P InC Letter 2000 RANT

The politically incorrect and distasteful New Year letter.
Again, please blame Vishnu as Nirmala disassociates herself from such writing.

Y2K - Definitely a change of mood here. Not that self-centered idiots ever stopped plundering and killing one another or that the poor had something to hope for. Just that the "me too" crowd got whacked a bit where it hurts most - for those of you with a graphic imagination I am referring here to the wallet. The way folks talked up the Internet stocks! Don't get me wrong. I believe we are at the start of a radical change in our foreseeable futures. What I can not help pointing an accusing finger at is the ridiculousness (if there is such a word) with which seemingly intelligent people just went totally batty and found ways to argue that valuations were correct. Companies were openly stating - had to in some cases - how they did "funny accounting" to create the impression of wealth generation. What did folks do? They lapped it up! During my FX trading days I have seen first hand how people can believe the silliest things when there is money at stake but this whole dot com valuation episode brought silliness to new heights!

There was a time when men liked big toys - you know why of course. Now its "hey look mine is smaller than his" - even if they are talking of mobile phones. All I can say, in the loudest whisper is "Shush you moron". I guess in a twisted psychoanalytic (with the emphasis on psycho") way the "mine is smaller" crowd have got over their inferiority and envy. I would still urge them to clearly reference exactly which equipment of theirs is small.

On the subject of equipment, at the cost of offending some friends (remember this is an opinionated letter), I continue to be very amused at cell phone users who insist on walking around with wires coming out of their ears and talking into peanut sized bits of plastic. I can only assume that even if mobile phones were called cordLESS they would still keep using their cords. Must be an umbilical thing since I do not buy the rather lame excuse of "I do it because of the possibility of cancer inducing radiation". Call me an idiot but I reckon cell phones were meant to be easy to use. Ring ring! Whip it out, stick it close to your ear and say “yo”! I think that is simpler than untangling the wires, sticking the right bit into the right orifice, then cupping the peanut sized bit to your mouth like you had to throw up. Anyone who calls that hands free must be smoking weed. I reckon these same folks do the reverse in a car and do not use the wires when receiving calls while driving.

Continuing with the iconoclastic trend established in the preceding paragraphs - I happen to think Gore was right in challenging the vote count. I do not understand though how people could enter their choice incorrectly and having done so claim that it is the fault of everyone else for not understanding what was incorrectly input. Though I did not have the right to vote I did follow the elections quite closely and like many Americans I too may have decided not to vote. Unlike many Americans though I may have voted for Nader. Also Hulk Hogan - who I thought, was very good in a televised show that he paneled with Nader.

Not to drive out what little New Year cheer you may have left but the year had its very significant tragedies. Chief of them the conflict in Israel. I will not take sides here though I have a strong feeling of who is wrong. What I will point out is the photograph of the father trying to protect his son from bullets and the son then lying dead with his dad slumped on him. If that image will help people recognize the need for compassion and less hate then that boys life may not have been in vain. The same for the Indian and Pakistani lads who died in Kargill. I am not that na├»ve to believe we must defend what is ours with just a twig in our hands. Just that I hope we will learn to live with each other better. Look at Indonesia. I have been there many times and always praised the people for their openness to minority religions.  Yet the horror inflicted there in the name of religion is mind boggling. The same for the Philippines. Killing innocent people carrying gifts to loved ones - who would support a movement that did that?

Trawl through the news in 2000. For all the fanfare with which the year was introduced it ended up being very forgetful. After the initial euphoria of the Y2K bug not having wreaked havoc, the general trend seemed downwards. Which makes me think of a comment from Keshava who, with the wisdom of a ten year old, said "I do not understand why people argue whether 2000 or 2001 that is the new millenium. After all, after the very first thousand years there is a new millenium every second". Granting that I am favorably biased towards Keshava I can not but help think of the profundity of the remark. As people we all seem very geared towards annual events. Resolutions are made at year end. Marriages are celebrated once a year. As are births. Quite a few people "celebrate" Christmas now and will think you are stupid if you think it has to do with religion. No. It’s the gift-giving season! Call me strange but the unexpected gift on an unexpected day has always given me the greatest joy. Which is why I reciprocate by presenting gifts to folks for no reason other than to say that I appreciate them for one reason or another. It is also why I never celebrate my own birthday and discourage others from celebrating it for me! I personally can not think of anything more egoistic. Would be better I reckon to try and celebrate life everyday.

Enough of the philosophy and the discomforting idol bashing. More to the egoistic bit of the traditional New Year letter where we tell everyone about ourselves once a year.

On the bright side was the munji or upanayana of Krishna and Keshava. The boys were great, as was my Mum who made the arrangements very well.

On the sad side was the death of V.H. Rao my father-in-law. In a year when Manek Daver and Bejan Daver both close friends of his died I can not help thinking that should they wish to play bridge in the huge closed room in the sky they will have found my father a most willing partner. Bless their hearts.

Other than that our family is getting along fine with all the usual ups and downs. Vishnu is more tolerant of the world. Nirmala is more tolerant of Vishnu. Both are often intolerant of Krishna and Keshava yet love them no end and Jana sleeps all the time.

Here is wishing that this letter did not offend you too much (!) and to your health and wealth and that of the world.