Thursday, May 24, 2018


Friday, February 03, 2012

The Single Child

In the past our parents had less money but many kids. Today we have more money and mostly single child. Its ironical but true.

We as parents tend to think simple maths here. Instead of spending on 2 children, we can spend on one the same amount.But we tend to forget that materialistic accomplishment and aspirations are very short-lived and capricious. What remains forever is the emotional acomplishment, the sense of purpose, the livliness of sorrounding. This is something which many a times children with no siblings face. They do have friends in schools and neighbourhood, but there is no sense of belonging there, they may not be able to share their issues at home or something too intimate. They lounge for someone close, someone of their own, of around their age and someone who deeply understand them and their environment in which they breathe in order to discuss the issues they face in life. They need someone close with whom they can fight, but fight with love, becuase they will know, its not going to be a spat for lifetime.

I have come across many kids in my life who had no sibling and I found that many of them had a temprament quite different from other kids with multiple siblings. The single children were many a times introvert, unable to share their wares with other and often lacked interest in life. They needed far more involvement of their parents to do things, which were generally taken up by the other kids (with siblings) easily. These single children mostly have issues in taking decisions as they have always relied on their parents for that, while the other kids have learnt gradually from their siblings so they got to know both sides of the story (what worked and what failed) and had better command over their life.

Though there is a lot more I can write about, but I believe I made the point I was trying to drive. Always remeber that maths doesnt run this way in case of kids. Kids may not go to an International school (if your earnings do not permit), but they can definately be more happy and will have strong bonding for the lifetime, which is far more satisfying that a degree for Harward. After all, in long run, what matters is are you happy or not.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Nostalgic - 18 months later

Its been almost 18 months since I wrote my last entry here. It has something to do with my marriage. I write not for the sake of writing but only when I get passionate about an idea or thing. Now that doesnt mean that I didnt get passionate about anything apart from my marriage but somehow writing it here became very heavy.

Today, I felt like writing something for the sake of writing probably or the nostalgia brought me to write here. I dont have anything specific to write so will just scribble whatever comes to my mind, more so when I think of the years of maarige.

I have found one thing in marriage, you have to be open in the relationship, and when I say open, i mean so open that you can call each other names, shout, cry and love anyway u want without giving a single thought of how your partner will take it , weather it will be appropriate or not. Marriage, I can say confidently , can be really "2 bodies, 1 soul". If this feeling comes from deep within, then you will rock in your marrige. Apart from this, you need to be both stupid and smart. It helps you both open up better at different times and explore much more than keeping only one kind of attitude. Be childish sometimes, you will open up some things which were never experienced by you or your partner before. Be nasty and be passionate , helps you explore a very different side of your partner which can again lead to a more matured and strong relationship by covering all aspects of your life. I guess thats what I have learnt in last 2 years or so.

Now, on the professional front. I am a dreamer, always thoughts in my mind about business. But I have some middle class insecurity which doesnt let me independent in my actions. But one thing was clear from quite a number of years, I wanted to move out of the "talking to the computer" life and bring more human touch to my professional life. Hence I moved to presales. Not that I am disconnected to computers, but I have much more human touch to my work. My brain can think of limitless possibilities of improving the business aspect of my firms ( ofcourse within their framework). I am coming closer to my aspiration of starting my own business. I am trying to improve my communication skills, my understanding of what all it takes to create a successful business plan , both in paper and in real. What business I will do is not concrete yet, but yes something should start soon.

On my psychological front, it has been a very poor year. Not much to think about. My marriage, a few friends around was all I had to think about. Couldn't read many books, which I have collected but have not gone beyond the preface. My Dostoevsky books are still open and I look forward to reading some of them soon.

These are few of the thoughts I had on my life in last 18 months. I am looking forward to this 2010 very eagerly as there are some really big events I am expecting in my life. Well, we all have expectation and wishes. Let God decide which ones are in for me this year.

Have a merry x mas and wonderful and exciting new year, all.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Rich Dad Poor Dad - Which one you want to be ?

Once you start earning money begin to consider ways of leveraging money. This is the art of taking
small sums of money to move larger amounts. Many young people waste their 20's getting into debt
buying flashy products. This is the decade when you usually don't yet have a family and is the best
time to lay the foundation for future riches.

Also live well below what you are earning say 10-20% below. Use the excess money to save and
invest. Learn to get value for money in the products and services you buy.

Ninety percent of people are hypnotized by advertising into becoming consumers. They lazily buy products and services many of which are mere toys to make them feel happy. Advertisement is the biggest source of creating artificial competition, the bigger the better. A bigger TV gives you more happiness, a bigger car brings your family closer …. And you want to be happy. Isn’t? So you keep chasing these products, which are mere ephemeral illusion of happiness.

Ten percent use their imagination and creativity to generate wealth usually by doing something they genuinely love.
We all hear, India is growing, and is soon becoming the largest economy in the world, but what’s in for us? We still get the same paltry hike in our pay-checks, at the end of every year that too, based not on our country’s growth but on the Dollar pricing, the US economy etc. Tomorrow, US can go into deep recession, and may affect the pay packages of many of us , but even if India is growing, can we become the part of India’s growth story?

Yes, we can, but all we need is acumen, a wise thinking, a financially smart mind. When a country grows, all the investment options of that country become lucrative. The Stock market, the real estate, the retail chains, the mutual funds etc, they all become avenue to make money and become a part of India’s growth curve.

The most important thing to remember is, “Don’t work for money, let the money work for you”.
If you keep working and use the money to buy useless flashy products, you will keep working for the rest of your life. But if you curtail your spending and keep the genuine ones on the buy list, and using rest of your money in investment across different Portfolio, you can actually do an early-retirement and live the life on your own terms doing things you like, rather than doing a job for rest of your life.

We all have wishes, hobbies which we would have wanted to pursue like travelling, writing, playing some sports, starting some business or just relaxing in a farm , getting closer to the nature. But we keep chasing ourselves in this rat-race, trying to be better than our peers, working harder and harder but spending our hard-earned money on the gizmos and products which have little use in our daily life, and we keep working, telling ourselves that when we are X amount richer we will do something we really wish to do, and keep on running in this rat-race.

The only way out of this vicious circle is to keep a tab on our spending and start investing smarter.

The financial advisors divide the investment and age criterion into there class:

Below the age of 32: High risk , high returns : You are in your youth and have a whole life ahead of you to make money, so invest aggressively and reap higher benefit

Between 35 and 45: Medium risk : Invest, 40-60 % of your money into safe portfolios like, Government bonds, NSC, bank deposits, long term FD etc.

Above 45 : 80% safe investment

The different portfolios available:

1) Stock Market: --- High Risk
Small Caps - High risk, high return
Medium Cap:
Large Cap – Much safer, low yield

If you like the stock market, begin to notice trends. Look for stocks just staring out. Those in the 50-100 Rs range. Learn all you can about the company, the sector and its products. Use both your intellect and intuition. Ride them to the top.

2) Mutual Funds – Low Risk
SIP: Much Safer, low yield
Bulk buy - Decide when the time is right and what is the mutual fund’s area of growth (Blue chips, Real Estate, infrastructure)
ULIP - Along with investment, you save tax on your investment.

3) Real Estates – High Return, Low Risk
India is starting 43 new townships. Townships are like, Gurgoan, Greater Nodia etc. Each township holds great potential to expand, to provide new businesses and residential opportunities and act as growth enabler for India’s emerging story. Recently a new township in New Rohtak has come up, which is complete with infrastructure facilities and is ready for investment.

So keep reading about the real estate stories and pick something good and more reliable one.

Make yourself financially smarter, this is the way to happy living.

Reading : Rich Dad Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki


Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Romantics

A few mintues back, I finished reading "The Romantics", Pankaj Mishra, his life around Benaras. Though there is no explicit though provoking by him, but it is a grim reminder of what life I am leading and what I wish to live.

Its been such a long time, when I had thought of visiting Benaras, of getting away from this complicated maze of competitve world, where we do not see ourselves as human being, individuals worthy of their own perspectives and views about life, but a mob, thinking alike, dreaming alike, of becoming more and more prosperous(richer) and in turn do what someone else had done to achieve these goals. We tend to forget that there was a time when we dreamt of things quite differently, when we wished to do things which gave us satisfaction. Our jobs, our career, our self engulfing life, the malls, the fancier things have sorrounded us, both externally and internally. We do not have time to reflect upon ourselves, to feel and touch ourselves, we have just become salesmen, selling ourselves to the higher bidder. We had started living our lives as adviced by the Advertisements. Getting bigger TV, bigger Car,bigger and fancier Refrigerator would give us happiness, would provide for a happy family, as guarantted by the ad-mens. And to achieve this happiness we keep working harder and harder, and keep remembering of the good old days, of satisfied and calm life, of happiness and warmth, but all this would vanish soon under the new thought of mundane pleasure and life would get back to the gyrating circle.

I had such a thought of visiting Benaras, had so many such thoughts for such a long time, but I just kept dreaming that one day I would accomplish them, but wanted financial security before I persue them, had family responsibilities etc and kept waiting and waiting. Now that I am a married man, it seems even more remote.But even when I had this strong desire, to break off all rules and get away from this place and search for some solitude, I had this fear which would grip me. The same fear which gripped Samar(the protagonist), when he saw Mark in Dharamsala. This fear that what I aimed, by breaking all rules, was wrong or stupid. What if it was just an act out of despair to get away from this monotonous cycle of life. This fear would be so strong, so intimidating that all my enthusiam would vanish.

But this novel has given me a new way of thinking about life I have been leading, of experiencing things which , though are so common but so full of their own mysteries.

I dont know when and how, but I have this conviction that one day I would be able to break the rules and live a life which I have been so passionate to lead, for so many years.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Life ... Your Choice

How should one live his life ?

One way,
Enjoy everyday as it comes, go out for party, stay chill, no heavy talks, not getting into serious thinking and just live happy daily.

Second way,
Think about life, think about people around you, try understanding them and also yourself from a third person's perspective, understand their emotions, be there without their explicit need to say so, do things to make them happy and get their pure love and happiness in return. Unwind yourself sometimes over the weekend to some disc etc, take some drink just to feel high and different. Help your friends and peer in all possible manner to the last possible extend. Think about the life which you are leading and where it is heading to. Think about the world around you and understanding the cause and effect of various characteristics displayed by people around you.

By lengthening the latter type, I do not wish to make a stronger statement about the 2ndtype, but just wanted to touch the various aspect which makes the second type. I am sure you would have well understood the different personalities I am talking about.

I belong to some extend to the second half and so was trying to understand, which one seems to be a better choice.

In today's world, where everyone is back biting everyone, where happiness can be bought with money, where success means bringing your peers down( by any means), where friends are meant for only going out for party or movies or shopping, where parents are more of a ATM and where children are more of a "display model" to their guests, where you go to a counselor when you have problems with your wife/husband, where you have a professional spiritual guru to deliver a lecture on the meaning of life, where shopping kills boredom, where boredom is all around, how do you live a life in this environment.

I am sure , most of you will say that KISS is the best policy. The first type of personality is the right one to choose, just chillax and make money and spend it and enjoy life.

I am an idiot, and probably thats why belong to second category. I feel that, we humans are a little different from animals because we are in better position to express our emotions and understand each other(through language etc) and should not keep this gift in a locker and live like animals wandering in the jungle,with not much affection for each other.

I feel very strongly about being sensitive about other people, their feelings and emotions. Because if you do not respect their feelings and emotions, you will find that in a matter of time, they will become emotionless and will loose their innocence, will loose their freshness of life, they will live just the same way all the time, be it happiness and joy because they will find no one around them. But at the same time, if they do not become equally sensitive to you, you will start behaving like them and then you both will end up being insensitive and emotionless. How different is this behavior from a mentally week person, who is made to live in an mental asylum. And who knows how many of them would have come to this stage because of the insensitivity of the environment in which they live.

I feel, if there is at least one good, a very genuine person in your life, with whom you can lay trust without any second thoughts, and who is there to help you, be with you, you will most likely never attempt to commit suicide, because that person will give you a ray of hope, a feeling that world is not all that bad. But he can do this only when he is sensitive to your feelings and emotions, when he devotes time and effort in understanding you, when he thinks, in isolation about the people around him and how they live and think.

Even in everyday life, would we like a person who is genuinely loving you, caring for you and your feeling or you want to just be someone for one night or dance be with other person for something else. I am sure we all would go for the former one, but former ones cannot be created with the Type 1 personality I have mentioned. You need deep thoughts and serious focus to be someone whom everyone wants but no one becomes in this present world.

I am not saying be Swami Vivekananda, or Buddha, be a normal human being but be a human and show humanity. Don't let the corrupt and commercial world around you make you another victim of its mass murder of human innocence, be a human, who has a heart which still feels ...


A Lucky Draw Of Happiness !!

Today I was talking to a friend of mine, who was telling about this friend of her's who has a very strong personality. For ease, lets call my friend as S and her friend as R.

So R was saying that when she is with R, she feels so great, R is so enthusiastic and excited about S , she gives so much attention to S that makes S feel so special. But when R is not with S, she will not even call once or she will make some plans of her's without informing S. Or she will cancel her plans with S, without even informing her.

So, I was trying to understand why R behaves this way, as she would be hurting S. But S says , since R makes her enjoy when she is with her, so she does not care about the other times when she ignore her other times.

This made me think, is S right in her thoughts or is she just becoming a victim.

I am not here to analyze S's thoughts, but just trying to understand the cause and effect of this kind or relationship.

What was special about Hitler? He was an excellent orator, had a charismatic personality.

Why are American so good in marketing, because they show such enthusiasm and attention to their customers that it makes their customers feel special.

This is what is the kind of personality R exhibit. She bring out her strong personality with the masses( say S and others)and she gives them so much attention when she is with them, that she leaves a long lasting impression in them, and successfully makes them her loyal friends(fans), who will be there for her at her beck and call , whenever she feels like, but at the same time, she doesn't have any emotional link with her friends(fans), but her friends feel as strong bond between themselves and her, because of the happiness which they feel when they are with her. So, here itself, there is a mismatch in the equation. One side is emotionally and strongly attached to the other person, and this person R has no emotional attachment with them.

Now, the next problem, or should I say, the reason why R exhibits this behavior. Now R makes a plan to go for shopping. Nobody likes to shop alone, so she will ask her friends(fans), to go shopping with her. Since they all feel so happy being with her, so she will most likely get quite a few no of them, to go with her. So, now all she has to do is to choose them best among the lot and go with her. So, she has solved her purpose of getting one company and thus is able to avoid what most of the people feels so sad about, i.e not finding any company to go out sometimes. So, she is all happy. Now, what happens to the other people whom she asked but didn't go with them. They will feel sad and lonely, and will try to kill time or will try to pick some of their other friends and see if anyone is available and as expected would not find many takes for her plan.

So, what I see here is that R is using people for her own satisfaction and people like S and the likes are her pawn which she always can keep in her pocket and use them at her own discretion. She is a practical woman who's only motive is to think about herself and damm the rest of the world, in a very smart manner.

Can you call people like R, your friends, with whom they can share anything anytime freely and expect a whole hearted reply from her. Or should they keep waiting for the days when R will chose them among the lot of her friends and take them out.

Do you want someone to dictate the happiness of your life or do you want to take command of it yourself and invest your emotions and energy into a friend who can reciprocate the same and doesn't make your happiness a chance of lucky draw among other friends of her?

PS: I have no qualms about R as she is just following the Darwin's theory of "survival of the fittest".


Sunday, October 14, 2007

The counsellor

"Ordinary people can do extra-ordinary things, if they find the right guidance. "

This was a quote i read in one magazine today. Pondering over it ,I find it hold a whole world in this sentence. It means that people like you and me can do wonder to not just our life or our family's life, but to our neighborhood, our community , to our country and even to the whole of this world. We all have the most sophisticated and amazing equipment which we call brain, which , if, utilized even at 10-15% of its potential can make us a genius like Einstein or newton.

But how do we know what we can do. For most of us, the aim is to be the best or the better individual in the circle in which our life revolves which includes mostly our relatives, our friends, our teachers and our books. All of these are limited. Family, relatives and friend have their own scope based on the community in which we live. A person in a remote village in India will have a knowledge of the world which will be limited by the knowledge his peer or his elders have.So he/she would not be able to know the world outside his sphere of influence.

So, we live our lives based on what is around us, we do not (mostly) intrude the unknown territory. And that is where a guide or a counselor comes in. He/she tells you based on the wide experience he/she had in his life and use it to guide you through the labyrinth of this bewildered world. And that is the reason why "The Art of living", " Yoga" etc has suddenly come to limelight in India and many other parts of world. We all need guidance/advices , be it on finance, meaning of life, stress, marriage or career. We are so bogged down by everyday work, that we do not have any time to do introspection or retrospection . We are so busy with fighting against this competitive and cut throat world, in order to survive(Darwin's theory) that we find our jobs not a means to make a living but a means of life in itself greater than the social life. We find that there is nothing more important and beyond this money making cycle. "For everything else you have money", this is what our mindset has become, so we just want to accumulate wealth and achieve name and fame, even if it is at the cost of depriving our children/family of the love and affection. And so when we enter into any crisis situation because of this madness of getting there on the top, we are startled, we do not know how to cope with it, and then we rush to a counselor or a guide or a guru.

We need a guide to help us show the different opportunity and possibilities in life, which we not come across or think about because of our naivety in that field.

I have my guide and that is books and magazines. It stimulates my mind, it stimulates my thought , it provides me different perspectives of life or any specific topic, it provides me a much better clarity on a topic and helps me make smarter and better decisions in life. And the most important of all, it allows me to use my mind beyond the everyday triteness of life and understand myself better. Its a never-ending process where we should keep improving as we grow and become a better, more matured and refined human beings.

We all should have a guru, in any form, who can keep a check on us and guide us, when the turbulence is on our way or for improving our life on everyday basis.

Who is your counselor?

Hitler - Control Of Mind

I was watching a YT's video on Adolf Hitler and was amazed to see that whatever I read in the novel 1984 was actually quite real. When I read the book, I thought it was a fantasy mixed with a little bit of reality told in a severe form, but after watching this video, which was produced by some British Director, based on fact or factual evidences, I was amazed at the genius mind of Adolf Hitler.

He had done something, which humanity would condemn but as an individual, as a man with brain and intelligence , he was a true genius. He enticed the youths, the pillars of any country. He gave them everything. He gave the reason to fight, he gave the respect for their country, he gave them the best of the education, he gave them the power of an individual, he gave them food, shelter, clothing and entertainment and all he asked for them was just one thing, complete dedication to his country and more so to his Nazi party. With so much to gain, the youths were all in for this cause, they felt he was a very strong leader and can make their country a superpower.

And the youths were made to follow Nazis principle by heart, by mind and by soul. They were so dedicated to the party that even their family couldn't come in between. He started training them from as early as 2-3 yrs of age, by having a group of around 1 million girls (age 14-17) who would take care of the small children, while their parents were away on jobs. And these gals were the part of the dedicated youths who's heart and soul belonged to the party. So after 10 yrs, Hitler had a huge population of youths who would dedicate themselves to him , not for religious but for nationalistic reasons. They were youths, who would spy their own parents, siblings and would denounce them if they didn't confirm to the party's philosophy and would inform about them , to the Nazi army, which would , mostly put them in labor camp. Such was the control of Hitler on the mind of the youths, that even your own parents , their love, sacrifice and warmth couldn't override the devotion to the Nazi party, these youths had.

And all this was a game of mind. Hitler knew that mind can be altered to understand whatever he wanted to, if he can play with the five senses of the youths, which were the fuel of the mind. He played on the two most powerful senses , hearing and seeing. The youths would see what he wanted to show, i.e show them the bright future, show them that they have the power to do anything and with this power, they can make Germany the strongest country in the world(and indeed Germany became a very strong country in terms of both monetary as well as scientific achievements). They heard what he wanted them to hear, he had taken absolute control of all the private radio/tv . There were only public radio and tv, run by Nazi party. There were hardly any means of listening to the news outside Germany, apart from the one shown (rarely) on public tv/radio. So people made their opinion about things based on what they heard and they heard what Hitler wanted them to hear, so their opinions were basically the whims and fancies of Hitler.

He was inhuman, brutal and a cynic. But he was a genius who knew the power of mind very well.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Philosophy -- A juggernaut of words ?

Recently, I was reading the book, "Philosophy- Who needs it ", by Ayn Rand.
This was my first formal literature on Philosophy. Previosuly , the philosophical aspects were analysed in form of non-fiction or fiction books.

Till now, I had never heard of the fight between different philosophy. Infact I never though that there are different philosophical thoughts in this world. I always thought that all the different philosophies are the mutually exclusive subsets of the whole equation of Philosophy.

It was in this book that I read that there are differen philosophers and most of them have a radically different philosophy of life, which is in contrast to the previous philosophical theory.

The philosophy has three main characters and lot of other supporting actors. The oldest one in this script is Aristotle, who is , supposedly, the first known philosopher who's written accounts are very well documented in the books.
His philosophy was based purely on reasoning. Reasoning the very basic aspects of life and understand, reasoning why good is good and why bad is bad and find a logical answer to that.
Aristotle -- 323BC,Greece.

The second lead role is done by Immanuel Kant, who is known as the father of modern Philosophy.
There was a confusion in the mind of people of this era, as to where does God exists, how was this world started, what is faith and how can faith co-exists with logic.
Kant wanted to provide answer to these question and that is what his philosophy was based on. In his , masterpeice work, "The Critique of Pure Reasoning", he tries to solve the old problem of relation of knowledge and faith.He was convinced that by properly fixing the limits of each he can suceed in furnishing a basis for honorable and enduring peace between them. He gives to knowledge , what belongs to it, the entire world of phenomena and conserves on the other hand, to faith , its eternal right to the interpretation of life and of the world from the standpoint of value.
Kant, 1724-1804, Russia

The third and the final lead actor in this act is Ayn Rand , who, also the author of the book, is a strong believer of the philosophy of Aristotle, i.e philosophy by reasoning, by logic and calls her philosophy, Objectivism. She doesnt believe in philosophy of Kant, infact she believes that Kant has been the worst person in the history of this world, by killing within the people, the power to think, for faith doesnt need logic, it just needs belief, a hope. She believes that Kant has tried to bring about a sad demise of capitalism and tried to propagate Socialism which is a most bizzare way of leading a country ahead. She is a stout believer of capitalism and doesnt believe in charity, helping poor, morality, guilt. She believes that a human being should be selfish, should be egoistic and should have dignity. She believes that we should not hold to hope so tightly that we have nothing left in our hand that the empty hope. And this is the philosophy she has put forward strongly in her two masterpeices -- Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.
She has divided the world in two parts, metaphysical, i.e nature, which is as it is, and it is accepted without any fight over its existence and the other part is human, which is what can be changed and understood based on the metaphysical aspect of the nature.
Ayn Rand-1905 -1982,Russia
I have just red The Fountainhead, and was impressed one aspect of her philosophy, the ego. I truely believe that every human being should possess some ego, a feeling of pride, for it retains your dignity, it retains some passion in you. If you let your ego die, you basically become a flame without fire. You dont have anything to prove, you kill your dignity. You become a puppet in the hands of other You enslave yourself to other's feeling. Your self is lost and you are a soul without desires. So, in order to keep your flame alive , to keep your desires awake and your dignity intact, I believe, as the Author Ayn Rand says, you should possess some Ego in yourself.

I still have lots of doubts like, should we encourage charity or should we support people who can support themselves, should we believe in the existence of God or should just the logic and reasoning play the complete part in our conscience and sub-conscience mind. But the asnwers to these questions cannot be found in a day or an year, it need generations of time and may still be left unanswered.