Thursday, June 23, 2005

Do you have a good hand ?

Over the last 2 weeks, I have been taken on what I would call, A complete downhill ride into the frenetic confused world which is insurance. I have been trained to now, well judge your human life value, your risk appetite and in effect how every passing second is increasing the chances that you eventually do, yes kick it ! Yes, it is a morbid trade.

Your introduction to the world of insurance will in all likelihood be like this :

Distraught desperado : Hellu, Hellu. This is Suzuki Ram reddy

Unsuspecting victim : No No Thank you, I already have Suzuki car.

Dangerous desperado : Wat Sir, You mistake me, this is Suzuki Ram Reddy Pilli ( name not changed on request) calling on begalf of ICCI Prudential. May I speak to Mr Subramaniam Iyer pleease ?

Remorseful victim : I am sorry, he passed away 1 year back.

Pilli : Saury, Did he buy it, the insurance ?

Befuddled victim : How does it matter ?

Pilli : I suppose he did not baught the insurance , Like all the young fellows today, you also sould not make it the same mistake,. Only louving famely till they die and not till the famely dies. Wuurst mistake.

Suspected Victim : Worst mistake! Picking up the phone, I already have enough insurance, Pease leave me alone.

( ok in most cases the conversation would end here, but blogs are never about “most cases” , now are they)

Insightful Pilli : Vokay, I am supposing you louve you’re family, that is why you have taken it the insurance. But do you want to take it care of it only prasant family, or all future generations aalso.?!?!? Do you have the dreams ?

Hapless victim : I guess we all do.

Euphoric pilli : Then, Please now take a piece of paaper and write down vall…you are dreams, ambitions. You write sar, I go (puts ring finger up ) Kindly excuse sar, One bathroom !

Convinced Victim : Ok, Ok Mr. Pilli ,This sounds a lot like one of those MLM’s?

Deflated pilli : Actually, yit is not a yem el yem (MLM), It is a networking company, Brit World wide. We promote yedification , betterment of society. Only in this bisness men , you can become millionaire in vonly 5 years.

Awakening victim : Cut the crap, Im not wasting my hard earned money, on your trash. Screw off!

Purposeful pilli : Vookay , You basically shortage of funds. I have fantastic salution far you. You go for it personal loan, then sir?

Vengeful victim : Listen up you mother fu*&^%, I am going to take you to the cop station and make sure they beat you so badly, that you will have to sell yourself one of those fu&^%* policies.

Propostrous pilli : Daiii ! Waat men, You acting off too much ha ? You dounot know who you are talkin to menn…I am big fellow in my company, You ask about me men, You also. Go men. YOU P-U-C-K-E-R-R

Right, After going through all that you obviously want to know, How you can avoid being that unfortunate soul, who just got P-U-C-K-E-R-E-D.

Like many of my blog predecessors before me, I have also ventured into answering a simple F.A.Q which might help you actually make the most of the anticipated cold call ( Insurance lingo for call to unknown person, anticipating a cold response)


Alright, let’s start with a simple one. How do I avoid this lunatic ?

Kill him.

Looks like, I will most likely have to kill myself if he calls?

That’s a good idea. But it makes more sense if you buy one of his policies first, wait for a year and then kill yourself. Suicidal claims are entertained only after 1 year; you can actually make a lot of money that way.

Hmmm. What if I just fake my death?

And where are you going to get a dead body that looks like you, You smart ass!

Ok Ok, What if I say just go missing ? They won’t ask for my dead body then, now will they ?

Well, in order for that alternative to take effect you have to go into exile for a minimum of 7 years. Hiding next to Mr.Jackson in “Never never land” sounds like a good option. You should be relatively safe there.

What good is this stupid F.A.Q ? Isn’t there anyway I can actually gain from this mutton head calling me?

Well, You can join his MLM.

Funny, You sound a lot like him. What about some way I can gain from insurance ?

Yeah well, I can let you in on a trade secret.

Finally ! What is it ?

Well, If you are crossing the road on a crowded afternoon, And both a crowded P.T.C bus and a normal vehicle are charging towards you, It is much more profitable to jump in front of the P.T.C Bus. You will actually earn double, or at least your family will.

Are you trying to be funny man? cause if you are, you’re doing a pathetic job at it !

I was'nt sir, But if you want me to, I could. Allow me to entertain you briefly with a short tale . We have a total of 4 characters in our little story. Little Johnny , Papa Boney,Mama Moaney and Uncle Wanky.

Note: Anything sexually oriented here will be referred to as “A little bit of the ole for reasons of convenience.

One afternoon, Little Johnny was walking around his house, when he noticed his father Papa Boney indulding in” A little bit of the ole “ with his maid. So he asked him.

Little Johnny : Dad, What are you doing ?

Papa Boney : (Visibly flustered) Nothing much son. I am just playing some poker.

Little Johnny nodded his head and was visibly convinced.

Next Day

Little Johnny went to his Mom’s office, where he saw her as well indulging in “A little bit of the ole” with her Boss.

Little Johnny : Ma! Ma! What on earth are you doing ?

Mama Moaney : ( Totally befuddled) Well son, Am just playing some poker.

Johnny was now convinced. He had seen his dad play the same game the day before, and by now was learning how to play it himself.

Next Day

Little educated Johnny now ventured into his neighboring uncle’s house, where he was greeted with the baffling sight of his Uncle furiously indulging in “A little bit of the ole” with himself.

Little Johnny : What in God’s name are you doing, Uncle Wanky ?

Uncle Wanky : (Concentration totally disturbed) Well not much Son, Am just playing some poker.

Little Johnny : (Bewildered) Yes, But Where is your partner ?

Uncle Wanky : Well Son, Actually come to think of it, You don’t need a partner if you have a good Hand.

Well, that brings to an end our F.A.Q section, And do keep in mind what Uncle Wanky said, You can actually apply his philosophy to most facets of everyday life.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

:: The road not taken ::

It was that time of the year again, Nanajii and Naniji were coming home to spend New Year’s with us. And on their traditional welcoming dinner, the line of conversation would invariably follow the subsequent path.

Nanaji : Hanji Beta, So what do you plan to become when you grow up?

Invariably, my answer to that question would change with every visit of theirs, and the conversation would customarily end with my Naniji’s recollection..

Naniji : Aapko malum hain beta, Terey papa ney, issey kursi mein das saal key honein mein bhola , Mein engineer banoonga ! (Do you know my son, your father at the tender age of ten, sat in this very chair and said, “I will become an engineer”)

My life though, could never be that simple. For instance, I remember at the age of 10, I was totally taken up by, one of them law oriented sitcoms, that at our customary annual dinner, I proclaimed full of conviction, “Mein lawyer banoonga !” (I will become a lawyer!)

This obviously changed the following year, when I found out that the law so depicted in those law oriented sitcoms was mostly sitcom, and very little law. I then endeavored, on being selected to the school editorial board, that I now had approved potential in writing, and would become a fine journalist.

So, the following year there I was proclaiming, after the by now customary precursory questions, “Mein journalist banoonga!” (I will become a journalist!)

By now, bets were being taken as to what profession, I would endeavor to take up every passing year, and when I finally reached the hallowed 10th standard, I reckoned, that I would finally have to make a choice between the illuminating scientific world, and the more realistic business one.

This time, at the Annual dinner, the interrogation took on a more simplistic route. “ Kya Aapko maths nahin pasand hai” ( Why, You don’t like maths? ). When I replied, that No, I did’nt particularly dislike it. , “Phir Aap Science lo” (“Then you must take science”). And until then, I thought that it would the most difficult decision of my life. Decision making is easy isn’t it, more so when it’s being taken by someone else.

The years passed, and at the 12th grade I took the most obvious step up which was to choose engineering. The 4 years went by in engineering, and very soon it became increasingly evident that I would never like engineering, more so programming.

The problem with both of them was that I never could see any relevance to them in our day to day world. Studying about Mr Lagrange’s theorem or why some functions cannot be implicitly called, really had no bearing on life, the way I understood it.

During the same period, almost like the forbidden fruit effect, I became increasingly captivated by the financial world and the world of stocks and investments. That light brown daily soon became my favorite morning companion, and for the first time in a long time, I actually had a fair idea and grasp of what I was reading about.

As for my engineering, I did what most people in my place would do, struggle through the quantative papers, and gab my way through the theoretical ones. Except for the last year, when we finally had some management papers, my regular routine would be to mug up derivations and other formulae, not understanding even an iota of them and simply spill it out in the paper the following day.

Would it be based on this, that I would be forming my career, for the rest of my days? Was I learning anything, and more importantly “Was I enjoying it?”

With the age old maxim, ” You can only succeed in something, If you enjoy it” , in my mind, I quickly made up my mind and told my parents, that I was going to stay as far away from engineering , as I could.

“If you don’t like engineering, Why did you choose it in the first place, and How can you take up a job in any other sector without any previous experience?”, The barrage of questions, would never end, but fortuitously for me, someone spotted a quick gab and a passion for most things non engineering in me, and offered me a respectable managerial position with one of India’s largest financial houses.

So to all of you who see a little bit of yourselves in me, This is what you must tell your dad, When he asks you, Why you want to say, become a skydiver or say a voyeuristic film maker after enduring 4 years of engineering. “ I am playing to my strengths Pa , The sooner I pursue my interests, the sooner I will start enjoying it, and the sooner I will have embarked on a career I have the best chance of succeeding at . Any interest can be made a career out of today and very often it is not where I start or where I might finish that matters but how much I enjoy the journey”

The older generation has been known to be fond of poetry as well, so you can conclude your little speech like this.

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,


And I,
I took the one less traveled by,


And that might make all the difference”