How to pick a friend

Ask my mother and she can give you a long list of friends who ruined me to no end. It started in my early years, when I gave my maths notes to my friend to show as hers, and I ended up beaten on hands by the class teacher. While this is one of the most talked about stories to confirm about my naivety at my mom’s –  the list is really really long. I’ve have always been gone with gut feel and suffered many a times due to the “gut”.  My mother fed me enough foods for gut that it has a strong sense of intuition and guides me towards her.

There is just one problem with gut. When you fall, you fall really hard. So while it is generally safe to go with intuition, there is  one more additional rule I’ve added while picking friends – over a period of time. That is –

Observe how you feel after having an interaction with them.

Do you  feel down?

Do you feel bad about yourself,  because you spent all the time bitching about others ?

Do you feel hatred, because of the excessive inputs on a particular topic?

Do you feel peaceful because the person let you the way you are, and let you just be?

Do you feel tired, as the other person treated you like a hearing dustbin with no regard to your yawns and frustrated time checking ?

If you listen to your feelings carefully enough –  they often guide you to who is an absolutely NO NO. Rest – I think the feelings get stronger as we interact more and it gets easy to take a decision.

Offlate, I’ve used this to stop a friendship from forming,  broken a long friendship of couple of years and used this to strengthen one more.  No telling which one’s which –  but you get the point.

Use this and tell  me how it went. Have a good day and keep rocking!!

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The Joy of Taking Pictures!

Over the  new  year, we went to Shivana Samudra falls. Although the water level was depressing to see, and we wondered how authorities can be so indifferent – there was one guy who came to us with DSLR.  “Sir, 30 rs photo! ” .  In the age of selfies, who takes a picture for money?  I saw him roam around 10-15 people and everyone just shooed him away. He  came to us hopefully, as we were a big group and had elders in it.  I wanted to get one clicked anyway, and I nudged hubby – ” Let him take one! It’s just Rs. 30!!”.

Finally we all stood  at “THE SPOT”  where the photographer takes the pics. Few pics all of us, few pics 4 of us.  We went to the place where he was taking instant pics – and the size we wanted  was Rs. 200 😀  30 rs was more for marketing which I fell – after few minutes of husband’s glares and us protecting ourselves from the groups  of monkeys surveying for anything to lay their hands on – we finally had the pictures in our hand.

Hard Copies!!!  It was such a pleasure to see the pics. They came out real good and there  was some kind of satisfaction in holding your memory in your hand rather than bits and bytes. Once In a while, I think we all should indulge in getting photos clicked and getting serviced – although this is the generation of self service 🙂

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Stuff I Love : MoneyControl Podcast

Heya folks!  I know it’s not raining and pouring posts over here.  It’s just that I have been little lazy and a teeny bit occupied with other things.  I have podcast apps on my phone since long, and the latest addition is the Podcast Addict App. I love Money Control podcast on that, because they do audio bits of about 10-15 minutes on the burning issues.

Why is the Indian currency down?

What and how of fake news?

What did Raghuram Rajan mention about NPAs?

I generally do not capture the full essence of what the  host Rakesh says, but it’s pretty much worth it. Get it here –

https://www.moneycontrol.com/podcast/

Have a good day and keep rocking!

Stuff I Love : Food Fitness Fun Youtube Channel

There is lot of experimentation I do with my diet, moods and daily routine.  I like to shuffle things around in the house, in my head so they don’t look or feel the same. Having gone through few dozens of youtube channels on food – mainly for simple, easy and  nutritious food, finally I stumbled upon this one. While self made  is good, a little qualification doesn’t hurt.

This youtube channel Food  Fitness Fun is run by Manju Malik ( Nutritionist) and Satvanti Singh. Their videos are short, and contain more information in each video( e.g. 5 barley recipes).  The entire recipe is written down in the  description of the video – so you actually don’t need to play it.  Manju likes to play around with Oats  a lot, they have a special section with Oats Recipes.  So far, I tried her Multinut Chikki, Overnight Oats and Oats  Sprouts Chilla and Banana Oats French Toast They were easy to make, and came out extremely well.  Kids  loved it, and I will have to keep making them on demand.

There is no fluff, advertisement and name calling. These days Youtube channels  are a muck and this one comes along as fresh air. There  are talks on nutrition and she gives us a lot of detox drinks, pre and post workout drinks. Being  a healthy eater, I have all the things in my pantry.  Looking at her recipes, you would feel most of them have been invented  by her and hence won’t be found in regular youtube channels.

Guys, give it a try. If you have kids – try this out first 🙂

Oats Banana French ToastOats Banana French Toast

Have a good day  and keep rocking!

 

Stuff I Love : The Ken Subscription

Starting with this blog post, I will try to tell you the  stuff I like and why.  This is more of a personal chronicle, but I would  strongly urge you to scan the source I mention here. These will include websites, youtube channels and obscure books. The  people I love.

Starting today is a digital media subscription I took recently – The Ken Website subscription. It costed  me Rs. 3,245 for an entire year. I have read about the founder Rohin Dharmakumar, when I was working in the startup space, dabbling in a startup media startup TheTechPanda. Things went differently, and I was out of it, but thanks to my good memory – I remember the names quite well. When I saw they were launching a digital media startup,  I was one of the first ones to express interest.  While The Ken formally launched in October 2016,  I read their free piece and kept waiting. Ever since, they have sent me one email everyday – exactly at 08.05 am.  I would have read hardly 10 pieces from them – until I subscribed.  Now,  the first thing I read is the article from The Ken, before I start my day.   So, why did I subscribe?

  1.  The cover letters that come in email everyday.  Written by the author of the piece, they set an excellent tone and to me, it feels as if the author is sitting in front of me, and is now about to start their story telling.  They have recently started weekend posts as well, and the first one is just tooooo goood.
  2. Well researched content and long form journalism. After you read the piece, you feel you have achieved something – it gives you that high, that sense of satisfaction. It’s very close to drinking a cup of  Filter coffee 🙂
  3. No Agenda, No mud slinging and no hiding of  Investors. I have seen them mention Vijay Sekhar Sharma as an investor everytime  PayTM is mentioned.
  4. Narrow Categories and in depth coverage. They write on Technology, Business, Startups, Science  and Health care.  I love these  guys for staying away from Politics.
  5. Consistent quality.  It’s not easy to maintain the quality of the publication – when you are running purely subscription based and not showing me the nasty google ads everytime I come to your home. Recently, these guys became profitable and I was cheering for them from my home desk.

The Single most reason why I subscribed  –

Reading The Ken makes me happy.

It’s has its place in the list of habits I like to build really long term.  They have a free read every week, please read it for a few weeks – I promise you will be hooked, just like me.

Have a good day and keep rocking!

 

Old School or Old Already?

I got a whatsapp from my otherwise very busy husband mid day.

“How’s the bike?  If you can’t drive – you should take cab for the next few days”.

I smiled. My bike fell and got few bruises on the way to work that morning. He was always the one to worry – about things small and big, between both of us. I responded – “Choo Chweet” followed by few smileys of hugs and kisses.  Or I thought I should. Instead, all I said was – “Bike looks manageable, let’s see”.

I could not get myself to send the emojis to convey the exact emotions going on in my mind right now.  In fact, the only emoji I have ever used is the SMILEY.  Not even blushing or winking or anything else.  Ofcourse, my husband is close to me. But, we have never managed to convert our effection digitally.  After this strange realization, I took some time and scrolled over our conversations in the last few months.

Him – “When are you coming home?”

Me – “Feed the kids, I will be late”

Him – “Ok”

Can you see love in this?  No smileys and no expressions.  However, he never asks how late i will be, or what meetings he has so he cannot feed the kids. I looked back to emails few years ago – same. Regular mundane stuff, not a letter more. I guess no matter what the external appearances reveal – some things remain old school, and never migrate digital.  And I’m glad it didn’t.

 

The Cost of Convenience

Call it coincidence or a master stroke of misfortune – both my cook and maid have taken leave for exact 4 days.  I think we managed to sail through the planned leave days – but the next day was working, and they both didn’t turn up.  I wasn’t contributing very heavily for the planned leave part – so I decided to do the heavy lifting on the unplanned leave( 5th day).  This coincided perfectly with the book I was reading – Homo Deus.

Certain strange thoughts crossed my mind, once they both resumed their work the day after. The book explains how – Humans will give up meaning in search of power.  How, we will give control of every single thing for free. Best examples – Facebook and Google. Recently, Facebook was in news for this –

Facebook admits it poses mental health risk – but says using site more can help

So, Wah. You admit that you cause misery and yet want people to believe that using more of you will bring me out of it.  I was relating this to a very strange thing – the household help. When the cook was away, we took turns to cook and the food was delicious. We started ranting about how the cook always cooks the “same” taste and how nice it is if we cooked ourselves. However, ironically – every single person at home is relieved to see the door bell ringing at 6 in the morning : a signal that cook is here.

When we cleaned our own vessels, mopped our floors – we marvelled at how neat they were. Again – repeat feelings when the maid turned up at 8 in the morning.  I told her –  Wash the boxes first, we are getting late!

We gladly gave up neatness, and variety in taste for convenience.  One can argue – you would have gained lot of extra time, which is spent in doing something useful. While it looks correct theoretically  – I cannot explain where “ALL” the free time I gained by employing a cook and maid went. I slogged a little more at work ( hey, dinner will be ready anyway), I overslept than necessary, and sometimes – spent decent time with kids.

Is the convenience worth the sacrifice? I don’t know. But, this is how we are used to, since last 3 years. Cook first entered our life when I was about to deliver my second kid, and I had plans of continuing  work after delivery.  A family of 7 including a new born – was too much with a mother in law, stickler for timings.  The cook came out of necessity, but now we are used to her.  Can I manage without her? Yes, with lot of planning and little hardwork. Will I manage without her? Hell, NO.

I think when I started using Facebook or Google – my need was driving a lot of it’s usage. Connect with old friends, market the startup blog I was driving at that moment and read up conversations on popular groups.  Google came to my rescue to discover new recipes and mostly to deepen the few hobbies I have in life.  But, now – I think I have better way of doing things instead of going to Generic Google search. Customized websites, and lot of non-facebook chatter in concentrated forums. But, Will I ever give up Facebook and Google? Hell, NO.

I think eventually that’s what gonna happen to humans as well.  We will start giving more power to Algorithms seemingly to meet a business need- but once they start ruling us : there’s no looking back.  The concept of Algorithms ruling Humans comes from Homo Deus, and it looks quite convincing to me – atleast comparing with the way I live today.