Nana is saying that Tanushree is like his daughter and she is making a faaltu tamasha. I say bullshit. Nana is one hundred percent the horny bastard that Tanushree claims he is. Hawas uski aankhon se tapakti hain. I am sure many actresses must have had such issues with Nana but, the raakshas that he is, nobody probably complained about him. I applaud this smoking hot young actress for being so hot. And, of course, standing up against Nana. Nana tujhi aai chi $@%&.
For those of you who missed Shakti Kapoor caught on tape in that big scandal - I got the excerpts right here baby :
Dim lit hotel room, candid camera, girl pretending to be a model, Shakti promising to give her a break on the big screen.
Candid Girl - Hi Shaktiji, aap ke role ki bahut taareef karti hoon.
Shakti Hawas pujari - Yeah yeah, thanks. (smiling)
Girl - aap ne bataaya ki mujhe break mil sakta hain
Shakti - haan zaroor milega, why not.
(Shakti and Girl talk for sometime abour roles etc. Inaudible sometimes. Then the indecent proposal.)
Shakti - To badle mein mujhe kuch to milega naa.
Girl - matlab fees?
Shakti - nahi yaar, aur kuch
Girl - salary se percentage cut?
Shakt - no yaar. You know.
Girl - No sir. What?
Shakti - oye, fuck re. (moving his hands depicting the act)
Girl - Sir yeh kya keh rahein ho?
Shakti - arrey everybody is doing it. No problem yaar.
Girl - That is impossible sir. There are so many respected actresses in the industry.
Shakti - Arrey sub faaltu hain. Pooja, Aishwarya, Meenakshi, Madhuri sub ne diya hain re.
Girl - Kya baat kar rahein ho sir?
Girl - Ghai ne Meenakshi. Madhuri ne bhi.
Girl - Madhuri bhi? Kiss ke saath sir?
Shakti- (out of ideas for a moment and blurts out) - Yash.
Girl - Kaun?
Shakti - Yash Chopra.