Writing about Mumbai would be incomplete, if the name of the late Nani Palkhiwala is not included. In fact, in the eighties and nineties, he was the only authority whose views on the budget could actually swing the trend on the stock markets. In reality, his post budget speech, always held two days after the budget was tabled, was an annual affair that was looked forward too by businessmen, lawyers, stock brokers, investors, chartered accountants, journalists and anybody even remotely associated with the world of finance. Later, it was even college students, housewives, society ladies, for this was an event not to be missed.

Crowds numbering over 20,000 used to throng the Brabourne Stadium to hear this man dissect the budget and in simple words explain the ramification of the government’s policies. It was aptly said in those days that “there were two Budget speeches, one by the Finance Minister and the other by Nani Palkhivala, and Palkhivala's speech was undoubtedly the more popular and sought after."

Nani Palkhivala died at Jaslok Hospital on Dwecember 11, 2002. He was 82. We miss him still.


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