Of Bollywood and Aliens... - The Honest Truth By Ajit Dayal
Investing in India - Honest Truth by Ajit Dayal
Of Bollywood and Aliens... A  A  A
18 FEBRUARY 2008

If an alien landed in Bombay and stayed for a week he would learn a few things.
Like, the city is not really called Bombay but Mumbai.
And that people fought for years to change the name of the airport to Chatrapatji Shivaji International Airport only to have it now re-branded as CSIA.
Not that a name change would make the airport look - or function - any better.

But our alien would feel at home.
Being in a city of aliens with all the other non-Maharashtrians would be a source of comfort. And he would be free to watch the movies - in any language, depicting any culture.

Our alien guest would also be amused to see the movies and, more amusingly, the songs and dances in these amusing movies.
Our well-muscled heroes swing and dance to the most amazing beats and rhythm.
Our actresses have the most beautiful eyes and body movements to match.

All of India, the alien would think, is one song and dance.

And it is.
If Bollywood was to represent an India moving to a beat, a rhythm its counterpart the share market is also moving to a rhythm.

The problem is, no one can quite figure out what that rhythm is.
They say our stock markets are swayed by global cues.
The US markets fell sharply on Thursday night, but India gained strongly.
And the US fell again on Friday night.
So, what does that mean for Monday's opening trades and the rest of the week?
We don't know.
And we don't care what markets do minute by minute and day by day.
Honestly. Truthfully.

On Tuesday the Feb 13th when the BSE-30 Index was around 16,400 a broker called me. The Index, he predicted, is all set to hit 12,000.
Well, the next day it started to head north and has now crossed 18,000.
On Friday he called and said it is on its way to 20,000.

What tunes markets dance to is beyond our level of understanding.
We watch the companies, we try to understand what is going on around us and enjoy the music of the Bollywood beats.

And our alien?
He went northwards on the train along with the other aliens.
The markets may follow him and head north, too.
Or the market could step backward into pre-historic ages and head south: following our leaders.

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