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Posts Tagged ‘Scribbles’

The art of Con

Being a bachelor gives me the liberty and freedom to keep the call bell to my residence, switched off. Having a house in the ground floor, that serves a lot of purposes in Bengaluru. I don’t have to wake up to salesmen practicing their marketing skills and failing miserably. I can dodge the wannabe watchman who dons his uniform only when he decides its time to collect his monthly dues. The other benefit it gives me is an exemption from managing to politely reject all the donation seekers that drop by. Then again, for being so smart, sometimes you do pay a small price and end up opening the door to them. This is one such instance.

Image of opened magic book with magic lights

I was engrossed in my morning rituals, no, I shall not bore you with the details of it, when I heard someone press the call bell and realise it was switched off. For some reason, I decided to open the door. And there he was, a typical Sikh/Punjabi with a not so long beard and the turban. He wouldn’t have been much older than me, maybe early to mid thirties at max. I either did not catch his name, or he didn’t give it to me. With my memory, I am betting on the latter. He gave me a card featuring an image of Guru Nanak, saying they were holding a Holi celebration near Ulsoor Lake, at some ground, and that they would be involved in charity. Then he switched on. Addressing me as a brother, he told me that I should not keep many friends as they hold me back from progress. I should not share my ideas with people as it would hamper its execution. He asked me what time I woke up, and to my reply of 8.30, he told me I should be waking up by 6-6.30 and that all plans that I do in the nights tend to fail. He asked if I was in service and I said yes. He said I had three-line on my forehead and asked me if I had noticed it. I said yes. He told me I only benefitted from the two lines and the third was elusive to me. He said whatever I earned so far was only due to my perseverance and hard work and the benefits of my luck were yet to fructify. He told me it wasn’t my luck that was helping me so far but a family member’s. He said that would change soon and taking a piece of paper, wrote 27/05/2017 on it. He said that would be a big day for me. He further wrote three letters P.H.M and underlining the letter P, asked if I knew what they were. I nodded a no. He said they were what awaited me after the said date. Writing another letter S, he asked me if I had someone whose name started with the letter and circled it. I again nodded no. He asked if I had any friends with the said letters. I said no. He said I would soon be meeting them and things would be great. Then asking me to hold his pen, he tore a small piece of the paper, wrote something on it such that I could not see it and curling it into a ball, asked me to hold it. Then he asked me to think of a winged bird. I said parrot. He asked me if I choose it or he made me choose it. I told it could be either. He then asked me to choose a number between 25 to 29. I choose 27. He again told me that I could have chosen any of the other four choices but I choose 27. Then he asked me to open the curled up paper. He had written P and 27. He then said the P.H.M stood for prosperity, happiness and money!

He asked me for my name. I told him. He told me to always give full names. I did. He gave me another piece of paper which had a list of names and asked me to include mine. I did. They also contained amounts against each name. He asked me how much I wanted to contribute. I simply handed him the paper and pen back saying I will see when I come there. He told me I should not let them go back empty-handed. I stuck to my I will see when I come there point. He said I was disrespecting them by not giving anything. I told him he was disrespecting me by not accepting that I would do the needful when I came there. He conceded and left.

If someone really wants to collect money for a good cause, why resort to tricks. Why not be straight forward about it. Unfortunately for him, I knew exactly where he was headed with his chatter. He blew his trick, the moment he went overboard on not being able to collect anything.

Let me explain how he did it. The initial chatter was simply testing waters and gaining confidence. Deep down every person always feels they haven’t been lucky enough and things have been holding them back. You simply need to hear it from someone and you will be all wrapped up in it.
When I told him I woke up at 8.30, I was lying. If he was a good one, he should have caught it, coz, I actually paused, as if considering my answer, before giving it to him. Then again, he needed to be bold to actually accuse me of lying. From there, the part about waking up early and not working in the night was simply an educated guess.
The bit about my luck changing was setting the premise for the trick. The date 27 was simply a suggestion to my mind, further enhanced by the clever inclusion of it being a great day for me. The underlined letter P and asking me to hold the pen was the second part. What this exercise ensured was that when I was asked to choose a flying bird, even though the first thought that came to my mind was crow, I didn’t choose it as it is associated with negativity. The next thought was pigeon. I skipped it coz I didn’t know what he was upto and I didn’t want him to succeed whatever it was. I picked parrot. It didn’t matter which I choose coz it would have started with the letter P due to the suggestions he had already fed me. I couldn’t have thought of a crane or an eagle.
When he asked me to choose a number between 25 to 29, he didn’t bother to clarify I could choose 25 or 29. He had said between remember. So there were only three logical choices. 27,28 & 29. Not only did he emphasise on 27 before, but it is also the median of the set he gave me and any normal person who isn’t really thinking would choose it without thinking twice. He later added 25 and 29 to the list of choices giving me the feeling I had more choices than I actually did.

There was a second part which I didn’t mention in the story above, since it did not get there with me. The list of amounts written included 2,000/3,500/1,000 and so on. The lowest amount was 500. If i did decide to contribute that would have become my psychological threshold and would have ensured I at least gave 500, provided I had the means. If i didn’t I would have still given a 100. I wouldn’t have dared to give a 10 or 20.

How do I know this? Well, if you watch serials like the Mentalist or White Collar, you would too. 😉

He might have been running an actual celebration for all I know. But to come to the other part of the town for collection certainly raises questions and I would certainly not travel just for a meal. Again, he had no receipt book or an actual invite with details. In any case, he certainly had one wasted trick to go back home to.

The year that was – 2015

Some good natured soul, shared a wonderful message about new year resolutions, and that got me thinking about a lot of things. Amongst them, I realised it had been a while since I blogged. Apparently, my last blog post dates somewhere in april 2015. *On the bright side, I still have a great memory, **laughs** * So, I thought my first item on the to-do list for the new year would be to write more. What better way to dust your fingers than to revisit the bygone. *turns out it isn’t very easy if you haven’t done anything noteworthy. you have to dig deep into your imaginative skills to polish the little things that you did into shiny trophies.*

I started writing for Oneframestories. It is a innovative idea where, a picture is posted every week and you can write a story based on the same within 99 words. So every week, we have one frame and a dozen different stories based on it. As much as it was my new year resolution to write every week *coz you know how lazy I can get and that I haven’t really been doing much of creative writing of late* I have missed a lot of frames, some due to work deadlines and the tiredness that came along, and some others due to lethargy and frames that didn’t evoke much in my imagination. Till date I have managed to make 36 frames out of the total published 73 frames. I started with Frame 18, so excluding the first seventeen, I have made 36 out of 56 frames. Not bad, I guess 😀 (Read all my frames here)

As a kid, annual reports meant craft and rocket materials. They made excellent rockets that lasted way longer, were sturdier and had excellent projectiles! *Its been a while since I made them, must pick one of those duplicates and make some, for old times sakes* Neat reports and numbers were always a favourite. Soon I realised, I could be a part of them in two ways. One, as the promoter who signed them as the owner or two, as a Chartered, who signed them as the Company’s auditor. And that was one of the reasons why I picked to become a CA. To accomplish it both together, feels like a feather on the cap! *It is a different matter that being a promoter of a listed entity or its auditor is still a distant dream*
Sometimes I feel, all my dreams have come true already and that I don’t have many aspirations left on my wish-list. *Then I kick myself, and wake up from the dream :D*

IMG_20151106_110708Seventeen month ago, when I started practice, I told myself I didn’t need an office space and that I would consider getting one when I had picked on a few clients and got a grip over the area I would mostly be around. *Having clients around Electronic city and having an office at Whitefield or vice versa, would have sounded foolish* November, a year into practice,I was finally setting up my office. It was not a planned deal, which goes to show, what is meant to happen shall happen whether or not you plan for it. I was on a work visit back home and happened to deliver a talk to some of my father’s customers. In the chance encounter, one of them walked up to me and told me they had a commercial space that was lying vacant for sometime since they wanted a known person. I was given the address and asked to take a look at it. One thing led to another and I ended up taking it.
I now train articles! Yes, it was just last year that I had written about finishing my articles and here I am already training others under me. I won’t deny that there is some excitement attached to it. Then again, there is definitely the added responsibility to not only teach them but get your work done from them in the time and manner required.

The advantage of vertical integrating in any field is that you already know what is expected and that enables you to save time. It was a wonderful experience to be on the other side of where I was just a while back. *you know you are doing something right when you type a lot of stuff and then delete it because you cannot talk about it :D. This year has been a lot about such things, so I think I should wrap this up short and sweet*

IMG_20150410_064216The travel during the year was mostly work related. I got to go to Andhra Pradesh during peak summer. My nature of work enabled me to a VIP visit to Simhachalam, a entry via the front door and walking right through all the barricades like it was a local temple in your area, was really an experience. The flip-side to the scorching heat was that I finally got to belt on authentic Andhra meals! Lunch was my favourite part of the daily routine. *thinks about the food and drools* The other highlight of the trip was the nursery corridor on the vizag-rajmundhri route. The nurseries ran into acres of land with all variety of plants ranging from a week old to a dozen years old! Apparently the plants are exported all over the world from there. Such simple folks the owners were. Each nursery owner owned atleast 10-20 acres of land on the highway. They get free water and electricity all through the year, thanks to the amazing canal system in place since the British raj. Yes, there was this Viceroy Walter Churchill, who managed to get it done. It is said, when he passed away, a delegation from that place actually visited London to pay their last respects to him on behalf of the entire village. You might not get to see many Gods’ pictures or idols across the village, but idols of the Viceroy, you will see in plenty. They worship him. And why not, he has literally made their life by providing the means of elixir; water.

*I have stretched this for months now and it is beginning to feel old. As much as the financial year is yet to end, I do not intend to use that card and shall consider this as a delayed but nevertheless a post to begin the year with. Hopefully, I will write more. If not, I will find something to blame :D*

Bengaluru musings – Flying in a blue dream!

*Ah! A star before the story even begins! Not cool! Not cool! I know! But kya kare, I tried getting to the point directly, but realized, I could do no better than write a line or two. Why? Because, it’s been so long since I last scribbled three months back. Again, that was a post that began another three months back. **You might be thinking why is this fellow giving a crazy stat about his laziness? I do it for two reasons, one; to remind myself, how lazy I have been and two; After that long break, I am just warming up!!** *

About a year into Bangalore, yes, it was still Bangalore back then, I thought of starting this series to jot down little things I came across in my everyday life, giving me insights and probably making me a begin to feel a part of the city. But it didn’t take off and the post lay in the drafts, catching its fair share of dust for three long years plus a couple of months, until I found time to dust it off and rekindle it again.

bangaloreMarch, 2011 – I came down to Bangalore to live a dream, working in a BIG4! In doing that, I embarked on a lot of new journeys simultaneously, taking baby steps across them all. Among other things, I was staying away from my family for the first time in my life. out all by myself in a new place. I was working as the face of an elite organisation, in a field I had no prior knowledge of.  That meant, I had the scope for a very huge learning curve, which in turn meant a lot of stories to talk about.

26 March, 2015 – Four years later, 21 days later, as I walked into a mall for a little grocery shopping, I realized, even after having traveled across the length and breadth of the city covering over 60-70% of the major areas, *no, you can’t ask me if I have traveled to an x area and judge my stats based on it :P* this city still felt like a stranger. That is when I remembered, about this old post, I had once thought of writing, about this new muse in the form a city. I won’t deny that the post is very disoriented, but, I didn’t want to disturb the essence of the original thoughts in it, if any 😉

Now that I have bored you with enough jigsaw pieces and having cleared the entangled thoughts in my mind through you, lemme kick-start the series with a little story – Flying in a blue dream.

Diagonally across my house, there is small grocery store, and each day, I see this old man, probably in his late fifties or early sixties, wearing a dhoti, a gandhi cap and a navy blue jacket, sit outside the shop. Most days, he would be seated on a chair, but on days when the shop was closed, or even otherwise, he was found squatting on the floor. I have seen him sleeping there too. Every time I cross by, he waves, and I wave back. We have not had a real conversation so far and I don’t even know his name. In a city where you don’t know your neighbor, things like this, go on show that deep down the core, we are all social. Maybe some day, in the near future, I will find time to spark a conversation with him, and probably get a picture too…

Refilled with ink…


Pic credit:

We humans have this unique quality called moving on, where we do this thing called pausing to keep in touch, until something jolts us, making us re-visit the  budgeted map.

2015, has been, touch-wood,  pretty interesting so far. I got back writing regularly and as an icing on the cake, I seem to be blogging regularly as well. So what about this change?

Somewhere in the middle of 2014 (Read: The year that was – 2014), I don’t remember the date, *no, I wasn’t able to find it readily, and no, I am not going to work on it to arrive at it, I choose laziness* I read about an initiative called one frame stories (Read: One frame stories) where one had to write short stories in 99 words or less. For the next few days, I tried to conjure short stories, but could come up with nothing and like always I invoked laziness and it didn’t fail me.

It is said, to become a CA you have to make a lot of sacrifices. Not wanting to change the old adage, I decided I would reduce writing gradually. By the time I was in the middle of the course, my blog had completed its metamorphosis into Kumbhakaran. True to his name, he woke at those scheduled intervals and went back to his sleep again. Somewhere in between those cycles, I had become a CA and suddenly has some time on my hands. So I decided to reverse engineer Mr.Kumbhakaran to his former self.

One of the factors that added to it was that one frame stories started popping up on my radar at regular intervals. An artist gets inspiration by seeing another art work, like ways, a writer finds inspiration from reading others writings, and that’s exactly what happened to me. I also wanted to be a part of the new initiative which was not so new anymore. I read all about it, the hows and the whens. It was about one story every week, and that seemed a good discipline for my requirements.

If only things were so easy. Thanks to twitter, the imagination came met a signal every 140 characters and the traffic was replication blore. I couldn’t come up with anything for the first frame. One week passed by. This was somewhere in late December of 2014. I knew if this continued, I would lose my writing skills, or whatever little I possessed. So come 2015, I decided I would dutifully submit a frame every week, thereby keeping in touch with words and kick-starting my imagination regularly.

All good things come to an end. So did this one. One day, there was buzz about a coffee table book, the next there was a change in the frame day, a week later, there was no announcement on the publishing, and the week after that, there was no publishing too.

In spite of the abrupt disappearance, it had given me the much-needed rejuvenation. I felt the pen was refilled with ink, good to go for the foreseeable future.

P.S. I still check their page everyday in the hope that they decided to return again. Even if they don’t, I shall always look up to the initiative.

Now that you have come so far, do take some time to watch the video below by The music is catchy.

Together, we can…

We all have those moments when spent time with the ones we love – our family or our closest friends and it gave us the strength and motivation needed to go on and achieve something, or simply keep going. Here is a story that is on similar note, but a little different in itself, my write-up on #together for

Year ends are never easy for a somebody who is into the Audit & Assurance services. The stock takes, cash counts & audits can take a toll. Add to it the different locations spread across the city, and travelling becomes your biggest nightmare! And you if you are somewhat good in what you do, your demand spikes. As a result, client place more or less replaces your home, weekends go on a much deserved long break without notice of return, your family starts thinking you don’t have time for them anymore, and the best of all, it takes a big toll on your health.


Staying in a hotel, while on deadline assignments, has two big advantages, one being you don’t have to travel back and forth each day and being somebody who is used to travelling 100+ kms every day, trust me, there is no adjective that will describe my feeling. The second is that you get to sleep more, well relatively at least 😀 Now for the bad news; with advantages come disadvantages. The time saved from waiting at the traffic now gets converted into additional work time. When you were travelling up and down, there used to be the thought in the back of the mind that you needed to get home, sleep and come back again. Now your bed being a mere five minutes walk away, you are forced to work more! Then there is the rich food! Food from star hotels are tasty, but, for the first few days only. With lack of sleep, they start to mess with your digestion and your health literally goes for a toss!

It was the season of IPL matches and by the time I got back to the room, even the highlights of the match that is telecast after the panel discussion, after the second match is over, would have ended. Our body can take only so much, and there is limit to everything. Soon, one by one started falling prey to sickness. Like they say, the last one falls the hardest, I woke up one morning and realized it was my turn. The ground beneath me was doing a disco dance, my stomach decided it wanted an overhaul forgetting there wasn’t anything left in it to overhaul. As I walked down to the breakfast table, my colleagues noticed I was knocked. By the time they finished eating, I had decided I need some rest and could not take it anymore. Being the super empathetic team, they readily agreed. I still remember one of my seniors telling me, “Dude, you take some rest, we need you.”

It is wonderful what an hour’s sleep can do to a sleep deprived soul. The world felt saner again. But the task was far from done. In a place where you get only junk food as takeaways and the hotel provided rich food that you are sure, if consumed will make you fall back, it is hard to rejuvenate from meandering sickness. I decided fruit bowl would be my course of meal for the day. Come lunch time, while the team went back to the rich food, I went to the cafeteria for a fruit bowl and a glass of juice. As I was waiting for my order, the manager from client side came to have his lunch. He asked if he could join me for lunch and I agreed. He asked me what I ordered and on being told, insisted on sharing his food with me. He had banana curry, rice and sambhar. I felt like I was having food made by my mom. Apparently he was in a hurry and had to attend a hearing. It gave me an excuse to hog in hurry without looking ravenous. I don’t if it was luck or simply a reward for my dedication. Whatever it was, it ensured the black morning was behind me and the rest of the audit went by uneventful, well at least for me 😉

Sometimes you find a family away from home. New relationships are forged during testing times. Maybe some turn brittle later, but I have been lucky to have found some wonderful people to work with, without whom, I probably wouldn’t have been where I now am. In the run up to closure, there was a time when all of us were jittery and lacking energy. But the team spirit was such that, we bought a big pack of Glucon-D and shared a drink every hour or so 😀 This is just one of the many little incidents that formed a part of my rich three-year experience that goes to show, together, we can! (Read: It is time to fly…)

P.S. Yes, we were a crazy bunch of people to work like that. We are professionals.

Now that you have come so far, do take some time to watch the video below. The music is catchy.

It is time to fly…

“The eagle pushed its fledgling out of the nest. It dropped a few feet, spread its wings and started flying.”
It formed an introduction to a favorite Tom & Jerry show or another favorite cartoon. We grew up watching such scenes as a part of our cartoon entertainment. Back then, Tom & Jerry were the subjects of attention and we paid little attention to other subjects forming a part of the bigger picture.

As I grew up, I started seeing the world with my own views and become architect of dreams that no longer included the master planner parent. I learnt, the fledgling didn’t need a nudge to start flying. There would be rearing to go, the moment they find out they have the ability to fly. Here is my #StartANewLife write up for

For as long as I remember, I have always been fascinated by numbers, not the technical math types, but the financial types. Having a father who is also a CA and investor, ensured there were a lot of  annual reports dropping by every year, and the neat presentation furthered the cause. As a kid, they made excellent material for rockets! The sturdy papers ensured the rockets traveled farther and lasted longer. But as I grew up, I realized I could also become a part of those reports. I could either be the entrepreneur and sign as an owner, or I could become a CA and sign as an auditor. I didn’t know it was the Directors who signed the reports then. If I did, maybe I would have thought of another route 😉 Just saying.

For a kid being so interested in becoming a CA, I didn’t know the whole procedure to become one, until I actually enrolled for the course. Nevertheless, I soon learnt of the Big4 and my target was to become a part of one. Being from a small town, Big4 was something of an unapproachable big thing. I was told they were very selective about their recruitment and it spanned for weeks depending on the number of candidates. And then again, the result was not guaranteed. Did I want to risk it? I could have joined under my father and easily gotten through my articleship. But, I had decided it would be the Big4. I made it.

Big4 meant I had to move to a new place, away from home, alone. At home, a tiring day after college would have meant eat hot food that is ready and then sleep. But here, there were times when after a 18-20 hour shift at work, I would come home, prepare food, wash clothes, and eat dinner at wee hours in the mornings. At home, weekends meant lazing in front of the Tv and enjoying the Sunday special made by mom. But here, for months at stretch, there was no weekends. It was just another day at work. It was a new dimension that not only molded me as a professional through the vast experience, but also helped me become independent.

Fast forward three years and a final exam later, I was a qualified Chartered. I could have joined my father. My firm was ready to hire me. The industry would have definitely absorbed me somewhere or the other. I would have had a 7 figure package. There would have been no real worry until my parents decided to get me married 😀


Pic credit:

No. I was never a fan of employment, and no amount of money could have gotten me to slog for somebody else. I always wanted to become my own boss, which in my field meant starting my own practice. I was told, starting immediately was not wise. Work for a couple of years, gain some experience, earn some money and then start. Big city makes building your brand difficult. You are still a kid, people will not take you seriously. So on and so forth.

My funda was simple. If you had faith in yourself and God, you will succeed. It might take some time, it might be difficult, but it will definitely happen. So I moved back to Bangalore, and have started a new life chasing dreams. The dream of being a part of an annual report maybe far, but the journey has already begun. It is time to fly…

Now that you have come so far, do take some time to watch the video below. The music is catchy.