When Car Loans are cheaper than Education Loans….

No no, I have not gone wonky…

I am still the same, slightly silly, slightly off the track, slightly philosophical and slightly…well….may be wonky. What to do, I am what I am…

Enough about me, read on…

There is an old saying….it goes something like this…

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime

Let me paraphrase it for the benefit of this article and to make my point….

Give a man some easy money and he will enjoy it till money lasts, teach a man how to make money and he will enjoy a lifetime….

I am sure, my dear readers, you will agree that the shortest, cleanest and best path to make a man self-sufficient, financially and otherwise, is to get him solid education.

Now, let’s face it, in the modern world education costs money, especially tertiary education which enables a person to develop skills and knowledge which enables him to make money and earn a decent living.

Let’s also face it that, in countries like India, there is so much poverty (still) and “good” tertiary education is so expensive that a lower middle and poor class (still the majority of India) cannot afford to send their kids for good quality Tertiary education. The uncontrolled growth of private educational institutions has made the situation worst.

So, what do you do if either your child is brilliant or you want to get them higher education so that he/she can lead the family out of the circle of poverty….

Unfortunately, there is only one major option….take a loan.

Have you ever tried doing that or have you known any person who tried doing that….

The number of criteria, the number of requirements, the number of documents, and the number of securities that one has to produce is like nobody’s business. And then on top of it, even if the bank agrees to give you a loan, the interest rates/EMI are killing.

Now, compare the education loan to getting a car loan, low-interest rate, very low or close to zero down payment, few years income tax records, an earning statement (of a much lower value) and voila….you have the loan….

Imagine, knowingly, we are feeding fish to men and not making our best efforts to teach him how to fish…

And all the above is happening in the know of the Government and RBI.

Sad isn’t it…

So, one day I decided to talk to my banker friends to understand why? I got a unanimous answer…

The default rate in Education Loans is high. Not because the student runs away but more so because many of them don’t get jobs which enable them to pay the EMI and over and above allows them to live a comfortable life.

Valid Financial Logic.

However, this, in my opinion, is not just a financial issue. This is a social and developmental issue.

Our Govt. comes up with zillions of welfare schemes, they subsidize agriculture, cooking gas, they make cheap housing (and the list goes on), they even write-off loans but all these are nothing more than giving fish to the hungry.

Education, on the other hand, teaches people how to fish but, for some reason, Govts. don’t care….

They will not make banks subsidise, give low-interest benefits, write off loans why? Because it is not a vote catcher.

The bane of democracy is that everything is about the next elections….

Also, I guess the other reason is that the fear politicians have that if most of the population gets educated they will start asking questions and demanding their rights…something no politician wants to be on the receiving end of.

In short, giving fish helps in the next elections, teaching how to catch doesn’t…

Sad……but true….

Till a time comes when the situation is reversed, we have to reconcile ourselves to the fact that…

The Car Loans will be cheaper than Education Loans….

As always, please do give your thoughts and comments and if you like this article, please do like, share and subscribe to my blog…

Until next time, stay safe…

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Everyone in this world is intelligent

Hi everyone, I have been on a sabbatical from writing for some time now. Hope you missed me or maybe you didn’t…..but I did miss my readers…So, here I go again…

Recently, I read a beautiful story. I am sure it’s an old story but for me it was new…

First the story…

A father said to his son: You graduated with honours, here is a car that I acquired many years ago … it is several years old. But before I give it to you, take it to the used car lot downtown and tell them I want to sell it and see how much they offer you.

The son went to the used car lot, returned to his father and said, “They offered me $ 1,000 because it looks very worn out.”

The father said, “Take him to the pawnshop.”

The son went to the pawnshop, returned to his father and said, “The pawnshop offered $ 100 because it was a very old car.”

The father asked his son to go to a car club and show them the car.

The son took the car to the club, returned and told his father: “Some people in the club offered $ 100,000 for it, since it is an iconic car and sought after by many.

The father said to his son, “I wanted you to know that the right place values ​​you the right way.” … If you are not valued, do not be angry, it means that you are in the wrong place. Those who know your value are those who appreciate you, and never stay in a place where no one sees your value

While this is a beautiful story from an emotional and motivational point of view, this is also true from a scientific point of view.

Many studies have shown and have also challenged the general definition of Intelligence.

For a long time, people used to think of IQ as the measure of a person’s intelligence.

Then later came EQ, which tried to establish a person’s ability to be well adjusted and successful in life by recognizing their own emotions and those of others, differentiate between different feelings, put them in appropriate slots in the mind, and then use this emotional information to guide thinking, behaviour and manage emotions to adjust to the outside environment to achieve one’s goals.

Well, confused? Don’t worry, most of us are….converting many of us into money-making fodder for training/coaching institutes….which supposedly measure and then “improve” our IQ and EQ.

After a lot of researches and studies, the scientists have finally arrived at a big AAha moment…

It has now been understood and widely acknowledged that EVERYONE is intelligent….sounds crazy…right. But hang on.

The findings can be summarised in one line as something like this:

“Everyone in this world is intelligent; it is a question of in which area”.

Let me elaborate by first giving some examples and then further expand on the above statement. Nothing esoteric because then the point will be lost:

  1. We think that scientists and academics are very “brainy”, make them a bank teller and see what happens.
  2. Put a NASA Engineer to do Telemarketing and let’s watch how many sales the Engineer closes
  3. Ask a Doctor to sing…..see for yourself….

I can go on but I am sure you are beginning to get the drift.

For some reason, we all tend to believe that everything is that is out of our reach is automatically intelligent…the problem is with our perception of intelligence is skewed.

While there are many definitions of intelligence but broadly they are divided into the following 9 abilities that make us intelligent beings.

They are:

  1. Musical-rhythmic
  2. Visual-spatial
  3. Verbal-linguistic
  4. Logical-mathematical
  5. Bodily-kinaesthetic
  6. Interpersonal
  7. intrapersonal
  8. Naturalistic
  9. Existential.

Now, it has been seen that unless a person has some disease everyone is good in one or more of the above to varying degrees.

Therefore, when you see, meet or talk about someone and call him dumb…..maybe you are just being dumb yourself…

Err…what I mean is that you are NOT dumb but are BEING DUMB….:-). Hope you have understood.

But in a more serious vein, there is an important lesson for all of us:

  • for the ever anxious parents: If your Kid does not score the highest marks or is not in the top 5 % of the class, it does not mean that he is unintelligent, maybe his intelligence lies elsewhere. Look for that and let him excel in that line
  • For the employees: If some of your employees are not performing to their “potential”, don’t label them as bad. Look for the areas in which they are good and “re-assign” them after proper training
  • Appreciate a good maid, a good janitor…realise that it is not easy for everyone to be a good maid and/or janitor.
  • Realise that every work is important and anyone who can do his/her work well needs to be valued as such.
  • Don’t label some “careers” as better than others…while it may be tough to run a business, it may be even tougher to be a housewife.

I could go on….but I am sure you are getting the drift…

Intelligence is not a reflection of the ability to earn money; it has nothing to do with being popular or well-known. Intelligence and capability are far bigger than all this.

I am sure, if the richest man in the world is asked to cook a meal for a dinner party he/she will be a disaster…..

You know why because his intelligence is limited to the ability to make money not to cook…

Now, what is the bottom line of this article…

  • Respect and Value people’s intelligence for the areas it is in, don’t force-fit them into only a few moulds. Based on our own biases…
  • And if you are the person, evaluate where you are good at and make a life in that area….again don’t force-fit yourself because the “society” wants it that way.

Cheers to this world full of intelligent beings….

If you find the above interesting, please do like, share and subscribe to my blog…

Coming back with another one soon….and looking forward to it.

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Can’t we do just this much…

A beautiful thing happened with me a few years back. I saw something and it re-triggered my thoughts. So sharing with you.

My mother, who was very old, was having a problem for quite some days and somehow to allopathic medicine was not working. I came to know (thru a friend) that there is a homeopathic doctor who has a clinic nearby and he has some expertise in that area.

Deciding that there is no harm in trying I took my mother to the Doctor. He came down 3 stories from his clinic to see my mother in the car where she was sitting (she was not mobile), did the check up and discussion in the car and then he and I went up to his clinic where he made the medicine.

After he had given the medicine to me and given me the instructions on how to administer them, I pulled out my wallet to pay him his regular fees……

He immediately stopped me. Confused, I asked why…..he said something very nice and interesting…..

He said, I don’t take money from patients who are 80 + years and older.

I asked why…..and his logic stumped me….stumped me by its simplicity, common sense and effectiveness as an approach.

He said, look like most of us I also want to do something for others but then being a fully occupied doctor I don’t get time to devote to helping others. Therefore I thought and came to this conclusion that can I bring in the element of social service in my work itself. That way, I won’t have to work extra hours, I will be able to do some real help for the old people and I will be doing in the area where I am best at…..

Now, that also triggered my thought process.

Why can’t our hospitals and doctors do something like this…..the social security net is highly inadequate and as a result our super seniors are forever struggling. It will be able great way to do CSR, help our very old people and do it in the area of their strength without putting any extra work outside their normal work hours. And yes, there will be some monetary impact but how much? After all how many people reach that age bracket?

Also, every organization spends a good chunk of money on CSR; use that for helping the old…instead of for…to be a bit blunt….doing things which in some organizations can be bit of a PRish CSR activities….

Add to the above; imagine also the good wishes, blessings and the goodwill it will generate….

This is the least we can do for our elders….at 80 + they are playing their last innings, they are weak, they have done their bit for the country, and they know that……the end is near….

Can’t we….do just this much?

Think about it?

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Metoo…..Social Media..

I normally avoid social media for social purposes (you know what I mean….) but then sometimes when one has time, a whiskey on the side table, plate of kebabs on the other side table…..one does open it to see what is going on…..

Every time I log into any social media platform, I see people posting about:

1. Where are they eating? This fancy restaurant, that fancy restaurant….

2. Where are they vacationing? The more exotic the location the better….

3. Where did they lecture?

4. Where was their photo printed?

5. What have they won?

I think you got the picture……

For some reason, my mind started wandering why do people post so much about what they are doing, their self-perceived accomplishments?

Earlier, when there was no social media, we only had “social life” wherein friends/relatives would meet, chit chat, laugh, joke even bitch around and then go home…to go back to their regular routines. It was essentially a nice laugh away your stress kind of time.

So, what happened? When did we stop enjoying the “social” bit and convert e-socializing into e-gloating (pardon my use of strong word)….and why?

Here is my analysis, please do share yours…enrich the discussion.

The factors that seem to be in play are:

1. It is very tough to show off when you are sitting with someone or some people. The average Joe himself starts feeling uncomfortable. Out of sight, it is much easier.

2. Most of us (and it is normal psychology) believe that we deserve more than what this life has given us. We try to compensate the gap by trying to push ourselves in the lime light.

3. With some people, at some level their appears to be an almost desperate attempt to say please, please, please look at me……see how awesome I am….how big a person I am….please, please please…… social media seems to be a place where you see a slew of people desperate people crying and screaming for recognition (I know I have used a bit strong words but that is only to make the point).

If you have interest in human psychology and behavior, please read Maslow’s Need Hierarchy. He had proposed and predicted this kind of behavior in 1943 but it still seems to very relevant.

And finally, since social media is unregulated, self-run & managed it has given people a free hand to do whatever they want (a unconditional unbridled freedom)….

As someone said; Never before a generation has achieved so little and talked so much about it..

And THAT is the reason why all the social media platforms (Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram etc.) have succeeded so handsomely……because ….they pander to one of the strongest desires of human beings…..which is…..

I am worth it and I am bigger, better than others…..humans will do anything to get that feeling

Think about it…., like it, share it and please do write your comments….God Bless you.

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Corona — Are we progressively barreling down towards HAD (Human Assured Destruction)

Many years ago, while doing me research on Warfare, I had read an article which was about where and when will the next plague come from.

The main theme of the article was that while we all worry about Nuclear wars etc. but, for some reason, we don’t look at the real danger to the human race which is a very potent virus. It said that this virus will be so potent that it will kill people within hours. By the time the researchers all over the world are able to find out an antidote to it, the virus would have killed half the world’s population.

It also said that this virus, most likely, will come from the Asian region because this region is the best crucible for the growth of any virus. It is hot, humid and dirty. An absolutely perfect environment for a virulent strain to develop.

At that time, it sounded like fantasy or maybe science fiction to me.

Cut to present time, in the last 2 decades we have had many viruses hitting the mankind, we have had SAARS, Dengue, Swine flu and now Corona or Covid-19.

Let’s now have a look at some patterns about some of them:

· They all started from Asia

· They have spread across the world.

· They all have been progressively more virulent etc.

Now, go back to what I mentioned about the theme of the article that I had read. A bit creepy isn’t it. Everything that the article said appears to be coming out to be true except that the virus being so virulent that it kills people in hours.

However, do you also see a pattern, the viruses are becoming increasingly more dangerous and harder to control and manage. In fact it has been 3 months but no vaccine is in sight for Covid 19.

While there have been unsubstantiated rumours that this virus is nothing but a attempted biological weapon gone rogue or somehow. There is no evidence of it. It could be just a rumour. But either way it points towards the same thing.

Think about it; do post your thoughts……specifically is there a solution, is there a way to reverse this process? I will look forward to it.

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ECONOMIC SPYING — NEED OF THE HOUR

…Is the heading sounding a bit odd to you?

…Are you wondering why suddenly this?

…Are you also a bit confused about what in this God’s earth is “economic” spying? And why is it so important or even relevant?

If the answer to even one of the questions is “Yes”, then you are the right person to read this article.

As always, let’s begin from the beginning…

You all must have been following the news lately, thanks to Covid 19, even the most uninterested people have started following the news.

You must have also noticed a lot of news items on various countries like Germany, Spain, US, India etc. have put various kinds of, for lack of a better word, embargos on allowing Chinese companies to operate / invest in their country “freely” without increasing the “watch” on them.

Countries, like the US, which were traditionally big buyers or who used to source from China have also decided to move their bases away from China to various other countries.

Let’s think, what has prompted them to do that. Here are some reasons:

1. Due to this pandemic, doubt has crept in the mind of Countries that:

a. This virus was lab-created and has been used to bring down the economies of many countries to their knees since that enables China to become the economic superpower that it wants to be.

b. What has angered Governments is that all this has been done at the expense of their countrymen by making them sick, seriously ill and even dead.

c. It has been done by pushing down their industry, making job losses happen and making their people suffer

2. As the leaders of the countries decided to take tough action and to that purpose dug deeper into what is going on in their own country they realised that, where ever possible, China has intruded silently either directly or indirectly in their countries (by investing in their companies, by becoming a part of their supply chains etc.).

3. The most dangerous of these intrusions has been the whole area of Information Technology, Hardware, Software and Mobile Technology.

a. In case of Hardware, Chips, which are at the core of any Hardware, are programmable. One can surreptitiously, put programs in the chip which can steal data from the machine or mobile and then quietly (without the user knowing) can transfer the data/information back to parent companies in China.

b. The other area where a lot of dangerous practices were discovered is this whole are of Apps used in cell phones and laptops etc. They were known to be transferring data back to the huge databases of the companies in China.

c. The third area which has come to the fore is 5 G Technology. While initially, the whole world was excited about this new development but soon people realised that one of the Chinese companies (a leading player) may be using this technology to capture countries complete mobile networks and via that the Financial and Defence Systems also.

d. All the above has set the alarm bells ringing in many countries all over the world.

e. Now, before going forward let me tell why is this capturing of data by a company so dangerous. The reason is that according to the Chinese system, all the data that a company has is accessible to the Chinese Govt. In other words, all of the countries, people data, Govt. data, Financial date and if one is not careful classified defence information is available to the Chinese Govt.

I am sure by now, you would have got the perspective on the topic of my article.

Now, let’s move to the topic…”Economic Spying — Need of the Hour”…

Whenever one thinks of spying (thanks to James Bond movies, Cold War, CIA, Mossad etc.) we think of fast cars, transmitters, bullets, assassinations etc. destroying the enemy resources, installations etc. While the usefulness of that cannot be denied in the low-intensity warfare, however, the time has now come to add one more branch and definition to the business of spying…for simplicities sake, we can call it Economic Spying.

What is Economic Spying?

· Identifying, understanding and destroying the path of Terror Finance. As we all know to carry out a terror attack, one needs Explosives, Men, Equipment etc. what is the common factor to do all the above, Money. Let’s think further, what do you need to run a terror organization like Al Qaida? Again, money. In other words, without money Terror cannot happen. Terror Organizations like any organizations need to raise money, move it to the right place, store it and spend it. They have to do all this without anything coming out in the open. To do all these things they use different methods, sources, tactics etc. It is so complex that it is not easy to make this happen.

· It is said that the third war will not be fought by weapons but by money or in other words, it will be Economic Warfare. What does this mean? Simple, read my preamble again, what China has done is that it has (thru its companies) invested heavily in other countries and thru its technology have dug itself deep inside countries the world over. How does it help China? It has access to data, information, ability to influence Government Policies, and impact the public opinion of the country from INSIDE. When someone attacks a country from OUTSIDE its borders, the whole country rises to the challenge, supports its armed forces, and develops a strong opinion against the aggressor country. But, what happens when a country quietly comes INSIDE the enemy country, starts controlling its resources, starts influencing public opinion using very effective but dumb tools like social media, and impacting its economic assets (if it is still not very clear, think termite, think virus…they eat from inside) then the DANGER is even bigger than straight-on warfare. Using Economic means, one could control the enemy countries economy and then when the right time comes, win the war against the enemy country by pulling the plug on the economy and using the traditional military at the same time. In military language, you could call it, the pincer movement.

While I could go on but, I am sure by now, you would have gotten a sense of what I mean by what I am calling as Economic Spying.

Every country, now, needs to have full-fledged organization (almost as big as CIA, Mossad, RAW etc. of the world) who eat, live Economic Spying.

The job of such organizations should be to chase money, money movement, money utilization, from outside the country, within the country, within organizations and also link them to the actions taken by organizations, directly, indirectly, openly, quietly, decipher patterns and judge the DANGERS and ELIMINATE them as quickly as spying agencies do.

It is now strongly believed that if we really want to end Terrorism, cutting the money source is THE MOST POTENT weapon. Turn the money tap off and the organised terror ends.

Similarly, prevent other countries to get inside your own country via Economic or Technical route for wrong reasons and you have effectively eliminated the risk of losing the third world war…the economic war.

Hence my topic….

Economic Spying — Need of the Hour

As always (and I must thank so many of you who have regularly started supporting my blog), please like, clap, share and comment.

Till next time….stay safe, stay blessed, stay happy and healthy.

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Secularism….for ordinary people..

I am a big fan of Mohd. Rafi Sahab…specially Rahi Sahab of the 50’s and 60’s. In my scheme of things (and you don’t have to agree with it), there has never been a singer like him and there never will be.

But that is not the reason why I am writing this. I am writing this for another reason….

These days, secularism, religion, religious freedom, my religion, your religion, religious fundamentalism…etc. etc. and etc. have become such common words that we hear them on social media, in the printed media, in the digital media, in the TV and god knows where else. Everyone is an expert, has an opinion and a solution to the problem….

Instead of talking some big things, I just want to give you a beautiful example of real people, simple people practiced secularism. The 3 people I am talking about are Naushad Ali (the famous music composer), Shakeel Badayuni (the famous shayar and lyricist) and Rafi Sahab.

The films were Kohinoor and Baiju Bawara.The songs……the iconic Mann Tadapat Hari Darshan ko Aaaj and Madhuban mein rashika nache re…Both devotional hindu bhajans….considered to be milestones in the Indian devotional songs……

Do you know, who wrote them, who gave music to them and who sang his heart out to make them what they are……..Shakeel, Naushad and Mohd. Rafi…….

Just stop here, assimilate and absorb for 10 seconds what I have just told you…

All 3 were known to be devout Muslims, used to do namaz regularly, were (as we call them today, allah fearing men)but look how beautiful a thought, music and melody they created for a Hindu Bhajan…..

Let me give you one more example.

I have a close friend; he is a Brigadier in the Army. Every Ramzan, he keeps Roza for 30 days. Knowing that he is a practicing Hindu, I asked him why….he said Sir, I lead men who are from different religions. I don’t want anyone to feel that they are different from anyone else, we are a Fauji first and members of a religion later. Imagine, if your leader starts tilting towards someone for a reason which has nothing to do with his job, what will the people in his command think. I not only appear to be fair but I HAVE to be seen to be fair also.

Now, THAT is a real example of how simple people, doing simple things in a simple way implement secularism…

I was floored when I found this out, hope you and everyone you will share this with everyone you know….Namaskaar to Naushad Sahab, Rafi Sahab and Shakeel Sahab…..and Salam to my Hindu Brigadier friend….

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We live in a society which keeps scores

Sad but true….but let me first explain what I mean with that….

Recall any time you were sitting with your friends, relatives, close family members….also recall what was the main conversation around…..let me help you by giving thought prompters…

Do words/sentences like these ring a bell, his son has done………, her sister is doing very well she is…….., her uncle is a …….., they have gone to ……. for vacation, even at this young age he ………,

I can possible go on and on and the list will not end….

Have we ever wondered what effect this is having on the psyche of our people, kids, young ones, other human beings……!!

And then we crib about, how competitive getting admission into nursery, primary school, professional colleges has become, life has become too stressful (leading to diseases at young ages), people cutting corners behaving in a non-ethical manner to achieve what they want to achieve, youngsters are getting hooked on to drugs, students committing suicide, people working themselves off to buy a bigger car, more houses, trying to go on bigger and more money blowing vacations…..the list goes on and on and on….!!!

Bottom line……my SCORE must become bigger than yours, my son should do MORE……than others, my SISTER should be bigger than others, my family should go on a MORE ostentatious vacation than others, my son’s marriage should be even more flashy than others,

and this one is the most ridiculous one I have ever heard,

my husband got his piles surgery done in England (I don’t trust Indian hospitals…. :-))

…..and blah blah blah….

Do we need such a society? Do we need such people, do we really think we, the great Homo Sapiens, are the most intelligent of beings!!!!

DO WE REALLY WANT TO KEEP A SCORE…!!! ALWAYS….from the time we are born to the day we die…….

And even if we have to can we please keep scores like my son is happier than…….my brother is so satisfied with life that…..my sister is such a good person that she……..

Think about it…

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