HDFC being human

HDFC bank

I’m sure you must have spotted long queues outside certain outlets. More often the queues even extend to the footpath outside these outlets. This is no thanksgiving sale or iPhone fans camping outside the Apple stores. This is the queue to exchange the old 500 and 1000 rupee notes after these were banned by the Government.

I spotted one those queues today, but what made me take notice is that this HDFC bank has provided shade to the their customers. That shows how much they value their customers and their willingness to go the extra mile.

HDFC bank

Proud to say that’s the bank I bank with.

 

All this 500 and 1000 business

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As the news pours in that the Govt of India has banned the usage existing 500 and 1000 rupee notes, I started discussing with my wife what the repercussions of this would be. Neither of us are experts in matter of economics, so we soon digressed into questions like:

1. If businesses are collecting cash even after this move(there are a lot of big hospitals that take ‘cash only’), won’t we have this problem soon with the new 2000 rupee and 500 rupee notes? Shouldn’t the government take actions against businesses that take only cash?

2. Why aren’t the old 1000 rupee notes replaced with the new 1000 rupee notes, why replace with 2000 rupee notes.

3. Shouldn’t this have to be approved by lok shabha and rajya sabha? If only we paid any attention during our Civics class!… speaking of Civics and the sabhas, why do they have such hard-to-remember number of seats, 500 something and 200 something. If they had rounded off those numbers, I might have paid more attention in the class. Wife quipped ‘maybe they built the parliament first and realized they had only so many seats to accommodate.

oops, I digress again… anyway, if any of you understand any of these, please let me know.

Sound of the spotted munias

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It’s been a while since I spotted sparrows in the city I live in. So when these small birds (similar in size to a sparrow), Spotted Munia, started to build a nest in our balcony, we welcomed it. Now they have started a family here. The excited chirping of the hatchlings when the parent(s) visit the nest to feed them is wonderful to listen to. Here is a recording of that.

These are the birds:

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Not my cup of tea

tea

The best of tea and the worst of tea, Sometimes I make the best tea and some days I make the worst tea. It’s really bad, it almost tastes like hot salt water (ok, not that bad, but close). I honestly don’t understand how sugar, water and milk can taste like that but it does, you just have to take my word for it. I’m sure I’m using sugar and not salt, unless my wife swaps them both when she leaves town to make me miss the wonderful tea she makes. No, she won’t… can she?! nah!

This is a story about one of the times I made the worst tea. A maid comes home regularly (as regularly as maids come!) in the morning to wash the dishes and mop the floor. My wife makes tea for all three of us, one of the perks the maid gets. The maid likes her chai time, she goes to the balcony, sits alone and sips it while looking down on the garden plants, not condescendingly but because we stay in the second floor.  One week, when my wife was not in town, I made tea and offered it to the maid. She drank in silence, that’s usually how she drinks it. I did the same the next day and she drank again. The third day she came to work, saw the tea boiling on the stove and told me not to make for her from the next day! I do appreciate the fact that she gave the tea two chances and she’d had enough.

Free up!

 

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Have nothing in your house that you don’t know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. – William Morris

We (wife and I) are on a cleaning spree. Not floor cleaning or anything like that, but giving away things that we don’t use. OR storing stuff that we do use sparingly in a better way to get more free space in the house.

Thanks to Quickr and OLX (no, they haven’t sponsored this blog), those sites are super helpful. I was cynical at first but the response was overwhelming and sold off some things in a couple of weeks. I digress.

My wife mentioned this quote to me and it made/makes so much sense. Think about it. If you have not used something for a year and you can’t think of a use for it, then just give it away. For example, a pair of shoes or some clothes or a piece of furniture or college books that you are not going back to. What are you going to do with ‘Fundamentals of fluid dynamics’ or ‘Material theory’ when you are working in an IT company. The only thing about fluid dynamics you will want to know is AC dehydrates and you should drink a lot of water.

So, give it away, your unused clothes,chair, water bottles, those amazon cardboards and the Bigbasket plastic covers. Maybe to your maid (she might not be super joyous but at least you will know it is being used by someone)  or find an orphanage or just sell it. But get rid of it. It feels good! When you wake up to a free space, it just feels good.

BTW, I was watching some video on youtube and apparently in Japan, December is a month of cleaning. They take out all the clutter they have been gathering throughout the year and give it away.

Go ahead, free up!

Feeding the cows

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My brother and I petting the cow at my Granpa’s place (LONG time ago)

During summer vacations we used to visit our Grandpa’s place. He had 4 cows, 2 goats and some hens in the ‘cow shed’ area. My brother and I would pet the cows and feed them banana peels and drumstick leaves. It felt good to know nothing went to waste. The milk and eggs came from the cows and hens respectively. The extra milk was given to a collection center at a nominal price which sold that milk. The dung was used as manure for plants. In a village that was sustainability.

Let me not talk about sustainability, I’m no expert in it but I just think it is a good way to live, to not ‘waste’. I try to do this bit even in the city where I live. Near the garbage dump, sometimes there are cows and dogs. Whenever I need to throw something which is eatable by an animal but not by us (banana peels, watermelon peels, fruit peels, expired bread (by date but not gone bad to look), I put it in a separate cover or a paper bag. If I see the cows, I take these ‘eatables’ out of the bag and feed the animals. It just feels good, the cow eats and garbage is reduced.

try it. 🙂

To Kill a Mockingbird

I had seen this movie long time back and recently heard it mentioned in one of the episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to buy it and give it a read. Thankfully I had forgotten the movie plot.

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What is it about. (no spoilers)

It is set in late 1930’s in a small town in the US called Maycomb county. The story is narrated by little girl ‘Jean Louis Finch aka Scout’. She lives with her lawyer-dad ‘Atticus Finch’ and an elder brother ‘Jeremy Finch’. The story revolves around two main events. One of ‘Mr. Boo Radley’ who lives next door, whom the kids have never seen step out of the house but have heard evil stories about and another event(later part) being the trial of a coloured man ‘Tom Robinson’ in a discriminatory society (1930’s). Their dad Atticus being the defense counsel for Tom, the kids go through a hard time and readers get to see a world seen through the eyes of an unadulterated child.

The story really takes one back to their childhood experiences, vacation time, conspiring with siblings and scary stories of a neighbourhood.

The book gets really hard to put down towards the end and it is no doubt that Harper Lee won a Pulitzer for this.

If you haven’t read yet, please do give it a try.

 

 

Getting back to the joy of just writing

I started blogging in 2006, I used to just write whatever I felt like sharing usually funny observations, short stories, reviews and travelogues. It used to be blogspot, then it became blogger. Then the ‘ad sense’ bug bit me, ‘why can’t I make some money while at it’ I thought and once you start doing something for the money, you lose interest in it pretty soon. I did, somewhere in 2014 I think. Partly to blame was Twitter too, it made me lazy – why blog when you can just tweet and get it done with, after all isn’t being articulate very important?!

From blogger I jumped to experimenting with  hosting my own domain. I got distracted with trying too many things at the same time (which is never a good idea). While I hosted, things started breaking on the blog here and there, lot of spam comments started pouring in and google webmaster would say that something was wrong but wasn’t helpful in fixing stuff. Week after week ‘blog clean up’ task in my to-do app got postponed and there came a point when I didn’t want to publish there anymore. Wanted to start from scratch, so here it is. The blog where I don’t about grammar, just want to write to share with people who care to visit.

‘Why not Medium, why WordPress’ I’ve been asked. The blog is sharing part of ones life, it was never about ‘building a personal brand’ or portfolio. Personally, I feel like it’s a photo album which needs to be shared or shown to friends visiting the house. An album that I don’t want to keep outside the house for anyone to cross by and comment on it. I think Medium is the latter and wordpress/blogger were the former. Only friends who knew the URL and the genre of writing visited or even saw what was written.

So I’m getting back to it. Let’s see if I do this often.