Sunday, 6 May 2012

Excuse me, which way is it to Omaha ?

Where on earth is Omaha ?? I must confess I had to look it up on a map. God - its in the middle of nowhere. Who on earth wants to go to Nebraska anyway. Well, this weekend, all roads lead to Omaha, if you are a certain type who likes to make money. For its the annual jamboree of Berkshire Hathway, and one old man named Warren Buffett.

I really don't understand why anybody wants to go to that blessed event. I mean, can there be any excuse for wanting to go to Nebraska ?? For God's sake ! To listen to words of wisdom from the "Oracle of Omaha" ?? Please, spare me the thought. Warren Buffett is no sage. In any case, if the multitude that go there even care to listen to him, they wouldn't be going there in the first place. For after all, he has been saying for donkeys years , don't listen to self proclaimed sages. Don't go on tips and hunches. Do research. Invest for the long term , etc etc. Everybody goes there to get tips on investing. They haven't understood what he has been trying to tell them - don't listen to tips. Whoever said that there was a surfeit of brains in the investing community.

But I want to go to Omaha !! I wish I was there this weekend. But not to listen to the old man. Or even have the free ice cream they dish out. I want to be there for a far more important reason. I want to have a chance to challenge Ariel Hsing to a game of table tennis.

You see, Warren Buffett is an amateur table tennis (ping pong, if you prefer) player. Typical of him, he spotted a talent in Ariel Hsing, when she was 9 years old. He brought her to his annual jamboree and then challenged anybody to beat her - the winner gets a box of candy. In the six or seven years, nobody has beaten her. She is now 16 and has made the London bound US Olympic Table Tennis team. In one of those years, she thrashed Bill Gates, who is an amateur player himself - one of the few occasions when Bill Gates has been thrashed in anything. Buffett even joked that Bill Gates' manhood has taken a severe beating losing to a pre teen !!

So, attendees to the Berkshire Hathway AGM can challenge Ariel to a game. Well, I have some claims to playing a decent standard of table tennis. I rather fancy my chances. Of course, I would chivalrously lose in the end, but after giving the lovely lady a bit of a running !!

Unfortunately Bangalore to Omaha is a fair way, although the opportunity to play with a lovely lady must move a man to trek to the moon. In my younger days, sure.  Alas, with the advent of years ....... I shall therefore pass the opportunity to Gils, who is not far away - he having recently shifted to an equally obscure and godforsaken place, rather close to Omaha !

As for Ariel, good luck in London, young lady. The US team, as indeed many other teams, is entirely made of ethnic Chinese. They will soldier bravely, but really have little chance against the real thing -  China. Which other country can afford to drop the current World No 1 man and woman from their team ?? That's exactly what China has done. Perhaps not that surprising, when they also have the No2, No3, No4 and No5 !!


Appu said...

Of course i would lose chivalrously in the end//
LOL ROTFL again :P :D

Business, info, fun, lil bit of ribbing, poking :))))
wow wow :))))

Shachi said...

My oh my! I would hop on to a flight to see you battle Hsing for sure :).

BTW, Nebraska has an enviable landscape - vast prairies and a never ending horizon is very inviting :)!

Sandhya Sriram said...


i seriously suggest, you must write a column in a paper. like RK Lakshman cartoons.

you can maybe call it - Thiru Kung Tzu's Take

the whole world will benefit from your amazing Take on Various Topics and not restricted to this blog :-)

What say, can i patent this idea and ask for royalty - like a typical finance person

Ramesh said...

@Zeno - :):)

@Shachi - Really ??? Even Mars has an enviable landscape - of nothing :):) Just kidding.

@Sandhya - OMG. Your comments are a massive boost to my ego. Problem is its getting inflated too much :)

Hema said...

Oh!Maha post!!
If you find your way there, would love to be there to cheer you as you play agaisnt Ms.Hsing..lose or win is your call...:):)

Deepa said...

I googled the story, was indeed a delightful one! And DO COME! :)

I couldn't help but notice you are quite a package deal, a man who writes, well read, soooper intelligent, pretty fit, has a charming way with women, has a sense of humour and not just talks passionately about sports but plays as well!

Gal to gal hi-five to Mrs. Ramesh! Good catch Ma'am! ;-)

Ramesh said...

@Hema - Ha Ha. Love your ouns.

@Deepa -OMG OMG - Male ego massively inflated :):)

J said...

I am sure Ariel is sighing in relief that you hesitate to make the trip to Omaha - you had her quaking in her shoes for a second there ;)

Ramesh said...

@J - Ha Ha. You are sheer class. Touche for the millionth time :)

Vishal said...

Well, that is wonderful to know Ramesh, I have been trying hard to learn a few tricks of TT albeit a little late in life, but in vain. May be you could help me... wot say? :)

When you say decent standard, you already raised the bar! :)

Ramesh said...

@Vishal - Oh I didn't know you are a player yourself. Next time we meet, a game surely ....

Vishal said...

I will easily loose the match, Ramesh. You can term me novice in the game. Trying hard to learn but lack of practice does not let me learn :)

Reflections said...

The tit-bits u add to ur main story stay in my mind for days. Infact when taken separately, it is a story by itself. Thanks Ramesh for the lovely read:-)).

Ramesh said...

@Reflections - Awwwww. I am totally floored by kindness.

sriram khe said...

Hey, when I read this,
I was reminded of your post from a few weeks ago ... came here, tracked down the post, and ....
Ah, if only most of the rest of the world understands that being a nerd is fun! Trust me!!! :)

Ramesh said...

Ha Ha. You are not a nerd !!

Ariel played superbly. I watched her win on TV - she has improved so much that I think I was being outrageously optimistic that I could hold a candle to her. She lost to a Chinese in the next round, but gave a fight. She may be a star of the future - after all she is only 16 now. Tough to beat the Chinese though.

sriram khe said...

More from the nerd world :)

I remembered you and your post when I read this charming piece:

Aren't you also even more tempted to play Hsing? :)

Ramesh said...

@sriram - ha ha. Actually she has improved by leaps and bounds and she really was shining at the Olympics. All the more reason to play with her. I will get one point though :)

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