Saturday, October 30, 2021

House Painting!

 For the first time perhaps, I went ahead and got the house painted. It was rather significant because I feel its the first time I am also acknowledging that this is my house - something which I never did all these years. The shifts happen subtly and I don't know what led me to take this drastic action and this feeling o ownership but it did.

Painted House

For starters I called Rajesh Chetty my good friend from school who has this company called Om Sai Andhra Paints and being the paint man, I asked him tentatively what it would cost etc. He was cool as ever and told me he would send a painter over and that he would take a look at give me an estimate. One thing led to another and Balraj (a huge Junior NTR fan and a wannabe extra in films) came and estimated the cost. He said it would take four or five days and I would need this much paint and other stuff and he would charge me so much for labour. Rajesh paid a visit too which was very nice of him, and revised the costs etc and said he would supply the paints from his factory and the job was done. 

Balraj and his bunch came and began work - on days he would even start work at 630 am, and would work on till 930 pm. Very steady and professional, breaking only for lunch and dinner, clearing up after their work, they did a patient and professional job. When they finally left I was actually feeling sad to see them go.

Now the house looks good. We got some part of the outside wall painted as well, the gate. I remembered Dr Patnaik telling me to paint the house when he was around, and I wished he was there to see. I am sure he must be happy knowing I finally did. I am sure Mom and Dad must be too - knowing that I finally owned the house.

Good on you 35, Sundar Nagar! Thanks for giving us shelter and a secure, loving space all our life!       

Thought for the Day - Possibilities and Ease

 Possibilities open up when we take risks.

Anon - Daksha School Pench Trip 


Ease happens when we let go of control.

Thought for the Day - Break Patterns to Make Relationships Fun

 To make life easy, create patterns and routines. To make relationships fun, break patterns.

Life is best when we have less choices to make and things that don't need thought are part of a pattern. But with relationships patterns can be a killer - so break patterns and make them exciting!


Friday, October 29, 2021

A Simple Book of Living - Ruskin Bond

 It's a beautiful little book full of simple thoughts and wise insights from a man who wears it all very lightly. At eighty plus Ruskin Bond says he has been fortunate to have found happiness in reading a book, in companionship and in nature.

His life has been spent pretty much in Dehradun and Mussoorie where he lives and so much of his writing is centred around it. This book is a collection of thoughts, short ones, poetic almost, some poems too. About nature, about beauty, about happiness, hope, love, friendship, memories, people, flowers, birds - he writes about subtle thoughts that connect them all. Like his wanting to sit on the wall and observe the world and getting some inspiration, of creating a world of his own while the world is engaged in wars, of a stolen kiss, of an old lover, of trusted friends, of writing to make a living. Fantastic.

Don't grasp he says quoting Lao Tzu - the world will slip away!

The number of birds and animals and flowers and trees he names (he also claims he makes some up if he doesn't know their names which I think is a sound philosophy) - marigold, cherry, thrush, oak, peach, plum, apricot, walnut, magpie, kokla bird, redstart, pear tree, Himalayan chir, pygmy owl, barking deer, blackberry, mynah, spruce tree, hawk cuckoo, geranium, nasturtiums, daisy, raat ki rani, field mouse, nightjar, ferns, wild ginger, snake lily, cobra lily, agrimony, lady's lace, wild geranium, babblers, bulbuls, dandelion, wild begonia, wild sorrel, convulvulus, thorn apples, nettles, antirrhinums, honeysuckle, oleander, green backed tits, king crow, kastura, barbet... I will now check these and find out how they look like.

It's a beautiful book. A perfect gift. One of those which you don't want to give away to someone because you want to read it again and again. Its a nice, safe space to o, Mr Bond's world.  

Monday, October 25, 2021

Axone - Movie

 2019. A group of youngsters from the North Eastern states attempt to cook a special pork dish Axone pronounced "Akoni" (apparently very smelly and not popular in the neghbourhood when cooked) for one of their friends who is getting married that day. Apart from showing the travails of the community in our cities, he also shows how many tribes, dialects and beautiful customs there are in the North East. Much recommended. Lovely characters and a nice breezy touch!


A Writer's Collective - First Meeting

So Sagar and I decided to go ahead and the idea of having a writer's informal meting to throw some ideas out. We invited AP, Pallavi and Sheetal Kiran. Sagar has worked on several films and directed 'Nootokka Jillala Andagadu' recently, AP produced and directed 'Premaku Raincheck, Pallavi is a DoP who studied at the UCLA and Sheetal is a script consultant, a writer and director who also teaches about film.

We met at my place over coffee. AP provided snacks - samosas and sweets - and Shobha provided coffee. AP and Sagar got fully into discussion on direction and the issues they faced - how to retain their vision, where they compromised, how much they had to learn on the job and some of the mistakes they made. AP said he could not figure out what was wrong with the script he wrote until he met Satish Kasetty and read Robert McKee's 'Story'. He spoke of how he went about it and followed structure diligently. Sagar felt he would rather follow the emotion and the character. Pallavi said she would be happier following the character and knowing them inside out. Sagar talked of how Al Pacino and De Niro asked their director about what music the character listens to or what his sun sign was for for the movie 'Heat'. Sheetal added that people do whatever works for them and there's no hard and fast rule that only one structure has to work. Films, characters and stories were discussed.

Sheetal said that someone had said that 70% of the film is about music. I never know that music had such a huge impact on the movie. Sagar said he understood music a bit,  while AP said he did not have too much of an idea. AP spoke about how when he met Ram for the first time about making a movie he asked him to tell him the pitch in a 'What happens when....' format. 

Color pallette, how Hollywood works, how local industry works, DI, treatment, characters were discussed. The conversation went on for well into two hours and was very energetic and more importantly fun to share ideas with people on the journey.

We decided to meet again in a fortnight or so to discuss Sagar's script and have more discussions around our craft and how we go about it. I think we made a brilliant start. Thanks everyone and special thanks to Shobha for providing coffee twice.     

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Interesting Pic - Dasara Time

 I was on my walk in the colony when I saw this sight. Just could not resist. 


Anjali - How to Communicate and Be 'Honest' With One Another


There was a small disagreement between Shobhs and me regarding the painting job at home - they typically start small and go all over the place. Anjali hates these situations. First she tried to tell me when I was reading a book at night.

'You know,' she said. 'Maybe you could change your tone when you speak Nanna. Instead of saying 'what is it that you want?' or 'how do you want this?' maybe you should use words like 'how shall we go about it then? I think it will help. Mamma feels like you are isolating her or that you don't agree with her and are saying 'so do what you want.'

Brilliant Anjali. I teach this in our leadership class. Maybe we had a chat about something like this sometime or maybe she figured it out all on her own but the way she said it made perfect sense. But I was still stuck with my ego so I grunted and thanked her and let it sink in.

'Ok, I think enough from me then,' she said signing off.


The next day she caught us in another such situation when we were not agreeing on the colour or something and there was some tension.

'Maybe it will help if you two were more honest with each other,' she suggested and left.

Makes immense sense.

Good stuff A.     


Friday, October 22, 2021

My Rides With Sahib - Chattanathan D

 Chattanathan is a successful corporate executive turned entrepreneur who has authored two books before this one, so its evident he enjoys the writing process. 'My Rides with Sahib' is an interesting story about a young girl who drives a taxi in Mumbai and her car rides with an elderly gentleman 'sahib' and how it changes her life.

Sheetal is a bright young girl who grows up in a chawl in Mumbai and is educated in a convent by her taxi driver father. When she's in college and is looking forward for a good career ahead her father has a stroke and she takes up driving his taxi to sustain the family. On one of her rides she meets her 'sahib' someone who she connects to enough to not only collect her fare later but also lend a thousand rupees to. After some initial drama where she wonders if sahib was a genuine person or not she realises he has helped people in many ways and helped them build their lives by establishing livelihoods for all of them.

Sahib takes a liking to Sheetal and encourages her to write and to contribute to his company's marketing plans. A couple of potential suitors float up - one is her English teacher and another who works with Sahib adding some more drama. An accident, a death, a murder attempt and some suspense about why Sahib lives alone is sorted in the end including what Sheetal is probably to him. I had one doubt though - do Santros have airbags? I have one which doesn't, but perhaps the newer ones have.

Chattanathan weaves a nice drama with likeable and relatable characters who stay with you and keeps the narrative flowing with timely twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. I liked the idea of how he has created this 'sahib'  who builds these little businesses to help people in need as some sort of a cooperative. It has a nice easy readable quality to it and I hope to read more of Chattanathan's works. Thanks Diwakar for taking the trouble to buy me a copy and send it across. I enjoyed reading it.    

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Artist Date 5 -Vengal Rao Park

This Tuesday I decided to visit Vengal Rao park as part of my artist date. I took Carlos and went around the U turn at GVK and entered the lane. I parked at the first place I saw not knowing that there was ample space inside. Anyway, I asked the tea stall lady if there was an alternate side entrance and not just that imposing one on Road No 1 and she said there was.

It's not as nice as the pic looks

I walked ahead - I had come prepared for a walk today in my tracks and entered the park. Nothing about entry charges but there was a guy sitting with a box and I asked him if I needed to buy a ticket. He said yes, ten bucks and then the next guy said no, go in free. I asked again and they waved me in. I went in.

The nice section

It's a small park with a lake inside (it looks more like a temporary reservoir for the drainage or sewage coming from god knows where and passes downward. I remember one particular monsoon some twenty years ago the lake had filled up so much that it almost came to road level. Crazy. That was before it became a park.

The nicer section

Anyway the path around the lake was good for walking and jogging, not being cemented. However the stench gets you. There was some kind of a trap for the incoming trash and that included slippers, bottles and all sorts of stuff. Some lovers sat at different places - some closeby and some distant. A young lady was busy on her phone, a young jogger ran making me wish I could run like him. I walked.

The not-nice part - zoom in for details

The more I walked the more disappointed I was. It got progressively worse and then I saw the other side of that huge entrance form Road No 1 - pretty lame on the other side. Just drops down into the park. I walked along and then suddenly the park improved - the part close to the main road. Well kept lawns, paths, swings, steps - and the stench when the wind blew. Kids played, families had fun and some walkers came in after a while.

Another nice part

I liked what I saw though of the lovers who seem to be occupying all the parks. One middle aged couple sat behind the hedge - the lady shy and the man quiet. One couple sat far away near the wall in public view, not attempting to hide anything. A young couple sat close by right near the entrance. One young lady had her head in the lap of her lad on the lawns. One other lass with freshly painted lipstick was waiting for her Lochinvar while her friend had already gone off on a round with hers. By the next round I found her alone checking her phone and by the third, a thin, bearded chap had joined her.  On the other side I saw one fellow with old fashioned Amitabh hair style over his ears, must be forty, and his security guard looking girl friend. The robust pair was busy making out. The last pair I noticed was that of a middle class and middle aged couple having a conversation and trying to appear like all was fine when the whole world could see some serious sexual tension between them. My last exposure to romance here came in the shape of a loud, track suit clad lady who was yelling 'woh moti ko main dekh loongi'. A couple of handsome Irani boys came and waited and in a while two beautiful Irani girls, one dressed in a skirt and one in jeans, along with a chaperone arrived. They set up a picnic spot and I saw a bouquet of flowers and wondered how these people seemed to create a superb event out of nothing while most of my brethren were hiding and moving around hesitantly. I wish I could have clicked their pics but I realise I will get into trouble for that so didn't.

It was Milad un Nabi so there were many Muslim families around enjoying the evening. I walked some nine rounds until my app said I had done my 3.5 miles and I was ready to go. I stretched a bit and then walked out - now they were collecting money from every one. I walked to La Makaan and found that they had sealed off the entry with a rope - like a crime scene. The boy there handed me a chit with 630 written on it. I asked what it was and he said that was my exit time. it gave me 45 minutes to sit there. I always found La Makaan rather difficult, something in its vibes just does not jell with me despite the fact that the previous manager was a good friend. Anyway I asked him if the canteen was open because despite their snooty behavior those guys serve some good egg bondas and stuff. I picked up egg bondas, mirchi bajjis and drank some nimbu paani and then headed back

A narrow section where you could fall into the lake and die of bad smell

Artist Date 5 done!  


A Visit to the Abids Second Hand Book Market

 Last Sunday Anjali, Raja and I went to the Abids book market and met the boss man of the market - Vinod. We picked up a few books - actually I picked one and  Anjali picked some seven or eight. It was fun. 

Anjali's haul.

There are a few there that I would like to read myself.

Orientation program at the Department of Dance, University of Hyderabad

Dr. Anuradha Jonnalagadda and Dr Sivaraju called me earlier this week and asked me if I would do an orientation lecture. I was glad to because orientation classes set the right expectations, goals and approach. 

The talk from 2016.

Purpose of the Orientation Class - 
To help maximize student's learning in the two year course and gain knowledge and expertise to jump start their career.

Analogy of an ocean and the student

The analogy of a student standing before the ocean (comprising the University, faculty, knowledge available) and being limited only by the ability to receive. The challenge now is how to receive as much as one can.


1) Take 100% responsibility for your life and career - (measure - when you blame and give excuses you are not taking 100% responsibility) 

2) Be secure - know what you know and what you don't know (I know/ I don’t know). Our insecurity comes form trying to hide what we don’t know and behaving like we know.It takes up a lot of our creative energy to  hide the fact that we don't know. Instead, if we accept that we do not know and Ask questions, seek help, or raise doubts, your learning accelerates.

'I don't know' is the accelerator. 

2) To achieve your potential follow the Learning Mindset - A powerful concept by Dr Carol Dweck (read her book 'Mindset')

Characteristics of Fixed and Growth/Learning Mindset 

Fixed Mindset Characteristics

Growth Mindset Characteristics

Desire to look smart (I know, so no effort, belief in fixed talent and intelligence)

Desire to learn (ask questions, only goal is to learn)

Avoid challenges (fear of failure)

Embrace challenges (there's nothing failure, it's all learning))

Give up easily (don’t want to look foolish)

Persist in the face of setback (don't give up when faced with a problem)

Get defensive (closed to feedback)

Seek help to find ways to improve (be open to feedback)

See effort as fruitless (effort is for those who are not smart, talented, gifted)

See effort as the path to mastery (put more effort to get over weak areas)

Ignore useful negative feedback (no growth)

Learn from criticism

Feel threatened by others successes

Find lessons and inspiration from others success (learn)

Plateau early and achieve less than their full potential

Reach even higher levels of achievement as a result and get closer to potential

The learning mindset is about hard work, high standards and process orientation.

In every way, the growth mindset frees the student. One can ask questions, engage in discussions, seek help without inhibitions, accept that one does not know everything. By adopting this mindset, students can take a huge self-imposed pressure off their shoulders and look to build on what they know.

To change from a Fixed Mindset to Growth Mindset 1) ask for help 2) do small acts that change things 3) work on belief and mindsets 4) get process orientation 5) get over the-world-owes-me and denial (as in my life is perfect syndrome).

The beliefs that anything can be learned with hard work and growth orientation, that intelligence is not fixed, are truly empowering.

Resources at your disposal - Time and Energy

Time - 700 days plus, 1 hour a day vs 10 hours a day (700 hours vs 7000 hours)

Energy - Your energy is a factor of the  context you set yourself. If you tell yourself you have a great life and an exciting opportunity you will have lots of energy. If you tell yourself you have a sad life, bad deal and lousy opportunities, your energy will be low. So set and reset your stories every day.

Save your best energy for your most important task in these two years i.e. learning. All else has to be secondary. Have discussions around craft, ask questions, learn new things. Create a high energy space around you.

Use your resources well

Practices to follow

1) Get a journal and write your learning every day
2) Set goals for the two  years - gold medal, some specific goal to achieve that's big and that helps you achieve your career goals

3) Practice the Learning mindset - Ask questions, Engage in discussions on craft and subject with teachers and peers, Meet new people, Network with seniors, Practice and perform

4) Engage in Deliberate practice – quantity and quality of practice (getting better at what one is good and expanding current skills and also getting better at what one is not good at with specific sustained effort). It includes getting mentors who can help and guide. It make it clear that champions work the hardest.

5) Start new Routines and Habits – (2 minute rule - if you can do something for two minutes do it - like do one exercise routine for 2 minutes which is better than not doing anything at all) 


Hard work is the first commitment one has to make. The next step is working hard efficiently. 

Since you have all committed to a 2 year journey and are now at a stage where you could use the knowledge of the faculty, the brand of the University to your advantage, you are advised to use the resources i.e. time and energy efficiently, understand current context and then seek a clear outcome in terms of what you want to achieve. Your calendars must be packed with things to learn, people to meet, events to attend and to volunteer, performances to give etc. Once the calendar is packed, get down to doing it.

Here one must share the lovely TED talk by Josh Kaufman on 'The First 20 Hours - How to Learn Anything'.

Good luck.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Anjali - Anjali's Poem Gets Published

 And Anjali is now a published poet! Her poems 'If I Had a Time Machine' and 'The Fur of Golden Wheat' have been published by the Academy of Heart and Mind yesterday October18, 2021. It's her first so its definitely worth celebrating!  

Here's the link.

Well done Anjali. Super proud of you. And the way you went about it!

Akela -The Subject of the Second Poem!

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind - T Harv Eker

 I was at Abids the other day with Anjali, Raja and Vinod at the second hand book market and I found this book for 100 bucks. Since I am interested in all money books, I decided to buy it. It makes a lot of sense.

The book is divided into two parts - Part I is about the financial blueprint we have and how to change it and Part II is a set of ways of how rich people think and how one can benefit by changing our thoughts, beliefs and practices. Primarily he says we all have a financial blue print which is like a thermostat and is set to a level. We have to change it, take charge, take affirmative action and commit to winning the money game to succeed (like in everything else). Somethings he says are - that we can simply copy rich people and do what they do, the key to success is to raise our energy (which attracts people), our income can only grow to the extent we do and that the outer world only reflects the inner world. He says that our mental world, emotional world and spiritual world reflect in our physical world.

Coming to the financial blueprint we are guided by our childhood programming which leads to our thought patterns which lead to our feelings and then to our actions - which result in the results we get. We are affected by three types of programming - Verbal Programming (what we heard about money), Modeling (what our parents modeled) and Specific Incidents. With Awareness, understanding and Disassociation, we can overcome these and create a new financial blueprint with clarity on what we are set to earn. We can reach our full financial potential by paying attention to our thoughts, feelings and actions and by giving new meanings to all the things we built wrong stories about. Work on yourself and build thoughts and habits as rich people do and we are on to something. 

Part II contains 17 wealth files which he says we must imbibe and keep as our go to files in the ind because this is how rich people think.

1. Create your life (Instead of life happens to me)

Take responsibility and stop playing the victim. Catch yourself blaming, justifying, complaining and stop.

2. Play the money game with an intent to win (don't play it with an intent of not losing)

3. Commit to being rich (not merely 'want' to be rich)

4. Think big (don't think small, don't think survive) 

5. Focus on opportunity (not on obstacles)

6. Admire those who are rich and successful (do not resent)

Bless all that which you want - Huna philosophy

7. Associate with positive and successful people (not people who are poor and in trouble)

8. Promote yourself and your value (don't hide)

9. Be bigger than any problem (don't be smaller and run away from problems)

10. Be an excellent receiver (don't be a poor receiver)

11. Get paid on results (don't get paid for time)

12. Think both and all possibilities (don't think either / or)

13. Focus on Net Worth (don't focus on Working Income)

14. Manage money well (don't mismanage)

15. Make your money work hard for you (don't work hard for your money)

16. Act inspite of fear (don't let fear stop  you)

17. Keep learning and growing (don't think you know everything)

One great idea he gives about money management is this - manage your money like this. 10% to go into a Financial Freedom account and this must never be touched and only invested. 10% to go to a Play account which must be spent extravagantly on yourself every month. A freedom jar at home where you deposit some money everyday. 50% to go for your necessities account. 10%  to long term savings for spending. 10% for education account. And 10% to give for charities. Brilliant.

The other thing I liked was his line - don't wait to buy real estate, instead buy real estate and wait.

The book gives many exercises and I will share a few simple ones - which are also given on his - like net worth tracker and so on. Very useful and practical and we can start with the money management tool he has given to get going while we imbibe the files into our millionaire minds.


Monday, October 18, 2021

Sardar Udham - Movie

Udham Singh was hanged by the British for killing Governor O'Dwyer in retaliation for the Jalianwala Bagh massacre. The movie shows the way he plans and goes about avenging the massacre almost single handedly. A hero of India's freedom movement he calls himself Ram Mohammad Singh Azad - the three major religions of Punjab and his political ideology - freedom. These men were made of something else. The movie is shot beautifully - the Jalianwala scenes are gory though.



Serendipity- Movie

 Cute movie. People meet by accident, girl has ideas of how only if one is destined to meet should they meet, and sets up situations that involve major chance in the world. Will things work out as they are meant to be?

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand

Perhaps I should have read these when I was younger but in a way I am glad I read it now. Its been lying on the shelf for a couple of years and I decided I must read it. And i did.All 1075 or so pages of it. It's easily the biggest novel I ever read.

The story is about a bunch of industrialists, people who are making things that take the world forward, and their chief opposition, the government that stops them from being super efficient by implementing taxes and imposing curbs. our protagonist is chiefly Dagny Taggart, a lady who is fit to be in that elite group of thinkers, people with minds, and also the Vice President of Taggart Transcontinental, a railway line she is keen on building to make lives easier for the American people. The company is headed by her wimpy brother James, who is indecisive and who sides with the opposition (the government) and is against anything progressive (like Dagny). There is also Hank Rearden of Rearden steel who has made some new alloy of steel that's way out of the league of other steel in the market. Naturally Dagny is drawn to Hank (the name gives him away as a hero). For some reason Hank, despite being the hero character, is strangely hen pecked and humiliated by  his family for sometime in the early parts of the book.

That's not important. There is a character called John Galt who is the one leading the resistance against the system (sadly they are fully outnumbered because the ones with minds and rationality and courage and heroism are less than ten). The story is pretty much how Galt and his gang of brilliant minds drop their great industries and create their own world with their own currency and work in petty jobs,and also make great scientific inventions, but most importantly, stop the world's motor. They say that the world does not deserve people like them and they will go on strike against the world. In the end the system tries to compromise with them and I don't really know how it ends except that perhaps the people realise they have been looted by the looters and go on strike too. Anarchy perhaps reigns.

I have found the characters to be too one dimensional - good or bad, black or white. The heroes are full of themselves and I don't know why. If you're so smart, you should be controlling the system and not the other way around. It's easy to run away but what we want from our heroes is not pages of rhetoric but action that goes towards seizing control, staying on the ground and fighting and delivering what they want to deliver. I found all her heroes rather hollow that way - too much talk and too little action in the right direction. There are some lines that are memorable of course - like the people with minds saying they will not live for any other person and do not expect any other person to live for them etc. I do like the idea of first living for oneself, for profit and not being ashamed of it. That part is bang on and I can imagine myself fully falling for it as a youngster. But now I feel that the heroes could have used their minds better to get their cake and eat it too - to outwit the system and really move the world forward.                

Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Parable of the Pipeline - Burke Hedges

 It's no secret that money has always been compared with water and one of the first big insights I had about money was when I was asked in a workshop to close my eyes and imagine myself standing in front of an ocean and then imagine taking water form the ocean. How would I do that? Some said they would take it in a jug, some said they would use a bucket, some in their palms - I said I will not take and would only take it when I wanted. Of course the right answer is that one could build a pipeline from the ocean because the ocean would not go dry.

Burke Hedges quotes his father's wisdom to build pipelines and not be bucket carriers. He says more and more people become millionaires to day not by luck or fortune but by learning and following proven strategies for wealth creation. Follow the ones who have made it, copy and act.

The basic idea is built from a story where two young men who wish to become wealthy get a contract to get water from the river. They carry water in buckets and get paid. They are happy that they have money. While one blows up his money and enjoys his life, the other starts building a pipeline by putting in some extra work. Though people make fun of him, over a period he starts making money by delivering water without working while his friend has to work everyday to pay his bills.

Are you a bucket carrier or a pipeline builder? What pipelines are you building? Else you will be stuck with trading your time and effort for money for all your life which could be dangerous because a sudden calamity could wipe away your entire nest egg and you may struggle to survive. 

It is not about the size of the bucket either because people who have a big bucket can spend more and end up broke (Like baseball star Darryl Strawberry). On the other hand one Ms McDonnel built a fortune on her 10K pa salary and donated 2 mn when she died.

So you can build a pipeline with some prudence, even with a small income. What it takes is for you to put away some part of your income and create a reservoir of money that will start earning by itself. Let's say you put away between 10-20% of your money and invest that in safe investments and save another 10-20% for the rainy day - you can live within the 60-70% you still have and create a pool that will over time earn money for you.

One must be creative now in using leverage - a pipeline is leverage over buckets. Leverage is when you use your time and money most efficiently so that they earn 10 times or 100 times more even when you are not there to do the work. Businesses, employees, royalties, rents, stocks - they all form some kind of leverage. Think beyond 'I need to do all the work'.

The power of compounding is explained very well through the parable of the king who wanted to reward a wise man who taught him chess. the wise man asked for a grain of rice in the first square, double it in the second, double in the third and so on. The king laughed and said he would do that thinking that a bag of rice would suffice but by the time they reached the end of the first row it was 128 grains and the second row came to 32768 grains. The king stopped the count and asked for a calculation and realised it would amount to 18 million trillion grains of rice. That is the power of compounding. The lesson here is - keep adding a small amount to the pool without breaking the chain or removing from it and it builds to compound in that crazy fashion (think KBC and you get an idea). So a young person of 25 who invests 100 dollars at 25 becomes a millionaire in 40 years, a 35 year old needs to invest 345 dollars a month for 30 years, a 45 year old needs to invest 1557 dollars for 20 years and a 55 year old needs to invest 4759 dollars for 10 years to turn a millionaire. Small amounts over a period of time without removing from the pool.

The rule of 72 is also explained - to find out how long your money takes to double, divide 72 by the rate of interest earned i.e.e if the rate of interest is 10, 72/10 is 7.2 years which means it takes 7.2. years to double your money at that rate of interest.  

One of the first and foremost practices one needs to follow is also a spiritual one - take care of yourself first before taking care of others. In terms of money it becomes - pay yourself first from what you earned. Once we put 20% away and have paid yourself first, you can spend the rest on others. 

Among other practices are this one from 'Kids and Money' by Michael J Searle where he says kids (or even adults) need three jars to put their income into - The 'Spending and Giving Jar (bills, food, fun), The 'Save' jar (college, house repairs, vacation etc) and the 'Invest' jar (stocks, real estate). These three jars will grow your wealth considerably over a period of time.

Most people end up with assets like a Home which is their most valuable asset. But smart people build in addition to a Home other pipelines like stocks, real estate etc.

Creating a pool of money from small resources to become a millionaire takes about 50 years. Being a millionaire in this context means you have enough where your money is earning for you (not that you are blowing it all away). But one can also look to build a 5 year pipeline by using the daily quota of 1440 minutes wisely and building a pipeline (a business). Use free time productively and creatively and build and leverage your strengths. One classic leverage we ave now is the internet and we can use our relationships to e compound and make a pile of money. I agree that the internet is the ultimate leverage and one can work from that angle to become a millionaire.

I loved the idea of the book and the parable of the pipeline. We must get out of this bucket carrying mentality and start building pipelines. Thanks Raja  for buying this book (we found it in MR Books quite by chance). I will use these techniques and I will also write about them.          

Friday, October 15, 2021

The Hampi Diaries - Day 3

 Day 3

This was a day about breakfast and then wait for Anjali to get a break from school so we could head out to Clark's Inn at Kamalapur which is the right place to stay when you want to visit Hampi. It's so close to the action! 

The famous stone chariot

Anyway it took us an hour to get to Clark's Inn and we checked in and had some lunch and our guide Virupaksha, a young, handsome, adventurous lad (his dp is of him riding the white waters in a raft). He had a Thunderbird bike and a love for photography, a plan to ride to Manali on his bike and also a love for biryani.
The Lakshmi temple (I think)

On top of all that he is very pleasant, speaks well and has an easy demeanour and a nice smile.

Another one with the stone chariot

Me at the Lotus Mahal

After our lunch we headed off with Virupaksha in the car and went to the Vijaya Vittala temple, down to the river (had some sugarcane juice there), back to the Queen's Palace, Elephant's stables, Lotus Mahal, the Hazararama temple, the Ganpathi temple, Ugranarasimha, the Hemkunta Hills and finally the Virupaksha temple. Overall a good overview for Anjali who enjoyed most of it until it got too hot and she wanted to head back.

At the elephant's stables

Watching the sunset

Virupaksha temple

Back at Clark's Inn we ate some fine dinner and relaxed.    

It was a fun experience and the only thing I missed out was having a meal at Mango Tree restaurant. Next time! Meanwhile, for those who wish to hire Virupaksha as a guide (he also does bicycle tours), here's his number Mob 94492 51251. He also has an Insta account planet_hampi so you can check his photography out there. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Hampi Diaries - Day 2

 Day 2

Day 2 began rather quietly for me. After a full breakfast at the Hyatt Anjali went back to the room to attend school. Shobhs and I walked to the Panchvati temple close by - something I never visited last trip. It is a beautiful marble structure and has a serene ambiance. We then walked about and went to the market place, had some chai and went back to the room. Lunch was at the Hyatt, and then we waited for Anjali' s online school to get over before we explored the township.

At Kaladham

The first stop was Kaladham and Anjali loved it - so did Shobhs - but Anjali was mesmerised. 'It's so beautiful. You stayed her for ten days!' 

Anjali enjoying the feel of the place

I showed them where we all worked and stuff we did at Kaladham before one of the security women came and told me to park elsewhere. 

Shobhs at the lake

We left and drove around and found the park and the lake inside it. Once again we had a security guy run in and tell me to park elsewhere. But we spent quite some time at the lake. 

The ducks and Anjali

Anjali played with some ducks.

Dosa Point at  night

Back to the market, some chai and snacks and we went to the room to watch the IPL game. Tomorrow we should be heading to Hampi!    

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Hampi Diaries - Day 1

 October 10, 2021

So after a lot of to and fro and discussing dates and possibilities (something that's been on the cards since April 2020 when the lockdown was in force) we decided to make a trip to Hampi. All three of us agreed and it was Anjali who finally signed the tee off and we leapt at the opportunity. It's been ages since we've had a vacation - even a small one (not considering the lockdown as a vacation certainly).

The general landscape along the way

The idea was to leave on Sunday so Shobhs checked out the hotels and found that most were booked on Sunday. She zeroed in on Hyatt Place at Vidyanagar. Now that place made sense for a couple of days for a couple of reasons - I had spent 10 days on the campus a stone's throw from the Hyatt attending a writer's retreat in 2019, Shobhs had spent a night while on an all-women rally from Hyderabad to Goa and only Anjali hadn't been there (and she needed reliable wifi to atttend a few classes). So Hyatt is was and off we went in the Ertiga which was making its biggest trip yet since it arrived in February this year. Never too late.

The Place

So we set off at 645 pm and set the GPS to Hyatt Place, Vidyanagar. It showed 7 and a half hours. The route was Kurnool and then off to Bellary and so on. The highway till Kurnool was a dream as always and then the road was bad (really bad in some patches) but we finally made it in the prescribed time and checked into the Hyatt.

A nice looking tree at the entrance

 Apart from the snacks we stopped at a roadside idli, vada, dosa guy and ate some stuff.

Waiting for some Italian lunch

I've see the Hyatt everyday on my trip before so it was nothing new but I found out that it was a pet friendly place and there were quite a few pets around. I showed the campus off to Shobhs and Anjali, we ate some pizza at Dominos and strolled about in the evening before settling down after a good, hard day.

More on this tomorrow.       

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Thought for the Day - When You Can See the True and Full Value of Your Service, You Can Quote Your price Easily

 It's always difficult for many of us to quote a price on what we offer - service, products. It's a reflection of our own doubt. Am I worth so much? Will people pay for my services? We don't see value in what we ourselves do, so how will people see any value?

Often our problem is that we only see a part of what we offer and not the full. Stretch your idea to its fullest potential and then see what value it holds. Does it offer value in your grandest vision of your service? Of course it does. The problem is that we think small, we think in pieces, not in the full value.

Stretch your idea, your service to its fullest potential, and offer it from that space. That is the real value you will provide. Now quote from that space. You will find it easy to put a price to that.


Rumi's Little Book of Wisdom - Maryam Mafi

 There are many books on Rumi and I picked this one for Anjali on her birthday. It looked easy on the eye and seemed to present Rumi in an easy manner. Maryam Mafi was born in Iran and translates Persian literature into English.

Some thoughts I liked: 

Dare to love he says. What lies in your heart is more important than the words. Don't lose hope in the truth. Go big he says - don't come back with a jugful from the ocean.

Why would I need to speak aloud with someone with whom I don't need words to communicate.

When answers are without words, the leading questions must also be wordless.

When God chooses to be generous, an insignificant coin will prove as valuable as a thousand pieces of gold. But should He decide to withdraw His goodwill, all those gold coins will prove worthless.    

Wherever you are, you are right where you need to be.

People always fall in love with what they can't have. They readily give up freedom in order to own whatt they truly cannot understand, and they never fully appreciate what they've rightfully owned from the beginning.

If you truly want to know people, get them to converse with you. Its only from their words that you can learn who they really are.

For God, nothing is strange.

A true friend sacrifices himself for a friend and doesn't hesitate to throw himself into utter turmoil for his friend's sake.

All suffering arises from desiring something that's impossible to have. When you want noting, then there's no unnecessary suffering.

How valuable are the words of a speaker who cannot hold his audience's attention?

The wise and the mindful understand everything from just a few words, from hearing one phrase they know the entire book.

A mirror has no image of its own. So when you see a reflection, it's that of the 'other'.

Pain can serve as a guide while we strive t achieve our endeavours. Unless we initially experience the pain of love and longing, we will not move to achieve our goals.

Our thoughts are safe in our mind as long as they are not exposed. They can't be traced or stigmatised and no other person can rule over them.

When you feel guilty, its natural for your heart to shrivel and eventually close up. The innocent have no fear that their hearts will ever desiccate however, for they have their prayers as guarantee.

When the heart speaks, who needs language. 

I enjoyed reading this cute little book with 240 odd thoughts.

Sunny - Movie

 2021. Malayalam. A bearded chap alights at Cochin and half burns his passport, checks into a five star hotel and is bent on blowing up his money - and trying to kill himself. We slowly get to know why and what and whether there is hope for him.

I loved the scene where he runs to meet Adithi and just about catches her eyes as her lift passes him on her way downward. Loved that scene.

The movie is pretty watchable too.


Chehre Movie

 2021. Movie. Based on a 1956 German novel 'A Dangerous Game'. Four retired legal eagles sit in an isolated bungalow and trap unsuspecting travelers into a game where they find out sins they have committed and pronounce judgment on them. Sometimes even the death penalty. The monologue by Amitabh in the end was really boring. Watchable.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Anjali - A True Feminist

 A small discussion triggered by the money discussion we were having and I told Anjali that I have told many of my females students to invest 10% of their earnings and grow their reserve. I also told her that many of them feel that they cannot take away what they earned and believe they have to give all their money to their husband or father or the male of the house.


Anjali is quite vocal on women's rights and patriarchy so she was rightfully upset. 'How can they not even take 10% of their earnings?' she asked. These are all signs of how deeply patriarchy is practiced. 

I thought she would look at them like victims and sympathise with them. But she surprised me with her views.

'They are to blame,' she said. 'Who asked them to bend over backwards? If they do, people will take advantage. Until they assert themselves they will be taken advantage of. They had better explain, convince others about what they want to do else they will be stuck like that forever.'

Now, that is what I call progressive. Assert yourself and make a start. Things change when you change yourself. Not by wanting others to change.

Good one Anjali. 

Anjali - A Discussion on Real Estate

 This was an interesting conversation we had the other day. Mansi's father Ramesh had dropped in and we were chatting about his real estate business and he explained how one of his friends' had invested in real estate and earned a lot of money. He said some of his friends pooled in money and developed land and shared the profits.

After they left, Anjali and I were discussing something and  she suddenly asked - 'Correct me if I am wrong but is this how real estate works,' she said. 'They buy a piece of land and pool in money together, develop it with that money and sell it at a higher price and share the profit.'

Absolutely right, I said. It was interesting that we spoke of real estate so we continued in that same vein. We looked at buildings while going to school the next day and how the owners of those buildings would have conceived the idea and built commercial complexes and collect rent. We also discussed how sometimes people with foresight or information invest in land near projects where highways are expected to come up or any sort of development like airports, IT Parks is expected, and reap the benefits of the increase in price. We even discussed insider trading while at that. I also told her about the book on money I was toying with and the general ideas it would contain. She was quite encouraging - 'I know you're think of fiction but you should write that next,' she said.

I liked the discussion. I would like her to develop a healthy relationship with money (unlike me who has not had a good one until a few years ago). Its a simple matter of seeing it in the right perspective, of developing the right behaviors and right attitudes and you are in good space.