Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Twisted Tales of Karwa Chauth

Story's based in Mumbai. It was a Karwa Chauth day and we focus on a working couple living in the suburbs of Mumbai.
To make matters tough for the Girl, she had to go to office while the Boy could leisurely at home (It was a Saturday- some companies work on Saturday while most don't). To build a better perspective, the boy is a typical lazy guy who mostly likes to sleep on weekends. He could keep a fast for only one meal at a time and hence he is unlike some of the modern husbands who accompany wives's in their fasts on Karwa Chauth.
So, work + fast for the lady and sleep + no-fast for the boy. Girl, however, asked for a simple favor. She wanted the boy to
  • make preparations for dinner so that time would be saved when she prepares it in evening.
  • keep home tidy
  • get Pooja material for Karwa Chauth.
Evening comes and W is about to leave her office for home when she rings H. She wanted to give H a surprise reaching early at home and tells him that she would get late But the boy also decides to give her surprise by reaching her office to pick her up.. He started in his car. W arrives home (she had the alternate keys) and finds that the house is very untidy. She tries to find out if H has done any preparation for dinner. She searches for Pooja material and finds nothing. It was 6:30 and she was mighty hungry and thirsty. She felt agonizingly bad as H had not done anything but slept the whole day; he could not even bring the Pooja material !! She calls him and he answers that he is on the way to her office. He returns home after getting to know that she is already home.
20 minutes later; H enters home. He sees that W looks utterly sad and she actually starts weeping. She complains that he does not care about her and takes her for granted. H finds out that she is sad because he didn't do anything.
Perfect plot for a tragedy!!! But wait, is it actually? H soothes W and shows her that
  • he had actually cooked whole dinner for the first time and hide that to surprise her;
  • he was also carrying a bag along in which he had kept all the Pooja material, water and also some sweet that he had prepared- he carried this along since he wanted her to do the pooja and end her fast in the car itself as soon as he reaches her office.
Getting to know about the facts, W started smiling and then laughing. She had got the perfect gift from H, more than what she expected.
Funny ending!!!

Fast forward, 2 hours. H & W are waiting on the roof top for the moon to show up. Technology comes handy as they could locate the exact position of moon through an Google Sky Map in W's android based mobile. Moon was slightly above the horizon but could not be seen because of tall building plus Mumbai atmosphere. 1 hour wait and still Moon is not to be seen. Although Google Sky Map showed Moon to be located clear of all the buildings but clouds spoiled the party. At 10, Moon is still not visible. Technology savyy couple decides to do the Pooja in front of Moon visible through Google Sky Map. One lady seeing this inquires as to how they we able to see the Moon. The boy explained that there is some feature in their mobile which helps locate the Moon. He also forecasts that Moon might not be visible till 12- 1 Am considering the envelope of cloud all round the sky. The couple comes back to their flat- just beneath the roof. The Girl overhears the lady taking on phone that moon would not be visible till 1 and one couple had done the pooja using some phone.
W drinks water and the couple start having their dinner when the bell rings. One aunty living in the flat opposite theirs was at the door and inquired about the magic phone which came to their rescue. The boy understands the situation and takes the phone along with him to accompany the lady to the roof. All the ladies along with their husbands are waiting for the magical phone. The boy explains the features to one of the curious husbands. The ladies were not exactly confident that the phone was showing actual Moon (though it was not! but since clouds had rendered human eyes incapable of visualizing Moon the technology had provided a close approximation of reality). The husbands somehow convinced the ladies into believing Moon's presence. What happened next is a picture of modern India. In a perfect association of Tradition and Technology, the ladies performed the rituals in front of the image of Moon in the mobile!!! and the funny part was that they were doing it in front of boy (holding mobile) instead of their husband
( Seems like a lost opportunity for android phones in India- this story could have multiplied the sales by at least 2 times) Though, the ladies would never know whether the Moon that they saw was real or not but then its more about faith then about visualization.
End of PART II

Saturday, March 19, 2011

.....and then I became a trader

It dates back to sometime in my engineering days. Solving puzzles used to be a lot of fun. I used to find and solve puzzle from websites, had subscribed to a daily puzzle mailer and was mostly lost in one puzzle or another. It was the third year of my 4 year graduation degree and things were going smoothly. A significant amount of time was spent on PC- mainly FIFA, puzzles and browsing randomly. A meaningful chuck of time was being spent on cricket, volleyball and football fields (especially at nights, in Hostel lawns). And B-Tech..oops, yeah I used to manage the cut-off attendance to appear in exams.
So, puzzles then. It was more of a ego issue to solve any given puzzle then anything else; though I loved spending time on them. I was good at solving the straight logic, mathematical ones- probability ones. It was the lateral thinking ones which usually gave me tough time. And then there is this thing about puzzles that you can't get it out of your mind until you solve it or get the answer form some where.
It was around the end of third year that the anxiety about future (post B-Tech) started to grow big. People were attending MBA coaching, personal development classes, other exam preparation classes etc. And it usually starts to bother you also, when everyone around suddenly starts getting serious. Two or three companies came for "paid" summer placements (You see, paid internships in engg. were a rarity that time; don't know what's the scene now).
Its then I started seriously thinking about what's going to happen. Though, I never got any close to qualifying for any of those internships but the jolt was received.
I liked solving puzzles as I mentioned. And from the given options- Job/MBA/Civil services; MBA attracted me the most. It was more because of CAT then anything else that motivated me towards MBA; more specifically IIMs. CAT was (is?) one of the toughest entrance exams in the country and it mostly involved aptitude based objective problem solving. And I liked solving puzzles!
Don't know exactly when, but I started preparing for CAT. Probably it started during my summer internship (@ TATA Motors, Lucknow). Chapra Ji and Rahul (PG mates at Lucknow) had loads of MBA prep material. It was a boring time both at the company and apartment and the prep material got to my rescue.
Then, back in college (4th year) I accelerated the prep. Mostly used to solve test papers borrowed from people who had joined some test series or the other. Since, those days around 150 questions used to come in CAT and the cut-offs were around 50 ques hence one question paper served two rounds of Mock Test prep for me.
CAT happened and I got a decent percentile. And that was it! That was the end of my planning. All I wanted was to crack CAT!! Nothing more, nothing less. But now the GDs and interviews loomed large. I had never been good in those (and haven't improved much yet!) and actually hated preparing GD-PIs. Though, eventually got through one of the IIMs (the GD-PI stories not relevant here). I chose Finance and Operations as majors since I could never withstand the gyan of Strategy and Marketing and more importantly, was poor at CP (Class Participation).
So, Finance then. And I learned about markets, trading, derivatives etc.

Interesting then! Dots joined? Puzzles->CAT->Finance->Trading

And now straight to trading. I like this game, because in order to succeed:
1-You don't need to market yourself
2-There are no unwritten rules, no side shows, no backbiting
3-You don't need to agree with any one else, nor do you have to convince others to agree
4-You take a call, you take the award/loss
5-Most importantly, there are no favorites

But its not just a game; its a university in itself. You would learn more about human emotions/psychology then anywhere else. It was a healthy green start for me; but it all turned red in a blink of an eye. You see, the fall is always steeper then the rise! As the returns turned from green to red so did I; from investor to trader.
So what are the learnings till now? There are quite a few and will detail out in coming posts. For the time being, the summary:
- Please, please, please decide before hand how much you want to make (exit point) and how much you can afford to lose (stop loss)
- Never get carried away with your initial view; ultimately market is the king (Bhav bhagwan che!)
- Please share all investment and trading details with your spouse. You see its always better to at least have emotional support in case you lose the financial one

Good bye for now. Promise, the next posts would follow soon.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why not to marry?

Ok then. Here's the most awaited blog, post my marriage. Apologies for the delay, to those who got married in the mean time.
There's been much written/talked on this topic before and I won't repeat the theory. I am writing based on my personal experience.
So, here goes the list:
- You get home-cooked food for lunch (at office); otherwise you would have got the luxury of eating the "delicious" canteen food; or better, the healthy snack at McD.
- You can no longer keep wearing the same clothes until the color changes.
- You can no longer ignore wishing birthday/anniversary to relatives/friends; now even the fufaji of your mamiji's brother gets a birthday call!
- You have to start saving; and you can no longer spend at leisure
- You can no longer sleep the whole day and stay awake the whole night (I miss those days when I used to pull all nighters and complete 1-2 seasons of PB, 24 ..!)
- Your get poorer on stress level and burdened with happiness

And there are many more cons; but then this is the only life long relation that's not joined by blood but still holds you stronger. The feeling of love and togetherness that you get in return is truly priceless; and you won't get a costlier-priceless thing in the world. So go, get it.

And correction on the title of the post; it should be "Why not? Go n get married."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Another one of those "I am back" blogs

Some learnings from other blogs/articles/personal experiences etc.:
- Don't invest in ULIP- buy a term plan and a pure investment product instead. ULIPs just charge you extra for bringing both the feature together.

- If you have recently bought a Broadband data card and somehow the Broadband mode is not working (and you are ignorantly using hybrid mode instead), call up the Call-Centre now to get the Broadband activated plus ask them to increase your validity equal to the extent of gap. (Based on experience with MTS data card; got the mode changed after a heated battle of 5-6 days, fingers crossed for validity extension)

- Tata Swach is a cheap purifier. But beware, the battery (which gets exhausted in 2-3 months) is a scarce commodity; you won't get it from anywhere but rather have to purchase a new set of purifier. (The purifier costs 1000/- and the battery 250/-).
I had to buy a new one; though, I have tried Aqua Sure this time (cost 2300, one battery free).

-Electronic Gadgets on EMI, at no extra cost: Very lucrative, but don't end up buying electronic items just because there's this cheap EMI option available. On the face of it, the option looks a good bargain; but then take a step back and understand why companies are foregoing the time value of money.
Simple! The value of electronic items go down with time and go down more than the value of money. Hence, you are being lured to buy that LCD 1 year before you actually want to buy and more importantly at today's price (which would be any ways greater than the price 1 year hence). Got the deal?
But if you are planning to buy a gadget, do look out for these EMI deals as it would be cheaper. Buy if you had planned and not because there's an EMI deal.

More reviews/watch outs coming up

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chocolaty Life-Raju aur Basant ka Atyachar

Act-1, Scene-1
Place: Cadbury Guest House, Worli, Mumbai
Time: Around 7 PM, sometime in July

Rahul-"Raju bhaiya kuch nashta bana do"
Raju-"Abhi khane ke time ho gaya hai, nashta nahi milega"

Sunil takes the TV remote in his hand to browse for channels when Basant strikes.
Basant (Quickly robs Sunil of remote)-"Ye remote ko hath nahi lagana"

<span style="font-style: italic;">The Context</span>:
Raju and Basant are the care takers for this Guest House of Cadbury. And they have been here eternally; as confirmed by seniors. The new joinees are initally provided accomodation for some time. And that is the time when we cross our ways with R&amp;B. Both are from Nepal as is apparent by the accent; by the TV channel which runs when we enter the guest house.

Act-2, Scene-2
Location: Same
Time: Not relevant

Aditi-"Bhaiya ye kapade dho dijiyega"
Raju-"Nahi, wo huum, ladkiyon ke kapade nhi dhote hai"
Aditi (Disappointed and slightly annoyed)-"Acha koi baat nhi, par kapado ko iron to kar dijiyega"
Basant-"Woo, ladikon ke kapade iron nahi karate hai, kyuki jal jaata hai"
Aditi get even more annoyed but had to manage it herself.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Debate-Test v ODI v T20

All right, all right; I am a bit late when already enough has been discussed on the issue. Questions have been raised over the future of pure cricket-Test and off late people arguing whether ODIs should co exist with T20 or be done away with. And then there is all this debate over excessive cricket and player burnout.
But, let us take a step back and find out why this debate. Players all round the world want to represent their countries and play as much as they can; and I don' think good players are in short supply. The national cricket boards would ideally want more and more quality cricket and also cricket which attracts audience and in turn revenues. And then there are viewers all over, cricket pundits, commentators etc. who want more and more of exciting cricket. So, if players want to play, administrators want to arrange and viewers want to see then why this whole debate on cutting down on matches and different formats hurting each other. And I feel every thing boils down to this-the number of players representing a country. Every team wants to field the best 11 players for each and every game of each and every format. This leads to 7-8 players constantly involved in one format or another all the year round. I strongly believe there won't be considerable difference between the skill level of top 30-40 players for any country. Agreed that there would be 2-3 super natural match winners but apart from these the skill level does not fall too steeply within the top 30-40. So, if the national boards can dilute there obsession with fielding the best 11 every time then a very simple solution exists to all the above problem. All three forms can co-exist and the number of matches/year actually be increased without the fear of one format competing against other and burnouts.
Every nation can rotate players for different series/formats. There can even be parallel matches between same teams in different formats (Ind vs Aus-test and T20 being played together)
But for this to happen every stake holder has to forgo a little bit of obsession with winning. Everyone wants good cricket and more cricket after all. Players would then not be forced to retire basis age, youngsters would get exposure to international cricket early on and there won't be appeals for less cricket/

Monday, January 11, 2010

Checking-Blog using Email :)

Hi there.

If you can read this then congrats!
You can now publish blogs via email