Sunday, July 20, 2008

In the pursuit of happiness

I am making a hell lot of mistakes in exams - some due to lack of understanding of concepts, others due to lack of study and practice. But should it make me frustrated and unhappy as it's making one of my friends who is in the same condition as me? No I would say. No compromise with happiness. To quote John Galt of Any Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged' – 'Life is the reward of virtue – and happiness is the goal and the reward of life.' Mistakes are nothing but learning experiences. It's worth (and needed) to ponder over the reasons and ways of making rectifications but not at the cost of one's happiness. I will say I am happy that I made the mistake. Yes, I mean it. Because I now know what is right. Every time I made a mistake I introspect (rather, I try to) – whether I should moan over it or learn and let it go. When I understand the futility of being frustrated, I become comfortable accepting my mistake. I reevaluate my goal, values and purpose. I recognize the reality and I move on never letting myself be unhappy.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sunday morning at Maithon Dam

Saturday evening we, Avimanyu - my friend and me, were mulling over the place we can escape to, the next day, to have some break from the drudgeries of our everyday life. We had to wrap it up in a single day. So we were searching for only nearby places of interest. I suggested Susunia Hill near Bankura. But after enquiring with few of the relatives and friends we mark it out from our list as the place was not safe enough at that time of the year and there wasn't much to see around. After some more contemplation and conversation we finally decided to drive down to Maithan Dam on the river Damodar, next morning.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Oil price hike and the bandh in Bengal

The drama opposition parties namely BJP, Left and some other regional parties like TMC are staging in response to the price hike of Petrol, Diesel and Cooking Gas (LPG cylinders) by the India Govt. today makes any man of reason to watch with the smile in the face but with an undercurrent of anger and pain. Everyone knew the price hike was coming. It was being unsustainable for the oil marketing companies (OMCs) like IOC, HPCL and BPCL to retail oil at the prevailing prices.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Digital Divide

Applications for passports in India have gone online. My brother has applied recently for the same. The procedure is straight-forward. You need to visit the passport website (, fill-in some simple information about yourself like name, DOB, address etc and then submit the form. It will ask you to choose a date for appointment. Next it will generate a unique key and a partially filled-up 6-pageform in .PDF format. This form has the appointment date and time printed. You have to take a printout of this form. You can reprint the form later, too, with the help of the key. You need to fill-up the rest of the fields by hand and meet the official at the passport office on the appointed date with relevant supporting documents. Quite simple!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Topper’s Story…

The West Bengal Secondary examination result was out last Wednesday and as expected there were handfuls of students scoring close to 100 percent marks! As the board has stopped publishing toppers' list, the TV channels and newspapers have taken over the tasks themselves. If you happen to switch on your TV and tune in to some local 24X7 news channels on the big day you will definitely find the reporter interviewing the crème de la crème. And one of the common questions you would find being asked and answered is 'How long did you use to study?'

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Blame game in Indian Politics

The politics in Indian context (or may be elsewhere) is replete with blame game. As if the role of the opposition party is to oppose only –without considering its merit! Take the example of the opposition parties', namely BJP and the Left, attack on the UPA government over the rising inflation. The Consumer Price Index based inflation is rising due to various reasons and the causes of rising prices are not limited within the Indian border.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Saving Paper – learnt the hard way

I shifted my home recently. This is the first time I am changing my address in over three years. An integral part of it is packing my belongings. I just had a nightmarish experience while packing the papers – papers of all kinds – news paper, bills, printed papers, magazines etc. During my stay I have printed numerous documents at office and at home- from power point presentation to credit card statements. Then there are hundreds of Telegraphs and Outlooks dumped every day and week, respectively at the corner. Cable bill, Mobile bill, Credit card bill – and many other bills and documents stacked every nook and corner of my room. I needed to check whether the paper is relevant, confidential, required and hence whether to take it along or leave it. For example the purchase invoice of my Bluetooth headset needed a look for whether the warranty period is over or not. Literally I was sitting in the center of a galaxy of littered papers.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sub-prime crisis, dollar depreciation, Credit crunch, US recession, Nosedive of Indian indices, Fed rate cut, rising oil prices….what’s the connection

Currently the financial market through out the world is going through turmoil. It started with the sub-prime crisis. The US banks and financial institutions gave loans to credit unworthy borrowers at high rates. Rising housing prices in the US prompted the borrowers to assume mortgages, thinking that they can refinance at more favorable term later. But the housing bubble which began in 2001 and peaked in 2005 started deflating in 2006. As a result, the sub-prime borrowers defaulted in paying back the loan. They were either unable (as the interest rate was high) or unwilling to pay resulting in foreclosure (taking over of the property by the lender). The bank and other financial institutions, i.e. the mortgage lenders securitized the mortgage payments and credit/default risk and passed it to third party investors via Mortgage Back Securities (MBS) and Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) to corporate, individual and institutional investors spread across the globe. As the value of the mortgage assets declined, these investors faced significant losses. Major Banks and financial institutions around the world have reported losses of U.S. $170 billion as of February 2008. Bear Stearns, the Wall Street invest bank is one of the prominent examples.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Girls Smuggling Racket

She is around 11 or 12 years of age. She studies in class V. Her name is Beuti. She is going to be married on 11th Feb to a cook on the day of Saraswati Puja. Stunned? This is true. And this is going to happen not far from Kolkata.