Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Some semblance of discipline has been infused into otherwise disorderly lifestyle. Home-office-home-gym-home. is the new routine. I passed up a movie with The Brat since I had gym last evening. In case you've noticed, A will hereafter be renamed the brat owing to cheeky behaviour, which I secretly find cute, but dont tell him I said so. [One of his favorite jokes all of last week was 'Its almost as though I signed up for a Mercedes Benz, but got a Maruti 800] The cars in question here, being a reference to me :/ And also the poor dear is having to work on some new Business with a girl he used to find cute insisting that she 'might' ask him to discuss it over dinner and he wont be able to refuse. Professionally of course :\ he's just enjoying the slight possesiveness Im displaying for the first time. Im trying to be my usual cool and unruffled self but even Im not perfect. [Who Would've thought].
On the first day of gym, measurements were taken. Owing to a previously rigorous routine of uninterrupted gym for 3 years, I used to be pretty well turned out. Until the last year of course. I shuddered as measurements increased their way to 2 inches EVERYWHERE. <woe is me>
I almost passed out when I had to hold this thingamajig to measure BMR which oscillated dangerously between 'Muscular' and 'Latent Obesity' and it finally decided 'Latent Obesity'. I know. Im diagnosed with the 'Indian Woman Syndrome' the ever loving Pear shape. Just a year ago that damn needle would settle on the other one, oscillation-less. Top it off with this website with its words of wisdom and I quote "Finally, you should know that losing weight will not change your pear-shaped body - it will only make you a smaller pear"
In line with other gym related funnies, I saw my liftman wearing ONE gym glove while operating the lift. He's an unofficial liftman and currently arrives in jeans and t shirts, and is not yet given a uniform (My buildings new rememeber). I was wondering why the man was sporting one glove, that too a gym glove nonetheless. That was before I realized (2 days later) that I had only one glove in my bag, and had probably dropped it in the building :/ Im wondering if i ought to surreptitiously drop the other glove that i have so that At least one of us has a complete set!
The (free) Dieticians appointment was also a laugh riot, reminiscent of college days. I was already confused when the floor manager asked FIVE of us to go a small cabin and wait. I was under the impression that a diet plan will be made etc and just out of curiousity, I stayed. After being ushered into the cabin, a sweet gentleman walks in with a bunch of papers stapled together and after a few minutes of introduction begins to read out from the pages. Things like what is the definition of Fitness, Nutrition. NO, THE EXACT DEFINITION. I couldnt control the idea of sitting through 5 pages of a monologue while i could easily spend that time killing myself over leg curls and squats and spent the first 10 minutes of the lecture snickering in a badly disguised fashion.
Im given to laugh uncontrollably in extremely embarassing situations so yesterday's situation of snickering away to glory on the poor mans face was a cakewalk. I am tottering around with a slight limp after being delivered one tight kick under the table by B, a friend and colleague who also comes to gym.
This is UNACCEPTABLE. Im amazed someone can Copy feelings! Blatantly and HOW.
Does SAG mean to say she feels the EXACT same thing for her husband that Kiran does? A blatantly copy pasted post, with no cross reference, and moreover apparently modest reponses to comments and compliments and even an award Which are not deserved is ridiculous.
Im seething with anger. She isnt accepting any comments which tonnes of us have written in telling her shes copied Kirans post. This really gets my goat.
Blogger isnt allowing me to reply to comments :S Blogger is officially OFF my list of things I like. Latest news, shes deleted her blog! Coward. Why would you do something so silly and think youll get away with it? Hasnt she learnt ANYTHING from her?
Monday, May 25, 2009
For some reason, Blogger is not allowing me to reply to the comments, so for the most part, my response was Mainly thank you's, do let us know if you would ike to be of any help. There are cases that need urgent attention, so if you feel you could be of any help, please mail us. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Shravan of Shravans blog, Your comment in the last post made my day. Although I am not completely deserving, it totally put a smile on my face and I went about the rest of the day beaming. Cheers to you kiddo :)
The knife, Mystery - thank you! How do i mail you the html for the badge?
@ Smita - Apologies, Ill mail you very soon :)
@ Muthu - thanks M. Do spread the word.
@ Prplxd - thanks sweetheart! :) I saw the link on your blog. very cool of you. If you could also put the email id somewhere beneath it, would be great.
@Utopia, Mesolioquy - thank you.. :)
@Orangejammies - Anyone who doesnt believe how strong, rational and fantastic you are, has me to answer to :)
Anyone else who would like to put up the badge on their blog, please feel free to pick it up..or mail me and ill send it out to you. firstname.lastname@example.org I also have a fancy email@example.com email id but i cant give it out here :(
Mumbai Diva, Scarlett? Aniket? And Snow? Utopia? Muthu, Smita? Aditya?
(was meaning to ask you guys if you'll put up the IH badge on your blog!! somehow the sentence got deleted!!)
Friday, May 15, 2009
Today we stand, a larger group of volunteers, working after our days jobs on calls and visits with the affected, not only of the 26/11 attacks, but also other causes which could use our help. Morally, financially or otherwise.
It will be hard for me to find words to explain what a feeling this is, how undeserving it feels being thanked by someone whose life has been shattered by a tragedy, how we well up with pride when we see they're picking up the pieces as bravely as they can, reduced to taking help from wherever they can get it.
I found the meaning to my life. This is what I'm supposed to do. Give off myself and find myself at the same time. There is no joy greater than giving, of yourself, your time, energy, love and patience. In doing this, my life is richer in a way I thought was not possible, I value happiness more than I could do so before, and I thank god for the luxuries I have and realise that I'm blessed. And my own troubles seem insignificant and trivial.
Then there are the people. Kiran, the one who began it all. OJ whose the voice of reason and calm, Sangeeta whose the straight talking no nonsense rational one. The women I admire. and HOW. Priyanka whose the behind-the-scenes one, running the pavement schools. And I could go on. All in all, Indiahelps is full of dedicated, brave women, who go beyond their call of duty and find time in their hectic lives to accomodate others. How much I admire them only Ill know.
Please do follow us on http://www.indiahelps.org/ and http://www.indiahelps.blogspot.com/. We're made of people like you and me... and we need to come together when our fellow citizens need us.
At the risk of shamelessly promoting Indiahelps, Could I request followers/readers of this blog to also help spread the word of Indiahelps around? Leave me a comment if you'd like to display the badge on your blog, ill mail you the html. Follow us if you will, Link us. Indiahelps is a movement, help spread the word. Even you, first time reader and lurker :)
Cause at the end of the day, if we don't help ourselves in time of need, no one will.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
As is with most events in my life, this foray was accompanied by much trademark-serendipity excitement. I had shortlisted two longterm shares and two highly volatile traders shares. Very excitedly dialed the ICICI Direct phone banking number, selected the required option in the IVR and called slightly nervously to place my first ever 'buy order'.
Of course, nothing in my life gets accomplished without initial glitches and a lot of back and forth. Two phone calls, two log ins later, equipped with my account number and access code which I had to source and generate from my online account, information which was given to me sequentially as opposed to simultaneously (which would have obviously saved me time AND effort, but no. Im not that lucky), I heard the magic words 'Order executed'
And so the deal was done. Beginners luck meant that on friday, the day I actually purchased the share, the sensex dipped below 12k levels, which meant that I got really good deals already. Since then Ive followed up with many a transaction until I finally realised Ive put in a good chunk of money and now need to hang on and play around with what I have.
Since then Im given to refreshing the rediff page at a frequency proportional to the amount of times I tie and untie my hair (which if u know me, is a LOT). Its FUN to watch the net gain (and loss) each day, to understand market sentiments, interesting to learn how to evaluate whether a stock is good and other gyaan which Im fast catching onto. People sitting around me at work are renaming me the new go-to guru of the stocks given that my screen which earlier had multiple blog pages open now has only stock related articles and pages open. My name is now being replaced by other monikers of the stock market.
My first phone call after the first order was to Dad. Who congratulated me and promptly asked me which sectors, companies and who my broker was. I felt fantastic giving him accurate information regarding the investments, and finally about the fact that Im doing my own research and transactions, the middle man of course being the guy at ICICI Direct who executes the transaction. Whoever said women are bad at finance please step forward, so I may have a word with you.
Mistakes are of course, a part of this game. You win some, you lose some. Unfortunately having invested lump sums in MF's when the sensex was at 21k levels means Ive begun on a losing note anyway both MF's showing annual returns of - 32% :\ BAH and double BAH.
If anyones reading this, and a novice like me, here are a few tips.
- This is THE best time to invest. A lot of Stocks are just at or slightly above their rock bottom and therefore affordable.
- The Sensex crossed over to 12k in the last two months. People smart enough to have invested a few months ago have made a fortune already. (given the right choices etc)
- The most money is made and returns achieved in a bearish market as opposed to bullish contrary to popular opinion.
- You need a DEMAT account. Just call a broking house (ICICI Direct/Reliance Money/HDFC) or your broker and complete the formalities
- Broking charges are nothing daunting, approx 70paise per 100 rs of transaction. This could vary, but nominal charges is what I'm trying to get at.
- Diversify your portfolio. Don't buy stocks of more then 2 companies in the same sector.
- Keep an eye on Government controlled sectors, since a change in Govt and policies could affect the entire sector.
- Don't borrow ANY money to invest in stocks. Invest only what you can afford to. My thumb rule is that even if I Lose all of it, I should not be bankrupt. In other words, make sure you have some good ole safe options giving 8.5% returns. PPF, VPF Zindabaad.
- Stay away from Derivatives unless you have sound knowledge and resources to do so. Higher the returns, higher the risk.
- If you don't have a good risk appetite, but looking for higher returns anyway, then invest in Mutual funds, but ensure that it is an SIP (systematic investment plan) which will average out cost of units when the market shows a steep incline/decline which would be a good buffer. I learnt this the hard way :( Equity Linked Saving schemes are also tax saving so you could claim this during tax calculations.
Now Get out there!
Friday, May 8, 2009
Owing to the fact that Ive just moved homes, and this building is completely new, some parts of it still under construction, its a given that its dusty as hell. Which means that the car gathers dust as though its mileage depends on it. Dad being a stickler for cleanliness, our car is used to be spanking squeaky clean, but even he's given up temporarily in this current state of affairs.
Having conveniently forgotten this, I left home, dressed for dinner go down to the garage and stand faced with the dustiest I have EVER seen my car. Since G was already waiting for me, I had no choice but to ignore the dust and two bird poos and drive.
I felt as though even my car was feeling embarrassed to be brought out in this state, as though each person on the street wants to offer to just dust it a bit. Bird poo was of course, strategically placed such that If i were to start the water and just run my wiper over the screen, it would effectively be smattered all over my windscreen as opposed to just in one corner. I made it somehow and picked G up, apologising profusely for being slightly late, while explaining all the reasons (that were not in my control and neither my fault) that conspired against me being on time.
We then drove into the lobby of the Hotel, where I resumed feeling mortified and disconcerted driving such an unkempt car. It didn't help that there was a grand wedding in the hotel on that day and mighty grand cars were pulling in to the valet. G and I of course took to trying to laugh off the situation in our aloof style hoping the valet isn't too embarrassed to park the car.
Of course, Me being the confident woman of the world, unruffled by these mundane occurrences in life type woman, shrugged this off and had my haughty look on as I exited.
That and loudly exclaiming 'Oh dear, I cant believe the car got this dusty' en route entrance. Bas.
We finally moved past the current state of embarrassment and proceeded towards dinner. The Buffet is SO good, that one ought to fast for a few days and devour all the goodies on the menu. Trust me, that extra kg after this meal can be worked off.
When we got our first course, the extremely polite waiter approached our table and asked if we would like some drinks. He ordered Beer and I nothing, since my appetite generally diminishes by intake of drinks, soups and such. He then proceeded to recite the list of all possible tempting options I could have, Mock tails, beer, a glass of wine maybe. To which I still declined. 'I don't want to kill my appetite' I said.
As I watched him saunter over to the Maitre'D, them possibly discussing my non drink policy, they mustve arrived at a suitable conclusion for my negative response.
"Madam, the drink is included in the cost of the Buffet" he said with a large accommodating smile.
I of course declined once again. And what did they think I wasn't ordering cause I was thinking of paying the extra price? I exclaimed to G. To which, his usual cheeky male response was -
'Maybe he saw your car'
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
You guys complete 28 years of being Married today. I almost cant believe its been that long. I still feel like your little girl. The kiss you insist on giving me everyday before I go out anywhere goes a long way in ensuring that, Mum.
You both are so predictable. Obviously Daddy forgot the date and Mom you were reading the paper Nonchalantly so that in case he doesn't remember the entire day you can give him hell for it. But of course I reminded him that today was indeed the 6th and not the 5th like he thought. And Of course, you two shook hands with Daddy congratulating you on having borne him and his far from perfect nature for so long, until I insist on a proper hug. (It is OK to do that in front of you 25 yr old daughter and 16 year old son you know).
Have you heard of Yin and Yang? The two diametrically opposing pieces that fit so comfortably within each other? Your that. Hard and Soft, Aggressive and Gentle, Careless and Meticulate, Loud and soft, Restless and calm, Impatient and unruffled, . Which qualities are encompassed in whom are anybody's guess. Mom, you find it easier to tell us you love us, make us our favorite food, knit us our sweaters, and buy us small surprises that endear you to us. Daddy, on the other hand, quietly endured being the sole bread earner in the family for the past 23 years, providing for all of us, our needs, wants, unnecessary luxuries even, while planning judiciously for our futures, ensuring we have a wonderful home to move into once he retires, even one in our native place, all on his own, with no backing from anyone. Yet, he never let us feel like we missed out on anything large in life. Oh, material things come and go, and wants are replaced easily with fancier, shinier things. But we had a good life, he never compromised on anything that would ensure a good upbringing for me or my baby brother.
Daddy plays the bad guy many times because he's horrible at explaining how he feels about a person. Most of the times he's goofing up and saying it wrong, and thats only because hes very bad at expressing his feelings like most men. Maybe its an alpha male syndrome. But you have to know how much he loves us, when he looks at you admiringly when your dressed up and going out, or when he has that look when I tell him I got a nice Bonus, or when he'd call Babybro up when he was in hostel and have that softness in his voice.
In spite of all this difference, Mum and Dad, you two are strikingly similar individuals.
You'll are both caring and kind, you treat the lesser sections of society and other helpers with utmost dignity and respect, something you should know both your kids have imbibed in their daily life as well. You both are stylish, dignified, and graceful and this is just amplifying day by day as you grow older. Mom thank you for the beautiful hair and eyes you gave me, Dad I Seem to have taken from you your ardent, restless, street smart and aggressive nature. While my kid brother, though too young to exhibit the values you wish to see in him, is shaping into a cute, well mannered, poised and smart young man.
It is of little surprise that you have two kids who carry themselves off with confidence and self belief, making a lot of others wish their kids had so much humility, grounded attitude that we do, when we were brought up with equal quantities of indulgence and strict withholding. We see now how not having everything we Wanted but everything we needed has shaped our personality to value the things we have.
As my would be wedding fell apart last year and I spent sleepless nights wondering how to break the news to you, you surprised me with your faith in me, your calm acceptance, your words of advice trying to understand what went wrong, your unshaken support of me and my decision and the feeling of protectiveness and calm. I'm ashamed thinking you would not support me and will fly off the handle hearing the news. I now know the true meaning when they say 'Parents will do anything for their children's happiness'.
For the people you've made us, for giving us values that money cant buy and no one can shake, for preparing us so beautifully for the tough world out there, thanks is not enough. Still, here's a promise. That we two will love you, cherish you and hope to be even a fraction of the parents you've been to us. We'll buy you unnecessary things that you want but dont need, write you letters like these to make your day, hopefully give you grandkids you'll love more than us, and make you feel like the two most important people in our lives, which by the way, you are.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Case in Question : Until a day ago, I was under the impression that the month we have entered is in fact, April. When I met her for (AN AWESOME) lunch on Saturday, she was mentioning all the zillions of errands she needs to run before she leaves for her impending vacation on 7th May.
Of course I was wondering why she was stressing so much (since apparently she had 3 more weekends). When asked me for Haircut advice, I said 'Get shortish bangs in the front, they'll grow out in a months time before you leave', she must've naturally thought I was N-U-T-S.
"7th May is this Thursday, woman" said she. After which followed Five minutes of 'WTF, What're you saying OMG' and a quick round up of any April related activities I would need to cover up in May. Sheesh. I feel as though someone stole a month of my life :\
This meant I forgot to wish a friend on his birthday on May 1st since apparently it was a month away. Now the explanation above (although true) seems ridiculous to give to a good friend for not wishing him, and hence I have done the next worst thing. Not called him up since. Yes. I'm good at taking situations from bad to worse :\
I think the routine has done me in. Ever since my gym got far too expensive for me to renew and I moved away so I cant join it anyway, I'm activity-less. Home-office-home or Home-office-dinner/drinks outside-home. and that's all! Whats more mortifying, is after gymming hard for so many years and working hard to be a 'S' or even an 'XS' in some stores, I'm suddenly going a size up. SO NOT GOOD.
How to get out of this Rut? It all seems so easy. Wake up early, go for a walk, list things needed to be done, start prioritizing, striking things off the list. ETC. easier said than done :\