Monday, March 28, 2011

On Bubbles of Life

I was quite anxious in the middle of 2008. I had just made some investments in equity market, blindly considering the opinion of an expert. And the market was sinking like anything. To add to the woes, I needed some money, which could only be had by allowing a handsome loss. Bearing north Indian heat, I would travel in a rickshaw almost every alternative weekend to the trusted expert - sometimes worrying if he would flee altogether. But, then again, I consoled myself by thinking that he had a complete house with his family. It takes time and effort to relocate. To my peace, I would find him ever in the office, with a composed frame of mind. He would greet me with a welcome smile. He would make me comfortable with a cup of tea, talk about every other topic till I would invariably ask him how bad it is going to be ? The answer was also ever typical. Something in the line of "beta - abhi tumne jindagi dekha hi kahan ?". I learned that these are called economic cycles, almost like seasons of a year. It turns up and down and no one dares time the market. The only way is to invest long term and it definitely pays. He would throw a lot of statistics to convince me. I used to return a happy man. He was in fact, very, very correct.

What also I learned from him that there are these bubbles present in other facets of life, too. You would feel that life is blooming, new job, plush apartment, new car. But, it bursts. Sooner or later. To the tipping point, where you wonder, what did you want at the first place. That is another interesting aspect. What we wanted ? It seems to change for mortals. I wanted to own a horse - named Hero and a mountain wolf called Devil when I was young. Then I wanted to get into an Engineering college. Then I wanted to own a bike. The list changes. And if I go by my genes, all I would want at the end is health and happy spirit.

Thus, following the theory of bubble and burst, why do not we invest long term in the things that we would be wanting someday in future ? Or perhaps a mind-game before that would be to see, what we will be wanting. A easy way to check that is to put yourself in a lot of it - may be for a week. Best food, best parties, best of anything that you think you will be asking for. Like living a few lives in a short span. And then choose the one.

Let me end by a short story. I met a monk recently. He did not exactly sold his Ferrari but, he left something which the majority of Indian youth look for. He deserves a separate complete blog entry. But, this story here. I asked him point blank - "Did you know what you have done ? How on the earth could you abandon all that and take up a monastic life ?" He was laughing. He maintained throughout the discussion before that it was not a sudden decision. It just grew over him. At the end of my direct question, he told me that - "You know, I did not made much of renunciation. It is actually you, who did it. I left lesser stuff for something better and you left the better things to dwell over the mundane matters. Now tell me, who actually renounced ?"


  1. :-)... only slowly you realize that how difficult it is to go for better things... Maayajaal!

  2. eagerly looking forward to the monk story !!

  3. @Bhramar - or you fail all over again. so true.
    @Sarvo - i am looking forward to write that, too.

  4. Im also waiting for the monk story :)

    We hardly know what we really want. At least I dont know, except that perhaps, at any point of time I dont want to hate myself!

    Its a shame I missed the oppt to meet u in JU this time. Surely next time!

  5. The LAST line is really precious. Who have ever met him, he/she has feel God within Shreesh Mj. We(students of shreesh mj) have some glorious moments with him. He used to talk in bengali: "Parasuna karbe na to, parbe ki kare..."