For those of you in India, I’m sure you saw the news about the Air India flight that made an emergency landing at Jaipur airport on Sunday night. [link]
For those who missed the news, here’s what happened: 173 passengers aboard a plane that has been in service for 22 years, Air India’s oldest | originally flying to New Delhi | the captain had been flying for over 12 hours, almost at a stretch | zero visibility at Delhi airport led to diversion of the flight to Jaipur airport | zero visibility at Jaipur airport too, but low fuel made it impossible to divert again | the captain decided to land anyway, using the Instrument Landing System (ILS) | the hard landing significantly damaged the tyres and landing gear, causing the plane to careen off the runway | part of a wing then collided with something on the runway and got ripped off | the plane was damaged beyond repair.
The 173 passengers. Safe.
Apparently, the captain has been derostered, pending investigation. But if you had just saved the lives of 173 people, would you care a fork if you were derostered? I definitely wouldn’t.
That said, I think the captain and plane have a message there on how we should live our lives. Serve our purpose or objective to the fullest, and at any cost. And when you’re done with life, go out completely expended.
..if you’re gonna die, die with your boots on, If you’re gonna try, well stick around..
Human mentality doesn’t cease to surprise. Astound even.
We all have come to believe that the stock markets seem to move much more with tiny human sentiment, and less due to company or industry fundamentals.
Lets have a look at the Sensex movement in relation to ‘sentiments’.
I’ve taken the Sensex merely as a representation of the fluctuation of such sentiments.
When the world was hit by the sub-prime crisis, the all-famous Global Meltdown, Indians saw the Sensex “melt” over the next few months, as shown below:
The markets were beaten down to about 60% of their August 2008 levels. And it took the Sensex about 9 months to go through the meltdown to regain those August 2008 levels.
And August and September of 2010 saw not one or two, but a series of scams happen at home. If we start with the CommonWealth Games scam of (I say ‘start with’ to define a period I’m talking about, as many of us have literally grown up hearing about one scam or another, and have taken them as inseparable parts of our lives); around Rs.70,000 crore. Some magicians seem to make the Taj Mahal or a big truck disappear. These folk must have thought, ‘what the hell, let’s make unimaginable amounts of money disappear’, and that, under the watchful eye of the authorities, who then managed to brilliantly gasp when the scam was brought to light.
Anyway, after that came the 2G scam of around Rs.1.76 lakh crore, and the even harder to digest news of involvement of the Tata Group in the same. Around the same time, we also had the Adarsh Society scam, where shameless, soulless individuals deprived war widows of homes in an attempt to satisfy their own greed.
So, lets say between September 2010 and Jan 2010, we’ve seen three shameful scams involving ridiculously high values. Lets have a look at how the Sensex moved around this time while we all sat in front of our TV sets eating popcorn and swallowing scam after scam:
Surprisingly, the index didn’t fluctuate more than a 1000 points. Despite the fact that such news dealt a hard blow to the economy. And to the image of India and that of every Indian the world over (not necessarily in that order).
Guess all we Indians would say to this is, “who the hell cares about scams or whatever, they’re part and parcel of life. All we’re concerned about is our money. And image, err.. What image?”
And foreign investors observe and learn fast; so tomorrow it’s just business as usual.
(like ol’ times, these are my views, and you are free to comment/ disagree/ discuss).
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