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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Are you insured ... enough?

Miss SB: Hello

R: Hello, This is R

Miss SB: Hello R, This is S - Do you remember me? I was your class teacher.

R: Errr. Hmmm. (Thinking to himself - even if she was my class teacher, how in hell did she get my cell phone no. and what is this about) Not really ma'm

Miss SB: In 1989, when you were in the 5th standard, I was your class teacher. I moved out one year later. So its not a surprise that you don't remember me. Recently I've joined MNYLC as a Life Insurance Advisor (Read Agent/Broker/etc). I am running for broker of the year and am among the top Advisors in the country for MNYLC.

R: (Thinking to himself - impressive ... then maybe MNYLC has only 10-15 advisors and she may be the best among the worst.)

Miss SB: I would like to talk to you about your life insurance needs. Can I come and see you today?

R: That might not be easy. I work at XYZ. (Thinking to himself - Hope the distance factor saves me)

Miss SB: Oh, that's ok. If its ok with you, we can meet up around 3pm.

R: Let me see ma'm. I think I'm busy this afternoon with a few important meetings (that's the only thing R does these days)

Miss SB: Oh R. I would have loved to see you today. (:-) and your money) I told you that I am running for advisor of the year and when I mentioned it to V, he gave me A's number and A gave me your number.

R: (Damn you both V and A - How dare you give my number without my permission?)

Miss SB: I am running a little short of my targets for becoming MNYLC Insurance Advisor of the year. I was so hoping that I'd be able to tell you about these amazing policies and sign you up.

R: (Thinking to himself - Not so fast lady) Oh, I would have loved to meet you this afternoon. I've got your cellphone number. I'll call you over the weekend and we can meet up some place and go over these attractive policies that you are talking about.

Miss SB: I'm sure you'll love these. I've already sold over 70 policies this year and most of my clients are ex-students (:o) who are really glad to meet me and are really happy with the policy that I've offered them.

R: (Thinking to himself - :-( Whatever - How sad can you get? Misusing the sacred student-teacher relationship for your benefit)

After 3 weekends of avoiding SB and unable to avoid her any longer, R finally meets SB - sits through a painful 2 hour session of pushing of 3 favorite policies of SB (My guess is these were the highest commission paying policies in the MNYLC family)

Miss SB: ULIPs of MNYLC return atleast 25% a year.

R: What? Are you sure? Even investments in equity don't return that much. How can a Insurance policy return so much.

Miss SB: Errr. Hummmmm. followed by some crap

R: Can you show me some figures of the actual returns?

After a lot of fumbling, it turns out the returns were 19% for one quarter when probably the market rose dramatically and meagre returns of 10-15% during most of the other quarters.

So question to you is - Are you insured ... enough? If you aren't, give me a buzz and I'll make SB's day and hopefully R's day too (he might be able to get away without going in for a policy). :-)

PS: Incidentally, I read recently in a Mag that MNYLC is among the highest commission paying Insurance Co.s in India right now and the 3 policies mentioned to R are among the highest commission yielding policies in MNYLC. After knowing that, what should R's response be the next time SB calls him?

Update: I found out later that the best policy to go in for - the policy hated by most Insurance Agents is the Term Policy. Minimum Investment, Maximum Coverage. Only -ve is no returns if you live to 60. So if you have about 50K to invest every year, invest 5K in a Term Policy and the remaining in some good Equity Diversified Mutual Funds. You'll not only save on the commission going out to your broker. You get value for money.

Monday, October 23, 2006

BB Rocked

The Blog that brought down the BB

What do you say to such people? I know the contents of the great IFY BB is an easy source of content for your blog. But posting entire conversations containing not only company specific details, but also contact information of $@#$'scions on the www was just too much for most $@#$'scions to digest. There was an all out attack of the author of this blog. Don't be surprised if its taken offline by the time you see this post.

There was some smart CID work done to find out who the culprit was and planning was on to catch the culprit and kick-a$$. By then, someone said that he had spoken to the culprit and that the blog was going down pretty soon. This somehow calmed the folks down and on came Sourav Ganguly and Greg Chappell.

The only question that now remains is if the management will take a harsh stand or just choose to ignore it in case they come to hear of it. For this guy's sake, I hope the latter.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

730 - Good Enough?

A GMAT score of 730 with an honest one week effort. Not bad. Only regret (there always is one when it comes to me) is that with a decent preparation, I could probably have really aced it. Got a 51 in Quants which I think is the highest gettable. But a disappointing 38 in Verbal landed me with a 730.

Anyway, the general story I've heard is that GMAT scores are not the only factors and one can clinch an admission with a good essay or a good reco. So now time to move onto these other factors, I guess.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Jennifer Aniston - Break Away!!!

Jennifer Aniston - Break Away!!!

Here's a video of Jennifer Aniston's pics with Kelly Clarkson's "Break Away" playing in the background.

Brought back fond memories of hearing this song over a million times on radio on my way to and from work in Columbus on the Radio. And never missed an episode of "Friends" after reaching home. No wonder, they're my favorites.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Orkut scrapper

You'll thank your lucky stars that you decided to visit my blog today if you are an orkut junkie.

Just one request, don't spam me using the features of this tool. It makes replying to scraps much simpler, helps clear up your scrap book (see my scrap book for proof) and helps reject all unwanted friend requests / testimonials with one button click. Think it works only with Mozilla Firefox.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Watch your pockets!!!

Some thoughts after the event - The event in question is my getting pick-pocketed in the Dasara Procession on Monday. It's really funny when I think of it. There I was right next to the Dasara Elephants trying to follow the procession when all of a sudden I get pushed in the direction of the procession and the whole line of people start pushing me in that direction. This goes on for about 5 minutes. When finally this human train stops, I realize that my wallet is missing. So was the entire human train part of the gang? Was this all a conspiracy to get to my wallet. :-) If it was, it was really innovative and so much of effort to get to one wallet or was there multi-tasking going on.

Some other things that come to mind are:

They can't be doing it alone. Maybe if not the entire human train, atleast 5-6 of them involved in pushing the train along and in and around the bakra are part of the gang. And maybe there is inter-gang co-operation and give and take. You help me with this bakra and I'll help you with the next.

They can't be small in number. Like I mentioned in my previous posting, seeing the number of cases reported in that one station on that one single day, my guess is that all pick-pockets from all over India descend on the target destination - whether it is a Kumbh Mela, Dasara Procession, Ganapathi Immersion on the Mumbai Beaches in droves. Maybe they have a Calendar where they work two or three times a month and enjoy for the rest of the month with the loot.

How do they target the bakras? Obviously people who flaunt their expensive belongings are inviting trouble. People who act like they are scared of getting robbed actually end up getting robbed. You keep feeling your back pocket and pretty soon, you won't find anything there one of those times. Some one else has decided to help you out of your pain. :-) One guy who lost 70K on Monday in Mysore was supposed to be carrying it in his Bermuda Shorts and is supposed to have been feeling it constantly (according to the COP at Lashkar Police Station in Mysore).

How do they decide their next destination? During normal times, although pick-pocketing has picked up in and around Bangalore - it is much more risky for them. They need to find secluded spots like dark lanes without streetlights and people walking alone late at night. After all that has been reported in the newspaper every day, people have just become more careful. So the safer bet is to make the month's loot in a day during Melas and Processions.

Here's a list of Do's and Don'ts:

* Do not carry more than is necessary on you. If you are not driving, leave your DL behind. This is not like in the US, where you are supposed to have an ID on you at all times.

* Do not put all your valuables in one pocket if you are going to go into the procession or any sort of crowd.

* Do not move valuables from one pocket to another in public. All this should be done in your room before you head out. I made the mistake of moving my purse from my back pocket to my front pocket because I'd felt someone feel my back pocket earlier in the day.
* Don't flaunt your valuables - Gold, Fat Wallet, Cameras, Cellphone, etc thus inviting trouble.
* Try as far as possible not to walk out alone whether it is late at night on dark alleys or in crowds / processions / melas. You better suspect trouble if people start pushing you around.
* Do not carry wallets in Back Pockets in a crowd. I know in my case, the guys were too skilled and I had way too many things in my front pocket, the top most thing being my wallet. :(

Enough of my sob story, eh? Come to think of it, I don't feel so bad after having come out with my learnings from the loss. Now, let's spread this message across to all friends and family so that they are more careful the next time they go into a procession or a Mela. Here ends my good deed for the day. :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Dasara loot!!!

Lost my wallet this weekend. Got pick-pocketed in the Dasara procession melee!!! :( People literally pushing each other to get a glimpse of the Elephants carrying the Goddess. Or were they really? As an afterthought, I have a feeling if this whole mad rush was simulated by some tricksters to get their hands on some fatwallets.

Unfortunately for them, my wallet was not that fat (atleast relative to some others). Unfortunately for me, lost my Driving License, 2-3 Credit/Debit Cards and god knows what else. Fortunately for me, I am not in the habit of carrying too much cash and before more damage could be done, got my cards cancelled after making a couple of local/international calls.

Later on, at the Police Station when I went to give a complaint, I found out that there were about 50-60 cases in that station itself for that day. Some of the cases included people who'd lost upto 70K INR.

The silver lining in the cloud is that, this happened towards the fag end of a good trip to Coorg (Abbe Falls, Raja Seat), Bandipur and Gopalaswamy Betta, and Mysore. If this had happened earlier, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the trip as much as I did.

Will update the blog soon with photos once I'm done uploading it.