life

The one who shaped me to what I am today…

” Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber and future of an individual.” 

Teaching is a very noble profession. And it is indeed a complicated profession. It demands broad knowledge, enthusiasm, caring attitude and a love for learning; knowledge of discipline and classroom management techniques and a desire to make a difference.

Yeah!! Why am I writing this??

Because, I met my teacher who taught me in my first grade in the most unexpected way possible. I joined one of those Kendriya vidyalayas close to where I lived. I knew nothing about the locality or anything. Okay!! I was a five year old. My first day to school was bad. I was this very quiet child who never spoke a word to anyone. There was a lot of cultural differences. I was helpless. Then, My class teacher, Ms. Annie brenda. Yes!! I should mention her name, She made me into what I am today.

Since, I was this quiet kid, no one actually knew what I was. After topping the class, she started noticing me. She called up my mom and met her personally. She told my mom ” I thought this kid had a problem, she is introverted and does not say a word in the class, But then she topped the class. Make her interact with everyone and bring her out of the world.” That was a turning point in my life probably. My teacher who encouraged me in every way possible made me come out of my bubble. I started participating in competitions and won prizes too.  Once she gave me a chocolate that costed 10 bucks for keeping my progress report neatly. (Yeah!! I am a 90’s kid and 10 bucks was a big deal back then. ) She still is my best teacher indeed.

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That’s what sums her up…:)

 

Then came my Hindi teacher. Her name was Ms. Padmini. She is this beautiful looking woman.  She is my neighbor now. She taught me everything possible where I am able to communicate at ease where people ask me where I am from. I was into all the writing competitions and won prizes nevertheless it was not my mother tongue.

After a long period of 20 years, I still think of my teachers who made me a better person in every way possible.

This is one of those very few noble professions where you are able to light up the other person’s life, where you are the role model for everyone of them, where you are considered trustworthy, where you find those hidden talents from every kid, where you treat everyone equally regardless of their backgrounds, where you shape someone and much more. It cannot be described by any combination of the alphabets put together. 

It was a stroke of luck when I met my teacher in a restaurant after 12 years. I could see that love and compassion in her eyes when I introduced myself. OMG !! That was one of those moments which you always remember for a lifetime. She was oh so happy when she heard that I am doing well in my life. After my mother, she is one of those most beautiful women I have ever met.

Today, I am a confident and an  independent woman, who is still struggling to come out of my bubble. But, for what I were before, I have come a long way. Had I been the same little girl, I would not be doing anything I am doing today. I would always thank my teacher for that note.

A teacher’s profession is truly a blessed and a very strong one and the love is just nothing compared to all the money in the world. They are our idols indeed.

Until next time!! Have a nice day!!

 

finance, life

The basic finance I learnt from my dad!!

“In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable.”

                                                                                          – Robert Arnott

How did it all start???

It all started when I started earning a stipend of Rs 5 k per month in my fourth year of architecture, where I am supposed to work as an intern in a firm. I was in my own city, so I never had to worry about food or shelter. So, spending on little luxuries was my thing for the first two months, then I started keeping some money in my account, which I would call saving up.

After a period of eight months, I opened a demat account as my dad was bugging me constantly. (Yeah!! when you are in the phase of growing up, your dad looks like your biggest enemy in this whole world, ironically, you realize everything later when you face the world.)

So, I would really state the difference between saving and investing. Read it carefully.

Savings refers to that part of disposable income, which is not used in consumption, i.e. whatever is remained in the hands of a person, after paying all the expenses. On the other end, Investment is the act of investing the saved money into financial products, with a view of earning profits. It alludes to the increase in capital stock.

I started with a mere amount of Rs 10 k in June 2015 and invested in some stocks. I was seeking my dad’s help shamelessly for the market study because I never had this finance or economics study background in my life. It did take a lot of effort to learn but it was all worth it.

Where did all the money come from when I went back for my final year?? Yeah!! It was all the money which my relatives, grandparents and my parents gave me with a lot of love. The same disposable income we spend on eating out and getting other luxuries. I kept investing all of it.

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Compounding was the key. 

Now, how to diversify your investments?? 

  • Fixed deposit- Fixed deposits are a high-interest -yielding Term deposit and offered by banks in India. The most popular form of Term deposits are Fixed Deposits, while other forms of term Deposits are recurring deposit and flexi- fixed deposits (the latter is actually a combination of Demand deposit and Fixed deposit).
  • Mutual funds – an investment programme funded by shareholders that trades in diversified holdings and is professionally managed. I invest 3 k every month and it has given a good returns. It is a period of seven years that I opted for. I have chosen DSP Black rock mutual fund.
  • Share Market – a market in which securities are bought and sold; a stock exchange to be put in a single word. This requires a little more effort and needs a proper study or guidance. You need to watch the market carefully. Websites like Moneycontrol.com, Capitalmarket.com can be used to track your portfolio. You need to take every move carefully. Even a mere sum of 100 bucks would come in handy at times.

“I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.” – Warren Buffett
Be prepared to invest in a down market and to “get out” in a soaring market.

These are some of the strategies I follow. I am a proud owner of a portfolio of Rs 2.5 Lakhs.

Whenever I have an urge to spend on shoes or lipsticks, I follow the principle of DELAYED GRATIFICATION. ( I love to splurge.. )   What is it??? It is to control your urge or your temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward. As a 90’s kid, I was taught to be content and be happy with whatever I have. I have always seen my parents as examples, who never faced any financial crisis during the month end or while building a house or buying the first car. Back then, my mom was not working and  with one man’s salary, my mom has planned it so well that we enjoy now.

I would also say that I was lucky enough to experiment with various options as I don’t have responsibilities to take care of my family. I would suggest you to start as early as possible to exit the rat race. Think before spending on those shoes. Do you really wanna buy that when you already have 15 pairs of shoes?? Or you wanna invest the same money in share market or mutual funds??

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Once you invest a significant amount of money, you will get a good returns from the interests, dividends and what not!! Money would work for you. Yeah!!you heard it right. 

I am no pro and you need to do your study right away and check what is good for you and start building up your empire.

Happy investing folks… !!!!!!

And watch this space for more!!!

 

References:

https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0511/the-top-17-investing-quotes-of-all-time.aspx

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_deposit

https://www.google.co.in/search?rlz=1C1CHBD_enIN775IN775&q=Dictionary

Illustrations:

Mine!!

 

life

The notion of a ‘perfect body’..

“A woman is helpless, only when her nail- polish is drying.”

– M C Mary Kom

 

The figure of a woman.. Why is the world obsessed by it?? No one really cares about how a man looks. In this misogynistic society, whenever I get approached for marriage, all they really see is how I look or if I would be putting on weight after the wedding. But then, when I look at the physical appearance of the man, I am tagged as opinionated.

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Which one are you???? 

 

The body of the woman depends on various factors such as medical issues, which may include, thyroid, PCOD,  post- par tum and most importantly the self-less love towards  her  family  where  she  forgets  to  take care of  herself.

In an  old  Tamil  movie ‘ Sathileelavathy’, the woman gains so much of weight after giving birth to two kids and taking care of her endless family needs. And her husband is shown to have  an extra marital affair with a thinner, younger and an attractive woman. When there are perfectly skinny models are shown on screen, we tend to believe that it is normal to look like one. If my mom has to look like them, she doesn’t have the luxury for all the time and effort spent , she definitely can’t take care of her family even though my dad helps her in every possible way. And think of women who have to do everything on their own, and alas!!! they never find time for themselves, they don’t get weekends nor do they retire.

When the skinny models are considered to be beautiful or perfect, the chubby women like Namita or Sona are considered to be sex symbols. Why? Who set all these??

Is 36-24-36 really the perfect woman?? Why not a curvier or a plus size woman??? It all depends upon how you carry yourself or your attitude towards life or towards your fellow beings. 

Look beyond her looks… perhaps her thoughts, actions, intelligence, determination, endurance, perseverance and what not…

Beauty is largely subjective. It may be anything in a woman.

When M S Subbulakshmi’s eyes are closed and immersed in her music or when my mom is sweating after preparing the best food for her family or when a woman carries a baby in her uterus or P V Sindhu swiftly hitting on the court or  it could even be how every girl used to come back home from school, hair undone, dumped in mud or dirt – These instances are much more than how their bodies are or the color of their skin.

Let’s embrace ourselves, and accept every woman to be beautiful. It might be hard to love yourself in the beginning, look beyond how far you have come across, YOU ARE THE BEST, NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!!

 

Written by

Divya Shankar

Image source: https://qz.com/367114/its-time-we-stop-comparing-womens-body-shapes-to-fruit/

health

My PCOD story- my best friend

“I am so classy that even my ovaries have pearls in them”

                                                                   -sincerely the girls who are suffering from PCOD

What is PCOD??

Patients suffering from poly cystic ovarian disease (PCOD) have multiple small cysts in their ovaries (the word poly means many). These cysts occur when the regular changes of a normal menstrual cycle are disrupted. The ovary is enlarged; and produces excessive amounts of androgen and estrogen hormones. This excess, along with the absence of ovulation, may cause infertility. Other names for PCOD are Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or the Stein-Leventhal syndrome.

How did it all start??

No one actually knows what causes PCOD. But in my case, I would say the change in my lifestyle. I happily ignored the problem for three years like the other girls in my class. Later, I found out that the main cause was my hostel life for three years which led to an unhealthy lifestyle which included bad food habits, lack of any kind of physical activity, irregular sleeping patterns, stress etc. These were some of the known factors and it need not be affecting everyone who go through this. Whenever I maintain a better lifestyle during my break, the condition gets better, but the moment I get back to my old ways, I get affected. The moment I found that my conditions are escalating, I approached a gynecologist.

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My bad food habits… yeah look at that grin on my face..!!!

How do you know you are affected by the condition??

The symptoms varies from person to person. I had the following symptoms:

  • I was a person who was known for my fiery metabolism, where no matter what I eat, I never gained weight. After I started gaining weight, I actually felt happy. Later, I was diagnosed for PCOD. The weight gain is one of the prominent symptoms.
  • The Weight gain was very evidently seen in my lower part of my body, i.e. my tummy. It was oh so disproportionate.
  • Facial hair increased as well.
  • The pimples on your cheeks are a sure shot sign to watch out for. I got pimples on my right cheek on my face, so that means I have cysts on my right side ovary. ( I never had pimples in my teenage years)
  • The next strange symptom was my blood sugar levels and I had high insulin content in my body. I had to include more sugar to keep me going. High insulin level also causes pot belly.
  • If your hair-fall pattern is very evident, do consult a doctor. The androgen secreted in a female body goes higher when there is PCOD, which results in hair-fall.
  • Irregular sleeping patterns- You may be sleeping too much or too little.
  • Severe cramps in your abdomen during your periods.

How did I get over??

I had a great skin back then, once I screwed up my body, I lost all of it; the skin, the hair and my confidence altogether. So after taking the pills suggested by the gynecologist, I feared that it would cause side effects. I did a lot of research and put forth a lot of questions to my granny about what she used to do in her teenage which apparently gave answers to all my questions. Yeah here it goes, How did I actually cure it???

  • Do not take stress– when you are stressed out please meditate and try to keep a cool-head. Please develop a hobby, may it be reading or painting or anything you love.
  • Spend sometime for yourself– Self care is important, and take short trips where there is less pollution.

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  • Exercise– At least run for thirty minutes a day. You may try other forms of fitness like zumba, aerobics, etc. As the amount of work we do these days is not enough for our body to sustain.

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Run for at least 30 minutes… yeah it has a lot of benefits

  • Diet– Okay! this is a very common thing suggested for almost all the issues. Stick to your local diet especially what your mom cooks than all the processed foods. Your body would thank you later. Include fruits, vegetables, proteins, calcium, iron and sunlight. As always, take more water and stay hydrated.

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Make a schedule and stick to it

  • Reward yourself for every little thing you follow. This would definitely keep you motivated.

Did I actually get cured???

The answer is HELL YEAH!!!!! I improved. My body looked toned. Hair condition got better without the use of many products. My skin texture also improved and my scars faded away ( It is been two years, since I stopped using makeup), Yeah It felt good. Consistency is the key and it would take minimum of 3 months to make little difference. It means it is actually a healthier lifestyle altogether than a goal that is to be achieved.

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Reward yourself…. yeah princess!! wear that crown!!

So keep going girls!!!!

These are some of the things I followed,  I would include more on my next post. Till then keep sparkling my beautiful people.

 

Written by Divya Shankar

 

 

life

2017 to 2018. – One year can change you in every way possible…

In the end, We all become stories. 

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I completed Architecture in 2016 and was into writing all those super annoying exams to  get into  government  jobs as my parents insisted.  This is  mostly  the  dream of almost all  the Indian parents.

So apparently, except for accomplishing my journey, I didn’t really have anything  big in 2016. So then 2017 happened. The year of roller  coaster  ride.  Yeah.  Lot of  turmoil  and I was almost lost , but, here I am,  emerging  stronger  than ever.

Each and everyday, you have got something to learn about. Every day  is fresh  and  certainly it is going to be an experience. So here I write down everything I faced in 2017 and  how I am going to get  over it and make my  2018 better. So January is over. What did I  actually  do??  There it goes…

2017, I got my first job as a trainee architect, it was fun for two weeks but then I hated  my manager who used to make fun out of me for being  hyperactive.  I never  told  anything to my parents, I handled it on my own  and survived  for two months.

Then,

I landed on a new job as a lecturer. I love my job even though there were pitfalls.

Tiring  journey from home to workplace was the biggest issue. It was not easy.  Handling students and taking a new kind of  responsibility was something  I have  never  done and I am still learning.

Then, reality stuck me hard about relationships, marriages and how unexpectedly  cruel  this society is. I realized that I am no longer the little girl I used  to be and I am  old  enough to get married and make  babies.  I actually  got to know the  amount  of  sacrifices my  mom and dad  have done  for me  as  parents  nevertheless they seemed  like  enemies to me. They stood with me always no matter what.

Since my late teenage years, except one or two, most of the  people I met were just  temporary. I always wanted someone of my age. I can put it this way – a soulmate,  best friend, and everything. I must rely upon her no matter what. I found this person  in my old office and she became my best friend. I felt like home with her. No prejudices  or jealousy.  She gets genuinely happy with all my achievements. I always celebrated my  important moments with her. Her mom became mine as well. Be it my happiness, or tantrums or rants, the mom and daughter duo handled it all like pros.

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I shall date myself no matter what….

 

So there it is, 2018, What I said to myself. I am gonna list it out.

  • No one knows you better than yourself, be truthful to yourself. 
  • You can’t please everyone, so live for yourself
  • Find what excites you. I found my love for doodling, creating comic strips and  writing
  • Read more books. This would make everyone open for suggestions and you  will know the world. 
  • Self care- putting you first is fine. Just fine. Go ahead!!!! Take time for the  same. 
  • Develop a hobby –  I revamped this blog after five years.  It may sound silly,  but it does matter to me. 
  • Healthier lifestyle- trying to stick on to it as much as possible. 
  • No more temporary people and no more emotional attachments with them.
  • Compliment people selflessly. 
  • Dress up better- yeah confidence beams out.
  • Visit unexplored places in the city.
  • Spend the weekends with family and not be a workaholic.
  • Spend money cautiously, keep a check on your expenditures. 
  • Reveal selectively- not everyone deserves to know everything about you.
  • Commit to everything you do.
  • Never underestimate yourself and never settle for less just because you did  not get what you always wanted. 

 

I hope to follow all these in this year and I have a long way to go. Hoping to make better memories !!!!!

Written by- Divya Shankar

life, Uncategorized

Saving up or piling up???

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today??? “

                                                                                                                                   – Steve Jobs

 Once a sage was asked about the attributes and traits which make the human beings  unique.  He said,” everyone and everything in this world has an end, but man saves  up as if he is gonna be  immortal.”  Due to evolution ,  all the living  organisms  save  up for future and it becomes a necessity. This trait is actually inherited biologically.

For a thousand years, after  undergoing so many  famines, the  body  tuned  itself  to  save up the unused calories as fat, which could be  used up when  there is no  proper  intake of food. So, again, when the fat stored becomes excessive, it becomes fatal.

When you plan so much for the future, you lose all your present moments. In this run, we end up thinking, what if it is not enough; hesitate to spend what ever you actually  have in abundance. You keep buying things and keep running a rat race  to save up even  more, endlessly.

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As said, excessive consumerism is bad, Excessive saving up  is  also bad. Of  course,  being  stingy and carefully  planning expenses,  are way different from  each  other.  There is  a fine line.  When it rains,  if you are planning  to save up some  water  after taking  a shower, it is called saving up. And on the contrary, when you  don’t  take a  shower  when it is summer and wait for the monsoon, it is called stingy.

Happiness- the one magical word everyone is running  behind,  is  usually  decided  upon  having a master-degree  from  a  reputed  college, 6 digit salary,  8 digit  bank balance,  being a NRI,  holding a green card  and what not.  And you  don’t  keep  a  limit  to yourself.  We set a goal and decide to smile from the heart only when it is achieved. But do we? No,we keep running for more and more. But to be happy, all you need are those little priceless and magical moments.

In a high- rise apartment, there lived a miser who accidentally slipped off the  terrace. In the  process of falling down, when he came near his balcony, he screamed  and asked his wife not to prepare breakfast for him as  he would  be no  more  and  food would get wasted. Alas!! He died.

On the death-bed,  no one actually thinks about  saving up or  anything of that sort,  all they regret is those moments  they could have had or the time  they  could have  spent  with their families.

There are certain kind of people who have this habit of not discarding things which    are  utterly insignificant. It is actually discovered to be a mental disorder. It is termed  as  hoarding disorder. Those posts, letters, old calendars, bills or receipts  etc  are never  thrown away by these people. Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or  parting with possessions  because  of a perceived  need  to save them.

A person with  hoarding  disorder experiences distress  at the thought of getting  rid of the items.  Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.

Hoarding often creates such cramped living conditions that homes  may be  filled  to  capacity, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter. Counter tops, sinks, stoves,  desks, stairways and  virtually all other surfaces  are usually piled with  stuff. And when there’s no more room inside, the clutter may spread to the  garage,  vehicles, yard and other storage facilities.

When someone saves up more than needed, he is tagged a thief. You are stealing everyone’s wealth.

“That balance between consumerism and saving up needs to be maintained, then peace  shall prevail. “

Written by- Divya Shankar

 

Source:

The hindu, Tamil – by Dr. Ramanujam, 27-jan-18, Saturday

Uncategorized

Architect uses blood as building material…..

Architecture graduate Jack Munro saw the potential of “one of the most prolific waste materials in the world” —animal blood—and has set out to prove that it can be used in construction. By mixing the blood with sand and then baking the mixture, he was able to produce insoluble bricks—while they may not be super strong, these bricks are at least waterproof. Believing that such bricks may be used in arid climates like the Middle East, Munro also advocates that the production of blood bricks can be a viable income-generating business. Currently, he is seeking funds to build a prototype single-story house with his innovative bricks.

 

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Uncategorized

Form follows function………….

It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic,
Of all things physical and metaphysical,
Of all things human and all things super-human,
Of all true manifestations of the head,
Of the heart, of the soul,
That the life is recognizable in its expression,
That form ever follows function. This is the law……….

                                          by, Louis Sullivan….

Uncategorized

Happiness…….:):):)

When I went to a lady and asked ” What if a primary school is built here?” she said that everyone would be very happy with it as it is very near to their residence and they would be even more contented if that school provides quality education. This happened to me during my visit to a slum rehabilitated area about a week ago. This is an area on the outskirts of my city. I, being a second year architecture student, had to visit the proposed site which was located on this area. My objective was to design a school that socially suits but at the same time it should meet the requirements of the people. I was asked to take a social survey from these people and i went around the streets and observe the activities around it.

Each  person i met, put forward different kinds of needs. i found them to be very weird as I have never met people like them. I found one thing common, nobody, whether they liked their habitat or not,whether all their wishes were fulfilled or not, they had no traces of unhappiness, neither were they not contented. They were very joyful with all they had. They neither had the blackberry’s nor vertu’s. nor BMW’s. They were leading a happier life than what I’m leading. I never caught crabs from a gutter or from a large puddle after a heavy rain. I used to find these disgusting, but now , I feel the little drops of joyfulness, when I captured these lovely moments on my camera. I used to think only the Jaguar’s and the i-pad’s can buy me happiness and make me feel awesome, as if i have achieved everything. But,these people gave over it by showing that happiness has nothing to do with your posh attitude and stuffs. 

I learnt the most valuable lesson from these people that ” If life gives you hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have thousand reasons to smile”.