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Personal Finance

Five things you can give up to secure your family’s future

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Festive times are the times when we cherish togetherness with our family, the most. If we happen to be away from our family during these times, we miss them the most. Just like festive celebrations, life too is incomplete without our family. From time to time, we realize that we must do everything in our capacity to keep our family happy and to secure their future. We plan for our children’s education, their career, we plan for our vacations, yet sometimes, we miss out on planning for a constant source of income for our immediate family in our absence. We know that we need to be prepared for such an eventuality, but we often tend to underplay its importance till something drastic happens that shakes us up. Then, we go for life insurance! The reasons to procrastinate are many – sometimes, we are not sure which insurance plan would suit us the best, at others we are not sure if we can afford to pay the premium for the policy or how much money do we need to set aside each month for it. But, believe me, it is not at all difficult. You can buy insurance online. Using the online insurance calculator, you can calculate the insurance…

Home and Interiors

Omkar Meridia – Residential apartments near BKC, Mumbai

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In the city of Mumbai, living close to the workplace is a dream cherished by many, particularly by those who spend a considerable portion of their time commuting to work. It is not uncommon for people to spend 2 – 3 hours each day traveling between work and home, with the travel time increasing substantially during the rainy season. However, due to the mercurial rise in property prices in Mumbai each year, affordability of residential property near the workplace always remains an issue. In such a scenario, if people can  ‘Walk to work‘, they will not only cut down the long commute and evade agonizing traffic jams, but also gain sufficient time to pursue their interests. Last week, I had received an invite from Omkar Realtors and Developers to attend an event that included a presentation by the Chief Marketing Officer on Omkar Meridia, a property at BKC Crossing. The event conducted at the property site itself, also included a visit to the sample flat. I registered for the event and reached the venue on the given hour.    The discussion with the CMO centered not only around the property but also around Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), which is an important business hub in the Mumbai suburbs, and the office destination for lakhs of people.  Though there are many…

Entertainment

Celebrating Friendships with Yaaron Ki Baraat

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 By Somali K Chakrabarti The story goes back to the late seventies and eighties when gizmos and gadgets were not yet a part and parcel of our lives. That was the time when landline phones were a rarity, mobiles and laptops were unheard of, we would wait for a whole week to watch a movie on the Black and White TV, and  we met people only in person, not virtually. Friendship meant strolling around, playing on the ground, flying kites on the terrace, exchanging books and chatting with friends on topics that would never end. Every summer, I went to Lucknow with my grandma, to visit my uncles and aunts and spend my vacations with my cousins. I don’t remember how it started, but it had become a yearly routine for a couple of years. I always looked forward to those annual trips for a number of reasons which included living for two months with a bunch of cousins, reading a whole lot of story books, gorging on ice creams, savouring papdi chaat, batasa (paanipuri/ golgappe), watching movies, gushing over our favourite stars, and sometimes even squabbling over them. Many anecdotes of those days are still vivid in my memory…

Micropoetry
Poems

I am my own Hero

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By Somali K Chakrabarti Image Source   ‘No means No,’ the message has been conveyed sharply and clearly in the movie ‘Pink’. Thankfully this time it has caught the fancy of viewers. The theme of gender and consent has often remained ambiguous or has been construed differently by different people, though lately we see that the message is being sent out and reinforced through plays, street art, and movies. The above picture is of a mural at a Railway station in Chennai on the theme of Gender and Consent. Here’s is a poem based on it.   She emerges from a jasmine sea the lovely, lissome Padmini and captivates the spunky Shivaji; — they are the golden pair of Tamil cinema of the yesteryear She is dressed in vines and petals He, in the dazzling warrior gear, Perceiving a petite maiden, he moves ahead to save the damsel in distress Into his strong arms, he must, must sweep her away… With a gentle gesture of hand, she shoves him and there she stays Looking at him in his eyes, she gives an assuring smile ‘I am my own hero,’ Ms Padmini says. © Somali K Chakrabarti, 2016      If you believe that any picture on the site infringes…

Mixed Bag

‘Making Friends with the Crocodile’ by Mick Canning

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By Somali K Chakrabarti   Prejudices, biases and gender inequalities have always existed in our society, and from time to time these come to the fore front. But, when such points are raised by foreigners, there is always a risk that the writer may succumb to temptation of stereotypical or caricaturish portrayal of the characters or the culture of a country. Making Friends with the Crocodile, written by Mick Canning is a book that highlights gender inequalities prevailing in a North Indian village. Steering clear of stereotypes, the book depicts lives of people in a normal village family, and the conditions that not only dissuade a woman from reporting an assault, but also subjugate her further by holding her responsible for it. Making friends with Crocodiles is available on Amazon.  Here’s a bit about the author. Mick Canning is an Englishman, who has traveled extensively in North India, Nepal and the Middle East. Mick finely captures the essence of these places in words and in pictures in his blog that goes by his name. I have always enjoyed reading his posts on Bodhgaya, Varanasi, Sarnath, and Punjab. While I had been intending to read his book since quite some time, I managed to do so…

Innovation

Camel Bus – Social Innovation for desert transportation

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By Somali K Chakrabarti   “Innovation opens up new vistas of knowledge and new dimensions to our imagination to make everyday life more meaningful and richer in depth and content.” ~ Dr APJ Abdul Kalam While most people know about camel rides in the deserts of Rajasthan, not many would have heard about a bus that it is driven by a camel. The idea of the camel driven bus was conceived by a school teacher late Radhey Shyam Mishra , as a means of safely transporting students to and from school through the desert.  His friend, Mewaram Jangid, who was a skilled carpenter developed the bus in 1972, which provided an affordable solution for mass transportation in rural desert areas. Seven such buses are still used to transport over 400 students to Bhanwarlal Kala Bal Mandir School in Churu, Rajasthan. According to the school principal, the school has developed a distinct identity because of the Camel bus and other schools in the area have also followed suit. Buses currently used by the school are still based on the same design. The Camel Bus is a simple, affordable, and efficient local solution social innovation developed by creative individuals for solving a local problem. The…

Micropoetry
Micropoetry
Mixed Bag

Mathematics and Poetry – What’s the connection?

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By Somali K Chakrabarti   “The mathematician destroyed all the poetry of the rainbow by reducing it to its prismatic colours.” is how Newton was once referred to by noted poets of his time. Poet William Blake had once said, “God is not a Mathematical Diagram“. But a flower surely is! Mathematics defines the shape of spirals and curves of sea shells, sunflower heads, wherein poetry describes their beauty.

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