Saturday, January 30, 2010

The case of Perpetual Growth

Most of the problems of mankind today can be reduced to the simple economic concept of 'supply & demand'. Unlike other things in this world, where prices rise in case of excess demand and prices fall in case of excess supply, people excesses can neither be reduced in a short period of time nor can be raised fastly. The concept of continuous growth at all times puzzles me. Yes, to continuously improve the quality of life of the people, there needs to be growth. At some point in time in earlier decades when human population was less, there was a need for more people as most work was manual. But as of now, things have changed. I believe we have excess people in this world, far more than that required to improve mankind as machines help do the same tasks efficiently and faster. This excess has now caused a deterioration in the lives of humankind. The concept of growth has unfortunately moved from qualitative growth to quantitative growth.

There is only one country that has truly understood the effects of excesses of human population and that country is China. Over the last few decades, the one child norm has reduced the population of the country and it will continue to. China has realised that excess population is a drag on the economy. It also realises that in the globalised world, any work it wants can be done by outsourcing it. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

Dirty insurers

I intend to increase my life insurance cover once I join a company and I started looking for the most economical term plan. (Comprehensive plans are not for a person like me who wants more than the normal returns of 6% on an investment and I don't want Ulips as there is no guarantee that I will die when the market is on a high. Chances are more likely that a market crash will get me a heart attack.)

So, my search started. First went back to my current insurer's website and found the premium tables. There were 4 "bands" in the premium table pdf with no explanation what the bands are. Under each band, there is indeed a very understandable table of "your age" v/s "years of insurance required". The value in the table is the annual premium for every Rs.1000 insured.

Unable to understand the bands, I tried using their premium calculator.
"Please provide the details in the given format to calculate the appropriate life insurance cover to meet your family’s needs.
Your Name  
Your Age  
Pin Code
Email ID
Mobile Number

Click next to continue"

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this point of time. How come a mandatory email id, mobile number and name is required to calculate a premium for a scheme?
Am I mad enough to give these to get some much needed spam for giving away my limitless time?

I looked at another insurer. This company has many plans under  protection plans itself, namely:
Reliance Super Golden Years Term 10 Plan 
Reliance Super Golden Years Basic Plan
Reliance Super Golden Years Plus Basic Plan
Reliance Super Golden Years Plus Term 10 Plan
Reliance Super Golden Years Value Basic Plan
Reliance Super Golden Year Value Term 10 Plan
Reliance Wealth + Health Basic Plan 
Reliance Traditional Super InvestAssure Plan 
Reliance Term Plan
Reliance Simple Term Plan
Reliance Wealth + Health Term 10 Plan 
Reliance Special Term Plan
Reliance Credit Guardian Plan
Reliance Special Credit Guardian Plan
Reliance Endowment Plan
Reliance Super Five Plus
Reliance Connect 2 Life
Reliance Whole Life Plan
Reliance Cash Flow Plan

Wow! I am so excited! I feel like a kid in a toy store...Yay! (Ya right!)

I would personally like to slap the marketing manager for the ease with which one can make out the plan looking at the name.

I remembered a subsidiary of which enables you to compare the premium rates across various insurance schemes. Here's what I need to provide to compare policies.
Wow! A free credit card on offer....

^#@*^# Marketing managers and insurers.
I feel saddened to know how inconvenient and un-user friendly and non-transparent online marketing is.
Marketing has evolved from looting blind people to forcing a non-blind person into a dark, non-lighted alley to loot him.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Very interesting political song

One of the most interesting songs ever: A new genre, called propaganda song.
The song is so hip and modern and about the man who got the sexiest man alive title in Russia: Putin

My boyfriend is in trouble once again
Got in a fight, got drunk on something nasty
I've had enough and I chased him away
And now I want a man like Putin

One like Putin, full of strength
One like Putin, who won't be a drunk
One like Putin, who wouldn't hurt me
One like Putin, who won't run away!

I've seen him on the news last night
He was telling us that the world has come to crossroads
With one like him, it's easy to be home and out
And now I want a man like Putin

One like Putin, full of strength
One like Putin, who won't be a drunk
One like Putin, who wouldn't hurt me
One like Putin, who won't run away!

Innovative outsourcings

Outsourcing prisoners to another country? Nice idea :P

A bloody good idea

You would think the world of medicine and finance don't mix... Well, not until now...

The following is an idea I gave to a market development head of an organisation in the business of stock and commodity exchanges. I got selected for this company based on this idea and many others I gave, but I have declined the offer. If this idea is indeed implemented, I would have at least managed one of my ideas to actually take off and see it in the real world.

Problem: Hospitals need a regular supply of “whole blood” and “packed cells” for giving it to patients. Maintaining a constant supply of these of the right blood type at the crucial life/death scenario is difficult.
Idea/Solution: Trade blood contracts on the exchange.
Buyers: Hospitals
Sellers: Blood banks, NGOs that do Blood donation camps/drives.
·         Helps hospitals get the required quantity and right type of quality tested blood in advance.
·         Helps hospitals save more lives and being more reliable.
In India, during a medical emergency, the onus is on the patient's relatives to arrange for replacement of blood. India has many blood banks, all functioning in a decentralized fashion. In the current system, there is no tool to find number of blood donors of the required blood group in current time and place, there is no interaction between blood banks, no exchange of blood or its components.
“Whole blood” is the blood available in human beings. Whole blood is extracted from the body during blood donations. The human blood has both solid parts (Red blood cells, White blood cells, Platelets, etc) and liquid parts (called serum). The whole blood can be stored upto a period of 15-21 days at 4°C. Whole blood is given to patients in case of major blood loss as in the case of accidents. The cost of a pint (Indian pint = 350ml) of whole blood is approximately Rs.650. This cost is not for the blood, but for the testing, transporting, storage and personnel cost.
Whole blood can also be separated into components and be stored. Certain components of the blood need to be given to patients in certain cases. Whole blood minus the liquid parts is called “packed cells”. Packed cells are given to patients usually in OBG cases. The cost of a pint (Indian pint = 350ml) of packed cells is approximately Rs.650-700 (slightly higher due to separation/sedimentation charges)
5.1 million units of blood are collected every year in India. The demand of blood is very high and there is a deficiency of 30-40 percent of blood as per WHO norms.
There is also a supply demand gap in the different states and areas. The main proposal of this idea is to make the commodity exchange as a marketplace for buyers (hospitals) to buy blood from the sellers. The sellers have expertise in procuring fresh blood, testing for diseases, classification based on blood types and storing them. The buyers can buy the required quantities of the right blood type from the sellers. This will enable hospitals to save more lives and become reliable from a patient’s point of view.
                This idea will enable the suppliers (Blood banks and NGOs) to try to increase their sourcing and increase voluntary blood donations in India. The suppliers will try to have captive donors and contact them for regular donations which will boost the blood supply available in India and close the supply demand gap.
Types of instruments (future/option) and contract specifications are to be decided.
Constraints/Challenges: Hospitals need a license to buy and store blood from the MCI (Medical Council of India).

Market size: There are a total of 2609 blood banks in India as of 30th June 2009 out of which there are 753 private hospitals with blood banks.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The internet in numbers

Take a look and you will surely be surprised with some of the data:

Very useful for online marketing people for calculating required numbers.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Is this what we are actually ending up with?

My friend said something he had heard his friend asking: "Are we really working our a**es off to have a higher hard disk capacity, faster processors and download speeds with more high definition resolution so that someone out there can watch more high quality porn in newer devices? "

Well, I don't think he was much off the mark when you consider the numbers below...

Practical Business lessons from social psychology

An excellent read and some readily applicable...

The Christian church keeps up with the times


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hurt quotes

“Spiteful words can hurt your feelings but silence breaks your heart.”

"It's know the end of something great is coming, but you want to hold on, just for one more second...just so it can hurt a little more.”

“Dance as though no one is watching you. Love as though you have never been hurt before. Sing as though no one can hear you. Live as though heaven is on earth.”

“Strength of character means the ability to overcome resentment against others, to hide hurt feelings, and to forgive quickly.”

“I've learned that no matter how good a friend someone is, they're going to hurt you every once in awhile and you must forgive them for that.”

“The difference between friendship and love is how much you can hurt each other”

“You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.”

“I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love” : Mother Teresa

Be a hero today!

"Heroes don't die, they just reload"
Whatever your problems, reload and get going!

The sinful path

Wall Street runs from Broadway to South Street. There's a church at one end and a graveyard at the other.
Don't you think the location is perfect.
The bankers should either go and pray or get themselves killed for putting the world in a mess.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Be free

"You can enjoy life only when you are free, not formal!"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Best enterpreneural books


Don't take life too seriously, you are not going to survive it anyway  :D

Love & war 2

"War (like love) is easier to start than to stop": H.L.Mencken

A strategy of a pirate

Heard something interesting the other day while travelling on the way of the pirates....
It seems pirates use lights to flash at ships near rocky areas and fool them into thinking that the lights are lighthouses. The crew of the ship direct the ship towards the shore and manage only to hit their ships against the rocks. Then the pirates attack the ship and loot it. Interesting strategy...confuse and then take them blind...

What matters now!

One of the best self improvement things you could find on the web today. Contains the gist of many books that are going to be released this year in 2010. All the big authors from various fields join in for this one freely distributable presentation. Just awesome!

3 Stories

Three of the best stories I came across.
We learn a lot through our experiences in life.
The following 3 examples of TURTLES, FROGS and THE PRETTY LADY teach us some lesson.
Enjoy reading the same and do ponder over them.

The Turtles

A turtle family decided to go on a picnic. The turtles, being naturally slow about things, took seven years to prepare for their outing. Finally the turtle family left home looking for a suitable place. During the second year of their journey they found a place ideal for them at last!

For about six months they cleaned the area, unpacked the picnic basket, and completed the arrangements. Then they discovered they had forgotten the salt. A picnic without salt would be a disaster, they all agreed. After a lengthy discussion, the youngest turtle was chosen to retrieve the salt from home. Although he was the fastest of the slow moving turtles, the little turtle whined, cried, and wobbled in his shell. He agreed to go on one condition: that no one would eat until he returned. The family consented and the little turtle left.

Three years passed and the little turtle had not returned. Five years...six years... then on the seventh year of his absence, the oldest turtle could no longer contain his hunger. He announced that he was going to eat and begun to unwrap a sandwich. At that point the little turtle suddenly popped out from behind a tree shouting, 'See! I knew you wouldn't wait. Now I am not going to go get the salt.'

[Some of us waste our time waiting for people to live up to our expectations. We are so concerned about what others are doing that we do not do anything ourselves.]

The Frogs

A farmer came into town and asked the owner of a restaurant if he could use a million frog legs. The restaurant owner was shocked and asked the man where he could get so many frog legs! The farmer replied, 'There is a pond near my house that is full of frogs - millions of them. They all croak all night long and they are about to make me crazy!' So the restaurant owner and the farmer made an agreement that the farmer would deliver frogs to the restaurant, five hundred at a time for the next several weeks.

The first week, the farmer returned to the restaurant looking rather sheepish, with two scrawny little frogs. The restaurant owner said, 'Well... where are all the frogs?' The farmer said, 'I was mistaken. There were only these two frogs in the pond. But they sure were making a lot of noise!'

[ Next time you hear somebody criticizing or making fun of you, remember, it's probably just a couple of noisy frogs. Also remember that problems always seem bigger in the dark. Have you ever laid in your bed at night worrying about things which seem almost overwhelming like a million frogs croaking? Chances are pretty good that when the morning comes, and you take a closer look, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.]

The Pretty Lady

Once upon a time a big monk and a little monk were traveling together. They came to the bank of a river and found the bridge was damaged. They had to wade across the river. There was a pretty lady who was stuck at the damaged bridge and couldn't cross the river. The big monk offered to carry her across the river on his back. The lady accepted. The little monk was shocked by the move of the big monk. 'How can big brother carry a lady when we are supposed to avoid all intimacy with females?' thought the little monk. But he kept quiet... The big monk carried the lady across the river and the small monk followed unhappily. When they crossed the river, the big monk let the lady down and they parted ways with her. All along the way for several miles, the little monk was very unhappy with the act of the big monk. He was making up all kinds of accusations about big monk in his head. This got him madder and madder. But he still kept quiet. And the big monk had no inclination to explain his situation. Finally, at a rest point many hours later, the little monk could not stand it any further, he burst out angrily at the big monk. 'How can you claim yourself a devout monk, when you seize the first opportunity to touch a female, especially when she is very pretty? All your teachings to me make you a big hypocrite The big monk looked surprised and said, 'I had put down the pretty lady at the river bank many hours ago, how come you are still carrying her along?'

[This very old Chinese Zen story reflects the thinking of many people today. We encounter many unpleasant things in our life, they irritate us and they make us angry. Sometimes, they cause us a lot of hurt, sometimes they cause us to be bitter or jealous .. But like the little monk, we are not willing to let them go away.We keep on carrying the baggage of the 'pretty lady' with us. We let them keep on coming back to hurt us, make us angry, make us bitter and cause us a lot of agony. Why? Simply because we are not willing to put down or let go of the baggage of the 'pretty lady'. We should let go of the pretty lady immediately after crossing the river. This will immediately remove all our agonies. There is no need to be further hurt by the unpleasant event after it is over.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A farewell to Victory

 knoA beautiful article on the trends of how the definition of victory in wars has changed over time. Gives pros and cons of different victory methods and specific examples from around the world and what happened where and how.
An 8 page excellent brief of almost all the wars that mattered and matter.

Role reversal

There was a time when my grandmom used to force-feed me, my mom used to take me to hospitals when I was ill and my dad used to take care of searching a school for me and advising me on jobs.
But this week, I threatened my grandmom to eat well or I will force feed her with a spoon, took my mom to a hospital (nothing serious though, just a 5min minor operation ) and am looking out for jobs for my dad and advising him on investments and disinvestments.
Interesting times I live in.
It does feel funny and good to reciprocate in the same coin :)

The wasteful small hundis

Money collecting vessel outside RNLI Kyle of Lochalsh Station - Detail of Coin Slot
I visited a temple yesterday and saw a person struggling to put a Rs.10 note into the pot hundi with only a small slit used to drop coins into it. To try to put the note in it, the person had folded the note into a small square of less than an inch on each side reducing the life of the note by many hand exchanges instantly. Another smarter fellow, just folded the note continuously in the vertical side keeping the height of the note constant. He then kept the note on the slit and pushed it down smoothly into it without the note getting stuck anywhere.
I guess some things are only learnt by observation.

But as I saw the first one, I was left wondering how much the central bank in India struggles and tries to educate the public to not spoil notes (by writing on it, folding it many times, soiling it, staple it, etc). By the rules of the RBI, the notes we now get in the banks are never stapled as it previously used to. The RBI spends crores of Rs. each year replacing old, worn out and soiled notes. It can definitely save a few crores if it bans small hundis and other small collection tin cans with a small slit sometimes used by beggers and sometimes used as donation boxes in shops and during crises.

Another thing that would be useful is for someone to come up with a better donation box design which is one way (money can go in, but wont drop out of the box when turned around or if the box falls). A possible enterpreneural idea? Perhaps...

Monday, January 18, 2010

What the duck

An unexpected default

I saw the following terms and conditions that the prospective candidate has to agree to on the MBA application form for a B-school.

"If I do not appear for the Self Introduction, Personal Interview and Group Discussion, the Selection Committee holds the right to allot a Course to me on the basis of my qualification."

Seriously? I think it just shows how desperate the school is to admit whoever it can.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The highs and lows

Today, a relationship came a full circle. I am now able to see how even relationships can be highly overvalued (eg.: the initial crush) to fair valued (normal pleasant relationship) to undervalued (angry and upset due to an argument) to all the way down next to zero (totally given up on the other person to even communicate with you). The last phrase was next to zero and not zero as there is always some chance and hope that the person will communicate with you at some point in time. This is similar to the stock price of the company never going to exactly zero, but it can go very close to it.
Today, a friend from the last category communicated back. In financial terms, the option value paid off significantly and I am in the money now :)
I don't know if the friendship will ever be as rosy as the days were and if I ever want it to be the same again. I guess I am not going to think a lot about it and just take the improvements as they come, one step at a time.
When you lose something very valuable and get it back out of nowhere, it usually is very exciting. But I don't think it is in case of relationships where you have been hurt very much.

Up and down

Have you wondered or seen some stocks that grow their revenues for a few years at a fast rate and the stock prices grew at an even faster rate to new and newer highs. And then, though the company has not made losses and is still growing, but the stock prices have continuously come down to your buy levels that you had seen before the fast paced growth at a fast pace?

So how is it that a company that continuously grows in revenues and profits is not reflected in the stock price?
The answer is "valuations". What is mattering here is what the market is ready to give you for every Rs earned per share(EPS) or in short the PE ratio. When the company is expected to grow at a fast rate over the next few years (say 4 or 5 years), the company is evaluated at a high PE (Earnings per share multiplied by a high number) and when the growth rate reduces or some adverse scenario occurs/environment changes, the PE ratio assigned by investors reduces pretty drastically (Now Earnings per share multiplied by a small number). Then this is the new fair value of the stock according to the investor. So the stock price nosedives like a submarine taking evasive action when a torpedo is chasing its arse.

Ring a bell?

I watched a couple of uninterrupted hindi songs on late night tv after a year or so. Each song I heard took me to a certain past of my life. One of them sure did remind me of the poolside at AIM where this song was particularly popular and the other one reminded me a friend with whom I am not in touch now.  Well, the memories of the times I lived in is tied to the songs I used to hear or see.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


"If u like me raise your hands if not then raise your standards".

Monday, January 11, 2010

Forward contract and marriage

What is the similarity between a forward contract and marriage?
In both of them, you are not allowed to take advantage of more attractive opportunities once you enter into the contract.
Src: A status message

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The guidance

Pasted here for easy readability:

The Fiction-
"Papa, He took my ball...... took my ball...."

The child came whining at the top of her unbroken virgin voice.

"It's your ball. Right??"

The six year old looked up at her father and nodded.

"So, What are you going to do about it??"

The sharp question put the child to silent thinking.

Her father just smiled.

Author's note-
A child is an individual with it's own thinking, capabilities and creative intuition. More often I come across parents who feed their children on what to do, rather than kindling their own child's problem solving quotient. In a culture like ours, where kids stay with the parent until almost they get married, I think parents guide their children a little too much.
After all, how many times have we heard parents saying- "I made all the decisions for her till now. I care for her. So wouldn't it be appropriate for me to find her a good suitor."
Parenting is a gift, a bliss. To see a child make it's own mistakes, it's own choices and to take part of it's tears and laughs in it's life is a privilege in it's own right.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The sunk feeling

Sometimes, the heart just sinks hearing or knowing something. Something you didn't expect and about something that is close to you and usually it is a big opportunity loss. There is no question of getting angry or taking revenge, since it is a one way loss where only you are the only one hurt and you anyway don't want to cause harm to the other party in any way. Sometimes, there is disappointment and sometimes, not even that, just a sense of loss. One can't really do anything about it. Just accept it and be ready for such things in the future so that it doesn't hurt you as much as it did the previous time.

Utility Softwares

Have you ever wondered where are that hard disk space vanished? Hundreds of GBs?
If so, try this freeware, called "JDiskReport" to find how your space is distributed folder wise, type of files wise and even the top 50 biggest files and then take appropriate action to delete some files and recover space.

Want a new net connection? Or do you want  to save money by optimising your net plan by going fo rthe right one based on usage? Dont know how much usage do you have in a month? Try this software called "Networx" to find out today's downloads, uploads and total as well as weekly, monthly and total till today.

Want to chat with your friends. But they are in different countries. Cant meet up? Well, how about a multi party video conference to see everyone and also hear them?
Register, confirm the identity with the email and login and go to the lobby and tell your friends to do the same.

Woody Allen quotes

“I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens.”

“To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition.”

“Sex without love is an empty experience, but, as empty experiences go, it's one of the best.”

“If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank.”

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”

“When I was kidnapped, my parents snapped into action. They rented out my room.”

“I want to tell you a terrific story about oral contraception. I asked this girl to sleep with me and she said 'No.'”

“I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was either in love or I had smallpox.”

“In my house I'm the boss, my wife is just the decision maker.”

“Sex between 2 people is a beautiful thing; between 5 it's fantastic.”

“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.”

“My brain? That´s my second favourite organ.”

“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.”

“Is sex dirty? Only if it's done right”

“Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television.”

“I've often said, the only thing standing between me and greatness is me”

“A relationship, I think, is like a shark, you know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.”

“Man consists of two parts, his mind and his body, only the body has more fun.”

“Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon.”

“What if nothing exists and we're all in somebody's dream?”

“I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government.”

“I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers.”

“The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don't have.”

“Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once.”

“If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative.”

Friday, January 8, 2010

A new twist

This new year has brought about some new twists. I don't know whether it is for the better or worse, but surely it has complicated things. Valuing stocks that change direction of earnings are difficult. The change in direction, makes relying on past data quite insignificant and difficult to predict the future earnings. Whether this inflection point is a blip in the long term trend or a part of a cyclical process or a permanent change in direction is very difficult to tell. Only time will tell what it actually was.

Happy new year?

Working People/students with a weak heart are not advised to view the following picture.

The best business idea

Love & war

"Everything is war in love and for the fair"

Thursday, January 7, 2010


“The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself”
Src: A status message

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The strange case of Zuma

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma got married for the fifth time on Monday to Tobeka Madiba at the village of Nkandla in northern KwaZulu-Natal province. Zuma, 68, already has two children with Madiba, 37, who is a former bank employee. Zuma, a polygamist, has two wives. While he divorced his second wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in 1998, his third wife Kate Mantsho committed suicide in 2000. He remains married to his first and fourth wife.
Zuma has 19 children as well as two fiances. He also has a son from an earlier affair.

Multiple marriages are allowed in South Africa and form part of the Zulu culture. However, they have been strongly criticised by HIV/AIDS activists, who advocate monogamy as a preventive measure of the disease. South Africa is one of the worst AIDS-affected countries in the world.

In 2005, he was charged for raping a 31-year-old woman, the daughter of an African National Congress member, but was acquitted by a court.However, Zuma stunned the nation and his supporters when he admitted that he had unprotected sex with the woman in spite of knowing she was HIV-positive, and that he took a shower to 'cut the risk of contracting HIV'.

Zuma has repeatedly faced charges of corruption, racketeering and fraud. He was accused of being involved in a $5 billion arms procurement deal. He was fired from the vice president's post in 2005 by then President Thabo Mbeki when the defence deal was revealed. However, he was elected as the chief of the ANC in 2007 and became the president of South Africa in 2009. The corruption charges against him were formally dropped in 2009, and the prosecution cited 'political interference' as the main reason for doing so. Prosecutors admitted that though they had evidence of corruption against Zuma, "it wasn't strong enough to withstand a trial".

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Unique origins of 25 popular products

New products for 2010


Happy New year

"May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions" - Joey Adams

Only theory, no practice


That is my current state. I still dont know how to practically buy/sell certain securities in the market to try and make a few trades.

If anyone can tell me how to do the below as a retail investor in India, please let me know:
* How can I lend securities (stocks I plan to be invested for long) and make some risk free money?
* How do I buy a Nifty call option and how do I exercise it? How do I sell it at a profit when it is in the money?

The length of a coastline

The length of a coastline,” a marine biologist told me, “depends on the scale you use.” It takes a while to figure this out. If you had a map of India the size of an A4 sheet, and a ruler that measured only in inches, your measurement would ignore all the small bays that make South Goa so interesting, and most of our fishing harbours. If, however, you could get a map that covered the floor of a large room, and a flexible scale marked down to millimeters, you would pick up all the little inlets and the jutting promontories.
Suddenly, the coast line would be so much longer. And, if you extended this logic further, to a string that went around every rock and mangrove tree, a third, much longer coastline!

Friday, January 1, 2010

How to handle a woman?

"He had just married an old friend of mine, Paulette Goddard, all woman, magnificently distributed, as feminine as she is female. One night when we were having dinner, I said to Erich (not seriously): 'How do you get along with this wild woman?' He replied: 'Beautifully. There is never an argument.' 'Never an argument?' I asked incredulously. 'Never,' he replied. 'We will have an appointment one evening, and she charges into the room crying, 'Why aren't you ready? You always keep me waiting. Why do you ...?!' I look at her with astonishment and say, 'Paulette! Who did your hair? It's absolutely ravishing.' She says, 'Really? Do you really like it?' 'Like it?' I reply. 'You're a vision. Let me see the back.' By the time she has made a pirouette her fury is forgotten. Another time she turns on me in rage about something, and before a sentence is out of her mouth I stare at her and say breathlessly, 'My God! You're incredible. You get younger every day.' She says, 'Really, darling?' 'Tonight,' I say, 'you look eighteen years old.' And that is the end of her rage.' I was as amused as I was admiring and I said to him: 'Erich, one day I will have to write a song about that.' The song was 'How to Handle a Woman' which ends:

The way to handle a woman is to love her,
Simply love her; merely love her,
Love her, love her."

Alan Jay Lerner, 
The Street Where I Live, Da Capo Press, 1978, pp. 193-4.

The free time of my life

Finally, I have the free time of my life and I started and completed that was pending for more than 5 years. Rationalising the email ids with the right names of the people, removing unknown people from the contacts of one of my email addresses. I wonder why some people have 2 gmail ids itself and keep the friends confused as to which one to send it to. One particular guy had sent me mails from 6 different email ids in these years. Finally I cut him upto to size :D
Now to do the next rationalising by organising files and backing up phone numbers and gear up for the next  phase of life ahead.


When I see deadlines for saying 5pm EST, I thought EST stood for Eastern Standard Time. Well I was right.
Next I thought that was for a standard international time for something in the East of the world (Asia) and mostly that would be Singapore time. The most advanced and important transit country in Asia.
It turns out I was wrong big time. It is the standard time of the eastern sea board of the USA.