Monday, December 6, 2010

I Choose to Believe

What we call reality is actually our perceived reality. We have physical filters like our vision is sensitive to a range of wavelength and our ears can hear from 20-20kHs. We perceive the reality with our physical and mental filters. The mental filters are called belief.
Belief is so powerful, once we have a belief in place, whatever happens out there. We have our own explanation. Everything looks so logical with our belief in place.
Some common belief systems
1. Everything is happening for a purpose. There are no accidents
2. We are writing our exams. God gives marks
3. Life is to enjoy
4. Everything is random
I don’t want any belief system. I want to see the world as it is. I need no filter
Well, it can be a worthy pursuit, to see as it is. But we humans with so many physical filters, can we see as it is mentally? May be our brains are tuned to work with filters. If we throw all the filters out how will it behave?
If you really want to experience ‘no belief’, then try, “I belief in no belief” (it’s the other way of saying ‘everything is random’)
Even if we fully comprehend the reality, will it be really exciting? What if the reality is just a collection of the total thoughts and belief systems in the universe, then it will be noisy.
When you are talking with your friend near a traffic signal don’t you tune yourself out of the noises so that you can focus on what you really want to hear?
Why can’t belief be a tool to tune in to what we really want to experience?
I see no harm in putting a pleasing ‘green’ filter over my perceived reality. It soothes me and it doesn’t distort the perceived reality.
I choose to believe, in belief.
• I believe that I am worthy of receiving all the abundance, beauty and love of life
• I believe that good things happen to me
• If life throws a challenge, its not to test me and not to correct me. The challenges are for making life more interesting. Challenges are pathways to new exciting experiences.
• I feel extremely grateful for all the wonderful things in life

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Two Flower Sellers

The king was crossing a small village when he saw a temple nearby. The king decided to visit the temple and offer his prayers. The chariot stopped near the temple and the king got down and saw two flower sellers outside the temple.
The king approached the first flower seller and said that he needed the full basket of flowers and asked him how much did it cost.
The flower seller said, “Your Highness! It costs 100 bucks”. The flower actually costs 10 bucks but the flower seller decided to take advantage of the situation. The flower seller thought that the king may never know the actual costs of any commodity. For the king 100 would be a meager amount and he wouldn’t think twice to pay that money.
The king took the basket of flowers and said he would pay after offering his prayers. The king then approached the second flower seller and asked the same questions.
The second flower seller immediately gave the basket of flowers.
The king asked, “How much does it cost?”
The second flower seller replied, “King! It’s a high privilege that these flowers are of use to you. I feel very happy to be of service to you. I need nothing.”
The king went inside the temple and offered his prayers and then came out paid the first flower seller 100 bucks and returned back to his palace.
The king narrated the incident to his minister and said, “I like the second flower seller very much. I want to give him 10 acres of land, please be ready with the necessary paper work”

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Investment Style

• Invest in stocks for long term. When to exit? When you need the money or when the company is not performing.
• You cannot time it rite, try but never wait for the ideal time. Ideal time doesn’t exist. Good enough is always good enough, some of your good enough picks may turn out to be good timed picks in the future. Din’t understand financials, leave it. If you believe in the company’s growth story stick to it.
• The company should be a Indian growth story, shouldn’t be a MNC Subsidiary, shouldn’t be PSU (I don’t care about Navaratna, Maharathna. Govt companies may have lot of slackness and bureaucracy and corruption). The company should be Ethical .
• Shouldn’t be in a cut throat market, like FMCG, Telecom
• If you believe in a sector but can’t identity the companies or if that sector is having cut throat market then invest in a sector MF
• Never invest in a sector or company if you don’t understand them. Energy is a good sector with large good stocks, you don’t understand then leave it. There are many many good sectors and many more good stocks to pick up.
• Shouldn’t be easily duplicated by competitors, egs of easily duplicated FMCG, Telecom, Bank
• Good brand image, less need for advt. Conditions equaling monopoly
• Shouldn’t have flamboyant CEOs (what happens if this CEO goes, how good will be the other CEO, we are investing for a long time rite?). Shouldn’t be first generation entrepreneurs.
• Never invest in IPO
• You cannot invest and forget, have a stop loss I have currently set to 10% trailing stop loss. I also monitor a stop loss of my avg price, so if I newly buy a share, I focus more on the stop loss and if it is been some time then in trailing stop loss. When the stock goes low you've 2 options, buy them or sell you stocks. If you buy you create a fresh stop loss from the avg prize. But you shouldn't keep on buying. You should get out of anchor, if you are proven wrong by the stock market time and again.

Well ofcourse there will be exceptions to these rule, because what is fun in sticking to your principles :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Gift - Review

I saw The Gift in Sony Pix today. The story is about a Psychic Reader Annie, a window with 3 kids. The School principal’s fiancĂ© goes missing and the Principal and the missing girl’s father contacts Annie. Annie dint get any vision during the reading but later gets a vision of the girl’s body being present in Donnie’s pond. There is already a history of hatred between Donnie and Annie. The police find the girl’s body in Donnie’s the pond and the trial begins. Donnie already had an affair with the girl and all the evidences are against him and he is found guilty.
Slowly Annie gets new vision, she starts believing that Donnie dint kill the girl, then the story reaches to a good climax. There is also a side track story of a guy with an unstable mind Buddy , who hates his father.
One of the best scenes in the movie is the interrogation of Annie by the defense lawyer. Annie was beautifully played by Cate Blanchett and Keanu Reeves as Donnie looked convincing, Giovanni Ribisi as Buddy makes his mark in all his scenes, especially, he wanting to talk to Annie the day before her interrogation and what he does to his father that night.
What is interesting about the movie is the portrayal of the Psychic Reader, she doesn’t always get the full picture, her visions are based on the context. She cannot read effectively if the person is skeptic. Also the honesty of Annie’s character shines.
The Gift is one of the best movie about a Psychic reader, the psychic elements are very subtly handled, giving the movie a more realistic appeal.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Matchbox Value

Ramesh said, “I’ve this movie running in my mind. It just runs again and again and it depresses me!”
“What kind of movie is this?”, asked the Psychologist
“Its an incident that happened in the past, an embarrassing moment”
‘Negative Self talk’, the psychologist scribbled in a piece of paper.
The Psychologist smiled, “Run that movie for me”
“I was walking around with my plates in hand, it’s a party hosted by my company. I suddenly slipped and fell into a heap of used plates, my clothes got soiled, I hear laughter, I decide to not to see anyone. I slowly.. carefully got up .. and…. my foot slipped again and I fell for the second time... this time onto the adjoining lawn. A group of ladies standing nearby burst into laughter and others joined the fun.
“People thought that I was drunk and from then on time and again I am accused of being drunk and out of control. Even in office people just wait for me to fumble and then mock at me.”
The Psychologist was still scribbling something in his paper, he looked at Ramesh empathetically
Ramesh exclaimed, “I am actually a teetotaller!”
The Psychologist asked, “When this incident happened?”
“Many years ago!”
“Do people still mock at you?”
“No no that teasing died after some months and many of my colleagues have moved on. But another problem came..”
“The movie!”
“Yes! It just keeps on playing and my embarrassment, my fear that it might happen again just increases each time its played. Please tell me, what should I do in this condition?”, asked Ramesh
“Lets say that I ask you to buy me a Matchbox from the nearby shopkeeper and he sells it for Rs 10. What would you do?”
“I will not buy. The Matchbox is much cheaper. I will look out for shops which sells the Matchbox for the correct price”, replied Ramesh
The Psychologist laughed, “We are good in determining the value for even mundane things like Matchbox, but when it comes to real incident, are we really rational enough to give it the correct value”
Ramesh’s eyes became wide open and his jaws dropped. The Psychologist continued, “If anybody taunts or hurts you…any incident happens to you, just ask yourself how much value you are going to give it, how long are you going to brood over it. Once decided give it only that much. When the negative self talk runs again just remember that its not worth it. You are overpaying for a matchbox!”
From that day on Ramesh started carrying a matchbox. Whenever he felt the negative self talk movie running in his head, he took the matchbox from his pocket and gave it a stern look. Sometimes in an air of excitement, he would burn a matchstick. He calls it, “The Matchstick Value”

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fragile Things - Review

Just finished reading “Fragile Things” by Neil Gaiman. Neil Gaiman’s narration is different and it takes some time to get used to it. His usual focus is on Vampiers, Ghosts and the stories have a lot of adult contents.
If you are reading “Fragile Things” and have decided to put it down then here is my favorite which I think should definitely read :
1. October in the Chair
2. Bitter Grounds
3. Other People
4. Good Boys Deserve Favors
5. How Do you Think It feels
6. Feeders and Eaters
7. Goliath
8. Sunbird
9. The Monarch of the Glen

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mobile Caller Tunes

I once read somewhere that the Mobile Caller Tunes is becoming the #1 market for Digital music. I’ve a very rudimentary mobile phone that serves my purpose. I’m not against smart phones with camera and apps they serve the purpose.
What makes me feel pity to all those innumerable ppl who use caller tunes and different incoming tunes for different callers.
First lets focus on Caller Tunes:
Whenever ppl call you, they will here your caller tunes, you’ll pay a little money offcourse. This is a very beautiful concept for the college goers, but its depressing to see ppl using this technique even if they are in office.
You call a colleague to discuss some important project issue and you hear the caller tune, it just disturbs your focus. Imagine what will happen when the boss calls and hears the tune, he will say to himself, “not very professional guy”
Next lets come to Ringtones, its considered another million dollar business. Whenever some one calls you, you can create a separate ring tone for them.
So if its your Boss, you can put, “Valvae Mayam” etc
The basic idea is that you will be ready when you hear the tone. The fact is you will be ready when you see the number/contact name. And another disturbing fact is your colleagues will know who is calling you!
Why are many ppl not thinking about privacy? Why are they not thinking about the inconvenience to others by their ring tones? Why can’t they make their life simple? Why complicate life?
Once you are into setting ringtones/caller tunes you’ve to change the songs every month to let ppl know that you are trendy. Just an other unnecessary waste of time and money.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why focus the Flaw?

I love stamps, they are a thing of beauty. The Miniature sheets are much more beautiful and could be literally framed in the walls. I’ve been collecting Indian Stamps, b’coz, its easy to collect since I’m an Indian (living in India) and want to know more about India.
What I find very strange as I browse through sites dedicated to Indian Stamps, the focus is more towards finding defect in a stamp! These collectors take all the pains to identify a defect and say, “Hey! I found this flaw. I’ve these flaw stamps. Wanna buy?”
Why these ppl are focusing on defects and why they want to keep the price of a defect piece more than a correct piece!
I dono if I will trade my stamps but if at all I do I will say, “I’ve this beautiful stamps and they are absolutely perfect. Do you want them?”

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Trump: Think Like a Billionaire - Review

I heard this Audio book. This is not a "How to" book, its like a Journal.. not a very interesting journal.
Donald Trump is a very confident guy, but too much confidence is not really good. He dint spent much time for this book, he just gave his daily Journal as publication.
This book gives insights of the typical day of Donald Trump, how he interacts with his employees and contractors. How well he takes care of his estates and buildings.
Also gives more details about The Apprentice, talking in detail about the Apprentice is a waste of time. How will ppl reading the book in another 20 years will feel about the Apprentice. They will not know and will not care about the Apprentice program.
All these things could've been placed as articles in a magazine, but any book should strive to be timeless. This book failed in that regard.
My verdict.. not worth your time.

I am a collector

I know it …I know it all these years of living that I’m a collector. .i love collecting. It started with bus tickets train tickets then I settled to stamp collecting during my school days. At that time I dint know about Indian commemorative stamps, so I used to go to book stores and buy only foreign stamps. I loved the colors and arts in stamps, I had no thematic collection(even now I dint have any thematic collection, I collect whatever I like). After some years the stamp collecting season got lost and so I left it.
Also I saw the proliferations of telecommunication, with emails, chat, web cam and very cheap calling rates there was a severe decline in snail mails. Couple of years ago I went for a Japan stamp exhibition in Chennai where I came across a Philately President in Chennai, who gave me some details of the Philatelic wing of Indian Post. Then I went to the Anna Salai Head Post Office and was the Commemorative stamps, they were all very beautiful and informative. I immediately subscribed for the mailing services. Also I fell in love with Miniature Sheets.
I believe this is a good investment of my time and money. Philately.. here I come!