Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sachin scores 50th century at centurian

Sachin makes us feel proud to be a part of India. A person, so down to earth and his only love probably is cricket. Couple of years back, when Micheal Schumacher would go into a F1 , he would make some sort of record. Now its the time of Sachin.  A batsman , who was compared to himself by the great Bradman, what can be a better compliment for him than that.
Every single match that he plays for, he seems to get better of it. The critics have to say something or the other, but neither the praises nor the negatives seem to effect him much. A person, who has been with the same job for the past 20 years. After every match there is a appraisal and everyone knows the appraisal feedback. By everyone I mean, the whole of India and other countries also who are interested in cricket. I just cant imagine how does he manage to do all this and still play the game.
All our prayers are with you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mixed Bag

In the Sunday times last weekend, ie yesterday, there was an article, which mentioned about the blogs and the diaries which people still kept. There was quite some discussion on the pros and cons of the blogs vis a vis of the diaries. Now to put it from my perspective, I would just judge them based on my comfort level. Personally I dont like to write anymore. Though these was a time when I would and I do have my diary from those days. Blog gives me the freedom to write without much hassle. Thanks to Laptop and wifi, I can write the blogs in the comfort of my bed. There was also an arguement about blogs being fake as compared to that in the diary. Well, its both ways. It basically depends what you are planning to write at the end of the day and who is the audience. When you write on to a blog, its but obvious that others are going to read it. If you really dont want others to read or write in anonymity, then one should open a different blog and not publish one's name in any way.
But I love blogs and thats the reason I have been to it for the past 5 years. At the same time, I also want to mention that I have removed the publishing of this blog on to facebook. I felt that same feeling that I shouldnt advetise my blog. If someone is interested then they are free to read about me. But otherwise, I shouldnt thrust by blog onto others more like a newspaper.

Moving on to other things, the past one week has been a mixed bag, as the title of the blog has been.  Meeting different people, gives you different perspectives of life.Some of them come from those quaters where you least expect it to come.
Sunday was an different experience all together. Meeting someone who is business tycoon, and leads a company which spans above 40 countries, is not something that one can do everyday of your life. And then when you get a chance to meet and speak to such people, its a different high all together. Further on, when they come to our country and say that its the best country and this is where the future lies, its something that needs to be pondered upon.
At the same program, where I met this person of such a great stature, I also met people, whom I had kept away for quite some time. Whatever be the reasons, somehow I couldnt meet them for quite a long time. When I went for the program yesterday, where normally I end up prefering to be a quiet audience, this time it was other way. I was asked to manage a few things. Not that the tasks were difficult, but they were important to be done correctly. I kept wondering, why do they still have the same feeling towards me, even though I havent been to any of the preparatory meetings. And the faith they had in me, once they gave me the task, was something that I couldnt understand quite well. At the end of the day, though I was dead tired since I was standing for more than 8 hours, it was the serenity that lasted within me, and still exists.

While sharing this experience with one of my friends, it got to me more clearer that somethings are destined to happen and no matter what you try things will go the way they should. It all leads to the path, where you ultimately feel happy and peace at heart.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Lens

Since yesterday was working, my initial plan of going to buy a new lens on saturday went for a toss apart from the other jobs that I had in line. Nevertheless, sunday morning I decided to go to the FOTO CIRCLE anyways.
When I reached there at 11 am, i was pleasantly surprised to see some other folks waiting for the store to open. After a long wait of 45 min, Jayesh finally came. Within a few minutes I got my new prime lens and a UV filter and a lens cap that I was wanting to get for an year.
Its so incredible that, even with so many stores in the heart of city, why is there such a big rush just waiting for him to open the shop. I guess its just pure costing and the faith built in all over these years.

For those interested in buying from FOTO circle his new shop is at the Brigade towers at Anand Rao circle. I dont think you can miss the big NIKON sign once you reach the junction there. I am quite sure, you get the best prices for all your photograhic equipments out there.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

10th December

I couldnt think of any other title for this blog. When everyday of the week has tough and you look forward for a break in the form of weekend, on friday evening you are told that you need to come to work on saturday also. What worse can it get.
The only good thing today was the arrival of the new CEO to our office. But at the same time, we were asked to come to office early and to add to that, the coffee vending machine decides not to work in the morning.

It was only at 11 that I left from office and had dinner at home. Thankfully there is dinner at home.
The only good part after all this was to watch tv and the watching one of my favourite program No Big Deal  on NDTV Good times. Today they were showing a place which is basically a farm and nice cottages and one can really enjoy the village life and the nice farm lands apart from doing farming.
I think I should serious think of such nice options, before this life drives me crazy. The place which I had visited a couple of weekends, was pretty good. It was just above an hour's drive from Bangalore and had a nice farm over looking a lake and a mountain. The farm land there was pretty cheap. Thats what I felt, since it cost around 60-70 Rs per sq feet. So thats around 6 -7 lakhs for 10,000 sq feet, which probably is a good enough land to start some small time farming :)

Need to save some money for that and do something worth while while the earth gets depleted , thanks to our  habits and life.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Another Chance

Well, Another Chance is not something to do with me. Its the latest book that I just finished reading yesterday night. I would say that this new Author, Ahmed Faiyaz is very good in writing. I ordered the set of 3 books by this author and supposedly to be signed by the author on all 3. I got only on 2 . Good reason for me to sue them :).

Well, I am not really keen on writing a review for this book. But I must say its a well written love story, and worth a read. There are instances in the book which make you value the relations you have.

Another book from this collection is that of short stories. I have just finished 4 of them. But I must say they are different and very well written. Not all stories are of this author but more of an aggregation from different authors. The first story of the puppy was very nice and touching. I would definitely recommend this book.. Hey did I tell the name of this book ?.. Its URBAN SHOTS.

Yet to start on the 3rd book though.

CSG From today

INTEC has been formally CSG from today. The day started with reading the emails from the new CEO and changing the signatures in the email to that of CSG. By noon, everyone seemed to have changed to the new signature , especially the Logo. What was eye catching was when I was returning from lunch to my seat,everyone's laptop seemed to have an email opened with that bright RED logo. Definitely its eye catching.

We are yet to see what the benefits of the new company are, but overall its a nice feeling to start with. But yeah, will miss the INTEC Logo.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Relaxed day

Its good to fall ill sometimes. Especially when it comes all of a sudden and the illness is not to severe. I had a discomfort in my stomach, not sure why, so decided to stay back home. Its was a good break and quite a required one. Just was at home the whole day. In the evening when I logged into check my emails, realised that Priya Kumar, the author of License to Live , has written a comment on my book review. It just feels good, I guess both for the author that her work is been appreciated and also for me, after all a now celebrity is directly communicating with me. Just was wondering of this electronic media and the amazing things that it does, however simple they may sound.

In the evening, I thought of pulling my camera out and did some photography. Also realised that two of my lenses are full of fungus :(. I guess its high time that I take care of my camera and the lenses. The way I would take care of them 10 years back was totally at a different level. With time, the attachment to photography and the accessories that I have reduced drastically. Am looking for a new way to get started all over. Publishing in stock photography could be one way I guess.

Still on my agenda is to write the review of the book on Mahabhartha by Devdutt Patnaik. Hope fully will get it done by this weekend, time permitting.

Thats all for the lazy day today I guess. Hoping a nice sleep and a good day at work tomorrow ..

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Book Review : License to Live

Licence to Live
Author : Priya Kumar
Cost : 250 INR

This is the 2nd book that I am reading of this Author, Priya Kumar. It was only after reading her first book, that without a single thought I picked up the 2nd one.
Licence to Live is a very fast paced book or rather a fast page turner. You just cant keep the book down and my request is that, if you have an important appointment, please stay away from the book. Its very hard to keep it down

As of the book, its about the Author herself, who, after getting the name and fame of what she has got, has reached a threshold in her like that all this doesn't seem to make her life miserable and thats when she comes across a person Kurt, who is known for his amazing workshops.

The workshop here is no ordinary one, as the cost itself is 25000 USD and nothing more than the cost is mentioned:) Well the first agenda on the workshop is that they need to travel to a different country with no money or anything else. When the plane reached Genting Highlands, they are asked to jump from the plane :)

Now does this make the book interesting ? Through the various tests in the workshop given, the author finds whats the deeper meaning of present, the past and the future.  Though there are certain parts of the book, which I am not sure whether it really true of just an imaginary work, but the meaning behind them is very enlighting. It opens your mind just tells you one final message, Take Life as it comes and face it from the front.  Thats only my interpretation...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Karmic Accounts

Just another week passed by. Probably a little different than the others. Sometimes, you tend to ask why are you doing what you are doing. Some questions remain unanswered.
There are moments of joy which come in and some which cannot be bought with money, but at the same time cannot be sustained without it. And then you tend to question life all over again. Only with time you get the answers, as in you can only connect the dots looking behind and not other way round. Taking life as it comes helps one to reduce your worries. It also teaches you to do those things which you never wanted to do. Is it just a settlement of Karmic accounts ? The more I think about it, thats the only answer which kind of answers all the questions. The trouble is to digest it. Is that also a karmic account that needs to be settled.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Favourite Ads currently

Till date Cadbury's were having the best Ads in town and probably winning award's for the best ads. But there seems to be a lot of competition now. Infact there are many different type of segments of Ads.

I like the way Amir Khan endorses the products. He actually puts in his credibility into the product. This can be clearly seen in the new Mahindra Bikes, and the Titan Ads. His Tata Sky ads are innovative.

Cadburry's are having a new theme of ads , featuring New Beginnings. Simply love that series of Ads.

Idea Mobile service has a different scheme of Ads, deploying the idea of an idea. I would say, those ads are beautifully done with nice punch lines by Abhishek B.

And just to keep you in a nostalgic mood, here is an old favourite of mine :)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Wow!!! What an episode of KBC today ! This person Prashant , made it to 1 crore with full confidence. And then at the 5 crore question he fumbled. There is a thin line line between confidence and overconfidence.. and more importantly, the difference between between overconfidence and stupidity is not much...

Thats all. Had he won 5 crores today,the game would have lost. Its not a game to be played on guess work. Thats when he had lost.....Not sure what it was, greed or simply overconfidence. But deep in heart I felt sad for him. The worst part for him would be to forget this episode all his life.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Happy Diwali

Wishing you all a very happy Diwali and a prosperous new year ahead.
Spending Diwali with your folks at home always has a special impact. The very feeling of decorating your house with lights brings in that special happiness inside you. Just to put those bulbs and making sure all of them are working file. Putting up the Akashdeva is another feel good factor.

The previous day to Diwali, we have the Narkasura  effigies that are being built and then burnt as a mark of destroying the evil. There is also a competition for the best made Narkasura. Earlier this competition would take place through the night and in the early hours of diwali they would be burnt. With the changing times and other issues regards to security, this event now gets done by 11 pm itself.

On the day of Diwali, one is supposed to apply oil on their bodies and then have a bath. These small traditions  have different hidden scientific meanings to it. In the villages, one of days of Diwali is meant for Refilling the water , which basically means cleaning up all the storage and filling in new water from the well. Apparently, since Diwali comes just after the rains, this event is most likely done to clean up the house post rains and re-filling again all afresh. Also on the Lakshmi puja day all the business owners have a special puja for the godess of wealth. On the same day, in the villages, the farmers do a puja of the cows and bulls who are their source of tilling the fields. I still remember, on this day, cows and bulls get a new rope  which is used to tie them to the pole in the cowshed.

In different parts of the country there are different customs which are followed , primarily due to a scientific reason attached behind this. Would love if you could also share of the customs that are followed in your area.
Happy Deepavali once again.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh is one of the important festivals for us and just the atmosphere around makes you feel so good about it.
Yesterday was another important festival of Muslims , Ramzan. While on the way to Goa, yesterday, I could see the people enjoying both these festivals. On one end you see the muslims wishing each other and also at the other end, the hindus, getting the Ganesh idol to their homes.

From BlogOnly

From BlogOnly

From BlogOnly

Witnessing both these festivals all throughout my journey, the thoughts and comparisons of these festivals were going around in my mind. Apparently some places couldn't celebrate the Id yesterday, as the moon was not seen. Ironically, for the Id, moon has to be seen in the local area, while that for the Ganesh, as per the legend, one is not supposed to see the moon.

Today also happens to be 9/11. A day the people of US and for that matter the whole world will never forget. 9 Years ago, while this incident happened, we had reached New Jersey, just a couple of days back. From JFK to New jersey, one of our colleague showed us the Twin Towers from the Brooklyn Bridgle, and that remained as the last time.
 I still remember while we had gone to "Enterprise" to pick up our car on that tuesday morning, everyone at the car rental office was busy watching the TV. We didnt bother to ask them much as we were more excited to get the car, and discussing about the route to office. Once we reached office, everyone in the office was just glued to the TV in the reception area.
We all left from work early that day, but not before sending an email back home that we are fine. All the phone lines were just jammed.  After a month or so, when we went to see the ground zero, it was one sad moment. The pain was in the air. Only time can heal such wounds.

Coming back to my journey from Bangalore. This time I chose a different route. Since I had a colleague with me, who had to get off at Shimoga, we took the route from Shimoga. Though we started at 5:30 in the morning, it was quite a mad rush due to the long weekend which came after a long time and also the celebration of 2 important festivals.

From BlogOnly

We started on the NH-4 and after tumkur took the NH-206 which would take us to Shimoga and eventually to NH-17. In short the road was bad. And to add , since it was festive period, there were too many people in the market. Though, it was fun to see all the different colours of festivals, it was quite a pain to drive.
We did take some small break's in the middle to enjoy some tea or just to take some pictures.

From BlogOnly

From BlogOnly

At around 12:30 noon we reached Girish's place. We had an awesome lunch at his place and started from there in an hour's time. The initial part of the travel looked good. We were told to go via Sirsi rather than to Honnavar to hit on to NH-17. On following the road, we ended up reaching Jog Falls. Since it was just 2.5 kms off the main road, we reached the falls and trust me, it was well worth it. I was seeing the falls after 15- years approx. The new developments looks good out there and quite safe.

From BlogOnly

From BlogOnly

From then we looked to go towards Sirsi. I guess we missed out that turn, since all the road directions were in Kannada only, and we ended up on the Honnavar road. Well thats one of the worst road, I can say. Its all winding and full of bad pothholes. Our car got hit at the bottom a number of times.
Finally around 6 we reached the NH-17 and that road seemed like heaven. It was very smooth but there were some poth-holes but not dangerous from any manner. We needed to stop at Karwar, and that we reachd around 8. And then finally reached home only at 10:00 pm..
Definitely, not as smooth as my previous trip, but at the same time, got to know a lot of new places and driving experience.
This trip, for its own reasons will be again remembered for long :)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

What to do if you are dissatisfied with an auto

Picked up from CitizenMatters

The system for complaining about autos:
Note the vehicle number (KA-XX-YY-ZZZZ) and email the details to transcom@kar.nic.in. Based on the prefix XX (for example KA-01), complaint will be sent to one of the ten RTO offices in Bangalore and adjacent taluk areas.
Alternatively, one can also call these offices at the number given below based on the vehicle number prefix and directly lodge a complaint.
Vehicle Prefix (KA-XX) Bangalore location Phone number
* KA-01 Koramangala 080-25533525
* KA-02 Rajajinagar 080-23324104
* KA-03 Indiranagar 080-25254310
* KA-04 Yeshwantpur 080-23376039
* KA-05 Jayanagar 080-26630989
* KA-41 Gyanabharthi 080-28602833
* KA-50 Yelahanka 080-28561366
* KA-51 Electronic City 080-25735522
* KA-52 NeelaMangala 08234-285598
* KA-53 KR Puram 080-25617951
Once the complaint is received at the corresponding office, a notice is issued to the address of the vehicle's registered owner, requiring him/her to turn up at the RTO office within 7 working days. Every RTO has about 10 IMV's (Inspector of Motor Vehicles) who seize the vehicles which don't report to the RTO.
The penalty levied from the auto-waalas is rs.100 under section 200.
The various offences among others for which one can lodge a complaint
* Refusal to come to destination
* Demanding excess fare
* Using rough language
* Cheat the public, for e.g. taking longer routes.
* Faulty Meter
There is also a helpline number - 080-22353785 available Monday - Saturday from 10:00 am - 5:30 pm on which one can call to lodge complaints

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pension Plans

I was talking to my Insurance Advisor today and just realised that effective 1st Sept 2010, the rules with respect to the Pension Plans, Health Care plans and ULIP plans will change. After going into the details, the changes in the ULIP didn't bother me much. The only change that I found was that the lock-in period of your investments would be 5 years, as compared to the current 3 years. Anyways, I dont see any point investing into a ULIP just for 3 years. There are supposed to be long term plans and need to invest over a longer period of time to get better returns,

Then coming to the Pension Plans. The changes are apparently as follows. In the current Pension Plan, on maturity, one can withdraw the amount completely and use it as per one's requirements. With the new plan this wouldn't be possible. One has to go for an annuity plan, ie one will get regular pension at maturity on a monthly basis. One cannot invest the money directly from the pension into another investment plan. And a insurance rider is compulsory even though you are not really looking for it from the pension plan.
I did feel that, this plan takes off some of the freedom utilising the money at the end of maturity. Though a pension plan is primarily supposed to give you monthly returns as against a one time return.

So those who think that the current plan is good, you have another day to do so :)

Expect the unexpected

Some monday's are better off than others. In the morning I decided that I will be in a happy mood, regardless of the issues that we are facing these days. At times, just the thought of being happy keeps you happy all through the day. Even though there was tons work to be done, I was light and was feeling good about something.

Its that one thought that you keep in the beginning of the day, that helps you make the remaining part of the day..

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tata Crucible

It was another sunday spent well. Another afternoon spent participating a great quiz, and then more importantly seeing the Bangalore finals.

I reached the St John's Auditorium much earlier than I thought, but I wanted to be since I hadnt registered myself for the quiz. So on-spot was the only option and didnt want to take any chance.

The prelims finally started only at 4, and had 25 nerve racking questions, probably I got only 5 of them correct. Good enough for my preparation and my calibre :)
In the finals of the TATA track, there were 5 teams from TITAN's which has qualified and one from TATA elxsi . I thought that it would be the clash of the TITAN's but then in a remarkable feat, it was the TATA elxsi which won the finals, and yes 3rd time in a row at Crucible. I could see one team which had won previously many crucibles, just missing out this time.

In the non TATA track, it was Yahoo India, the defending champion which was leading from the beginning, but was given a tough fight by the closely following HSBC. Though HSBC team answered most of the TOUGH question's it was finally the defending champions, who kept the trophy again.

The IBM team kept thinking  and the Wipro Team which was Applying Thought  couldnt do much. The Onmobile team couldnt do well even in the Mobile related questions :)

The winners in each Track won a cash prize of 75k and runners pocketed a cool 35k.

But my winner in this quiz was Tata Elxsi, who single handedly won the quiz. Hope he wins the All India Quiz.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Team Work

Probably the nth time that I am watching the movie, Chak de India, but am never tired of seeing it. So much to learn from it everytime. What can we ever achieve without team work ? How can we take a project towards a conclusion unless every one works together rather than for own's benefit ?
Wish I could see every one working as a team .

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Goa Trip During the monsoons...

Its always a pleasure to drive during the monsoons. Now that I had a planned vacation but also the train tickets booked to go to Goa, it wasn't a  too difficult decision to go with the newly found idea.
We decided to drive on a saturday early morning. Since my sister had a new found obsession with football and managed to get herself hurt with a few stitches to go along with it, the driving was to be done only by me..
Which means around 12 hours of driving all the way to Goa.. sounded a bit scary, but after reviewing the maps and planning it out, we were mentally prepared for it.
Another fear which I had in my mind was driving in hot sun, which could easily tire me out, and A/C in the hot sun doesn't go well with me and I end  up with a bad headache. Though I equipped my self with my nasal drops, which is the best solution for the headaches, I was looking for a cloudy weather with a bit of drizzling, which would only make the journey all the more beautiful. Appears that nature heard to me and gave me the same.

Some of the things that I learnt on this trip.
When you are driving all by yourself, and the drive is long, you need to take it slow. More like a test match. Don't tire yourself mentally by doing too many overtaking and just go on a reasonable speed. 100 is what I maintained unless the road was too tempting and just clear. On winding roads, I kept to a 60-80 which was very convenient and I was comfortable. That helped not to get myself tired nor the co-passengers.

I took regular break's though the stretch which I took didn't have the many Kamath Upachar's but taking a additional breaks for photography and quite bites did help.

Route that I had taken was quite good. I took NH4 which is the Bangalore Hubli highway which is around 400 kms. This is a straight patch and excellent roads. You can easily cruise on 100 and above that on this road.
I had my first stop near chitradurga. The weather was too good and so was the view. It just rejuvenate's you.

From GoaTripJuly2010

From GoaTripJuly2010

From GoaTripJuly2010

From GoaTripJuly2010

The beautiful clouds on the route only made it better for the drive.

From GoaTripJuly2010

Once we reached near to hubli, we were welcomed with nice rains. It was challenging but at the same time very refreshing.

From GoaTripJuly2010

From GoaTripJuly2010

On reaching Hubli, we took the State Highway SH63. It's again a very nice road. Its about 150 kms, by the time it hits the NH17 near Karwar, Ankola to be precise.
Some parts of the road on SH63 was winding, but not much, and I was constantly driving at 80kmph. while other parts it was easy to travel at 100kmph.

The route on from Hubli to Ankola was scenic and lot of beautiful forests.

From GoaTripJuly2010

Probably one should spend driving on this route and also visit the waterfalls on the way.

From GoaTripJuly2010

Once you reach Ankola on NH17, there is a Kamath Upachar, where you can take a break.  On this entire route there are a number of Gas stations.

Once on Nh17,from Karwar, it was another 100kms to Margao. So totally it was around 650 kms from Bangalore to Margao and with the breaks I covered it in 12 hours, and thanks to the rains and the cloudy weather, it didn't tire me out. Starting early from Bangalore ie at 5:30 in the morning did help to beat the Bangalore traffic.  If starting late in the day, it would be a better option to hit the NICE road and get off into the Tumkur road. That should save you a lot of time.

The return trip, which was done after a week, was done on the same route back. Though it was not that cloudy and raining, it was pretty comfortable. Some of the pictures are put below.

From GoaTripJuly2010

A small Village on the SH63.

From GoaTripJuly2010

From GoaTripJuly2010

From GoaTripJuly2010

The statehighway, SH63, its again very good road.

The only issue on the NH4 road is that, there are not many places one can stop, unless you decide to get into the cities/towns on the way. Make sure to pack up with fruits, water and even tea would would be a good help.

Lalbagh Flower Show Aug 2010

Hmmm, another flower show. Was not sure that I will make it , but it was the turn of events, rather the turn of the car that made it. This was the only weekend which it would have been possible since the next weekend, it would be flooded with people.

Some tips, if you are still planning for the next weekend.
Avoid taking the camera and taking pictures if you are not going for the first time. Since I guess it best just to enjoy it with your eyes. If you really want to take pictures, go on a week day,early morning.

Don't go on the outside circumference, go around the inner one. That's where the nice flowers are which are new to the flower show.

Well, I did manage to get a few pics, and here they are. I got thoroughly drenched in the rains too, and that only added to the whole experience.

From 2010

The entrance looks grand which is decorated only with roses. A closer look at the same gives the details of all roses.

From 2010

Some more flowers

From 2010

From 2010

From 2010

From 2010

From 2010

From 2010

The beautiful view during the rains ..

From 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dream On

Why have we forgotten how to dream? With our innocence gone, and the entertainment industry doing all the work for us, we quickly lose our capacity to dream possible futures. Stop. Close your eyes. And dream again. Put the stars in your dreams. And then reach for them. No need to struggle. Simply nurture the dream, sustain the vision, and watch it come true. It must, it's the law.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Endowment plans are bad investments

Src :   DNA

The recent spat between the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irda), the insurance regulator and the Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the stock market and the mutual fund regulator, seems to have hit the sales of unit-linked insurance plans (Ulips).
Agents and insurance companies are now promoting endowment insurance plans instead of Ulips. But these remain a bad form of investing. To know why, read on.

What is endowment insurance plan?

In an endowment policy, the policyholder is insured for a certain amount, referred to as the sum assured. A portion of the premium goes towards this insurance cover. Another portion helps meet the administrative expenses of the insurer. And a third portion is invested by the insurance company on behalf of the policyholder. The return the insurance company makes on the invested portion is distributed to policyholders as an annual bonus. The annual bonus is declared as a proportion of the sum assured. So if sum assured is Rs 10 lakh and a bonus of Rs 5 per Rs 100 sum assured or 5% is declared, the insurer is effectively declaring a bonus of Rs 50,000 (5% of Rs 10 lakh). The bonuses rarely go beyond 5-6% primarily because the investments are made in relatively safe debt securities. Since the risk taken is low, the return generated is also low.
How agents mis-sell it?
Let us consider an endowment policy of 25 years, with a sum assured of Rs 10 lakh, taken by 30-year-old individual. The annual premium on such a policy will work out to around Rs 40,000. So if an insurance company declares a bonus of 5% on the sum assured, it would mean a bonus of Rs 50,000. Now, Rs 50,000 is greater than the annual premium of Rs 40,000. And if a company continues to pay a bonus of greater than Rs 40,000 every year, the bonus being paid will be greater than the annual premium. This feature of the endowment plan it what the agents turn into a marketing gimmick. A typical agent is likely to tell you, “Sir, the insurance company always declares a bonus of more than 4% (Rs 40,000) every year. So the bonus you get every year will be more than the annual premium you pay to the company. Isn’t that marvellous?”
Here’s what the agent does not tell you
The agent works for the insurance company and not you. Hence, he does not tell you the real thing. What you, as policyholder, do not know is that the bonus, unlike a dividend, is not paid out every year. The bonus accumulates and the policyholder gets it along with the sum assured at the maturity of the insurance policy. So let’s extend the example above. Assuming the policy declares a bonus of 5% every year, over 25 years, you will get a bonus of Rs 50,000 every year.So at the end of 25 years, you will get Rs 12.5 lakh as bonus (Rs 50,000 x 25). You will also get the Rs 10 lakh sum assured as well, for a total of Rs 22.5 lakh (Rs 12.5 lakh + Rs 10 lakh).
So what is the problem?
The biggest problem with the bonus is that it does not compound, and is merely an accounting entry that accumulates. What this means is that in the above example, the bonus of Rs 50,000 would stay at Rs 50,000 till the 25th year, when the policy matures. This would be true of all bonuses declared during the term of the policy (if they are declared). So if you survive the policy period, the insurance company would give you Rs 22.5 lakh in total.
What are the returns you can expect?
A payout of Rs 22.5 lakh at the end of 25 years, would imply a return of 5.78% per year, which isn’t great shakes by any stretch of imagination. Even if we were to assume an average bonus of 6% every year, the total amount paid at maturity would amount to Rs 25 lakh (Rs 10 lakh as sum assured + Rs 15 lakh as bonus) with a return of 6.48% per year.
Is there a better way to go about it?
The moral of the story is that the point about bonus paid out during a given year being greater than the premium paid, isn’t really relevant. It is just a mis-selling trick.
A better way to go about would be to take a term insurance policy
of Rs 10 lakh and invest the remain-ing money (i.e. the difference between the premium being paid in case of the endowment policy and the premium paid on the term policy) into the Public Provident Fund (PPF), which guarantees an interest of 8% per annum. A term insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh in this case will cost around
Rs 3,200. If the remaining Rs 36,800 is invested in the PPF account earning 8% every year, at the end of 25 years, a corpus of Rs 27 lakh will accumulate. This is Rs 4.5 lakh or 20.5% more than Rs 22.5 lakh.
Of course, the advantage of taking on term insurance is that by paying a little more money you can also increase the amount of life cover. By paying around Rs 4,600 per year, the policyholder can get a term insurance with a cover of Rs 15 lakh. This is Rs 1,400 more than the premium for a cover of Rs 10 lakh. An endowment insurance plan will require a premium of Rs 15,000-20,000 more over and above, the annual premium of Rs 40,000.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bye bye KA03 ML5678

Finally the day arrived when I had to finally say good bye to a companion who was with me for all my journey's literally for the last 5 years. I had to drop off my car yesterday. Then came the better part. I had come back home using the public transport which I hadnt done for a very long time. Before that I decided to walk a bit. Walking down St Mark Road, was quite nostalgic. I realised that I hadnt come onto that road for ages, and even if I had, I was busy handling the traffic, rather than seeing anything new on that road. I still remember the days, when the only Mainland China was in the basement of one of the buildings out there. I also got to see the Egg Factory  which I had made a mention in my previous post. Definitely I realised I hadnt walked on these roads of Bangalore for a very long time. Reaching the St Marks Road and Residency Road Jn, I saw the new buildings come up at the Cash Pharmacy.
Plan to do my next photo walk on this road. It would definitely be interesting....

Monday, June 14, 2010


Highway on my plate, the famous show on NDTV Good Times, today features Bangalore.  Nothing better than seeing your own place on TV. Now what really caught me off guard was that, these guys , went to an restaurant on St Marks' Road, called  Egg Factory  and all that they serve is Egg Dishes.

Now, in the menu,Mayur pointed out to one dish named Keshto  and asked the person out there whats it all about. Now only a person my Manipal would really know what it is, and the owner of the restaurant, just said that. He described it as a dish from  Manipal from the Student Community.

How nostalgic...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mclaren Finish 1,2 ...

Nice to see a 1,2 finish by Mclaren team today with L Hamilton coming on the top, and J Button finishing 2nd. What a race. Ferrari also managed a podium finish and the best part was that Force India came in the top 10, and more importantly both the drivers.
As they rightly said,  Dr Vijay Mallya would be a happy soul after a long time.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Another Day

It was just another day. But to quite an extent a special one. The FIFA world cup just started yesterday with both the first day matches ending in a draw. I am supporting Uruguay this time. Simply because, I just loved that place and the people out there, and more importantly the love for the game.  I guess that in the whole of South America, the people are crazy about football, much more than other places.
Today I was playing around the blogs template was thinking of changing the same. Tried out some experiments on my test blog and they worked out well. But unfortunately they dont have the exact same configurations as that of the actual blog. Hence quite skeptical about changing the same. Am having serious thoughts of shifting over to wordpress for once, but yet to take the final decision. Something is still stopping me.

Just finished reading a couple of books off late, but didn't have the patience to write the reviews. One was of Rashmi Bansal again, this time the book was called "Connecting The dots" again a excerpt of Steve Jobs famous speech. And this time the stories are similar as that of the first book "Stay Hungry Stay Foolish" ,  but they are not the IIM guys. That's makes this book different and somehow more connecting than the first book. While talking about this book to my colleague in office, he realised that one of the stories in the book is that of his close friend, and his  name is also indirectly mentioned in the book. He was quite happy seeing his reference in the book, after all who wouldn't, especially, when the book itself talks of the achievements and success stories.
Another book that I finished reading was "And there By Hands a Tale"  by Jeffrey Archer. Its a small book with a nice collection of 15 stories and also includes a story based out of India. Its a nice book, but can't say its the best among his short stories. My favourite among all his short stories is "A twist in the tale". But nevertheless its a good book to read.
Am currently reading my long pending book Shantaram  and also The Maruti Story.  Both the books are great. Guess will take some time to finish them.
Will keep the reviews coming as soon as I am done.:)

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Jagjit Singh : Live in Concert

Today I was very lucky to get the tickets at the last moment at the counter, only to be mesmerised by the voice of the  Jagjit Singh. This is the 2nd time that I am watching his live concert, but in short, every moment spend out there was beautiful. His voice is a blessing and nothing can beat it.

He sang the famous songs including "Hosh walon ko khabar kya .." from Sarfarosh. When he was singing the "Hoton Se Chuulo Tum","Tumko Dekha to yeh kahyal aaya " and "Aahista Aahista", the whole audience sang in chorus with the maestro. It was one of the lovely feelings one could get. The simplicity of the songs made the evening an eventful one along with the very very impressive jugal bandi's simply made the crowd go wild with claps.

Another interesting part was that, the a/c in the auditorium was not working, so he made very interesting comments on the organiser's through songs, by changing some of the lyrics, and got the crowd to mellow down. One of the Professional  at his best.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

500th Post

Hadn't realised that it would take 5 years to get to my 500th post. Nevertheless its a sweet feeling, more so, because I haven't stopped blogging and though the frequency has come down a lot, hasn't really stopped...

Thanks everyone, who has been reading by blogs all this while and your continued support. Learnt a lot of things in this short period about blogging, the seriousness one should have about it, the legalities about it .. so on and so forth.
Again many times, I wanted to move to wordpress, for the sheer professionalism of it, but someone, google somehow kept me with it. Just hoping that soon, blogspot, will be on par with wordpress, if not better.

Again thanks for all your support..

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Team Work

I am watching Mega Builders on Discovery. Here am seeing an episode, where a huge power plant is being setup in Algeria. A place which I had read about only in my school geography books. But here they are doing a great job. A detailed version appears that, the project has every possible problem they could possibly have with just 3 days to finish the job, else to face a massive penalty. Sounds quite a familiar story to us. And thats someone thing one faces everyday during our day to day job's. But what was thrilling to learn from this is a very familiar term everyone has heard stories about. TEAMWORK. Thats what they do and manage to pull things together. At every moment they have a plan B and thats  a major key to success. The team lead is always cool as a cucumber taking things one at a time and makes sure that the team doesnt lose their patience. As finally they are the ones, who will finally be able to either do the task or else get frustrated and give up.  Wish every project can have the expertise this team had. They have, hence they are on Discovery today. Its only winners who make it to the history books and not losers.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Easter Weekend

Warsaw, Poland.

Last year on the Good Friday, I had landed in Frankfurt on the way to Montevideo. I had a 14 hour halt at frankfurt, from 8:30 in the morning to 10:30 at night. Though I was equipped with the transit visa to spend my day at Frankfurt, seeing whatever I could, there is really no charm, atleast for me to roam around a place all on my own. Nevertheless, something is better than nothing and hence set out on foot to enjoy the beautiful city. Once I reached into the city, I was treated with a rude shock. The entire city was dead. There wasnt a single soul outside. It just took a couple of minutes to then realise that due to Good Friday, everything is closed. 

This year, I am here in Warsaw, and kind of facing similar situation. Here except the public transportation, everything else is closed. Thanks to Preethi, she warned me to buy all my provisions in advance and thankfully I could. But the weekend was different. Since everything here is closed, I assumed there wouldnt be any life at all over the weekend. But no, on the sunday, when I boarded the train, the train was as full as a normal day. When we reached the Lazienki Park, it was indeed a festival. The place was flooded with people, which is not really a normal sight here. Apparently , everyone takes a nice long walk after the lunch on Easter, and what better place than this park. 

From Warsaw_04Apr2010

The Chopin Statue:
This is one of the highlights of the park. 

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These Benches  here  , play Music. Apart from the music, wherever they are located, the significance of the place around it will also be mentioned, and this time, in English also :). So you would always find people standing  next to it, rather then sitting on it and reading about the location and also enjoying the beautiful music.

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A close up view of the Chopin Statue

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Lazienki Palace, Also known as Palace on Water

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The amphitheatre in the Park

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Somemore peacocks

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The endless walks ...

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The Cathedral in Old Town,on the Royal Route

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The Royal Route

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Again, one more of the Chopin Musical Benches along the Royal Route

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Information of the Buildings along side.

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The President's Palace

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This place is apparently a restaurants, where you get limited things for small price. Hence quite a frequented haunt by the locals here, especially by the end of days work.

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Hotel Bristol. The most expensive hotel in Warsaw, again on the Royal Route.

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The Square where once Pope John Paul II addressed the gathering. 

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The Eternal flame in the rememberence of soldiers who laid their lives for the country. The Guard is there alawys and standing still. Here you can see the change of Guards.

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As old as 972.

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The fountain behind this place.

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The Warsaw University

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This Canon is also inside the University. IT was used in many fights and had travelled to many places before coming back to its oroginal place :)
Preethi and Wiktor had translated the stuff for me.

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The University Library

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The walls decorated with scriptures in various old languages

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And this is Sanskrit

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Can you decode this ?

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The pictures that follow are from the University Library. Its one of a kind and done very differently. 
From the glasses, one can see the inside of the library.

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This duck was acting funny...

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Sounds Familiar?

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On the Roof top

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The view of the Palace from the roof top

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We climb further up..

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View of the River along side..

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The watch tower..

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The insides of Library, [ Taken through the glass panes, hence not clear]

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The Library Structure

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The outside of building once again..

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One of the roads near the University Library, where car rallies are held.

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The Art Theatre

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This Eyewitness Guide, lent to me was very very helpful. It has all the details of the history and the significance of the places.