Bangalore Stock Exchange Building
I have come home from the Stock Holding Corporation of India-- in a bit of a daze. All the way home I thought of the enormity of what I had learned. My husband and I laughed happily and felt sad too that Mum who had left us the shares-- had passed on.
When she first passed on in May I was extremely dejected, because her shares, given to her by her family and bought along with Dad as well, had dropped dramatically in value. They had been worth 60 lakhs a month before she died and with COVID 19 had crashed by TEN Lakhs. I have always enjoyed investing in the stock market. Something my husband and Doc son are whizzes in buying and selling, and --I was disappointed.
Even more disappointed as my wonderful brother, who is joint executor with me, had made a nasty comment ( as always) to my wait and watch remark to the family. He said he had spoken to Mum’s wealth manager who told him, the shares would take TWO years to recover. So I began the procedure of liquidizing the shares-- THAT is what takes time folks. Remember that -- NOT the volatility of the share market.
So I filled up the dozens of forms, made dozens of photos which had to be affixed. Lucky my husband is the calm and cool kind and he was handling the paper work. My parents had been helped for years by him and so they knew they could trust him and me. Thank God! I was left as the nominee which my father had done.
Not visible the plastic sheet across the counters
So here we were parking the car and going up to the 4th floor, thickly masked to be safe. Temperatures taken and sanitizer smoothed on, we walked in to be greeted by a lady who by now knows my husband. Poor guy had to do a lot of running up and down to get the paperwork organised. Mum's own sons would never have helped like he does and all for free. Their charges -- let's not discuss that!!
In the front of the ladies tables a huge thick sheet of plastic had been fixed, with a tiny slit through which the papers were slid. “ Make a completely separate account for this work,” advised my wealth manager, “ especially since you have such nasty siblings. All your personal shares should not get mixed up with your parents.” Fantastic advice, but it delayed me by a month till a brand new account had to be made.
So, here we were, climbing the steps to the 4th floor in order for me to sign all the documentation. Hardly anyone in the office and that’s the amazing part of the pandemic. Banks and offices are almost always deserted.
A smiling Yuvraj brought me all the documents and I was signing for about 10 minutes. Then my husband said, we need a printout of today’s values of the shares. “Sure!” said Yuvraj and marched off to get it for us. “ Thanks a lot! How many days will this take to kick in?” asked my husband. “ Two or three days at most,” said a smiling Yuvraj and we left down the four flights of steps.
Peering at the values my husband laughed and I asked --” What?”
“ Mum must be laughing at your brother's nasty comment,” he said. “ The shares have jumped up by 15 lakhs!!” Silently I thanked God that Dad had kept me as the nominee, because they were safe.
The Mumbai Stock Exchange Building
Getting into the car and looking for 20 bucks to pay for parking, the parable in the bible which was often quoted to us as kids by Dad came to mind. I could not stop smiling at how God is always on the side of the right.
The "Parable of the Talents", Matthew 25:14–30 tells of a master who was leaving his house to travel, and, before leaving, entrusted his property to his servants. According to the abilities of each man, one servant received five talents, the second had received two, and the third received only one.
The property entrusted to the three servants was worth 8 talents, where a talent was a significant amount of money. Upon returning home, after a long absence, the master asks his three servants for an account of the talents he entrusted to them. The first and the second servants explain that they each put their talents to work, and have doubled the value of the property with which they were entrusted; each servant was rewarded:
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servants. The third servant, however, had merely hidden his talent, burying it in the ground, and was punished by his master:
Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. — Matthew 25:24–30
I don't have to explain what the parable means to me in this case. My mother has died and we are expected to share the estate left behind in the care of us -- the servants. But I do know that the ‘unprofitable’ and greedy servants -- will be punished in time and when God sees fit.
And I love the sentence -- there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!