Today, is actually the first of Chingam (derived from the Sanskrit word 'Singham'), which is the start of the Malayalam (Kerala) Calendar  i.e. our new year - and it's a great time to kick off something new for every Keralite.

Ironically, the morning started with sunshine, and then started pouring rain for about 5 minutes. It's in moments like this when you feel that God just sprinkled you with blessings! I couldn't capture the start of the day with a time lapse, but here's what it looked like afterwards... (hope you enjoy that momentary bliss)

After the monsoon showers...

There's been some developments on my personal side, I'll come to that in a bit, but first, let's look at the markets & where they stand.

Well, today the markets gapped open, only to have that gap filled (which is good, as it paves the way for further rallies).

I'll be doing a review of our 20 stock investment positions soon, there have been some interesting developments in the Indian markets, most of which were triggered by SEBI enjoying its lockdown and being more productive!

Some of the changes however, may not be good for liquidity, we'll see. You need to understand one thing - that people come to the stock markets, because there are very little investment avenues available that generate a return. Forget about returns, even income of some sort.

As countries continue to remain on lockdown, you can expect the economy to stutter, if not enter a deeper recession. It's easy to stop things, but the economy is like a flywheel, it requires a HUGE amount of effort to get it moving again.

Now you can either continue to fool yourself, or be part of the greater fool theory or accept reality, or some perceived version of it. (This cartoon pretty much captures it well)

Either way, I just believe in being prepared. You can do that by building up your cash position, or dry gunpowder as we like to call it - to deploy into investments.


Now, there's been a reason for my two week of silence, and that's because I've relocated. After living abroad in Bahrain (Middle East) for 33 years, (and in the United Kingdom before that) - I've come back to my roots.

And that's in Kochi, where my paternal grandfather used to be a spice merchant. I still remember going along with him to Mattanchery on a rickety private bus and visiting the Jewish Synagogue and meeting his friends around this area.

As a returning Non Resident Indian (NRI) - life cannot be all smooth sailing. Especially during these COVID times. Fortunately, I've noticed a great deal of transformation in Kochi over the last decade. And I can say, I'm liking it.

Is it perfect, hell no! It's just a start. I just wish some times that we had better weather, rather than the hot and humid tropical climate. Who knows with climate change, we'll see cooler weather (sarcasm intended).

Fortunately, living abroad has given me a more global perspective, and I hope to build up on my local perspective as time goes by. I cannot cover the entire India, as we're so diverse, but I do hope to cover a bit of what makes Kerala, Kerala. Love it or hate it, it is God's own country.

So when you leave one country for another, you're busy comparing things - currency, cost of living, quality of living, inconveniences, freedom, rights, obligations, mindsets, attitude, and a whole gamut of stuff. That's part of change.

Yesterday, a friend (who recently became an Australian citizen) asked - "Are you happy?" I told him to ask me this question after 6 months.

I think most NRIs/OICs are asking this question because they've left India, and are now seeing the grass on the other side. I have a lot of opinions about this, which I'll share because I'm sure many NRIs will be having the same question.