Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Safety first

As usual, I didn’t have any work to do that I wanted to do. So I decided to drop in for a safety and first-aid training open for everyone at the office. Again, as usual, yours truly walk in 15 minutes late. I had a vague notion that safety and first-aid were important matters and so I was rather embarrassed to be late for such an important training. It was only after I sat down in one of the back benches that I realized that apart the people arranging the event, there was only one other person in the class. Over time, a few others joined in but the turnout was rather disappointing for a facility with more than 3000 people. Considering that we were taught interesting things like CPR (and we even got to practice on a mannequin) I was surprised to see so few people turning up. Its true, software engineers have got their priorities all wrong. Of course it is not totally impossible that maybe everybody else already knows all this. Or perhaps they are really busy with more important things like fixing bugs and attending meetings.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Mission Accomplished

It was 11:30 when I finished going thru all the group mail. Lazily picked up the phone and called the PPF agent. She says she has to leave the post office before 12. I put down the phone and rush to the bank. Pull out the money. Saw Anup in the lift lobby, got him to drop me off at the PO on his bike. 11:50. Thanks buddy :) couldn’t have made it without you. I walk into the PO happy to find the agent waiting at the counter.

Transactions done, I walk to Claypot hoping to get an Onasadhya. No luck, shutters down. Walk to Suswadh. Onasadhya Ready. Stuffed myself with food. Even got a chance to explain Paal Ada to a German saipu who asked, "What is this?" raising the small disposable plastic cup like a glass of champagne. Some mallu techie had brought him and some madamas along. Angane oru Onam koodie kazhinju...

PS: Some PPF tips.
1. Deposit money thru a PPF agent. They will do all the paperwork and give you half of the 1% commission they get. At least they do here in Bangalore.
2. From the 6th year onwards you can withdraw some of the money from the account. Withdraw 70k and deposit it back again. You can now claim tax benefits under Section 80C for the 70k.
3. Put all your 70k in the account before April 5th if you can to maximize interest earned.
4. Start a PPF account early in life. That way you can withdraw it early too.
Don't wait for the taxman. If you are a 3 year old, get your dad to start an account for you. That way you will have enough cash to pay your way thru college by the time you are 18. Add to that a free high interest yielding tax free account for life without having to worry about lock in periods.
5. The government is free to revise the interest rate. So there is always a small amount of risk involved.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The P in PPF don’t stand for Procrastination.

I didn’t put money in my PPF account today.

So what? Do it tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. Hope I do it tomorrow. Cause if I don’t it’ll cost me a few hundred rupees. How? Interest for a given month is calculated on the lowest amount in the account between the 5th and last day of the month. If I don’t put it in by the 5th ie tomorrow, I loose the interest for this month. And 4.5%pa minus taxes that I get from the bank wont take away much of the pain of loosing this months tax free 8%pa. After taxes that works out to a 0.67% loss.

If I care so much about this 0.67%, why did I not do this today? If fact, not on the 1st itself? Why the procrastination? May be it’s because I’m too lazy to go to the post office. May be it has to do with a certain people aversion that keep me from calling up the PPF agent. Maybe I’m afraid that my math is wrong and putting money into PPF at this time is not such a good idea. Maybe this search for a root cause to procrastination is actually a search for an excuse to procrastinate having to deal with it.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Just moved.

Just moved in to Blogger from my old blog page at Pitas, Below, I've migrated the few posts I had on Pitas to Blogger.

I had started the Pitas account way back in March 2001 during my third sem at MACE and put a link to it on my homepage on Geocities. Back then, blogging was still in its infancy, Blogger wasn't even on the scene and I had a lot to study for university exams. So I forgot all about my newly created blog.

Three years later, during my second year of M.Tech at CUSAT , I thought of revamping my Geocities homepage. That’s when I noticed the link to Pitas and I thought, "Why not ditch the static homepage and start blogging?" In the intervening three years, blogging had become hugely popular and Geocities was almost history.

Then, my internship went on to become a job. Amidst 14 hour days and steep learning curves, blogging was put on the back burner once again. Now, a year later, I finally have more time on my hands, and plan to start blogging once again. And I hope to continue blogging; atleast till the next killer app comes along.