Conversation

Yesterday I had been sitting in my office canteen for the last half an hour taking sip of a nice coffee; I hardly had any wish to go back to work and was waiting for the cab to arrive.

There I saw a girl sitting in the other table near me. She was trying to concentrate on the book in her hand.

‘Hey, can I join you?’ A guy asked her, who just came in.

Suddenly the voice startled her and she looked up, with her eyebrows scrunched together.

She nodded silently; he was standing across the table, holding a plate in his hands. The broad smile on his face seems to have made her even more agitated.

It seemed all she wanted was some alone time, She seemed to muttered curses under her breath and decided to leave the table.

The other guy sat down across her and smiled; which she returned with a forced decent smile and was about to get up when he exclaimed, ’50 Ways to be Happy!!!’ , then laughed out loud.

‘What?’ She frowned.

After checking his laughter, he said, ‘it’s the title of your book…’, and took a big bite of his sandwich.

‘What’s so funny?’ Exclaimed with anger welling up inside her.

‘What’s this book about?’ He asked ignoring her question.

‘It tells you how to be happy…’ She shrugged her shoulders.

‘And you still seem unhappy, grumpy, irritated…’ He replied, with a smirk crossing his lips.

She was stupefied by his remark, still she tried to defend herself but he interrupted.

‘You know what!!…to me right now happiness is this sandwich…yummy…you must try’, he grinned and then was lost in his definition of happiness.

The girl silently got up and disappeared.

All the Gods, all the Heavens, all the Hells are within you…

All the Gods, all the Heavens, all the Hells are within you…

A soldier is the pride of his nation. He defends the honor of his motherland with his life and blood. He has to rise above his own self to defend his nation. His profession brings out the best qualities in him like chivalry, discipline, team sprite, loyalty and steadfastness. His example serves as a beacon light to others who are tame and cowardly. His life is a source of inspiration to the youth of the nation. He has no politics in his makeup. He serves the nation to the best of his ability.

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Last week saw this picture in the news and it said a 22-year-old combat photographer captured the fatal moment during a live-fire training exercise. A mortar tube had accidentally exploded killing all the three of them. It really made us think indeed how noble is the life of a soldier.

The life of soldier is very tough and full of discipline. He has to be mentally and physically alert and keep his body in fine shape for any battles that may come up. His performance in the theaters of war has been heroic and daring. He is the finest specimen of humanity who is prepared to given the supreme sacrifice of his life for the lives of his fellow countrymen. He has to brave the  tyrannies of nature and in thunder, lightning or rain, extreme hot or cold, in deserts, mountain or seas, day and night fight continuously for the know of his nation. He has to sacrifice his family life, be away from his children, only to the save the life of other children.

Once an American soldier in the mist of a fierce battle in Syria said to his fellow soldier what would my son say about me? “He died in a place he didn’t need to be, in a battle over something he doesn’t understand, in a country that meant nothing to him.”

How do you become a soldier. I never knew or thought of the prospect of becoming a soldier to serve my country. Many of us are not guided with this opportunity either because our society fear of losing us. But hats off to the parents and family of those young who sent their beloved away to serve the country and protect its people. But many times we do not understand them and will not leave a stone upturned in criticizing their intentions. Once a soldier said, when I go home people ask me, “Hey dude, why do you do it man? ” You know what I’ll say? I won’t say a goddamn word. Why? They won’t understand. They won’t understand why we do it. They won’t understand that it’s about the men next to you, and that’s it. That’s all it is.

Someone rightly said that for a soldier, all the Gods, all the Heavens, all the Hells are within him.

Once a father said to his son, “You love playing with that. You love playing with all your stuffed animals. You love your mommy, your daddy, your nature pajamas. You love everything, don’t ya? Yeah. But you know what, buddy? As you get older… some of the things that you love might not seem so special anymore, you know? Like your Jack-in-a-Box. Maybe you’ll realize it’s just a piece of tin and a stuffed animal, but the older you get, the fewer things you really love, and by the time you get to my age, maybe it’s only one or two things. That’s life.

The Promise Was Mine and I Have To Keep It.

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Don’t know why, but have always believed and felt personally that hospitals are the best place to meditate on oneself. It really helps you know yourself, evaluate onto the past and the present, the gifts and good we have with us.

Once a physician friend narrated an incident. It was a normal day as usual in the hospital and she was attending to the OPD patients. As she was examining a patient who was there as per appointment, a man dashed into the room running towards her. At first she got shocked but seeing the hospital attendants coming in behind the man made her at ease.

Man: {Begging} Doctor please help to examine me now as I have to leave now.

Doctor: We cannot do it. Kindly wait till your appointed time arrives. We have other patients also waiting outside.

Man: Doc I know I came out of turn, but kindly examine me now so that I can leave home. My sick wife is waiting there and I had promised her that I would be back for breakfast.

Doctor: What happened to your wife.

Man: She is suffering from Alzheimer.

Doctor: {Pausing for a moment} … Sorry to know about it. But if she is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, it is most likely that she will remember the promise you made.

Man: {Smiling} The Promise Was Mine and I Have To Keep It.

In today’s ever demanding world where can we find the same. Many times we don’t even keep up with the promises we make to ourselves, let aside the ones we make to others.

​A fifth-Grade Classroom

Teacher: An abstract noun is a type of noun that refers to something with which a person cannot physically interact. Some examples of abstract nouns are love, hate, beauty, truth, dream, bravery. Can you guys name some other examples?

Emma : My parents?

The teacher stood speechless, stunned by the eight-year-old orphan’s response.

My Creator’s Life

Once an old friend of mine told me …

At times, when we look at the sad part of our life, all the broken and shattered pieces which lie scattered in our heart and we break down and give up and just want to end our life.

With all those lonely walks and secrets which cannot even be shared with the walls of our rooms. With no hope to get up the next day.

With all the broken trusts we have had because of trusting people.We try to run and hide to a place where no one can see us like a crab which hides inside the seashore holes when the tides come. And we just want to give up and close down.

But when I think back and try to recollect what made me stand up again? What gave me the strength to get up and face the world? What made me realize that my story is not yet over?

Its that person who brought me to this world. A person who saw me in all those broken times. A person who came and sat with me. He even hugged me tightly when there was a storm around me. He never let me stay in those crab holes forever. He brought me out and he stopped those tides.

He did not judge me for all that has happened in my life. He never gave up on me. He did not accuse me of leaving him and walking away in my own path. He held me close. He accepted me the way I am. He loves me for everything I am.

He brought me back to the green pastures and let me lay down near the quiet waters.

That’s why I can’t give up on my life. Because more than mine, this is his life. My creator’s life. More than my sad broken life. This is a life with purpose and that purpose is to live with him.

Success Redefined : Innovation & Diversification

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I met this person sometime back during my travel back home. Travel always teaches us many things, we just have to keep our eyes and ears open to embrace it. It was a tiring day at office and the excitement of going back home was pumping the energy. I was given a seat next to a simple looking aged person and at first instance thought it would be a boring journey but eventually became one of the most memorable one. After a few casual chat I got to know he was a senior guy in a MNC and was managing the ASPAC region operations. It was really cool to be sitting next to him and every word which came out of his mouth was awesomely simple but was dynamic in itself. But one thing which touched me over all was his reply to my questions, what’s your mantra to be a successful?.

At first he smiled and then after a few moments  said, to be successful in any field you need to love what you do and follow three basic principles which everyone knows and will tell you. Hard work, Knowledge & Patience is the basic ones without which nobody ain’t going anywhere. But in today’s world just the basic is not enough. You need to add the “tadka” (tempering) to it and that is what I would like to share with you. It’s my personal favorite and it did help me.

“Innovation & Diversification”

That’s it he didn’t say anything else. Just a smile to finish the things off the same way he started it. I kept it to myself the night but the next day discussed the same with my friend. We brainstormed on it and realized yes …

This though is not something new. This is what Steve Jobs did when he was in Apple … Mac … NeXT … Apple.

If you are the one who is hardworking and constantly gaining on your knowledge database and waiting patiently for success to catch hold of her, but she ain’t coming anywhere near. Then this was for you buddy. Innovate & Diversify !!!

Hope it helps…Cheers.

Beware . . .Your 4% furniture loan is actually 12%

So my friend, let’s call him X, decided to go buy furniture and fixtures. He went to HomeTown and bought stuff worth Rs. 76021.

And then there was a Bajaj Finance advertisement that told him, oh, pay only 4% and get this on a loan!

X has to pay one advance installment – Rs. 6589, today. X’s EMI is just Rs. 6589 for 11 months. That’s a total of 72479, which along with the initial payment  adds up to just Rs. 79068.

You think – I’m buying stuff worth 76,021 but it’s only going to cost me another Rs.3,000 or so to take it on a loan! That’s just 4% (3,000 on 76,000)

(Okay, there’s also a processing fee of Rs. 1,100 but that only takes the interest rate to about 5.4% which is still cool?)

Under The Hood: The Actual Rate Is Closer To 9%

But that’s not how it works under the layers. Think of it like this:

  • You get some money as a loan
  • You pay an advance EMI so you actually get a lower amount as a loan (76021 minus the upfront payment of Rs. 6589 = a loan of 69432)
  • This amount is paid back every month through a monthly payment of Rs. 6589 for 11 months.
  • We have calculated that the interest rate is actually about 8.7% a year.
  • We start with an outstanding loan of 69432 in month 1. There’s some interest that applies to it for the month, at 8.7%, it would be Rs. 502.
  • We paid Rs. 6589 at the end of Month 1. That would take care of Rs. 502 of interest and reduce the principal outstanding to by 6087.
  • The new principal for month 2 is 63344.
  • The interest for month 2 is Rs. 458. (At 8.7%) And then you pay 6589, so the interest is paid out and the principal falls to 57,214.
  • And so on till, after month 11, your principal outstanding goes to zero.

Now how did we get to 8.7% as the interest rate?

We tried using 4%. At 4% the loan would be fully paid off just around month 10. In fact, at 4% your monthly EMI would only be Rs. 5,000 – a full Rs. 1589 less!

We increased the rate until the outstanding became exactly zero at the end of 11 months. Which gave us 8.7%. That’s what you pay.

But isn’t 8.7% good? Not if it’s actually 12%.

Sure. But it’s not even 8.7%. It’s actually closer to 12%.

Because X had a processing fee of Rs. 1,100.

To get the loan he had to pay another Rs. 1100. Now let’s compare this to paying cash upfront. You would pay nothing – just the Rs. 76,021. Now you:

  • Pay Rs. 7689 upfront
  • Pay Rs. 6589 for 11 months

Using the same calculation as above, we realize that K actually paid 12% for the loan.

The finance folks here will complain that oh, you’re not ACTUALLY paying 12%, because the processing fee is just a fee and so on.

But it’s 12% really. Here’s why:

If you had Rs. 76021 and instead of taking a loan you kept the money (minus initial EMI etc) in a bank deposit or mutual fund, you would need an interest rate of 11.94% to actually pay this loan back at 6589 per month.

That’s why it’s 12%. The effective cost of capital, to you, is that much.

Note: It’s actually even higher if you have money in fixed deposits – because you’ll pay tax on the interest you earn, and cannot offset it against the interest you pay. It’s a mess and the salaried individual is the worst off in this debate.

Is Bajaj Finance making a killing? Well, they get the money from you. They also get a discount from the folks that sell you the furniture. And they pay out part of the “processing fee” as a commission to the agent. For them, net of everything, they probably rake in 15% or so. Which isn’t too bad, so one might just buy their shares. Also people love to hear 4% because it’s darn difficult to realize it’s 12%.

But What If You Don’t Have The Money?

This might still be useful because there are hardly any easy sources of loans that give you this cash at 12% or less.

We went to a Bankbazaar and put the amount in – for a 1 year loan of Rs. 76,000 you will pay just a little more (at 12.50%) per year. Notice that the numbers here look very close to the Bajaj Finance deal – only that the banks don’t pretend it’s 4%!

(They can’t. The RBI doesn’t allow them to. Bajaj Finance is an NBFC so they get to do these things)

(If you don’t mind the extra interest cost, banks love it when you take loans and repay them – they then give you future loans at 0% processing fees and/or lower interest.)

In reality, the 4% loan isn’t 4% – it’s actually 12%. But it still may be the lowest loan amount you can get if you don’t have the money. If you have the money, unless you’re getting a whopping 12% from it, it’s better to use your credit card, get some points, and pay off the credit card bill with the money.

Disclosure: I own some shares of Bajaj Finance.