Saturday, April 29, 2006

Money Matters!!!

'The main reason people struggle financially is because they have spent years in school but learned nothing about money. The result is that people learn to work for money... But never learn to have money work for them'. -Robert T. Kiyosaki.

Everyone, no matter who he/she is, no matter what he/she does, has to deal with money all along his/her life and yet nothing about it is tought in school. Years and years are spent in learning world history, geography, science and other abstract things, which probably won't be even used by the students in whole of their lives, but the very practical and fundamental things that each and every child will have to deal with in their lives, are never even taught. Parents don't teach their children anything about it, teachers don't, infact no one does. Life itself might teach them a lesson or two about it, but only if they are willing to learn from it. But, more or less thats it. Infact, in most of the Indian households, like sex, money is also considered as a dirty black thing which needs to be shoved under the carpet and never even talked about.

A few days back, I was with my friend and as it was around the end of the financial year so the discussion happened to circle around taxes. He was very happy that he didn't have to pay any tax as he had taken two policies and paid 50-60K as premium for it. When asked about the details about the policies, he could only say that it was from Aviva and that one was Life insurance and the other he didn't even remember which one. When enquired further, he didn't even knew any term and conditions of the policy, when he will get any money back and how much. The answer was - probably after retirement, but not sure. 'But, you see - I don't have to pay any tax' was a happy reply from him.
I came to know that some guy had befriended him and sold 2 policies to him, saying that it will save tax. My friend will pay that amount every year, probably for 15-20 years or even more and I am not even sure - How much he will get back after that.Moreover, there is. no one dependent my friend, he is not married and his parents are quite well off and don't require any of his earnings. So what was the point in take the life insurance? About the second policy, neither he nor I know, what it was - so can't even comment on that.Point to be noted is that - my friend is quite well educated person.
This was just an example. I meet many people frequently that don't have any knowledge about - How money moves, how it increases, how it degrades. People selling various financial products like policies, mutual funds etc. take advantage of these facts and use it to fill their own pockets. In most cases the victims are highly educated people.
Many people are also of the type - Who buy everything on credit cards,spend like kings and queens and then keep paying hefty interest rates for the credit. Credit card companies love them - Why should they? They are making the companies' rich. The most common pretext on which the credit taker does it that - he will be able to pay it easily in monthly installments. He forgets the hefty price he's paying for it.
There are people at other extreme end also. They have a habit of saving everything they could. Everything goes into their saving account in the bank. Little do they know that - the value of their savings are decreasing with time - due to inflation and increase in cost of things over time. So even if they save 1L today its value over time will decrease unless that 1L grows and increases faster then the inflation and rise of costs over time.

I am not saying that anyone has to be an economic expert, but a basic understanding of finance or money is a must for everyone, so that he/she is better equipped to handle his/her money/finances.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Inscrutable Amercans by Anurag Mathur

"The Inscrutable Americans" is a nice and humorous novel. Its a story about an Indian brahmin named Gopal, who lives in a small Indian town and goes to America for the first time, for a year, to persue a doploma in chemical enginnering. His journey from India to America, his time spent there and the return journey have been very well captured in words by the author. The disasterous English that Gopal uses, the funny, hilarous instances that he had all the time are very well narrated. The letters written back by him to his younger brother are humorous, funny and entertaaining. His resolve to eat only vegetarian food, not drink alcohol, not go near girls and yet somewhere deep in the mind - a feeling to break all these resolves, lands him in very awcard and funny places and situations. The way the American speak English languge or rather speak American(language) and the way, Gopal ends up misunderstanding everything is also worth reading. Once you start reading, you can't stop unless you reach the end and most of the time you'll be laughing and smiling while reading it.

In all a very good humorous book. Highly Reccommended.
Rating - 4/5

Please note that its not a new novel - the story is about the time of Rajiv Gandhi, nevertheless good read.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

India and Pakistan

India and Pakistan.
Two sides of the same coin.
Our people seperated by just a border.
We look the same, we talk the same.
We both dip biscuits in our morning cups of tea.
We both love Abida Parveen and Nurat Fateh Ali Khan.
We both laugh at the same jokes.
And cry at Karan Johar films.
Then why do we have borders seperating our sameness?
Friends Without Borders began a few months ago where group of volunteers began visiting schools throughout India to collect letters from Indian children, to give to their friends in Pakistan.
This Feb 19th the children of India created the world's largest love letter, which was presented at the wankhede Stadium.
Over thirty thousand letters have been collected to send to children of Pakistan.
We are hoping this movement gains momentum and touches a crore Indian children.
Let's teach our children love, kindness, caring and compassion.
For only then will they inherit a world without borders tomorrow.

For more info -

This add came in the newspaper a few times, so just reproducing it here.
So, the eternal question is - Should India and Pakistan unite together? After all if South Korea and North Korea can unite, if Germany can, then Why can't India and Pakistan? So, As an Indian - What do you say? Should they unite? Yes/No and Why?
So guys and gals, tell us about your views on it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Nerds trying to write poetry !!!

Now this is what happens when two nerds aka software engineers don't have anything to do and they try a hand on poerty. So, once it happened that one morning, I sent a few lines to my friend via email and he sent a few lines back - just in 5 minutes. Then I replied in next 5 minutes and so the time limit for replying was set to 5 min and it went on and on, till we really got scared that if someone tried to read our mails at the company server and told our bosses, our bosses will literally come out running from their cabins and kill us with their bare hands.
So, sssshhhhh don't tell anyone about it
Some are original some pirated

Me said -
Kabhi bhulae bhatkae hamae bhi yaad kar kiya karo
Mana aap hamae apna dost nehi samzhtae
kbhi dushman samhaz kar hi yaad kar liya karo
Aapnae to hamae zaasae bhula hi diya hai
Kabhi na yaad karnae kae bahanae hi yaad kar liya karo
ham aapkae intzaar mae nazrae bichae baathae hai
aana na sehi aakhae band karkae hi hamae yaad kar liya karo
Had hai intzwar ki bhi
phone na sehi kbhi mail karkae hi yaad kar liya karo

He replied -
thak gaya mein karte karte yad tujhko
ab tujhe mein yaad aana chhahata hoon..
aa tujhe mein gun gunana chhahata hoon..

I replied
tere yaad mae hi guzara hai sara waqt maine
par ab mae tuzhae saamnae dekhnae chatha hu
pata nehi kab zindgi ki ye shaam dhal zaayae
mae tuzhae sirf nazar bhar deekhna chaata hu

He replied -
kabhee bisteroon mein jab lete tum honge..
takeeya ko seene se lagayaa to hoga..
kabhee aankho se jo tapke honge yeh aansoo..
gaaloon pe haatho ke firaaya to hoga..
tum bhool gaye mujhe iska gila nahien mujhe..
gam to sirf yeh hai ro ro ke bhulaya hoga.

I replied -
zindigi kar har pal guzrata hai yaad karkae tumhae
tuzhae bhulana ki to mae soch bhi nehi sakta
ek choti se zindgi to mili hai
Iska ek bhi pal mae tuzhae bhulanae ki koshih mae kho nehi sakta

He replied-
woh shaam ke khamoshi.
woh raat ke tanhaaee..
isee pal mujhko teri meethee see yaad aayee..
yaad tere haath ko choone ka narm ahesaas.
yaad ke lagta hai tu hai kahien aas paas..
yaad kaho ke ek ada, ke har ek cheez hai mujhe yaad..
yaad ke tujhe kabhee na bhool paane ka ek ahessas.
dost, tuhje bhoollao mein yeh kabhee mumkeen nahien hoga..
agar hoga to mereee zindgee ka aakhree din hoga..

I replied-
tu pass na sehi teri yadoo ko hi pass rekhna chathta hu
Mae to tamam umr tare yadoo mae hi guzarna chata hu
Chae yae zalim zamana tuzsae milnae na dae
Phir bhi mae tare milnae ki aas mae zindigi guzarna chata hu

He replied
paata hoon har pal paas tujhe
tu abhee bhee hai bas mere liye..
jo amar hai mere man mein abhee.
woh bas tere hee yadden hain..
aansoo ke nanhee boondo se..
aksar kartee abhishek mera..
woh shaayad meri ______ hai..
pooree hone se dartee hai..
( last two were self composed ... that's probably new face of ur friend for u.)

I replied
Bas kar saley, varna aaj hi hum dono ke boss hamara Happy Birthday manva dangey. Kuch kaam bhi kar le ab.