I landed in Bombay on Monday. And what a welcome indeed — a stable government after all these years and a history-making day at the stock market. Never before has the BSE benchmark Sensex seen such a short but sharp ride up in 20 seconds of its opening.
As the bulls stormed the bourses, the Sensex witnessed its fastest ever 2000 point surge in history. What can I say? It’s good to be back, after meeting so many people, in England who have lost their jobs in the current recession scenario.
It finally feels good to hear some good news. I mean I kept reading about the recession, and the effect it was having the world over. But to read it, and then to see it first-hand is another thing.
When I landed in London, there was a car with a chauffeur to fetch me. Something about his demeanour communicated that he was far more than just a chauffeur.
We got talking and he told me that he had been laid off. So he had become a chauffeur a few months ago. Whew! I sighed. I mean, one look at him and you knew he belonged somewhere in the corporate world.
So, here was the ugly face of recession for real. It made a man with a reasonably good job to take up a chauffeur’s job.
Not that there is anything small or bad about this honest, clean job.. it’s just that it seemed like a step down. And it was, for this man, both in stature and the money he now made. But he had a great attitude and I’m sure he will soon be back in the driver’s seat of his career.
A few days later, as I was shooting, there was an assistant who was helping me with all the minute tasks — locating my van, organising my food and such stuff. Well, he seemed rather qualified for such a job.
So I asked him if it was his love for Bollywood that brought him there. I mean it was a thankless job with working hours that started at six in the morning and nobody could tell when the day would end for him.
So it had to be a passion for movies that probably got him out of bed every morning. He just smiled and said it wasn’t passion but recession.
Then it really hit me. Almost all the assistants were people who had lost their jobs and were now doing these odd jobs just to stay afloat. This was really a grim scenario and seeing it first-hand made one realise that the effects of the recession weren’t just exaggerated statements in the newspapers or news channels.
People had lost their jobs and were now surviving with the ones that were way below their qualifications or even abilities. Recession has hit these countries really badly.
Back to my land
Anyway, it feels good to be back in India to a positive fervour that now prevails. Now, I’m not an expert on finance or politics, so I do not understand how winning an election by a coalition or political party changes the economic credentials of the country.. or for that matter, boosts the prospects of the stock markets.
But if it does boost the spirits and the sentiments of the people, in general, then it is indeed welcome. Maybe the economy is shattered. Luckily not the spirits of the people! So I’m sure better times will be coming soon.