Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Fellowship of the Bling

It was the only time that some thing else replaced it. At the time of Napolean Bonoparte when Aluminum was just discovered and considered so rare, he had his 100 most revered guests served with Aluminum cutlery. The rest of the lesser mortals were served in just gold plates. Of course it just took another 10-15 years for gold to win back its ....err.... gold medal.

" I just got my year end bonus. Lets go buy some gold" my wife said.
"Do you want to spend some 20 grand on 10gms? We can put it in some Mutual fund na!"
"20k was last year Sir! Its at 22500 now and the paper says it will go to 50k in two years!!"

That is ridiculous I thought. Which led me to go online and check some trends on prices of gold over the years. And boy was I stumped or what!! Over the last 36 years, irrespective of closed or open economies, boom or recession, smuggling or streamlined, gold prices are going in only one direction: north-north west. In 1974, 10 gms of gold cost INR 185 and today we are at INR 22500 and its growing at a phenomenal pace. No wonder we are the largest gold consuming country in the world. And hey! even the world went crazy after it: remember the Gold Rush of California and Alaksa in the early 18th century!

And then it got me thinking. Gold is just every where in our life. Its there as a metal, as a concept, in our language, in our names, its all pervasive. Lets see...
  • Language: Idioms and phrases filled with it like 'as good as gold', 'golden goose', 'all that glitters is not gold', 'old is gold', 'heart of gold', 'worth its weight in gold', 'silence is gold', 'sitting on a gold mine', 'gold digger', 'golden age', 'golden ratio', 'golden rule', 'Midas Touch', 'Eldorado'.....its endless
  • Royalty: The Russian Czars were shot at point blank range with automatics, but they apparently had so much gold and jewelry on them that the bullets just bounced off! This and stories around the Peacock throne, the Gold sarcophagus of Tuthankamen et all.
  • Names: We call out to small babies with affection - chinnu, shona equating them to precious gold, or heck just name them after gold - Sonika, Kanchan, Swarna and as simple as Goldie!
  • Movies: How many movies have we seen as kids where bad men were the bald big men who used to smuggle gold and drugs at the docks. James Bond fighting the Man with the Golden Gun or at Golden Eye, finding the magic land though The Golden compass, Charlie Chaplin eating the shoe in Gold Rush and Natalie Portman's intriguing performance in Golden Swan. Well and if you do well, you will get what else but the 'Golden Globe'!
  • Religion: Well almost every God we know of in every religion is adorned in Gold. Be it Lord Venkateshwara in Tiruapti or the sacred Golden Temple, Goddess Lakshmi in one of her forms, the box of Moses to hold the 'Ten Commandments'
  • Random: Golden Gate, Gold fish, Golden Handshake, Golden retriever, Golden triangle and quadrilateral, Gold ETFs, Gold dust, Gold's Gym, Gold Quest
  • And Weddings: Ofcourse how can we Indians forget about weddings jewelry, mostly gifted and occasionally demanded! Parents end up saving years, some times taking loans or mortgaging property to gift the gold! Well a picture is worth a thousand words if you ask me....

Well I cant think of any thing else as of now. If you can let me know and I might just give you a Gold Medal.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Life between two blog posts

Its been just over three years since my last blog. Over the three years, I have

  • Gotten married
  • Worked in two great companies
  • Made a lot of good friends
  • Seen the great Pyramids
  • Bought a flat and a piece of land
  • Ported from Airtel to Vodafone
  • Changed four houses
  • Put on twenty kilos
  • Lost a dear aunt
  • Been gifted an Enfeild \m/
  • Finally started my dream movie collection
  • Spotted a tiger in the wild
  • Got malaria 3 times
  • Driven 1000 kms in flat 16 hours
  • Understood how the guy who calls at 3 PM on Sunday afternoon selling Insurance feels
  • Seen an IPL final and India win the World Cup!
  • Survived near lay offs, recession and a company takeover
  • Lost a phone and a wallet
  • Gone bonkers over the road side Pani puri in Mumbai
  • Flown in a hot air baloon
  • Proudly seen my brother get his first job
  • Fallen in love with Ikea furniture
  • Broken my ankle twice
  • Have seen the smart phone revolution
  • Earned tonnes of i-mint points
  • Totally stopped reading for some Goddamn reason
  • Bought my first car
  • Collected upto thirty eight fridge magnets
  • Traveled to every nook and corner of the great Megapolis called Mumbai
  • Moved from Orkut to Facebook
  • Celebrated my dad's 60th year Shanti
  • Developed lots more grey hair, but maybe not that much wisdom
  • Enjoyed every bit of this crazy journey called life
I'm lovin' it!