Friday, January 25, 2008

Birthday Facts...!

It struck to me in the nearby Coffee Shop today that let me try to find out what happened on Jan 25 few years back the day when I was born :) Interestingly, I was googling about the day and here's what I found using the "birthday calculator":

"You were born on a Tuesdayunder the astrological sign Aquarius.
Your Life path number is 11.
Your lucky day is Saturday.
Your lucky number is 4 & 8.
Your lucky dates are 1st, 10th, 19th, 28th.
Your opposition sign is Leo.
Your opposition number(s) is 1.
Today is not one of your lucky days!

There are 335 days till Christmas 2008!
The moon's phase on the day you wereborn was waxing gibbous. ....."

Now thats interesting indeed - I liked the elaborate description.
By the way - thanks to all my lovely friends for making my 25th birthday so memorable & special. You all are really wonderful.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tribute to Bobby Fischer...!

The enigmatic, reclusive & American Chess Superstar Bobby Fischer passed away on Jan 17th this year. An American Chess champion at 14 and a grand master at 15, Bobby was indeed one of the most remarkable world chess prodigies America has ever churned. The much talked about Cold War icon who dethroned the Soviet Union's Boris Spassky as world champion in 1972, was certainly a maestro whose contributions in the world of chess was phenomenal indeed. His march towards towards World Championship was surrounded by many controversies & tensed moments. But what impressed me most about ace grandmaster was his contributions to this world. I decided to list few of them down on this blog as a tribute to this chess legend:
  • Fischer Clock: Fischer filed for Patent for this clock. Using this clock each player got a fixed period of time at the start of the game and then additional small amount after each move. In this way, the players were never short of time in practice.
  • Chess Theory: He established "Poisoned Pawn Variation" and practiced the same in his match with Boris Spassy in Revyjavik.
  • Fischer's Chess960: He invented a new kind of chess which gave more importance to an individual's creativity & chess playing talent rather than memorization of opening chess moves. The way this worked was during opening, chess pieces & pawns were placed randomly on the chess board in 960 combinations following these rules. Once the game began, normal chess rules & fundamentals applied.
Over & above everything, he focussed on what mattered most to him in life - "Playing Chess". His uninhibited love for chess motivated him to master the game of chess & eventually become a memorable world champion.
Check this amazing Photo Essay about Bobby in TIME.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

IndiaPay Opportunities...!

I was so excited while pulling up my Credit Score for 2007 -- I did all preparations I can think of -- read all about:
  • What goes in credit-score & what doesn't ?
  • What kind of transactions count more?
  • Should we do fewer bigger transactions or many smaller ones?
  • Does paying off loan quickly helps?
  • How does compounding principle helps?
  • Should we possess multiple credit cards of smaller Credit Limit / fewer ones with impressive limit?

All in all, it was an interesting exercise that kept me occupied in last Qtr of 2007. Finally, when I extracted my score from FreeCreditReport, I wasn't thrilled at all. I couldn't crack the 800 barrier in 7 months of my spending spree but then I consoled myself by thinking that I should probably not worry so much about attaining first Credit Score as perfect for all it does is expresses my creditworthyness in financial world (Credit Card Companies to be specific). And since I pulled my score, I have been inundated with Credit Card offers from A, B, C & god knows every possible credit card co - which is certainly a feel good factor if ur sore is less than 800. Indian Bank's Association [IBA] has realised that India needs an inhouse credit card payment system now. In recent years, the growth of credit card companies & credit card holders in India has been phenomenal indeed, Have a look at the following stats (I read on RBI's site) :
"The total spends at point-of-sale terminals crossed Rs 55,000 crore (Rs 550 billion) in 2005-06, with the issue of 18 million credit cards and more than 60 million debit cards. Almost, every transaction involved the payment of a settlement charge to MasterCard or Visa, which amounted to about $50 million during the year."

Thus, a domestic card payment system (IBA proposes IndiaPay) will certainly save the outgo on the commissions paid to VISA & MasterCard etc for domestic transactions to start with. A wonderful idea indeed. In addition to savings commissions, I can foresee following benefits right away:

  • Data Mining & Tracking: Data Mining is very crucial since one gets to learn the trends of people spending money in a geography. With IndiaPay system, government can track & later analyse such patterns and base their decisions of taxation etc based on the same.
  • Customer remains the King: With advent of IndiaPay, almost immediately VISA/MasterCard will reduce their transaction fee (they hardly have any competition right now) and that is certainly a win-win situation for end customer & government too.
  • Inter Bank Transaction Switch: Development of such a (complex) system will open up new avenues, new set of challenges and facilitate even more transparent inter-bank communication.
  • Backbone: IndiaPay system can eventually be made as a backbone for their e-transactions like Mobile Money Transfers, Card-to-Card transfers & other micro-payments etc.

I sincerely believe that in additon to cost cutting advantage this system would certainly promote growth of several ideas towards pumping up India's Financial growth in the years to come..! Njoi this video for now..!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Get Set Go...!

I feel lucky for having come across this interesting article in Business Week about The Best Young Entrepreneurs while going thru' my daily doze of news today. You always feel awed when you see that a bunch of smart, prolific & brilliant young folks focus on everyday problems & together with a remarkable amalgamation of creative ideas, intelligent choices & quick implementation of ideas - launch exceptionable products / services. Gone are the days when one needed to have a history that can demonstrate dedication to professional career in a particular stream (read Work Ex.). The article demonstrates that each of us can achieve breakthroughs - its just a matter of taking a pen & paper and jotting our thoughts & ideas down. I have tried this technique of writing down things and it seemed to have produced impressive results.

Anyways, in my efforts to shake up my status quo (no plans for the weekend yet), I made some
sketches today and let me see what I can do with them over the weekend (I have few ideas...lets see if they work :)) I always wanted to capture the charisma, the enthusiasm, the energy & the varied expressions on faces of people around me since my High School Days - and guess I have found a way to do so. WaaoooooooW - I love this euphoric sensation...!! Do check out this amazing post by "Tools for Innovation by Anand Chhatpar - you might wanna add it in ur Favs like me :)