Friday, May 30, 2008


People who are loaded with money can buy any thing they want without batting an eyelid. But normal people who have limited money at their disposal should carefully consider the following points before buying an expensive equipment:

1) Do I really need this product?
2) Can I do without it?
3) What is likely to happen if I don't buy it now?
4) Am I making an impulse purchase just to show off to my friends and neighbours?
5) Can I use the money for some more important thing needed in the house?
6) Have I studied the features and benefits of the product?
7) Have I compared this product with two or three other similar products?
8) Is the price comparable or too high?
9) Have I got the opinions of others who are using this product?
10) Do I need all the features of the product?
11) If some features can be removed will the price come down?
12) If I delay the purchase for some months will the price come down?
13) What is the guarantee for the product?
14) What does the guarantee involve---free replacement of the product or replacement of parts only or only repairs?
15) Will free service be provided during the guarantee period?
16) Is the service facility close by?
17) Will you get spare parts easily?
18) Do you have ready cash or are you going to take a loan?
19) If you are taking a loan what will be the interest charges?
20) If you are taking a loan, can you pay it back without much trouble?

I agree there are too many points to consider. But remember you are going to spend your hard earned money and you should not regret after making the purchase.

I am giving these guidelines free of charge. If they are useful while making an important purchase, I hope you will send me a note of thanks.




Thursday, May 29, 2008


Chew on this and see if you can digest it.
Good luck and all the best wishes.

Monday, May 26, 2008


The other day I was standing at the entrance of our building and looking idly at the empty road. As I was looking an elderly man wearing clean clothes, chappals and spectacles holding an umbrella came slowly walking down the road. He seemed to be taking one painful step after another painful step. His full concentration was on the road. He seemed to be avoiding the pot holes and stones on the road. The entire process of walking looked very agonising. I was telling myself that this is what happens when you grow old. What about my present health condition?

My wandering mind immediately transported me to my younger days. I took part in road and beach races. I could run 10 miles non stop from Labour Statue to San Thome and come back. I went cycling with my friends from Thousand Lights to St. Thomas Mount, ran up and down the hill many times and came back cycling. I attended the Republic Day Parade at New Delhi after training and stringent selection in various Camps in Chennai, Kottagiri and Red Hills. I represented our college in 800 meters and 400 meters hurdles. I went to the gim and did weight training. I swung on the roman rings and worked out on parallel bars and horizontal bar. I used to go to the swimming pool on weekends with my friends and float on my back for an hour or more.

Then what happened. I got a job and stopped doing exercise. I had plenty of money or at least I imagined that. I ate well, drank well and did every thing in excess. Even if I didn't feel like eating, I overloaded my tummy because the company was footing the bill. I will not even walk a short distance because I had a motorcycle and subsequently a car. I read some where that if you can sit,don't stand and if you can lie down,don't sit. I adopted this policy to the hilt. What was the benefit? I developed diabetes and I didn't even bother about it until it became quite serious. I got aches and pains in my body. Now I have reached a stage where I cannot even walk continuously at a fast pace even for five minutes. I have to pause to get back my breath. My body was like a well oiled machine before and now it has become rusty and creaking under my weight. Have you heard of the saying, "USE IT OR LOSE IT." Don't you think I am a glaring example?

As these thoughts were going on in my mind, the old man slowly and painfully walked to the end of the road and disappeared round the corner. I came back to my house, put on the TV and slowly drifted into a deep slumber. God is there to look after all creatures both big and small. What do you say?

Sunday, May 25, 2008


One boss told me, "Save for the rainy day!". I didn't save. See, I am poor. The fact is did I have enough money left to save with the cost of living going up like hell and with the piddly salary I was getting to support a family with three children. That is another question.
Another boss said to me,"Don't respect grey hairs. Respect young thinking!" My hairs are grey now. Who will respect me? I think I should dye my hair jet black.But what about the wrinkles on my face? Do a plastic surgery, I suppose.
Yet another boss screamed at me,"I knew you will mess it up even before I sent you there!" Then why did he send me in the first place? He is very clever because if he had to go there he would have messed it up himself.
There was another boss who yelled at me,"I know you are good in sales but I will see to it that you are out of the company!" He was annoyed because I didn't lend my car to his wife for shopping.
Then there was a boss who said to me when I went to wish him for the new year with my family," I don't have tea or coffee or snacks. You can have as much whisky as your want and eat any amount of cake and cashewnuts." You see, he was stocking up these things in his house out of the company's money which was supposed to be spent for giving new year's gifts to important customers. He thought I didn't know about it.


The best laid schemes
Of mice and men
Often go wrong
( Robert Burns)
Life is no straight and easy corridor along
Which we travel free and unhampered,
But a maze of passages,
Through which we must seek our way
Lost and confused, now and again
Checked in a blind alley.
But always, if we have faith,
God will open a door for us,
Not perhaps one that we ourselves
Would ever have thought of,
But one that will ultimately
Prove good for us.
What would you do if you if weren’t afraid?
When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.

Change happens.
Adapt to change quickly.
If you do not change, you can become extinct.
( Dr. Spencer Johnson)
Don’t worry about what’s ahead.
Just go as far as you can:
From there you can see farther.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I was standing at the Trivandrum KSRTC bus terminal with my son Francis Xavier. I was taking him for his first job interview at Nest Technologies at the TECHNO PARK. It was 8.30 in the morning. The bus station was crowded. I was looking around for our bus. At that time a super fast came to a screeching halt. I saw the passengers get down from the bus. The last to come out was the driver and the conductor. They were chatting amiably and walking towards the office. The conductor had the journey's collection in his hand bag. The bag was bulging with money. He held the bag very casually as he had been doing it every day. After all, the bus stand was teeming with people. He and the driver were tough, burly people. There was also a police 'flying squad' parked nearby. Who can even dare to think of doing any thing to the bag? As he was leisurely strolling, chatting, laughing and carelessly holding the bag, I saw a young man walking briskly towards the conductor from the opposite direction. When he came close to the conductor, he greeted him as though he was his close friend. The conductor although not very sure greeted the man in response and smiled at him. As the conductor smiled the young man bent down, grabbled the bag and started running. The conductor couldn't believe that such a thing could happen. He was shocked for a few seconds. We also watched all this thinking his friend was playing a prank. Suddenly the conductor started screaming, "My bag, my bag! Thief, thief! Somebody catch him! He is running with my money!" He started running after the thief. Only then the crowd realised that the conductor was robbed. Some people started running behind the conductor chasing the thief. In the mean while the thief had already reached the far end of the terminus. The dozing police 'FLYING SQUAD' woke up from their slumber. The police jeep started and went after the thief with the siren screaming. The wily robber ran into the narrow lanes and bylanes and escaped. The police men came back to vent their fury on the already upset conductor. They told him that he fully deserved to be robbed and chided him for being so careless with his money bag. They advised him to go and give a written complaint in the police station. They assured him that they will definitely catch the thief and restore the money.
The conductor was wailing. He has to pay the money to the office. He will have a black mark on his service record. His salary raise for that year will be held back. Too many problems for the conductor for just being careless.
So friends, be careful with your valuables in crowded places because the friendly looking person standing next to you smiling very innocently could be a robber. Who knows?
Do you have any real life incidents like this? Share it with me. I will be delighted to hear from you. The Third and final story will appear later. Bye for now.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Here are three cases in which thieves walked off with their booty although the places were crowded and it was broad day light. In one case I was the victim.
FIRST STORY: I was traveling by train from Chennai to Calcutta to attend the annual Sales Managers Conference. The train stopped at Visakapatnam Junction. I was sitting in the First Class compartment with co-passengers. Opposite me a lady was sitting. She was traveling alone. Since the train halted she was idly looking out of the window. Her hand bag was at her side unprotected. A well dressed young man came, sat next to her and started talking to her. The way he was talking to her we thought he was her relative. We paid no attention to them and were busy ordering for tea and snacks. I saw the young man telling her something to the effect that her relative was on the station looking for her. So she started looking out of the window again. In the meanwhile the whistle blew, the train started moving and started to slowly gather momentum. The woman was still looking out of the window. The young man took her bag very casually, walked up to the door and jumped out of the moving train. Although we saw this we did not suspect the young man of robbery since we presumed he was her relative. The woman was still looking out of the window searching for her relative. Soon the train picked up speed and left the station. After a while the woman stretched her hand to take bag. The bag was not there. She turned to the place where she kept the bag. Suddenly she started to scream, "my bag, my bag! Where is my bag? Did any of you see my hand bag?" We told her that her relative took it. She started wailing, "He is not my relative. He robbed my bag. Oh, what will I do now. I had money, my ticket and a gold chain in that bag. What will I do now? What will I do?" She was crying inconsolably. We tried to pacify her. On hearing the commotion, the ticket checker came there. When he was appraised of the robbery, he advised her to get down at the next station and register a complaint with the Railway Police. He told us that such robberies regularly take place. The robbers are well dressed and they look like gentlemen. They are smooth talkers. It is difficult to catch them because they commit the robbery when the train starts moving and jump out of the speeding train with their booty.
We felt foolish and very stupid to let the robbery take place right in front of us. When you travel by public transport be wary of strangers talking to you and keep a close watch on your belongings.
The remaining two stories will follow. Bye, till then.
If you have similar real life stories, I will be delighted to hear them.


Saturday, May 17, 2008


When children are small they are innocent, they trust you completely and they don't go by how you look. They want to play with you, laugh with you, follow you, ride piggy back on you, sit on your shoulders, and the smallest faces you make sends them into peals of laughter. In fact, their whole world revolves around you. They will even write letters to Father Christmas and give them to you for posting. When they come back from mid-night Mass, they will run around the house searching for their gifts. Whey they find their gifts, the excitement and screaming is unbelievable. They are ever ready to come with you whether you go for a walk or a park or to a restaurant or even to your office as long as they can be with you. When you go to your office in the morning, they will cling tight to you and will refuse to let you go and sometimes cry so badly that you feel like shedding tears. When you come back from office, they will come running to you ready to help you to carry your briefcase and their joy to see you back is boundless. You can tell them the silliest stories and they will listen to you with rapt attention and ask for more similar stories. Small gifts will make them very excited.
What happens to them when they grow up? They develop a mind of their own. They have a separate identity. They have their own friends and interests. They will not hold your hands. Even if you call them they will not come with you. If you say something they will disagree with you. They will even tell you that you don't know any thing. I am fully aware that nature makes them like this when they grow up because they have to survive in a tough competitive world.
Oh, my God, what happened to my little children? I struggled so hard to bring them up. I made so many sacrifices to provide for them. I was so happy with them. Will I ever get my little children back?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


There is an old lady living close by. Her husband passed away many years back. He was in the Air Force. So she is getting a pension. She has two daughters.
The eldest daughter is married. She has one child. Her husband met with a road accident and lost both his legs. She is working and supporting the family.
The second daughter is married. She is working. She has two small children. Her husband is jobless and he is living separately. She is supporting the family.
The old lady is staying with the younger daughter. She cooks, cleans the house, washes piles of clothes, feeds the grand children and generally takes care of the house. The daughter normally has night duty and sleeps in the day time.
Does this mean that women can take care of themselves without husband's help or is this a tragedy of life? Can someone enlighten me?