Thursday, June 12, 2008

Further Fall in Indian Stock Markets

We have had two interesting developments on June 11, 2008. The first was the hike in the repo rate by the RBI and the second is the fall in Dow Jones by 200 points and a possible fear that oil might see another sudden spurt.

These are two interesting triggers for a fall in the markets. On June 11, 2008, the Bombay Stock Exchange rose 296 points to close at 15185.32. I expect the entire day's gain to be completely erased when the markets close on June 12 and most probably we should witness a 450-500 point fall towards the close. But the markets can be very volatile and how they behave, from 9.55 am when they open to 3.30 pm when they close, is any body's guess. I suspect unless the government comes in with some statements or announcements or unless the Asian and European take a breather, we are in for a good fall tomorrow.

It is already 3.30 am and we have another 6 1/2 hours for the markets to open. These falls are the best times to buy great shares at very cheap prices.

High Oil Prices--some observations

It is really interesting to observe the high prices of oil. Today, oil closed at $136 per barrel, which is $3 less than the peak of $139 that it touched a couple of days ago. Let us first look at recent developments--some points and counter-points.

The CEO of Gazprom, the Russian oil company, had said in January that he expects oil to touch $250 in 2009. And soon thereafter, there was a rebuttal of this price by the Chairman of British oil major, BP.

Then I am sure we have heard of Mr. Arjun Murti who works at Goldman Sachs and he's well known for predicting seemingly impossible oil prices and in the last couple of years, his predictions have been proved right to a number of people, who thought he was being too speculative. I don't know how he is able to work it out. But then I guess he is a specialist in his field and you must allow the specialists that kind of freedom, where they should be worth their word. There is a very interesting link on the website of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Gulf Coast Section, where we have details about a talk by Arjun Murti where he predicted a price of $105 a barrel on March 30, 2005. If you look up this link, you can read that even in March 2005, the prediction had sent shock waves throughout the industry. Then you have a December 19, 2005, piece on $105 oil and Murti at Bloomberg website. This also makes for very interesting reading. If I am correct and if what I deduce from the article is correct, then on December 19, 2005, the price of oil was $58. Let us take it at $60. So, in the last two and a half years, oil has gone up by about 2.5 times. e haven't had such runaway inflation or we haven't had such a great fall in the US$ in the last three years which justifies such a peak in oil prices.

The reason for this latest rise is the news that US supplies have fallen unexpectedly for a fourth week. Here is the Marketwatch story.

The OPEC members have repeatedly said that there is no shortage of oil in the market. The billionaire investor George Soros said recently that he believes oil to be caught up in a speculative bubble. The major oil producing nations have also said that there are other reasons behind the oil spike and that there are no supply-side fears.

One reason for the hike in oil prices is a fall in the US $. Oil prices have always been linked to the dollar. The currencies of the UAE have been pegged to the US$. Most of the world's oil is produced in the Persian Gulf but it is sold in New York in the US dollar, which has kept its prominence as an international currency. It is this lack of sheen in the dollar that is aggravating the crisis. But what is this connection between the fall of the US dollar and the rise in oil prices? Let me explain. The dollar has been the most stable currency in historical terms. Most nations have their foreign currency reserves in dollars or dollars form a major part of their reserves. When the dollar drops, the second most stable thing to buy is oil futures. This is also a hedge against the fall in the dollar. So, the more the dollar falls, the more there are fears in the markets and the more oil would become expensive irrespective of the oil supplies. Also, other commodities would become costly as well. The fall of the dollar also leads to a rise in gold prices for the same reason.

So, how do the Americans rein in the fall in the dollar? That's a tough question. They would need to restore confidence in the stock markets. There are problems galore in the US stock markets--there was the subprime, and there have been too many job losses. It is indeed frightening. I wouldn't like to work in the United States and feel I am quite lucky to be working in India.

I teach this course called English for Media Communications to journalism students at MCRC in my University, which is one of the most premier media institutes around. Last year, I had given an assignment to the students where they were given few articles to read and then write a feature based on those articles or on further reading that they might have done. One set of articles were on Energy. I had culled a number of articles from the Financial Times, London, for their excellent coverage. I remember an article published on November 9, 2007, by Ed Crooks, where he says:

The price of oil is a temperature gauge for the world’s energy system – and at $95 a barrel for US crude, it is showing that the system is seriously overheated...China and India between them have accounted for about 70 per cent of the increase in global oil consumption over the past seven quarters, with oil-producing countries accounting for much of the rest.
On November 14, 2007, I read in the Financial Times that the OPEC had rejected US calls for an increase in production. Let me quote the Opec Secretary General:

Abdulla El-Badri, Opec secretary general, said that there was “no shortage of oil” in the market and deferred any decision on production to the next ministerial meeting of the oil producers’ cartel in Abu Dhabi in December.

Mr El-Badri said, however, that the the “US should help to resolve the problem” and enumerated several factors, among them bottleneck in refining, geopolitical concerns and the weakness of the US dollar, that were affecting the oil price.

“The US has not invested in refining capacity in 30 years. The refineries are operating at 80 per cent. That is not adequate,” Mr El-Badri said. “We have also the problem of the dollar,” the secretary general added.


So, it seems that the Opec is quite genuine about what it says. And despite what a respected investor like George Soros says, I am sure that the oil prices are going to be on the higher side for the whole of 2008. Unless, they come down to $110-$115 levels, I don't foresee any fall. So, even if we are really caught in a speculative bubble, we are there and we need to face it. And there may not be short term, quick fix solutions to the problem. There should be good, long term solutions.

Those would surely help.









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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Interesting Alternative to a Resume

I found a very interesting link to Seth Godin. I don't know much about him but he advocates that one doesn't need to write a resume / CV and offers interesting alternatives.

To quote him:

If you don't have a resume, what do you have?

How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects?
Or a sophisticated project they can see or touch?
Or a reputation that precedes you?
Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow up


Hope you enjoy looking at his blog. I found his ideas very fascinating.

Financial Sector News

June 11, 2008, 8.00 pm

This is just off the wires at this moment. The RBI [Reserve Bank of India] has raised the repo rate by 25 bps [bps= basis points / 1 basis point is 100th of a percent; so, 25 basis points is 0.25 %]. This is the first such hike since March 2007. The news was off the wires at Marketwatch.com barely one hour ago. And you can read this news on the NDTV Profit website as well, where it was published at 7.10 pm. So, I am not far off!

What is a repo rate? The repo rate is the rate at which the RBI lends money to other banks in the country. This is a move to fight inflation in the economy. If the RBI makes it costly for the banks to borrow money, they would be able to lend money to customers at a higher rate, which would help in curbing spending in the economy and thus, help in curbing inflation.

What is RBI? The RBI is the Indian Central Bank, the same way as the Federal Reserve is the US central bank.

It remains to be seen what impact the RBI move will have on the economy. The hike in petrol prices is going to increase inflation anyway...Let us wait and watch.

But one thing is certain--the stock markets are going to open gap down tomorrow morning and they are likely to be volatile as well.

Learning English Online-1

Dear Folks,

This is the first post in a series of posts where I'll point out wonderful and helpful online materials which would be beneficial to learners of English.

The Guardian Weekly has a very interesting section called Learning English, where you can find a number of excellent materials to improve the way you communicate with the English language.

In the next few weeks, I plan to post a number of such links and details about online materials to improve your English. My aim is to create the best possible repository of materials for English learners on my blog.

Hope you enjoy this link. Please feel free to pass it to your friends and do visit my blog for additional and delightful information.

Update on Tata Motors Purchase of June 10,2008

If you folks remember, I had told you that I bought Tata Motors stock at Rs. 512 on June 10, which is yesterday. And today, till 11.50 am, and the markets will close at 3.30 pm, the stock opened at Rs. 517 and went on to make a day's high of Rs. 529.70,which is Rs. 17.70 or 3.75% above my purchase price in the course of a day. But I am not selling it now. I just wanted to show you the kind of profits that could exist in the stock markets. Even if you take out the brokerage costs of 1.2% buy+sell, you are still left with 2.5% profits for a day.

Attractive, isn't it?

Notes on the US Economic Scene

One of my friends who made a comment to my earlier post asked me if I could write something on the economic issues related to the US election. I don't know if I am the competent person to do so. But there are some ideas in one's mind.

The situation is certainly bad in the United States. I don't know what would have an impact on the elections and what would not--it would be best to leave that to the politicians, Barack Obama and John McCain, who are fighting the presidential election. The verdict on the American economy clearly states that growth is likely to be very sluggish.

Warren Buffett was quoted by the International Herald Tribune on May 5, 2008, stating that the US economy was already in a depression and you can read the story here. This was at a news conference that he addressed a day after 31,000 shareholders attended the annual meeting of his company Berkshire Hathaway.

On May 28, 2008, he gave a detailed interview to the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, where he said a similar thing about a recession in the United States.

I am not stating that one should simply believe what the sage of Omaha, Warren Buffett, says as gospel truth without looking at it ourselves. But I fear he may be uncannily correct in his analysis.

The Federal Reserve has been trying for months to contain the subprime crisis and it has constantly reduced interest rates from a high of 5.5%. And the Fed Chief, Ben Bernanke, has seen the US$ fall against the yen and the euro and the fall of the dollar has exacerbated the oil situation. Oil seems caught in a speculative bubble and a number of people have begun to feel the pinch of rising gasoline prices in the US. And Bernanke hinted yesterday that further rate cuts might not be effected and there is a fear that interest rates might be hiked. There is a growing risk of inflation in the US economy on top of job losses, failing mortgage payments and high gasoline prices.

And it seems that another blow was delivered by the latest job data that was released and led to the crash at Wall Street. It is quite possible, as US government officials state, that the job data is misleading. Still, one should not lose sight of the fact that a large number of people in the United States today are only employed temporarily, which means that they are unemployed for over six months in a year. The economists might not agree for a variety of reasons, the chief among them is that 2008 is an election year and another important reason is that such admissions could wreak havoc on the global financial systems.

The subprime is a big mess by itself. And if you look at the Bear Stearns deal, it was such a major shock. I still believe that any rise in oil prices or any escalation of geopolitical tensions or any substantial fall in the dollar would only worsen things from an economic perspective.









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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Post-Crash and Purchase

Today the Bombay Stock Exchange fell by 500 odd points and the National Stock Exchange touched its low for 2008. The biggest lesson in the stock markets is to buy like a long term investor in a falling market. This requires a huge amount of guts and belief in one's positions. This was one lesson I learned myself last year even though I was familiar with Warren Buffett's story. Last year, I built a pretty good position in Gujarat NRE Coke [pretty good position for an individual small investor] at Rs. 58 per share but couldn't be patient and then sold out at Rs. 61 per share but within 3 months of my selling out, the stock had zoomed to Rs. 120, and then it went up even further. So, if you think a stock is good, it is good, irrespective of market crashes and recessionary conditions.

Anyway, I had discussed Tata Motors and Parsvnath in my earlier blogs. Today, I purchased both stocks in small amounts. Another secret is to buy in small amounts so that one tends to get the best price and one's investment is normally protected. My purchase price for Tata Motors was Rs. 512 and I bought Parsvnath at Rs. 169 per share. I had discussed Tata Motors as looking attractive at Rs. 540! So, I got it at a 13-month low. And I got Parsvnath at a 12-month low. I think these are pretty attractive prices. I'll keep on adding small amounts but I'll not buy Tata Motors if it crosses Rs. 525 and I'll not buy Parsvnath if it crosses Rs. 180. This way, I am making out my personal SIP-Systematic Investment Plan, without going to a mutual fund.

I expect the Indian stock markets to be subdued for the next 5-6 weeks. They may perk up a bit by August in view of the results of the latest quarter which are announced in September. They may also gyrate to the tunes of Wall Street. So, this means that there are going to be sufficient buying opportunities in the next six weeks and there is no hurry to go out and buy everything at once.

It is this staggered approach that really helps a small investor in building a big portfolio. Always remember that what goes down always goes up and what goes up always comes down in the stock markets. I really think this is exciting stuff. This is a real bargain buy situation, where you get the best possible discounts on the brands that you always wanted.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Crash at Dow Jones

The fall in Dow Jones by about 400 points and the rise in petrol by nearly $11 a barrel wasn't reported by the mainstream Indian newspapers. It should have been because this really exacerbates fears of a global recession. There are clear possibilities, and as George Soros has said, that oil is caught in a speculative bubble. But even these possibilities may not be enough and there seems no end to high oil prices for the time being. And there seems a clear link to stock markets. We should now look at what the Fed is going to do. Ben Bernanke doesn't have a lot of choices. He has already indicated that he wouldn't like to introduce further interest rate cuts and he may not have much space to do so without stoking serious inflationary fears in the United States. Already, people have begun to feel the heat of rising prices, rising gasoline, lower salaries and job cuts in the US. Any further mismanagement on the inflation front is likely to create further problems. The economy is a big issue this year and it remains to be seen how Obama would tackle it once he becomes the President of the US. If McCain beats Obama, which seems highly unlikely now, then we can expect a third Bush term and we can certainly expect further economic downturn.

Anyway, today is early morning on Sunday here in New Delhi, precisely 3.45 am, and when the markets open on Monday in India, we are going to witness a crash. The Nikkei , which opens earlier as it is in Tokyo, would provide clues to the kind of crash that we could witness on Monday morning. And there is a very strong chance that the Indian markets would be very volatile that day. If the Indian Finance Minister does something to soothe them, then we could see a rally later in the day. Such markets are the best time to stay away for short term traders but the best time to invest for long term investors.

Now, it is clear that the automobile and real estate sectors are headed for a beating in the short run. Automobile stocks, including Tata Motors, would be down because of high fuel prices and perceived low demand. I said perceived because in India, you can not have low demand for cars because of rising fuel prices. Indians are quite rich. And the real estate sector, which has been a driver of the economy, is expected to take a beating because of perceived sluggishness of the economy as also the fact that the investments of the non-resident Indians is likely to dry up. This is also a perceived fact not really something that is bound to happen. It isn't as simple as it looks.

Let me explain how it works.

For example, we stay in this flat in a good locality in South Delhi. It costs about Rs. 5 million to buy. If a NRI had bought it three years ago [and the prices were cheap then but let us assume the prices were the same], the person would have paid $100,000 as the US$-Indian Re. exchange rate was $1=Rs. 49. But if the person buys the same property today, he would pay $125,000 because the exchange rate is $1=Rs. 40. So, if the Indian Rupee rises against the US$ it makes it unattractive for the NRI buyer to invest in property here.

All this is fine but there is something else to it. In the last three years, there has been a bloodbath on the US property markets. Everybody has lost money and they have lost mind boggling amounts due to the subprime crisis there. In the last one year, property prices have come down by 15% or so in the United States. But in India, the prices aren't really coming down. We have had a 10-15% correction in few areas in the capital. There are areas in the country which are still witnessing heady growth in the sector. So, what do you expect the NRI investor to do? He knows that the US$ is falling, so, the property investments in India are getting costlier but he also knows that the Indian property market is still hot and he knows that the US property market are in a slump in a big way. So, there's still scope for the NRI to invest here.

This makes me argue my case for buying into select automobile and property stocks in a strong manner.

There's a footnote to this little post. There are fears that recessionary conditions in the US are going to affect the Indian technology stocks. Analysts who say that forget couple of things. The first is that companies like Infosys and TCS are global operations and don't focus solely on the US and even if they do, there isn't a lot of cause for worry. We know that businesses are going through a very rough patch in the US but that is precisely what will drive them to cut costs and to save money. And off-shoring and BPO is all about cutting costs. There is yet another economic logic which escapes most people. When businesses do badly, they have a sore need to expand operations, if they have some money to do so. So, unless, they are completely bankrupt, they would try their best to expand. And when American businesses expand, they look East. So, I don't think we are in for bad times. The only thing is that we are in for high volatility at the stock markets. This requires caution and patience. And careful planning.

I hope you folks enjoyed this piece of economic advice.

 
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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Stock Markets--First Principle--Further Gloss

We had discussed yesterday that the Tata Motors stock made good sense to buy at the given price of Rs.541. Today, it made a low of Rs. 525 and closed at Rs. 531, which is only 2% less than yesterday. In the process, the stock also made a new 52-week low. It is possible that the stock may slide a bit or may perform sideways and if the market sentiment is weak due to the petrol hike, then the stock might under perform the market a bit. But by how much should a market leader fall? That's a very important question.

And there's no way that a small investor is going to time the markets. Even big ones find that tough.

In the stock markets, public memory is short. I had bought Tata Steel shares after the Corus acquisition for as low as Rs. 410 a share in January-February 2007. Today, after the market crash and the low sentiments, the stock closed at Rs. 841. So, there's a potential gain of Rs. 431 or 105% in a period of eighteen months. I suspect what is happening to the Tata Motors stock these days is something quite similar.

From the current market price of Rs. 533, even if there's a downside, I wouldn't expect the stock to touch Rs. 450 in any situation. Most probably, it might display a downward movement till Rs. 475 or Rs. 480. But even if we take Rs. 541 [the price at which I thought I would like to buy yesterday] as the buying price in June 2008, I should expect at least 60-70% return within the next fifteen months. Most probably, my targets should be reached much earlier. Keeping this long target in mind, I have factored in every thing, including one year of the running of Tata Nano, the fuel price hike and the possibility of high fuel prices, low automobile demand and the pending elections in the country next year. So, unless, there were something really drastic on the financial front, I am certain that my targets should be achieved.

There's always another way to work in the markets for those who cannot take a pretty long view. This is called the intermediate position, where you can always get a 20-25% movement in the Tata Motors stock in the next three months, take your profit and sell. Then wait for a low price, keep the money safe, again buy and sell at 20% profit in another three months. This is also possible with the Tata Motors stock and this can easily be done at least 3 times in the next 12 months.

Hope you enjoyed the first principle of investing and further notes on it. Certainly, the position that I adopted with Tata Motors could be adopted with some other stocks as well.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Investing in Stock Markets--First Principle

The Tata Motors stock closed today at the National Stock Exchange at Rs. 541 per share. The year's lowest is Rs. 530 and the highest is Rs. 842. The stock has had a bad run due to many reasons--the first was its acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover, the second was a slump in the automobile sector in India and the latest is certainly the fuel price hike, which the market expects will curb demand. Today, the stock opened at Rs. 599 and then went on a downward spiral. 2008 has seen few shocks in the stock markets and the markets haven't tested their 2008 lows but the Tata Motors stock is close to its year low.

If you went to the Anand Rathi website, which is an online brokerage, and the website is at www.anandrathi.com, you would see that their research division had initiated a BUY on this stock on May 20, 2008, when the price was Rs. 668 and it said that investors should have a stop loss of Rs. 640 and have a medium term target of Rs. 745. So, most investors would be dumping Tata Motors stock now and conventional wisdom should dictate that people should not buy it.

But my intelligence tells me that this is the best time to buy the stock. How? I am not as savvy as an online brokerage and I don't have access to any illegal information. Then, how could I come to such a hypothesis?

Well, Warren Buffett and his guru, Benjamin Graham, both believed that when a stock is at a reasonable price, far below its intrinsic worth, it should always be bought irrespective of what the market thinks. But then Buffett and Graham, I'm sure never invested in Tata Motors!

True. However, if you look at Tata Motors and the history of the stock, it has had a very interesting run ever since Ratan Tata took over at the helm of affairs as the Chairperson of the Tata Group. When Tata Motors launched its first passenger car, Indica, years ago, the stock was badly hammered and he got bad press. People wrote that he was trying to finish off an old company. Then in 2008, the company launched the Nano, an engineering marvel and the world's cheapest car.

The first principle of investing in the stock markets is: When you find a stock of a leader in an industry-- BUY It! But it immediately, especially if the sector is in the dumps due to some economic downturn or market sentiments. Sentiments change and downturns go away and then the stock would give you amazing returns. Market leaders, when down due to recessionary fears, are the best possible stocks to buy. If you buy them blindly with money that you have in the bank [not borrowed money] and if you can wait, you can have nothing better in this world.

And at Rs. 541, it is the equivalent of a bargain sale because with a little jump in the markets, with some recessionary fears going away, with the next quarter results, one can easily find a 25-30% rise in the price. In a year's time, one could even find 50% rise. I guess that's not bad at all.

And if you have any further doubts, the company announced yesterday that it plans to announce a Rights issue for its shareholders who woud be offered shares at a 40% discount. And even if you simply plan to hold the share like a long term bank deposit, even then, the dividend that the company currently pays is about 2.5% return annually and dividends are not taxable in the hands of the public in India. So, it is a 2.5% tax-free return.

Wouldn't you agree? Wait and watch and tell me when you find it coming true.

Please note that this post is not a recommendation of any stock at any price.









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On Mobile Phones and a Hindi Song on Mobiles

I am sure it would be commonplace to see so many mobile phones proliferating the Indian landscape in 2008. But I still remember an age in this country, when we did not even possess landlines. We got a land line fairly late in my life. I guess we got it sometime in 1989 or so. Those days, we hadn't even seen mobile phones. Earlier, if one had to make a national long distance call, it used to be very difficult to do so and the rates used to be astronomical. But the late Rajiv Gandhi ushered in the telecommunication revolution in the country. Much later, we got the mobile phones and when they got in the country, they were very costly. The outgoing local calls were Rs. 16.80 [$0.42] per minute and the incoming calls were half that rate. One of my father's friends had bought a mobile. He was a businessman and could afford to do so. Now, the calling rates are among the lowest in the world and we have more mobile phones in India than they have in the United States. I guess we are second only to China the world over in mobile teledensity. Isn't it great progress?

I am sure the young people won't even remember but we once had a song in a Hindi movie, with a well known actor featured in it. And the song was 'What is Mobile Number?'. I am sure some of my ossified and stiff-upper lip friends would find it a very stupid or even a nonsensical song. But what is interesting here is that [a] a famous actor, Govinda, was featured in it, [b] the song shows that there was a time in the country when mobile phones were so rare and were such a luxury that the hero in the movie would woo the leading lady by asking for her mobile number. The song finally ends with the leading lady saying, "Sorry, don't have a mobile / Take my pager number". The film is Haseena Maan Jaayegi (1999) and it stars Govinda and Sanjay Dutt. The leading ladies are Pooja Batra and Karisma Kapoor. This song was featured on Govinda [who is presently a Member of Parliament] and Karisma Kapoor. The lyrics are by Sameer. If you would like to download the song, there is a free link here.

Today, in 2008, if any Hindi lyricist ever came up with such a song, the movie would bomb at the box office. But in 1999, when the public at large didn't own mobile phones, the song could have been written. If you look at film songs from an analytical perspective, they could lead to very interesting cultural analysis.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Price of Petrol in India and Other Places Around the World

All of us in India have felt the pinch of rising prices of petrol. Global oil prices are around $130 a barrel. The Indian government subsidizes the cost of petrol and it is costlier than what it costs in the US. But the price of petrol is neither the costliest nor the cheapest the world over in India. The costliest price of petrol is in Turkey with about $2.68 per liter. The world's cheapest oil is in Venezuela where it is $0.05 per liter and where the government subsidizes the price. But in Saudi Arabia, it is pretty cheap as well, where it costs $0.12 per liter.

If you want to read the complete story, please go to the Rediff.com website and read this interesting story.

 
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Investing in the Indian Stock Markets--Introductory Comments

For those who have never invested in the stock markets, it might seem like a muddle and there are some who would say that the stock markets are a gamble. There are some colleagues of mine who are academics and they feel that it is quite unbecoming of an English Professor like me to invest in the stock markets or to possess an active interest in investing. But my interest in investing goes back a long time. It was active in my family and the first person in my family to invest in the stock markets was my grand uncle. He invested in the Bombay Stock Exchange [BSE] most probably before the Second World War. So, I bring a genetic experience to investing in the markets that is at least six decades old.

I never attended a workshop or a training session on investing nor did I ever complete a degree or a diploma or an MBA in Capital Markets or an MBA in Finance. But I picked up my skills slowly, observing at home, reading widely and investing myself.

If you study any great investor, such as the great Warren Buffett, who I consider a guru, there's always something very precious that you will learn. Buffett is never in a hurry to buy. You can always say that well, he's old, so, he could afford to wait. But this is actually a very sound strategy and it has reaped rewards for many people in the past.

The first lesson that you learn from these stalwarts is that what goes up always comes down and what comes down always goes up in the stock markets. So, when there is a great euphoria in the stock markets, that is probably the best time to sell and make a profit. And even if you buy in the euphoria, you should buy in limited quantities and you should buy only front line, blue chip stocks.

To take a small example. In February 2008, I bought some shares of Parsvnath Developers [NSE Code: PARSVNATH] for Rs. 190 per share, then by May 2008, it had gone up to Rs. 235-240, which is a gain of Rs. 45 or 25% within a span of three months. And today, on June 3, 2008, it is back at Rs. 189 per share. As of today, the year low is Rs. 169 and the year high is Rs. 598. We know that there are fears of a depression in the markets and that most people are scared of the recessionary fears in the US. But Rs. 190 is not a bad price because when I tracked the stock price last year, there were at least five occasions when I had bought the stock at Rs. 270 a share and sold it at Rs. 350 a share. And today, at Rs. 190, the stock seems to have few takers. The fears are justified because the markets feel that Parsvnath is a real estate company and that the subprime crisis will affect its fortunes. One doesn't discount the market fears and one does not doubt what the markets think but unless the company were to be completely wiped out like Bear Stearns, there isn't much of a crisis. And even in the case of Bear Stearns, after the controversial J P Morgan deal was sealed, its stock price went up!

I hope you liked this small introduction to the Indian stock markets and I will follow up with more posts on this subject in a regular manner. Please do feel to comment and to share your views.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hindi Song- Urvashi Urvashi-English Translation

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Urvashi, Urvashi, take it easy, Urvashi

Film: Humse Hai Muqabla

Music: A R Rahman

Lyrics: P K Mishra

Singer (s): A R Rahman, Noel James, Shankar Mahadevan

Starring: Prabhu Deva


English Translation by Roomy Naqvy © translator


(Rahman:)


Merhaba1
Merhaba Merhaba, Merhaba Merhaba,
Urvashi, Urvashi, take it easy, Urvashi
Slim like reed, she don’t need pharmacy
Urvashi, Urvashi, take it easy, Urvashi
Slim like reed, she don’t need pharmacy


Secret of winning, take it easy policy
Few days’ sheer bliss. This youth’s a fantasy
Urvashi, Urvashi, take it easy, Urvashi

(Mahadevan:)
In Hindi, don’t you know

In love, how many letters?

For me, my sake, for my sake,

Of love, utter, utter those two letters

(Mahadevan/James:)
Secret of winning, take it easy policy
Few days’ sheer bliss. This youth’s a fantasy

(Rahman:)
Power went off during Chitrahar2
(Mahadevan/James:)
take it easy policy
(Rahman:)
Studied hard but still failed
(Mahadevan/James:)
take it easy policy
(Rahman:)
Dad said, Mom’s enemy!
(Mahadevan/James:)
take it easy policy
(Rahman:)
Commit sins, cleanse them away
(Mahadevan/James:)
take it easy policy
(Rahman:)
Urvashi, Urvashi, take it easy, Urvashi

(Mahadevan:)
Do you know thousands of arteries in the body
Tell me, where’s that artery of love

(Mahadevan/James:)
Secret of winning, take it easy policy
Few days’ sheer bliss. This youth’s a fantasy

If eyes meet, sculptures don’t crack
Cats aren’t veggies, everyone’s not a saint
Women won’t have good deal without revolt
Hey, the times’ve changed, old things won’t do

(Rahman:)
She didn’t come for the movie
(Mahadevan/James:)
take it easy policy
(Rahman:)
If there’s an old hag on the next seat
(Mahadevan/James:)
take it easy policy
(Rahman:)
If there’s no respite even on Sundays

take it easy policy
(Mahadevan/James:)
She would make love, and ask for cash
take it easy policy

(Rahman:)
Urvashi, Urvashi, take it easy, Urvashi
Slim like reed, she don’t need pharmacy

Secret of winning, take it easy policy
Few days’ sheer bliss. This youth’s a fantasy

(Mahadevan/James:)
If I winked at a girl in the dark, what would happen?
If there’s no freedom, why have heavens?
What’s the fun of studying if there’s no figure in the class?
If you act at sixty, what you should at twenty, what would happen?

1 Merhaba means hi, hello, welcome

2 Chirahar used to be a popular song based program on national television.





Diploma in Translation Students: Text for Project: Hindi Song--Urvashi Urvashi

When I started teaching the new batch of students for the Diploma in Translation Proficiency in 2007-08, I gave them a series of texts to be translated by the first week of December to be submitted as project work. These texts were given in the first lecture. I took a lot of time in selecting the texts. One of the texts that I gave to the students was a song from a Hindi movie. The song is reproduced below and in the next post, I'll put in my translation for all of you to compare. Also, those who do not know Hindi would be able to benefit from the English. When I showed this song to someone I knew, this friend of mine scolded me and said, 'You should have put in something more serious'. The song is from the movie, Humse Hai Muqabla [Let's Have a Contest]. The movie was originally made in Tamil and later remade in Hindi. The movie was called Kadhalan in Tamil. The lyrics are by P. K. Mishra and I have seen people criticize some of his lyrics. As a person steeped in literary matters, I wouldn't ever castigate a creative work.

I like the song and it is funky in nature. There's something else that I like in the song--its message. Even though the song looks like a funky song, it has a clear message-- 'take it easy policy'. The main idea is not to feel tense in any given situation. Isn't that a wonderful thing in a song that seems non-serious?

The music is by A. R. Rahman, who is known for fusion music and this song is a good example of it. The song is actually interspersed with English words. Sadly, I won't be able to upload the song here as that would be an infringement of copyright but I am sure it would be a treat for anyone to listen to it. If you want to hear the song digitally, you can always take out a trial membership to E-Music. The names of the singers are present in the brackets.

The music composer A. R. Rahman is himself a great phenomenon. His full name is Allah Rakha Rahman and he was born as A. S. Dileep Kumar on January 6, 1967. I'll try to put in more detailed information on him in a later blog.

Right now, do enjoy the music.

Urvashi, Urvashi, take it easy, Urvashi
Film: Humse Hai Muqabla
Music: A R Rahman
Lyrics: P K Mishra
Singer (s): A R Rahman, Noel James, Shankar Mahadevan
Starring: Prabhu Deva

(Rahman:)
मरहबा
मरहबा मरहबा, मरहबा मरहबा
Urvashi, Urvashi, take it easy, Urvashi
उँगली जैसी दुबली को, नहीं चाहिए फ़ार्मसी
Urvashi, Urvashi, take it easy, Urvashi
उँगली जैसी दुबली को, नहीं चाहिए फ़ार्मसी

जीत का मन्त्र है, take it easy policy
चार दिनकी, चाँदनी। यह जवानी fantasy
Urvashi, Urvashi, take it easy, Urvashi

(Mahadevan:)
जानती हो हिन्दी में प्यार के कितने अक्षर?
बोल दो मेरी खातिर, प्यार के दो ही अक्षर

(Mahadevan/James:)
जीत का मन्त्र है, take it easy policy
चार दिनकी, चाँदनी। यह जवानी fantasy

(Rahman:)
चित्रहार में बिजली उड़ गई
(Mahadevan/James:)
take it easy policy
(Rahman:)
पढ़ने पर भी फ़ेल हो गये
(Mahadevan/James:)
take it easy policy
(Rahman:)
बाप ने बोला, अम्मा का दुश्मन
(Mahadevan/James:)
take it easy policy
(Rahman:)
पाप करे, और गंगा नहाए
(Mahadevan/James:)
take it easy policy
(Rahman:)
Urvashi, Urvashi, take it easy, Urvashi

(Mahadevan:)
जानती हो इतना तो, बदन में लाखों नाड़ी
बता दो मुझको इतना, कहाँ है प्यार की नाड़ी

(Mahadevan/James:)
जीत का मन्त्र है, take it easy policy
चार दिनकी, चाँदनी। यह जवानी fantasy

नज़र के मिल जाने से ही, शील तो भंग नहीं होता
बिल्लियाँ शाकाहारी, हर कोई राम नहीं होता
भलाई कभी औरतों की, क्राँती के बिना नहीं होगी
ज़माना बदल गया प्यारे, पुरानी बात नहीं होगी

(Rahman:)
फ़िल्म देखने वो नहीं आई
(Mahadevan/James:)
take it easy policy
(Rahman:)
बगल सीट पर बुढ्ढी हो तो
(Mahadevan/James:)
take it easy policy
(Rahman:)
संडे को भी छुट्टी हो
take it easy policy
(Mahadevan/James:)
प्यार करे और नोट भी माँगे
take it easy policy

(Rahman:)
Urvashi, Urvashi, take it easy, Urvashi
उँगली जैसी दुबली को, नहीं चाहिये फ़ार्मसी

जीत का मन्त्र है, take it easy policy
चार दिनकी, चाँदनी। यह जवानी fantasy

(Mahadevan/James:)
अगर लड़की को अंधेरे में, आँख मारी तो होगा क्या?
अगर आज़ादी हो तो, स्वर्ग मिलने से होगा क्या?
क्लास में फ़िगर नहीं हो तो, वहाँ पढ़ने से होगा क्या?
बीस की उम्र का जो है खेल, साठ में खेल के होगा क्या?
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