Greetings from New York City. Am here on my annual pilgrimage, to meet the bright minds of Wall Street and see if they are really sweating in their designer suits fearing a recession or are weathering the storm pretty well. I came to ask about America but all I hear about is India. India at 60 is all over New York City. Not just in plush hotels where Indian CEOs and politicians mill around but even in the open parks of the city. A certain Indiamania is coursing through the arteries of this great city.
It's love at 60. Everybody loves India. At sixty, she is just the hottest thing going, the most loved, revered, admired and sought after. They just can't get enough of her. The CEOs (read FDI) want to tie a nuptial knot , the private equity guys want to lock her affections in before the world gets to see her and the FIIs just want a good time while she blossoms into a beauty. Back home, familiarity seems to have bred contempt amongst Indians. They see her from up close yet don't seem to love her as much as the foreigners do. Maybe they are missing out.
Everyone I speak to gushes about India. It's the place to be, they tell me. You are a lucky young man to be in India today. I smile and nod. Your companies are just the best in the world , they say. I agree. This week Ben Bernanke's popularity ratings are fairly high, yet they speak so highly of our good Dr Reddy back home and admire how well he has handled our overheating issue this year. The cribs about growth constraints are receding, now every blemish is is an opportunity; when removed she will shine even brighter. They agree that India is no longer a promise, a mirage; it's actually arrived. This time there's no going back. I tell them I certainly hope so.
I get the sense the courtship has just started though. They are hungry, don't have enough of her. Make no mistake, this love will blossom. I see the light in their eyes, this will be an enduring romance. It feels good to be loved so. More tales of love and longing will follow, in this column, as I meet more young admirers this week. Some have their hair cut in hedges others keep it long only. What a varied lot of suitors.
(The writer is Executive Editor, CNBC-TV 18)