Warrier's COLLAGE July 31, 2021
Welcome to Warrier's COLLAGE On Saturday July 31, 2021 M G Warrier : Author Page https://notionpress.com/author/m_g_warrier Good Morning For different reasons, some responses are not being included. Readers may continue to respond by mail or WhatsApp. In some cases, where the responses are with reference to contributed articles, they are shared with the contributors. Nice Day M G Warrier AA A Search for Sweetness in Bitterness https://www.whetstonemagazine.com/south-asia-journal/a-beloved-bitterness (Charukesi Ramadurai's sweet article "A Beloved Bitterness" received from Charukesi's father A P Ramadurai Cheñnai) Excerpts : "Whenever I feel a sore throat coming on or just exhausted after a long day at work, I long for my grandmother's tangy vepampoo rasam (a thin, tangy broth with tomatoes and neem flowers), eaten with hot rice and a dollop of ghee. Apart from symbolising acceptance of the bitter along with the sweet things in life, neem also has a greater nutritional significance, as science tells us. It is believed to be a rich source of antioxidants. It prevents bacterial growth, and has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a vital ingredient in the Ayurveda and Unani systems of traditional medicine." (Continued at H3) (The other day, a friend ordered for Curry leaves online and got Neem leaves instead. Nothing to do with this article-Warrier) A Select Responses 1) M G Warrier A reader enquired about the present status of the Deposit Insurance Scheme a) Deposit Insurance https://www.livemint.com/money/personal-finance/bank-fd-what-the-changes-to-deposit-insurance-act-mean-for-investors/amp-11627473113563.html b) Deposits with co-operatives (other than banks) in Kerala https://www.breakicehere.com/2020/10/cooperative-deposit-guarantee.html?m=1 Kerala Cooperative Deposit Guarantee Fund Board The fund will be utilized for the settlement of claims of depositors in the cooperative societies which are guaranteed. The amount guaranteed per depositor shall not exceed Rs. 1 lakh. That means, every depositors are insured up to 1 lakh now. The insured amount can be higher in future. (Depositors can get more information from the contact points-Warrier) 2) V N Kelkar Mumbai After reading a treatise on the yellow metal, I was reminded of the popular film 'Mackenna's Gold'. The film was based on the novel of the same name by Heck Allen using the name Will Henry, telling the story of how the lure of gold corrupts a diverse group of people. The film was a box-office failure in North America. But no wonder it was a big success in India and Central Asia. VNKelkar 3) S K Gupta Panchkula "Conversation with God" with reference to the "God's own Country" was simply superb. It's all a matter of faith in the almighty God. No wonders if India is also known as an incredible nation, the world over. 4) C V Subbaraman Mysuru A very lengthy, knotty, intricate, grammar gender analysis by Vathsala Jayaraman. We in India are fortunate to be confused and confounded even with only three genders as compared to some other countries with many more gender differences. In a world that moves fast in erasing human gender differences it would be better if all gender differences across all creations and the application of verbs and nouns and pronouns based on such gender differences are abolished so that languages will become easier. Subbaraman B Memorable speeches of 2020 https://speakola.com/lists/25-best-speeches-of-2020 Excerpts : 1. Killer Mike’s press conference during Atlanta protests, ‘It is your duty not to burn your house down’ “So, I’m duty bound to be here to simply say that it is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy. It is your duty to fortify your own house so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization. Now is the time to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize.” 2 Joe Biden's Victory Speech It was a relief to hear a president-elect talk about healing, peace, building bridges … it was a relief to hear a President-elect talk about people other than himself. And it was a beautiful speech, credit to the speechwriters, who did the healing stuff well, rolled in a lovely reflective phrase and finished with biblical wings of eagles. A profound and emotional moment. “Tonight, the whole world is watching America. I believe at our best America is a beacon for the globe. And we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.” 3 For John Lewis: 'Founding Father Of That Fuller, Fairer, Better America’', by Barack Obama - 2020 And that’s what John Lewis teaches us. That’s where real courage comes from. Not from turning on each other, but by turning towards one another. Not by sowing hatred and division, but by spreading love and truth. Not by avoiding our responsibilities to create a better America and a better world, but by embracing those responsibilities with joy and perseverance and discovering that in our beloved community, we do not walk alone.” C Collage in Classroom Ingredients of an impressive presentation https://magneticspeaking.com/11-essential-ingredients-every-presentation-needs/ An excellent presentation has the same requirements as a great dish! Great ingredients. Just like Chef Ramsey can’t put out a tasty risotto, steak, or pasta without the proper ingredients, you will not be able to create a stellar presentation without the proper ingredients. D Readers'Contribution 1) How Long*...? How Long Do You Worry About Your Children? Is there an imaginary cutoff period when Offspring become accountable For their own actions? Is there some wonderful moment when Parents can become detached spectators in The lives of their children and shrug, 'It's Their life,' and feel nothing? (Continued at H4) *Poem received from R Jayakumar Mumbai by Group email 2) Personal Finance* Some Personal Finance Rules we all should better know : - Rule of 72 (Double Your Money) - Rule of 70 (Inflation) - 4% Withdrawal Rule - 100 Minus Age Rule - 10, 5, 3 Rule - 50-30-20 Rule - 3X Emergency Rule - 40℅ EMI Rule - Life Insurance Rule Rule of 72 Number of years required to double your money at a given rate, just divide 72 by interest rate : Eg : If you want to know how long it will take to double your money at 8% interest, divide 72 by 8 and get 9 yrs At 6% rate, it will take 12 yrs At 9% rate, it will take 8 yrs Rule of 70 Divide 70 by current inflation rate to know how fast the value of your investment will get reduced to half its present value. Inflation rate of 7% will reduce the value of your money to half in 10 years. 4% Rule for Financial Freedom Corpus Reqd = 25 times of your estimated Annual Expenses. Eg- If your annual expenses after 50 years of age is 500,000 and you wish to take VRS then corpus with you required is 1.25 cr. Put 50% of this into fixed income & 50% into equity. Withdraw 4% every yr, i.e.5 lac. This rule works for 96% of time in 30 yr period 100 minus your age rule This rule is used for asset allocation. Subtract your age from 100 to find out, how much of your portfolio should be allocated to equities Suppose your Age is 30 so (100 - 30 = 70) Equity : 70% Debt : 30% But if your Age is 60 so (100 - 60 = 40) Equity : 40% Debt : 60% 10-5-3 Rule One should have reasonable returns expectations 10℅ Rate of return - Equity / Mutual Funds 5℅ - Debts ( Fixed Deposits or Other Debt instruments) 3℅ - Savings Account 50-30-20 Rule - about allocation of income to expense Divide your income into 50℅ - Needs (Groceries, rent, emi, etc) 30℅ - Wants (Entertainment, vacations, etc) 20℅ - Savings (Equity, MFs, Debt, FD, etc) Atleast try to save 20℅ of your income. You can definitely save more 3X Emergency Rule Always put atleast 3 times your monthly income in Emergency funds for emergencies such as Loss of Employment, medical emergency, etc. 3 X Monthly Income In fact, one can have around 6 X Monthly Income in liquid or near liquid assets to be on a safer side 40℅ EMI Rule Never plan beyond 40℅ of your income going into EMIs. Say you earn, 50,000 per month. So you should not have EMIs more than 20,000 . This Rule is generally used by Finance companies to provide loans. You can use it to manage your finances. Life Insurance Rule Always have Sum Assured as 20 times of your Annual Income 20 X Annual Income Say you earn 5 Lacs annually, you should atleast have 1 crore insurance by following this Rule These rules are equally useful for young, youth and old. Hope you will find them simple, useful and handy. *Received from R Jayakumar by Group email. (Before applying any of the above rules in a specific case, work out details factoring in all available relevant case-specific information after independent verification. For example the life insurance needs of a middle-aged person with annual income Rs 20 lakhs and Rs 5 crores financial assets will be different from others-Warrier) 3) Gold! Gold!! : Vathsala Jayaraman For the past two days Collage issues are glittering with gold with so many facts and figures. It is quite interesting to read about the yellow metal, gold. We are all poor, lower middle class not eligible to talk of bars and bars of gold. But one thing I am sure is that I get cheated on every small purchase of gold, be it any shop, be it any advertisement that we hear of. (Continued at H2) V T Panchapagesan says : I am glad that all these mentioned are all coming from horse's mouth representing feminine force in form which is a good sign. Yes, Today we are all cheated by jewelers in any form as they know how to fool womenfolks making their husbands mere scapegoats paying the amount as and when need arises satisfying their wives on festive days. In short everybody makes mistakes on buying gold ornaments. We have to learn to see our own and not to turn a blind eye to others’.......when advised.. If hard earned money we earn has not been saved for rainy days we will be handicapped going to various places, borrowing from various sources making our living pitiable. V T Panchapagesan E Collage Follow Up https://cleartax.in/s/gold-investment Excerpts : How to Invest in Gold The ‘golden question’ here is – how does one invest in gold? Traditionally, it was by buying physical gold in the form of coins, bullions, artefacts, or jewellery. However, there are newer forms of gold investments nowadays, such as gold ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and gold mutual funds. Gold ETFs are similar to buying an equivalent sum of physical gold but without the hassles of having to store the physical gold. Hence, there is no risk of theft/burglary as the gold is stored in Demat (paper) form. Gold funds involve investing in gold mining companies. (Continued at H4) F Leisure Hair gets a raise* Hair is being gathered to try and save the world. Let's not split hairs over it. Climate Crisis ? The Baal is in Our Court Hair has been the source of much vanity - and trauma. Ask any shampoo model slo-mo-ing a twirl, or a Delilah-duped Samson. Hair loss has given us not just receding to receded hairlines, wigs and toupees, but also clogged sinks and returned restaurant dishes. But here is a hair-raising use of the good stuff put to second-best use west of the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple - where tonsuring is not just an offering to the god but also an excellent tropical style statement. Britain's Green Salon Collective, a group of smart hairdressers, is channeling the human hair's greater powers by collecting 500 kg of it cut from heads to replenish the earth as 'super manure', generate energy and help clean up oil spills. Hair is a natural absorbent of oil - a kg soaking up as much as 8 litres. If Newton discovered the law of gravity after being knocked on his head by a falling apple, we assume someone must have been getting a champi at the barber's when the idea of using hair to make depolluting filters struck. The idea of 'hair purifiers' originated in the land of the 1967 'countercultural' (read : hippie) musical Hair - the US . It's even been used in real oil spills, one involving a Japanese tanker off Mauritius last year. So, can hair save us from climate crisis ? (shared fro JUST IN JEST column of ET) *Received from V N Kelkar Mumbai G Quotes from inspiring speeches https://www.success.com/12-powerful-quotes-from-inspiring-commencement-speeches/ Like : “The most important thing in your life is to live your life with integrity and to not give into peer pressure to try to be something that you're not.” –Ellen DeGeneres, Tulane University (Ellen Lee DeGeneres is an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer. She starred in the sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998 and has hosted her syndicated television talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, since 2003.) H 1) Continued from A1 Excerpts : All commercial banks and even branches of foreign banks operating in India will come under the purview of this legislation* and this will be applicable to banks which are at present under moratorium. -Sitharaman also said that 98.3% of all deposit accounts will get covered while in terms of value of the deposits, over 50% coverage will be there by DICGC Act. "Each depositors deposit in a bank is insured up to a maximum of ₹5 lakh, for both principal and interest. Now in India with an increase in insurance amount from ₹1 lakh to ₹5 lakh is going to cover 98.3% of all deposit account," Finance Minister said. -"This clearance now, therefore, is going to give relief to all those institutions which have already come under moratorium. It is not going retrospectively back, but if your bank has already been declared under moratorium, this will cover," she added *Amendment to Deposits Insurance Scheme 2) Continued from D2 Buying gold jewellery more than what is mandatory is like pouring your hard earned money down the drain. There are multiple dubious methods through which jewellery merchants cheat gullible customers. First and the heaviest cheating is by charging‘wastage charges'. They collect anywhere from 10% to 40% extra on the weight of the ornament. In other words if you are buying an ornament which weighs 10 grams, you will be charged for 11 grams. There is no such thing as wastage in making gold jewellery. Each and every bit is collected.They collect even a tiny bit of gold powder. Second is manipulation of the scales. We are cheated just before our eyes. The balance with computerised reading is already set up with mistakes, which we may not detect at all. Third is calculating the weight of the ornament including stone or beads or any semi precious items embedded in the ornament. In some jewelleries there are many colourful stones for embellishment. Customer ends up paying gold price for these items which cost much less. It is advisable to buy only ornaments without stones. If you are particular about gems you can buy artificial jewellery. Fourth step of cheating is‘Hall Mark. The jeweller himself engraves hall mark on the jewellery or link one hall mark part of the ornament to another part which is not hall marked. Jewellers can cheat you, even if the jewelry is hallmarked. To know this you have to know that jewelry is made in bits and pieces then linked together. For example when a bangle is made, it's made in halves, then the halves are joined together by soldering or by a clasp. What many people do is that they will make only half of the bangle in real gold and send that to be hallmarked, while the other half is made out of brass or some other lower value metal, then both the pieces will be joined together. When a buyer goes and insists to see the hallmark they will see it but believe that the whole bangle is made out of real gold. This is usually not the case. I am not saying that all jewelers cheat, there are a lot of honest people out there but just because of a few bad poeple, all jewellers are looked at suspiciously. To prevent being cheated, always buy from a trusted jeweller, ask the jeweller to hallmark both sides or you can randomly check the quality of the metal by having it independently checked. Fifth is the monthly instalment scheme. Most jewellers earmark such designs which are not in much demand and show them to these captive customers who have already paid their money. With no option to opt out, they end up choosing one of those rejected items. There are many more. The trouble is we get cheated even if we are aware of all these tricks. When we go to jewellery shop out of necessity and urgency we know fully well that we will be cheated. Get prepared to lose if you invest in gold, even if you go to a known jeweller. May be you can have the satisfaction of being cheated by a known person. Vathsala Jayaraman 3) Continued from AA Excerpts from Charukesi Ramadurai's article : In four of the five southern Indian states, neem flowers — and to a lesser extent, leaves — are used in various other ways: as a spicy everyday chutney (pachadi or thogayal), in vepampoo kuzhambu (a thicker, more pungent stew laced with tamarind) and as vepampoo sadam, or rice mixed with the flowers lightly roasted in ghee, eaten as a stomach cleanser. Akash Muralidharan, food designer and convenor of a research project on forgotten foods of India, called The case of the missing vegetables says: “Ingredients like neem and galangal find their place both in the medicinal cabinet as well as the culinary cabinet of communities which use them.” He goes on to explain more ways in which the neem is used as a ‘detox’ ingredient and how this is still a regular health event in many Tamil homes. (Usually a weekend day is devoted to this, with mild food to give the stomach adequate rest). “Veppilai kozhundu, or the tender leaves of neem, are supposed to be good for deworming and generally any kind of stomach upset. The most tender leaves are chosen for this and ground up together to be swallowed raw.” Muralidharan says that neem flowers also have the most perfect – slightly astringent and fragrant – flavor for dishes like rasam and chutney. I can personally vouch for the added, unique flavour that vepampoo rasam has, when compared to more common rasams made with tomato and lentils. This rasam is thinner in consistency and stands apart in being not as strong on the sour note, instead keeping the focus on the slight astringency that the neem flowers impart. Not surprising then, when Muralidharan says, “I have heard my grandmother say that she would add fresh vepampoo while making panakam (a thin, sweet, summer beverage) just for that shot of astringency within the sweetness.” He then mentions a regret many of us share. “I have heard her talk a lot about neem and [similar] less common kitchen ingredients, but I never took enough interest to ask her more about them,” he says. In Maharashtra too, the neem flower is crushed with jaggery and given as prasad or offering to the gods for Gudi Padwa or the lunar new year. Further up west, Gujaratis know neem as kadvo limdo (or bitter curry leaves), but it is consumed mainly askadha or a medicinal tisane to treat general infections and stomach disorders. *** It is really in Bengali cuisine that neem leaves shine, especially in spring and early summer. There are a variety of dishes with fried neem leaves cooked with vegetables, the most popular being neem begun or eggplant stir fried with neem leaves. There are other, less common recipes like amba nimba jhola (or chutney with neem and ripe mango), nimba kadha pithau (neem flower patties, very much like banana flower vadais), neem narkel bhaja (sautéed neem leaves with coconut) and neem aloo bhate (mashed potato with neem leaves). In a traditional Bengali meal, the first course is meant to be bitter – as if to get that out of the way, so to speak. So in season, fried neem leaves are considered a delicacy. Tushita Patel, author of the cookbook Flash in the Pan hypothesizes that the neem variety in Bengal is milder and sweeter than elsewhere, and describes the meal in more detail, “Neem and other bitter agents (such as karela or bitter gourd, or smaller, less bitter ones called uchché) are eaten as the first course of every traditional Bengali lunch. It’s called teto or bitter, which denotes the first course, just like tawk (tart) is the second last course, with mishti or sweet being the last course,” she says. “The reason we eat a bitter course first is because it’s believed to be an appetiser more than all its other stellar qualities like antifungal, antioxidant etc.” According to Patel, neem is eaten mainly in spring and summer for a couple of reasons, the main one being that the leaves are at their most tender during this season. “The most basic (dish) is neem leaves fried in ghee – neem pata bhaja – eaten as the first course with rice. This is possible only when the leaves are extremely tender and not fully bitter,” she says. Also, summer is the time when the skin breaks out in acne, for which neem is considered a panacea. (Article incomplete. For text please use link provided) 4) Continued from E How to Invest in Gold The ‘golden question’ here is – how does one invest in gold? Traditionally, it was by buying physical gold in the form of coins, bullions, artefacts, or jewellery. However, there are newer forms of gold investments nowadays, such as gold ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and gold mutual funds. Gold ETFs are similar to buying an equivalent sum of physical gold but without the hassles of having to store the physical gold. Hence, there is no risk of theft/burglary as the gold is stored in Demat (paper) form. Gold funds involve investing in gold mining companies. Let’s understand different ways of investing in gold from the following table: Gold Gold ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) Gold Funds Investment in physical gold The investor buys a proportionate value of gold but not in the physical form The investment is made in bullion and companies involved in mining gold No need for Demat account The investor needs a Demat account No need for a Demat account to invest Market fluctuations directly affect the prices of gold Changes in the gold prices affect that of gold ETFs Changes in the gold prices don’t affect gold funds directly No additional charges other than the physical gold itself Gold ETFs involve asset management and brokerage fees There’s a minimum charge to manage the gold funds. Risks of theft and burglary associated with storing physical gold Gold ETFs remove the burden of trading gold in the physical form Eliminates the risk of theft/burglary and buffers investments to changing market fluctuations No paperwork required for investing Paperwork required for investing in gold ETFs Paperwork is required for investing in gold funds Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) not available No SIP option SIP available Best suited for conventional investors Best suited for investors who have the required time and skillset to trade Best suited for investors who expect high returns by taking calculated risks What are Gold Funds By investing in gold funds, you invest in stocks of companies operating in gold and gold-related activities. Gold mutual funds include silver, platinum, and other metals in their investment basket. A mutual fund manager on behalf of an asset management company manages the gold fund, unlike gold ETFs. They make use of the fundamental trading analysis to buy and sell stocks to maximise returns for investors. Returns from gold funds depend on market conditions to an extent. Gold mutual funds eliminate the risk of returns considerably by distributing investments over a wide range of investment options. In other words, mutual funds work on the principle of diversifying, i.e. not putting all eggs in one basket. Investors need to weigh their risk appetite and goals before choosing such a mutual fund. (More at Website...) 5) Continued from D1 When I was in my twenties, I stood in a hospital corridor Waiting for doctors to put a few stitches In my son's head and I asked, 'When do you stop worrying?' The nurse said, 'When they get out of the accident stage..' My Parents just smiled faintly And said nothing. When I was in my thirties, I sat on a little chair in a classroom And heard how one of my children Talked incessantly, disrupted the class, And was headed for a career Making license plates. As if to read my mind, a teacher said, 'Don't worry, they all go through this stage And then you can sit back, Relax and enjoy them.' My Parents just smiled faintly And said nothing. When I was in my forties, I spent a lifetime waiting For the phone to ring, The cars to come home, The front door to open. A friend said, 'They're trying to find themselves. 'Don't worry! In a few years, they'll be adults. 'They'll be off on their own They'll be out of your hair' My Parents just smiled faintly And said nothing. By the time I was 50, I was sick tired of being vulnerable. I was still worrying over my children, But there was a new wrinkle.. Even though they were on their own I continued to anguish over their failures, Be tormented by their frustrations and Absorbed in their disappointments.. And there was nothing I could do about it. My Parents just smiled faintly And said nothing. My friends said that When my kids got married I could stop worrying And lead my own life. I wanted to believe that, But I was haunted by my parent's warm smiles And their occasional, 'You look pale. Are you all right' ? 'Call me the minute you get home'. Are you depressed about something?' My friends said that When I became a grandparent That I would get to enjoy The happy little voices yelling Grandma! Papa! But now I find that I worry Just as much about the little kids As the big ones. How can anyone cope with all this Worry? Can it be that parents are sentenced To a lifetime of worry? Is concern for one another Handed down like a torch To blaze the trail of human frailties And the fears of the unknown? Is concern a curse or is it A virtue that elevates us To the highest form of earthly creation? Recently, one of my own children Became quite irritable, saying to me, 'Where were you? I've been calling for 3 days, And no one answered I was worried.' I smiled a warm smile. The torch has been passed.