5 Balls

Jan 18, 2010

To all you workaholics......Do you agree with this one?

Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you're keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls— family, health, friends, integrity—are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered. And once you truly understand the lesson of the five balls, you will have the beginnings of balance in your life.

From: Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson (Haven't read this book though...found it on the internet)
I know this is true but somehow, can not take it as a fact. It may become clearer with time but not yet....

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Posted by Anshuman at 8:24 PM 5 comments  

Create Your Own “Extended Warranty Fund”

Nice Article on www.fivecentnickel.com.

Some excerpt:

Instead of buying warranty after warranty, why not create an “extended warranty fund.” In other words, whenever a retailer offers you an extended warranty, simply transfer that amount of money into a dedicated savings account*.

If/when problems arise, you can simply pay for the repairs (or replacement) out of your warranty fund. And once the fund builds up to a sufficiently healthy size, you can back off on your contributions.

There are two main benefits to self-insuring in this way. First, you’ll get to earn interest on the money as it accrues. Second, you’ll be the one that gets to keep the cash when your stuff doesn’t break.

Sure, there are bound to be some instances in which you would’ve been better off with the extended warranty, but remember… These warranties are designed to be profitable. Thus, more often than not, you’ll come out ahead by skipping them entirely.

For Full Article, Click Here

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Posted by Anshuman at 1:47 PM 0 comments  

Happy New Year MMX

Jan 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010 to all my readers (handful now!). In this new year, my blog will contain lots of book reviews, commentary on world events, random observations and of course, some chapters from the journey called life.......So, keep reading and be good!

Have Fun!!!

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Posted by Anshuman at 8:16 AM 1 comments  

Been quite a while

Dec 12, 2009

I have told myself umpteen number of times to get back to writing but given the pressures, it just doesn't happen. There are so many things happening around me that writing always takes a back seat.


However, there is no excuse for not being prudent with your hobby. I realized and admit that I love to write and aspire to write a great book sometime in my lifetime. So, to do justice to that dream, I should not quit writing.

2009 was disastrous for my blog. This is my third post in 2009!!!

Anyway, I will try to be nicer in 2010.

Lot of things going around the world. Last week, Bajaj finally came out of the scooter business. "Buland Bharat ki Buland tasveer" is now humming the motorcycle tune. When they discontinued Chetak three years ago, that was a signal. Now, we have the signboard! I remember reading somewhere that during License Raj, there used to be an 18 months waiting time to get a Bajaj Scooter! Now, the wait is eternal!

In Copenhagen, everyone is waiting for the other one to take lead! Developing countries are blaming the developed world for not cutting emissions as signed in Kyoto Protocol. Developed world thinks that it's time for emerging countries to participate and show some respect to the mother earth! It's not that developing countries have not set a target for themselves, but these are not legally binding which makes the developed world nervous. Who's right? I have no idea! Negotiations are still under way!

Tiger woods is famous again, only this time, for wrong reasons!

Sachin was felicitated by Mukesh Ambani........Great Stuff!

Reliance Industries is planning to acquire a controlling stake in the Dutch Chemical Giant, LyondellBasell Industries thereby giving itself a ticket to Forbes 50!

So many things are happening around and I keep complaining that I don't know what to talk about....I am sure I will find something to comment about and you will find some time to visit my blog.....let's keep this going!

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Posted by Anshuman at 10:13 AM 0 comments  

Godrej plans ultra-cheap refrigerators

Sep 6, 2009

One of my colleagues forwarded me this article: Godrej plans ultra-cheap refrigerators

The article left me wondering if India needs a 6L refrigerator. And don't we already have such a product in the market (may be at a higher price point). More so, I was wondering where would this product fit in the price-performance graph?!

In the article, product was compared with Tata Nano the way it would re-establish entry point. I would further wait and watch if it really does that.

Tata Nano can fit 4 people and technically qualifies to be called a family car. As you move up the value chain in your choice of car, you get better performance, safety, style, etc but essentially all of them fit 4 people. That's what a family car is supposed to do.

In this case, I wonder which household, however small, needs a 6L refrigerator. I often observe people complaining about how small a 165L refrigerator is. Imagine keeping the leftover food from the dinner to save for the next lunch on a 6L fridge!

Anyway, this is what I feel about this so-called revolutionary product from Godrej. Let's wait and see if it really changes the market dynamics. I will be happy if I am wrong but I am afraid I won't be!

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Posted by Anshuman at 9:31 PM 1 comments  

The Lexus and The Oilve Tree

Aug 1, 2009

I first read the journalist-author Thomas Friedman 4 years back through his book "World is Flat". While I was reading that book, I knew that I do not have the background on which the author is basing his judgment on globalization. I inquired if he has written another book on the same topic so as to better understand where he is coming from.

That's how I was directed to this GREAT book: The Lexus and The Olive Tree.

This book is one of the most definitive books on globalization. Although written in 1999, it is a timeless book and the explanations and predictions makes perfect sense even now.

"The Lexus" symbolizes the "new" world with new power definition (read as end of cold war), electronic herds, super-empowered individuals, internet, connectivity etc and "The Olive Tree" symbolizes the nation-boundary, culture, religion, identity etc.

The author portrays the constant tension between the lexus and the olive tree and their never-ending attempts to overpower each other. The book has several high points and given that the author is a world traveler, he draws on his experiences in different parts of the world. He has a great observation power and many of his anecdotes are things which we experience everyday but never dwell enough on those incidents to make sense of them.

Picture this: "An Indian woman in traditional saree and heavily laden gold jewellery sitting in an international airport in the USA intently watching two almost-naked fighters wrestling each other on TV and at the same time, typing an SMS on her mobile phone. Next to her, her husband is busy on his laptop catching up on the news on a local indian newspaper website to know what is happening in his hometown." For most of us, this will not attract any attention but to the author, he sees events like this as an amalgamation of lexus and the olive tree.

Overall, I just loved the way the book has been written. Every page leaves you wanting for more and forces you to think hard.

A must read for anyone who wants to make sense of the world!

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Posted by Anshuman at 11:46 AM 3 comments  

Obama's Victory Speech

Nov 5, 2008

Just wanted to put this on my blog as I really liked this speech....

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OBAMA: Hello, Chicago. If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.

A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Senator McCain. Senator McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he's fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.

I congratulate him; I congratulate Governor Palin for all that they've achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton ... and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years ... the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation's next first lady ... Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia ... I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us ...to the new White House.

And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother's watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you've given me. I am grateful to them.

And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe ... the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best _ the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.

To my chief strategist David Axelrod ... who's been a partner with me every step of the way. To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics ... you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy ... who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

"I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime, two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

"Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor's bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!

OBAMA : There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years _ block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers. In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity. Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

For that's the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we've already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight's about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons _ because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America _ the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

AUDIENCE : Yes we can.

OBAMA: When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can.

OBAMA: She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that We Shall Overcome. Yes we can.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can.

OBAMA: A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can.

OBAMA : America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves _ if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

Source: TIMES OF INDIA

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Posted by Anshuman at 9:33 PM 0 comments  

It's so difficult to restart

Oct 27, 2008

It's an idle afternoon on one of the lucky Mondays. It's a holiday on the occasion of Deepawali and I am getting bored here. Suddenly, I thought of my blog and came back to visit it after really long time and felt so nostalgic about it that I sat to write something....

Life was so different last year when I was in School and I had all the time in the world to blog. Even though I had so many assignments to prepare, presentations to make and classes to attend, I always used to get time for blogging.

Now, it's different. My mind is always occupied with something at work. Often times, these are topics on which I can not blog (or should not blog). I am attending some conference calls or replying to someone's email. People always reply back for you to reply again in such a short time (thanks to blackberry age!). You are caught in a perpetual cycle of mails, calls, and meetings.

But I see a lot of professionals who get time for blogging. What am I missing here? What am I not doing right? If I love to write, why am I not getting time to do so? or is it that I am getting time, but not setting the priorities right?

Well, all these questions needs some introspection and I will get back with answers. 2008 was too uneventful for my blog. Just 13 posts (including this one!).

Let's see how does 2009 (still 2 months to go) behave....I am sure I will go find a meaning for my blog in 2 months...Till then, please hang on!


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Posted by Anshuman at 3:45 PM 3 comments  

Bankruptcy for an Investment Bank

Sep 19, 2008

Ed Morrison, a professor and bankruptcy expert at Columbia Law School gives some wonderful analysis on how different Bankruptcy laws when it comes to Investment Bank. The article was written by Roger Parloff.

LINK TO ARTICLE

Enjoy Reading and enlighten yourself....

...and by the way, if you are yet to be educated on Subprime mortgage crisis...Read THIS

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Posted by Anshuman at 12:49 PM 0 comments  

Sunk Cost !?

Aug 5, 2008

What is sunk cost?

Wikipedia defnes sunk costs as the costs that have been incurred and which cannot be recovered to any significant degree.

I just had a first hand feeling of sunk cost when my 10+ hours of research on mobile phones went down the drain. I was told that I am eligible for a handset upgrade and I was given plethora of options to choose from. Having an analytical insect inside my vein, I took the job with all my diligence and spirit. Even going all the way to use a concept selection matrix (pugh matrix) to choose from the vital few to the one model. Finally, after spending several hours reading reviews on various website, I had a winner. My body and soul was all set to accept Nokia E66 as the next phone for them. They were just too eager to meet and the order was even placed to Singtel.

But then came the murphy!!! Hello, did you guys forget me..I mean altogether forgot who I am?? I do exist, you know!

"Mr, You don't qualify for a change of handset yet and I am afraid you will have to wait until your current contract expires next year in Feb."

So, what about all my hardwork? Well, that's what they call - sunk cost….!!!

Afterall, Moto Razr V3 is not a bad phone after all! Not for another 210 days, that is!!

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Posted by Anshuman at 1:01 PM 3 comments