Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How Bad Can It Be?


If ghost stories don’t scare you anymore, your newspaper will. According to the news, we are doomed. The rupee is flirting with 67 to a dollar, onions with 80 to a kg and crude with 40 to a barrel.
As it happens, my newspaper tried to spook me with all the bad news at its command. Having learned to deal with it, I’m not scared anymore. Because it is an annual unfailing exercise. It is that time of the year when onion prices kiss the skies with the notoriety of Mika locking lips with Ms Sawant. So, if I don’t party for a month, I can easily scrape through the onion crisis. Experience tells me that the new crop will hit in September, and life will be back to chopping onions.

Just when I decided not to worry about chopping onions, the global markets turned choppy. My newspaper threatened me with platitudinous bunkum - Monday Mayhem, Markets in a Tailspin, Bloodbath on Dalal Street, Global Jitters, and Commodity Crash. No, Sir. I refuse to be terrorized.
See, the good thing about not being too rich or too poor is that you don’t really care if the rupee deflates, crude plunges, gold gains or commodities crash. Who cares for the devaluation of the Yuan unless you are planning a vacation to China? Who cares for the plummeting rupee unless you are planning to send your kid abroad? Who cares if gold glitters unless you are Bappi Lahiri? And who cares if Washington apples, imported chocolates, kiwi fruit or imported liquor become costlier, because those who consume them don’t really care about a few bucks here and there.

The mayhem on the water-logged street next to my house bothers me more than the mayhem on the Wall Street. Moreover, the thing with onions and stocks is that nobody really knows how high the onions will go, or how low the Nifty will settle. Nobody really knows if the present crisis is a buying opportunity for both - onions and stocks.

While watching the commodities crash on television, I noticed an interesting phenomenon. While CNBC-TV18 clearly said that the free fall in global commodities market was due to the slowing Chinese economy, a panelist on CNN-IBN blamed Modi for the slowdown. Similarly, while market analysts on NDTV Profit blamed the market panic on global cues, mainstream NDTV engaged in the usual Congress versus BJP slugfest. Which makes me wonder why our mainstream media loves to fish in troubled waters - from terror to politics to economy?

During such episodes when my newspaper unleashes fear, I withdraw into the most familiar comfortable place – optimism. Since I am a firm believer of what goes up, comes down, tears of joy trickled down as wholesale onion prices dropped sharply this week. The markets obliged too, albeit marginally.
There are other drivers for my optimistic streak. You see, bad news is a headline but gradual improvement is not. Since onions make me misty every August, I refuse to cry at the dinner table. Plus we’ve been in recession for a decade, so there is nothing more to recess. The fear about the flight of capital does not bother me as there is no other market in the world with consumers bursting at the seams. And the crude can go wherever it wants, because I just cannot drive on Gurgaon’s potholed roads in schizophrenic traffic. When you have nothing to lose, nothing scares you.

24 comments:

  1. Hahaha - yes. Shades of "I am more interested in what happens in Khan Market than what happens in the Stock Market" :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. When things have hit a low in every sphere the only direction left is upwards, except for the potholes, traffic, congestion and crime that keep increasing with time and never hit a low!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roads have become scary as we are bursting at the seams. Too many people.

      Delete
  3. Ha,two paisa for these up and down shenanigans.You are so right--when one is not too poor or too rich life goes on at an even keel.I see no point in cribbing about inflation an d all that stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We know it's bad for almost a decade....don't want to be scared anymore.

      Delete
  4. Well said, Alka! The way these media-wallas make scary noises and engage in stupid blame-games over every little thing is meaninglessly silly. It is even hard to laugh at their stupidity. The minute-long sensationalism is at an all-time high. Serious issues can go to trash bin when trash becomes news and news becomes a means to promote trashy analysis. Better to worry about the potholes in the neighbouring street than the markets which will anyway do what markets do, or in the case of onions what politically connected hoarders will do!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's the same onion story year after year. I refuse to get bogged down by it.
    Always good to see you here.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Alka, I completely agree with you "that when you have nothing to lose, nothing scares you." And I also believe that both good and bad news don't last. Loved your post, as usual :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yeah, I agree It actually seems like the events repeat every year. And, of course, there are advantages of being middle class. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. This post is awesome, maybe because i track all of it (except the onion prices since i am not in India). I guess what they call a news everyday should just be referred to as common updates...everything is moving everyday, after all. But you see, people are making money in this mayhem also :)

    Good that you don't bother about it anymore...somebody might be getting a heartache from it somewhere!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Alok. Even I am surprised how people are making money in this scenario.
      Since this is a fun take, I am trying to be brave when I say it doesn't affect me. The international scenario does affect the job scenario for my son and husband, directly and indirectly.

      Delete
  9. Hence the reason I dont read newspapers :) works great for me ... I am sure they are probably putting the same articles they did a couple of years back :) you never know the newspaper people are clever lot .. well so i think :)


    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to read them, to write about news!

      Delete
  10. I remember reading something about what Abdul Kalam had to say about why the media was getting so negative these days. It's become worse that the regional channels eyeing TRPs more than just bringing news to people. And how biased news is these days? Even a common man with no journalistic sense would know that more important issues are waiting to be covered but focus is on sensational news!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When news becomes business this is what we get.

      Delete
  11. nice one
    yes what goes up comes down

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sometimes not reading the newspaper helps me go through my day with a better mood !

    ReplyDelete
  13. You know I am out of India but subscribed to NDTV and India Today TV...nowadays, I avoid news because it gets so boring, dull and depressive...such news gnaws on me now..time to stay away from news channels and ToI online, may be. I prefer to concentrate on the brighter side of life..better go with the flow, Alka:)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Very helpful advice in this particular post! It’s the little changes that make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!
    kids games , friv2 , jogos de friv , juegos.com , juegos de matar zombbies
    , juegos de un show mas

    ReplyDelete