a bold new drive! :)

Yea. So, the vacation I had was not just about fun and beach and yummmmmy food and unwinding and more beach and everything. It was also lectures on and admonitions for not saving money…and being callously spendthrift πŸ˜€

Ok…I must give my poor dear in-laws their due: they were real darlings about it πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰

There. Now, that done, let me tell you, we had long siesta-turned-discussion stretches on how to save money. Hehe. Apparently, all the while, they’d thought I’m careful with that thing. Turned out, money leaves me more quickly than it does the husband πŸ˜€

Anyways, after we shot down suggestions of buying a house now, we settled on the topic of cars! All this while, instead of even thinking of buying one, we’d been shamelessly cruising around on the Matiz which the dad-in-law gave us when they moved from Kochi to Chennai for a year and half. That year and half is over, and he’s retiring end of this month. So, the Matiz has been called back for duty at Kochi.

At the cost of gifting us the down-payment for a new one πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ So, we happily said yes to “investing” in a car.

The husband had multiple options in mind. Ford Figo; Hyundai i10 and 20; Chevrolet Beat; Maruthi Swift.

I was hell-bent on a Maruthi Swift. Both set of parents said it looks like a frog. But well, who cares πŸ˜€

The dad-in-law suggested the Ford Figo; my dad agreed too. The common hatred of the Swift bound them both closer than fevicol ever could! πŸ˜€

The brother said “Never ford or chevvy; high maintenance”.

Finally, the husband and I struck a deal: I get to choose the car; he gets to choose the colour. [Yea. The husband swore never to buy a car unles it’s a black one! Sigh! Bowled over my complaints of it getting heated up, saying there’s auto climate control these days :D; so then the other option was to let me choose the car.] So well, it was decided we’re buying a black swift. πŸ˜€

Many test drives, comparisons, features, costs, EMIs, loan providers, opinions, likes and dont-likes, and colour-arguments later, we dumped all these options. There was one more babe in town.

We went. We saw. We fell (in love). With tuscan wine .
And the opinion was unanimous. Only the colour was a problem. But when the wife likes tuscan wine, the husband can’t whine! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

She’ll be home in 3 weeks! πŸ™‚

The tuscan wine punto.

The Tuscan Wine Fiat Grande Punto Emotion 1.2 (Petrol) πŸ™‚

recession and youngsters!

Everyone’s talking of recession. Be it jobs, pay checks, a much-wanted vacation, a shopping extravaganza, a beauty therapy, a movie in a multiplex, an evening in the mall, a new pair of kurtas, a much-awaited tatoo…everything gets ‘verbally’ delayed or postponed “in this time of recession”. Apparently, even the blind man’s cut down on the choice between the blue pill and the red pill (see Comment #19) πŸ˜€ !

But how true is this??? A few excerpts from real-life experiences!

You: What a surprise! How come you are in a bus??
Friend: Recession, re! No money. Wallet’s almost empty.
You (nodding in agreement): Yea…I know. So, where you off to?
Friend: Am meeting an old ‘friend’ (winks) in CCD at 5. Haven’t seen each other in a long time. So, thought could catch up over a coffee.
You: Uh…uh. (Cafe Cofee Day’s the only place for a coffee??)

You: You sure you wanna come in my car? I thought you hated car-pooling. Friend (sheepish smile): I do. But well…one has to change with the times. When the wallet’s empty, that’s when saving becomes important! πŸ˜€
You: Hop in! Where can I drop you?
Friend: At the mall. Have some shopping…and am catching a movie with my girl! (beams)
You: Uh…uh. (Mall and multiplex??)

You: Dude, can you lend me 5k? I’ll return it in 15 days.
Dude: Jeez, no! I just bought a car.
You: What? In this time of recession?
Dude: Yea! Dad wanted me to buy a house. But what good’ll that do now,when I’m staying with them? A car’s what I need now. Helps us friends hang around and go places together. Anyway, it’s an investment. So, rather invest in somethings that’s most useful now!
You: Uh…uh. (Investment?? Car over a House? Really?)

You: Hey buddy! How’s it going?
Friend: Not too good. Mom called up yesterday too. She’s vexed that I’m not sending home any money! What does she know about recession!
You: Hmmm… but maybe you could…
Friend (cutting you short): Hey! Check out my new hairstyle! I coloured it too! Spent a fortune on it at L’oreal! Phew!
You (gaping): But you just said…well, never mind! (After a pause) Oh, it’s stunning!

recession1Has Recession hit only the Management, that hard? Because even though lay offs and salary cuts are happening, Coffee Days and Baristas and Pizza Huts and Malls and Multiplexes and Branded Outlets and Fancy Restaurants and Boutiques and Professional Salons and are all always full of people!

And more interestingly, they are always full of young people! Is there something that makes these Hargrave-types so confident of a brighterΒ  (financial and economic) tomorrow?

So, how many of you are saving? And how? Would love to get some tips…because I seem to be one of those indifferent ‘youngsters” (though I have no confidence in a financially better tomorrow; this is just how I am). πŸ˜€

Life was like that! Fun, not obnoxious!

The only part of work-life that I enjoy these days are the 2 hours that I spend in the bus — one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening at night πŸ˜€

The instances of ‘life’ that pass one by — a couple in front of small juice-shops, the crowd around a pani-puri wala, the more affluent groups in a Cafe Coffee Day, a smokers’ group under a tree’s umbrella, a daily chat-point in the middle of a busy footpath — are priceless and has a nostalgic value that transports one to their own such days.

Invariably, every single day, when such instances pass by me, I re-visit my school and college days (though we never belonged to the affluent CCD types or the smokers πŸ˜‰ ). I think of the friend groups that I belonged to — which would fall into at least two of the above mentioned categories…and I long to go back to those days. Only, I’m not quite sure which group/period I’d love going back to the most. All of those are unique in their own ways.

And now, when I think of friends, I think of the number of leaves I must apply for. The early parts of 2009 (and the later parts of 2008 ) seems to be a marriage season for my friend groups. Since August 2008, already 7 friends of mine have got married — 2 of them are on queue, and will be married soon!

400_f_4240823_icbio7rvcubdjz8yrxxywbedhlbf8adhThe most fun, I’d say happened during Post Graduation Days. I did my PG in a college that had (still has) a dictator for a director…and the most unbelievable rules. Our batch, the only all-Malayalee batch till then (among the different streams of courses, and among the different batches in our own stream), re-wrote a few lines in the college’s proud ‘disciplinary’ history.

We bunked our mid-semester exams. Something no one till then hadn’t (and wouldn’t) even dreamt of!

We were 15 of us, from various parts of Kerala. When chicken pox broke out in the college and the hostels were vacated for quarantine, IΒ  declared that exams’d been postponed (I and Merlin were the only hostelites) — and all of us happily went home! In fact, when the class rep called us all up the next day morning to inform us that the exams were not called off, we were all in various parts of the state and simply refused to return! πŸ˜€ For the same reason, ours became the only batch which got a mass suspension! πŸ˜‰

The icing on the cake was when, during one of our film production classes, we were asked to write a small 5-minute script — any plot, any idea, any genre. We presented a spoof on an issue that’d popped up between the Director and one of our classmates.

There was a bus strike on a particular day, and this classmate of ours, who comes to college in her own car everyday, took a leave and cited the bus strike as an excuse. The Director was furious! What followed was a major blasting session in his room — she was asked never to enter the college campus in her car! πŸ˜€

With this incident in mind, we scripted the following story:

A few points: The college’s name is SCMS; the Director’s name is Mr Pramod Thevannoor (who is a renowned smoker πŸ˜‰ ); our roll numbers were ‘FP – xxx’. I and Manju (another of my classmates) actually went up to the front of the class room and enacted the whole thing! πŸ˜€ And so went the ‘script’ :

This is a real life story…a short one…just two days old…the story of Candida Joseph! Candy was shocked when the faculty assistant barged into the class and announced that HP-176 was to meet Mr Priyesh Perumbavur, with immediate effect! From her very first day at MCSS College, she had realised the mistake of her lifetime — joining there!! Now with this added headache, reluctantly she walked to the Corporate Office. The issue was simple: why was she absent the previous day! That too, when there was a bus strike going on..!! Waving her rejected leave application on her face, the Director was demanding for a reason. Fighting the clouds of cigarette smoke in the cabin, she racked her brain for an apt explanation. Was it her fault that everyone on campus knew she drove to college in her own car?? Obviously not!!Β  And the Director was not at all amused by the bus strike story. His decision was rather quick…she was expected never to take a leave again. And not just that…she was banned entry i400_f_4750686_vwhdmotiz65ge5kqokipdnaj6i0tfnq1nto campus if she came in any vehicle owned by her or her family!! The watchmen were told not to let her enter the college if she did so…and they jumped with joy!! Candy was flustered…depressly oppressed. What the **** is his problem? Candy set her mind on revenge!! REVENNNNNNNGE (BG Music:tatata tatataaa…Sethuramaiyer CBI tune) Money was never a problem for Candy. In a couple of days, MCSS had a new neighbour! Whozzat??? Candy! She bought a plot, right next to the college premises!! Not only did Candy come to college everyday, she came in her own car…and where did she park it?? In her new plot, her very own parking area…right where the Director could see it through his window!
A new beginning…… and……. Thank You…!

Yes, obviously, the Director had his own sources; he got to know and was furious! The funniest part was that the classmate who depicted ‘Candida’ was on leave the day we did this scripting exercise. But the next day when she came to college, she was called again by the Director and asked to stay away from college until she brought her parents and apologised to the Director! πŸ˜€

Well, we had a lot of explaining to do to the poor girl who was at a total loss! πŸ˜€

Those were the days! Miss all you guys and gals! Sigh!

Look forward to a one-hour bus journey tomorrow too…and look forward JUST to that! πŸ˜€

And yea, “Hi everyone. Just to let you now that I am alive!