Sunday, June 29, 2014

Term Insurance

One of my friend, who is very financial savvy (self proclaimed) was telling me the importance of term insurance. He was giving very useful insights into term insurance.
However, on little probation, I learnt that he himself has no insurance. When I insisted on a reason, he told me that he was finding it too much effort to go through all the websites and search for best product. As usual, I told him that there is no best product available in the market. All you have to do is go with the company you are comfortable with (Ashal's line). Still he insisted on comparing on various quotes and that he found boring.
He requested me to come up with a post which would give various quotes on term insurance. So, if you are looking to buy term insurance, read further.

Warning: Term insurance will not give anything on maturity. Still interested? Ok, read on.
Wait, term insurance will not give anything in return if you surrender. You did not close the window? Ok, now you can read...

To make my life easy in creating this post, I will consider only below companies: HDFC, SBI, Aviva, LIC, and Bharti AXA.

I hope, this ready made information on term plans, forces many of my friends to rise and select one.

All the data has been taken from their respective sites. However, the data may change from time to time 

Let us see on what parameters we would be comparing the companies:
  • Premium
  • The so called Claim Settlement Ratio 
  • Solvency ratio

All the data is valid for 32 years of age (01-Jan-1982), male, non-smoker, for 25 years and 1 Cr SA (Indian’s fascination with 1 Cr :P)

HDFC Click2Protect:
  1. Premium: 11000 per year (excluding taxes)
  2. CSR: 96.56%
  3. Solvency ratio: 227%
  4. Miscellaneous:
  • No medicals upto 75 lakhs for non-smoker male till 40 years of age (this is what they write on their websites and off-course may be subject to case)
  • Premiums paid are tax exempted under section 80C (another attraction :P)
  • Maturity amount received (to nominee) is tax exempted under section 10(10D)
  • In general:

SBI eShield:
  1. Premium: With ADB: 14821 and without ADB: 12686 (ADB: Accidental Death Benefit)
  2. CSR: 94.41%
  3. Solvency Ratio: 225%
  4. Miscellaneous:
  • Facility for Accidental Death Benefit
  • Premiums paid are tax exempted under section 80C
  • Maturity amount received (to nominee) is tax exempted under section 10(10D)
  • In general:

Aviva i-Life:
  1. Premium: 9046 per annum (inclusive of service tax)
  2. CSR: 87.7%
  3. Solvency Ratio: 415%
  4. Miscellaneous:
  • Feature to receive annual payout to family (instead of one time payment) for 15 years in parts (not recommended)
  • Premiums paid are tax exempted under section 80C
  • Maturity amount received (to nominee) is tax exempted under section 10(10D)
  • In general:

LIC online term plan:
  1. Premium: 15843 (inclusive of taxes)
  2. CSR: 97.7 (ahh the iconic value)
  3. Solvency Ratio: 154%
  4. Miscellaneous:
  • Sirf naam hi kafi hain :)
  • Premiums paid are tax exempted under section 80C
  • Maturity amount received (to nominee) is tax exempted under section 10(10D)
  • In general:

Bharti AXA e-protect:
  1. Premium: 7900 per annum (exclusive of service tax)
  2. CSR: 89.5%
  3. Solvency Ratio: 227%
  4. Miscellaneous:
  • Additional hospital benefit rider
  • Premiums paid are tax exempted under section 80C
  • Maturity amount received (to nominee) is tax exempted under section 10(10D)
  • In general:

Note: Manish has written many fantastic articles on term plan. Please read them too.

Note: All the data has been pulled from their respective sites.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Introspection 2

Introspection refers to having a relook at what we are doing and rechecking it if it is the correct way. It is always easy to blame others for our problems. This may help to release the frustration but it wont solve the problem. If we want to solve our problems, we have to do something.

Most of the foreign return (an old word, still relevant) people, whom I have met, have told me that how our country is dirty and how other countries are neat, clean and tidy. I was impressed by their stories. I have heard many stories which depicted their metro services, chaka chak roads, no dust, etc…

When I visited the foreign country, I understood the other side of the picture. Lets us keep the natives of any country out of this. This post is related to just Indians.

Whenever I eat chocolate or sandwich or any such item, I always make it a point to keep the wrapper in my bag and then throw it in dustbin. Unlike many others, I do not throw the BEST bus tickets after alighting from the bus. I just keep it in my pocket and then throw it once I reach office or home.  I did all this unknowingly. I never had any point to prove to be a good citizen or just showcase my manners. It just happened (sorry to say that). I learned this from my school friend Krish (Has no connection with Roshans. His name is Krishnan and we called him Krish in 2002). Getting into that habit as student was much easier than today. Somehow I carried this habit even after I lost touch with Krish.
Many people use to laugh at me when I did such things. However, it was habit which I was not willing to change. So it just continued. In later years, I noticed that the people who use to laugh are the same set of people who are praising foreign country for their cleanliness. Complete oxymoron (or may be just moron).

People throw the cigarette ends, chips packet, chocolate wrapper and all the things on road. To be clear and honest, I do not have anything against this behavior or this people. I just find it funny when the same men and women visit other nations, they do not do this activity. I can see the people carrying separate plastic bags to throw the waste items. They do not throw away the metro ticket after getting out of the station. They preserve it and throw it in dustbin. Common guys, you can do this in India too. Even if we start, over the years we may have clean roads.

At present, we may not be able to have roads like the below picture. 

Courtesy: My cell phone
There could be many reasons for this. We do not have sufficient dust bins along the road side (said that, recently, BMC has put 2 separate dust bin beside every bus stop. Each one is designated as dry and wet waste). The maintenance of the existing dust bins is major problem. They treat it like Ashal’s line: Fill it and forget it. However, we cannot blame everything on BMC workers. They have their own limitations. They have machines for which adequate training is not provided. Most of them have to walk from one area to other to clean the roads. I have not seen anybody using cycle or 2 wheeler, (If they have, sorry, I do not know and I will not research on this. Complete time waste).

Similarly, about the people who complain about water shortage. When these people visit Middle East or some other nation with water scarcity, they are careful about water usage. Then why the damn you don’t care at your home. There is absolutely no point in keeping the water tap open while shaving. There is huge wastage of water from the leaking taps. People buy bisleri water, drink some of it and throw the rest of bottle (along with water) on the railway tracks. Amazing, isn’t it?

Note: This post is not to point fingers at anybody. This was just to say that if we do not like to see garbage on road, just avoid throwing that on road. Simple and effective.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


It is amazing to know that 7 out of 10 people love photography [Source: Not to be disclosed.. Sshhhh]. If the 10 people chosen are Indian, then the it would be 9 out of 10 people love photography. I have many friends who have their hobby as photography. To be honest, I too belong to that 90% of that crowd who love photography. It is just that I dont love watching photos. I just love taking snaps and then forget about it. Weird? Yes. Does it matter? Nopes. Cos, I don't have expensive cameras and I do not really go on photography spree. At max, I click 10 pictures in a year. So that is it. Despite loving it, I do not do it. No reasons.

We all are amateur photographers in one way or the other. We simply love taking snaps. The reason is we want to capture the moment and have it with us. There is absolutely no logical reason for us to go to wax museums and take snap with the celebrity wax statuties. Still we do that, you, he, she, me.. we all do that. The only reason is we want to capture that moment forever. Many times, we do not want to boast about we visiting any particular place but we simply want to be photographed with that place and let the world know that I was there. That is the exact reason, why uploading of photos is the maximum activity done on FB, twitter, instagram and offcourse the Whatsapp.

For the statistics lovers, please google and see for yourselves. My post seldom has numbers to satisfy.

Since I love laziness, I try to be at home on weekends. My weekends are generally booked by chores which should have been done on weekdays. On weekends, I go to nearby super market and buy grocery for the week. Many times, I buy it for more than 2 weeks just to avoid going on immediate weekend. My mom and wife knows this, somehow they cooperate as long as I bring home the things. I spend half of the Sunday in either sleeping or cleaning my house. The other half, I have to be involved in house related activities like looking after the .. okay, forget it. Enough of my dinchariya (actually, weekend chariya). The point is although I love photography, I find no time in going to places and clicking pictures. I have many friends (married for that matter) who regulary visit many places on weekends just to click some pictures of ancient monuments, rare birds, etc. I wonder how they find time to do this lovely activity.

On more pondering, I realize that I can find time to do this, if I really want to do this. It would be really simple: do the house hold activities in EMIs in weekdays. Get all the sabji mandi at home before the weekends starts and then wrroommm off to the forests and ancient places. For this, you must really have the obsession of photography.

Many people also try to do this as a part of their plan of second income. Word of caution: not every picture taken by you would be worth displaying forget selling. However, this does not mean that you should not try at all. People who really want to do this as a part of side income, must really get some huge investments upfront. The average quality lens would cost you around 1 lakh rupees. Include the expenditure incurred on travelling and it would be huge. So the ROI would be very little and the time taken to establish is fairly large. Off-course, there are exceptions and with luck and good talent, you can be next famous wildlife photographers, fashion photographers, air photographers, etc.. (Note: I just avoided giving names). So photography as an income could take years and with loads of initial investment. Just to warn the readers before hand.

Pursuing photography as a hobby is good stress buster like any other hobby that you may have. It has its share of pros and cons. Pros being, you get to roam around, visit new places, get to know their culture, eat variety of food and photograph everything. My friend took me to one of the trekking at Naneghat. It is not really a place to trek. It is just a walk. The professional trekkers may do that in their sleep as well. We took one big plate there for eating lunch. So for the fun part, my friend and me took that in our hands sharing it like they do it in Wimbledon and clicked our selves. Funny? yes, but we enjoyed. So that's the fun part and we do not care about hobby. Another funny experience with same friend. I wish I could publish the faces of my friends. However, since at the time of writing this post, I did not get any confirmation and hence their faces have been colored.

We went to essel world. Another friend joined us and we clicked ourselves as Gandhijeeke 3 bandar. That was fun. I have heard that somebody gave picnic group photograph for PAN card application. If that was fun, it was in bad taste.

The latest trend in photography is selfies (I hope it does not become obsolute till I hit the Publish button on this post). I am amazed (again, huff) by the way people try to be unique while having selfies. People click with hand on their face!!! How on earth that is a selfie if the face is hidden. People click themselves while running on treadmill. If this encourages them to run more or come there often then it is ok, else that is madness. They click themselves while pouring tea in cup, spoon in mouth, with goggle bigger than the face, with hair standing and loads other ways. Please beware. There have been recent cases where people died trying to photograph themselves in unique manner. Someone went to take pic with squirrel as selfie. Obviously with flash, squirrel panicked and bit the hand having cell phone. Somebody went to have selfie with incoming train and died in the process. Take care guys and enjoy the photography.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My first airport experience

I have no idea why we are always late where we are supposed to reach on time. It is about time that the scientists and mathematicians invent some formula for this. It could be something like : the probability to reach on time varies inversely with the importance of reaching on time. Pattu can help here. So to cut short more lines on being late, I was running late for airport.

I had planned to leave home by 9.30 in the morning to reach airport by 10 for a flight of 1 pm. I had ordered for few theplas (Gujarati food… ummm I love it…). The lady told me to collect it by 9 in the morning of travel date. I left my baggage at home and went to collect theplas. Started by 8.50. I took my Scooty went there. Oops, there were few one ways and traffic jams. Reached at aunt’s place by 9.15. the lady was more than punctual. She had packed all the theplas in a clean plastic bag and was waiting at the building entrance. I thanked here and came home by 9.25. Now, it was just a matter of keeping my two bags in car and off to airport. I thought, I was still running on schedule (pronounced as skhedule by friends who stayed in Europe for few months. I hope, I do not pronounce ‘simple’ as ‘simble’ if I stay for few months in Chennai. By the way, I watched Chennai Express in airplane… Sorry off the topic). My uncle helped to put the bags in the boot of the car. While shutting the boot, my uncle noticed that the tyre was puncture. Shit…. Why dint I checked it yesterday night…. Thank God, the mechanic was just 2 buildings away. We took the car to his garage. There were 2 holes in the tyre. It took him 15 minutes and cost me 300 rupees. Anyways, I paid him and started at 9.50.

I dint know there were few more surprises ahead. Suddenly, it seemed that only the way by which we were traveling had more cars and the signal turned red often. I guess, this is what Einstein tried to explain by his theory of relativity. My uncle too was on the verge of panic. He took the responsibility to drop me off to the airport by his car (Sorry, I forgot to tell you that my uncle parked his car at my residence 2 days back.). In this tension, he took wrong turn and we landed in altogether different area. We took some more U turns and finally, we reached airport. 

I thought the counter must have closed by now. It was 10.30 already. Again, thank God, the counter was still open and I jumped inside the airport doors and breathed a sigh of relief. It took few seconds for the security guy to understand why I jumped. I guess, if I did not have passport and other papers in my hand, I would not be alive to write this post. Heard that CISF have shooting permission. Once the checkin was done, I moved towards security area. One big moustached security guy asked me “travelling again to srilanka?”. I was confused. I had opened my passport for the first time after it was issued. It was 8 years back. I was about to open my mouth when somebody from my behind spoke “no, this time going to dubai”. Just by not opening my mouth, I avoided an embarrassing situation. Imagine, me telling him “no, it is not srilanka and I am going outside Maharashtra for the second time” and he telling me “I did not ask you either, idiot”. I would have become a gossip star for people around. I had to go from the scanner for security check. Except for the pen, I had nothing which can be remotely used as weapon. So the security part was done.

I moved towards immigration center. It was complete chaos over there and it took me almost 1 hour to get out of it. It was 12.30 already. I reached the terminal gate just in time. There was an announcement for ladies with children and senior citizens to come forward for boarding. So I decided to sit somewhere. Then subsequently, everybody was asked to come for boarding. I don’t know why people suddenly rushed towards the boarding gate as if it was local train and if not boarded immediately, it would leave you at the station for next packed local. If any of the reader has experience of going to single screen cinema, then he can very well understand how would be the scene. The lady over there just put a sign of boarding and all gathered over there. Similar to a boy with cigarette, opening the single screen door and all people rush towards inside the theatre. I do not what is the hurry to watch those local jewelers add. Finally, I boarded the flight.
The flight personnel and air hostess have the most difficult job in the world. They are supposed to have 1 inch make up, lipstick (donno if lipstick is included in make up for ladies. But since the quantity of lip stick was so huge, I thought of mentioning here.), serve and help people (mostly rude people) and all this with all out smile (showing all the teeth).  I hope, their salary matches the effort. They are subjected to jet lag every day. Wonder what they eat to fight acidity. 

I could see a wide range of people in the flight. Some people like me were nervous as it was their first flight. Some were showing such an attitude that they themselves fly the plane. Some were helpful and some were plain disconnected with others. The lady sitting next to me dozed off the minute we sat on our chairs and woke up only when the destination arrived. Amazing, I could not sleep for a minute. I had to watch movies for timepass. Few ladies were busy in managing their children and few were busy in managing their make ups. Oh, by the way, we had a TV actress in our plane. She had a makeup equal to collective make up of 3-4 air hostesses. Surprisingly, she was down to earth and let other ladies take photographs with her. 

There were few nexgeneration guys who were standing out in a crowd due to their appearance. Wonder how their parents do not get heart attack by seeing such fashion icons in the morning. Imaging, you woke up in the morning at 6, did all your chores and suddenly you see your child leaving for college (official reason). The boys were wearing red skin tight trouser and girls wore ultra skin tight half pants. Every person in that group was wearing amazingly radium colors on their body. Some had radium color shoes, some had scarfs, girls were having radium color lipsticks and so on. The boys were talking about upcoming movies and the girls were talking about extra chilled ac in the plane. The girls probably, forgot the basic clothes principal. Lesser the clothes, more is the body part exposed and prone to outside atmosphere and hence you would feel more heat or coldness. However, this generation also showed very kind attitude towards their fellow passengers. The boys were helping other senior citizens to keep their luggage on the top drovers. The girls too were helping other ladies. This next generation has something of everything. They love fashion, they love people, they love charity, they love their job, they love their parents, they love whiskey, they love violent video games, they love everything.
People with passport of other nations except the destination nation were asked to fill up a landing form. This was to be submitted to the immigration department at the destination airport. We landed on schedule. We had to take few lifts, few escalators and walk few distance to get to immigration department. Again there was chaos. All the people were trying to get cleared as soon as possible. The chaos and number of people were multiplied by 4 times, as 4 planes landed at the same time. You could easily pick Indians over there. 2-3 gents wore sun glasses inside dimly lit immigration center at 7pm. Those were Indians. Then, there were people with huge amount of luggage, few people were simply on photography stroll, few were helping other passengers with their luggage, few were praying for safe landing, all these people were Indians. It took good 90 minutes to get out of it. 

Then I went for baggage collection. The bags were rolling on the rubber belt. Somebody’s besan’s bag must have been tore. The belt was full of besan. I picked up my bag and dusted off the besan. I felt pity for the loss of besan. Main ingredient of batata bhaji, kanda bhaji, vada pav and dhokla was lying on luggage belt. 

Finally, bought sim card over there and made a call to my prepaid taxi driver. Surprisingly, buying sim card here is as good as buying a chocolate. No documents, no proofs, no signatures… just pay the amount and get the card, put it in your phone and off the road.The driver arrived in 2 minutes flat and we arrived at the hotel in 30 minutes drive. The hotel door has a lock for which the key is not the normal key it is a card, similar to our ATM card. We just have to swipe it and wait for 1-2 seconds and the door opens. I am being told that this type of locks are available in Indian hotels (mostly 3 star and above) from last 5 years too.