Oil & Gas and Financial Markets

Engineering, Technology, Oil, Gas, Financial Markets

How should a 22-year-old invest his/her money?

Answer by Ching Ho:

For the 22-year old, this is a boring yet tried-and-true investment method that will make you rich over time, richer than most rappers who'll blow their money on cocaine and other stupid shit. Allow me to start with a simple Excel illustration, entitled “How to Make $10 Million Dollars":

*For illustration purposes only, and like every other method of wealth creation, is subject to tax and inflation. Simply stated (and assuming a decent job), 20% savings smartly invested at a 10% interest rate will get you to the $10MM mark.

My recommendation: 60% stocks 20% bonds 20% real estate.  Bonds & real estate provide necessary diversification, limited downside risk and a continuous stream of dividends. For example, I know that my two-family real estate investments (purchased at a discount, fixed up & rented out) will yield a stable 12% year after year and will probably outperform the stock market.

Some may believe 10% to be an unreasonable rate of return, but 10% is the average return over the entire history of the US stock market – a market that has weathered world war, depression, and hyperinflation.  There is no reason to expect otherwise over a long-term 40-year period (for reference, the most recent 40-year period 1973-2013 yielded 11.43%). Although I may just be lucky, here are four examples of my own personal investments that have more than doubled the S&P-500 benchmark over the past five years (ticker SPY 5% over 5-years).
Some insight into how I chose these investments:

RSP Rydex Equal Weight S&P 500 (7% five-year return): the neglected issue with traditional S&P index funds is that large companies like Apple & Exxon take up 8% of the fund. With an equal 0.2% weight given to each of the 500 companies, you’ll get true diversification & outperformance.

HSCSX Homestead Small Company Stock (13%): I inherently favor small companies and this contrarian fund concentrates on out of favor firms ready to turn around.

FNMIX Fidelity New Markets Income (11% with a 4% yield): as international stocks often don't outperform those from the USA, I focus my international exposure on high-yielding dollar-denominated emerging market bonds.

FBIOX Fidelity Select Biotechnology (19%): I often invest in sectors I believe to be promising.  Billions of overpopulation? Fat Westerners prone to diabetes? Possible bird flu pandemic?  Genetic sequencing & new drug therapies?  This fund is my #1 performer but possibly overvalued now.

The single most important thing is to invest in yourself.  Be financially literate and learn new skills such as the Excel modeling and asset allocation strategies detailed herein. Be the very best at whatever you do. Continuous education & aggressive professional diligence. (And by education, I don’t mean going $150,000 into debt for an art history degree. Let me be one of few to emphasize that the education industry is quickly turning into a fool's scam and unless you’re attending a top-20 school, skip it – you’re better off working or going to a decent state subsidized college where you'll get the same education at 1/4 the price.)
Now assuming you ain’t no scrub – you’re investing in yourself, saving 20% of your professional income, working hard, and learning to be an astute investor, I now revise my Excel and entitle it – “How to Make $20 Million Dollars”:

* Want an extra $5,000,000?  Save 25% instead of 20%!

Finally, DON’T LOSE MONEY.  Wealthy investors understand this concept better than most which is why you sometimes see sharp overcorrections in the market from options & algorithms that automatically trigger a "sell" – they would rather liquidate in advance of a truly scary situation than risk losing a large percentage of their capital:

1) Market crash & asset bubbles, roughly every 10 years:  If an asset class inflated by credit does not generate enough cash to service the debt, divest. Even I had good enough sense to recognize the pig that was the housing bubble and liquidated every single stock investment a year before that crash.
2) Dumb ass investments – wanna build a restaurant to “entertain your friends?”  Did you hide your money in Cyprus or some equally bad socialist European nation? As soon as you made some money, did you buy a yacht or Porsche  to show others you've "made it?” 
3) A bad marriage or catastrophic illness – divorce or bad partnerships will wipe out half your net worth. Doing such a thing twice will decimate even a $10 million fortune. Choose wisely, and stay healthy. Don’t race trains and avoid all AIDS situations.

I'm really tempted to model another Excel illustrating how riding market bubbles (bitcoin, anyone?), a fun night in Bangkok and a 50% shave from a bad divorce will affect your net worth. But in this scenario, AIDS will strike you down before I reach line 65… so my advice, which took me 90 minutes to formulate, would be wasted. Anyways, I hope I have been of assistance – thank you for listening and please comment.

How should a 22-year-old invest his/her money?


What is Rahul Dravid like in real life?

Answer by Anonymous:

I do not write much on Quora. But the question is very tempting for me. I had a very wonderful experience with Dravid which I will cherish for lifetime.

A year back, my friend was seriously ill with Cancer. He was a huge fan of Dravid. So much that whenever he batted he recalled Dravid's shots and tried to emulate them.

One day a couple of us went to see him in hospital. He was being treated for blood cancer. His condition was critical and chances of recovery were negligible. We used to discuss cricket a lot. Even during his critical condition, when it was extremely difficult for him to utter simple words, he would relish any discussion on cricket. When we were leaving, he expressed a desire to talk to Dravid. We started contacting Dravid from all the possible sources we could. Though we did not hope that we will get any reply from Dravid.

A few days later, one of us got a call from Veejeta, Dravid's wife. Dravid had gone through our emails. She was definitely touched by our efforts and expressed Dravid's desire to have a Skype chat. We were unsure if Dravid could make it because of his busy schedule.

But he did. Dravid talked with my friend in the hospital for almost an hour. He apologized for not able to come in person. The smile on my friend's face was precious. He was beaming with happiness. Not just that, Dravid talked with his parents, his doctors and all other patients in the ward.  Dravid made sure that he left my friend and his parents motivated after the conversation. After that hour there was positive vibe in hospital.

We recorded the entire conversation. Unfortunately, my friend could not survive the harshness of cancer. The gesture which Dravid showed definitely made him gather courage for some part of his fight with cancer. When I watch the video I see my friend's face smiling and content. I feel proud that during his last days we were able to make him smile.

In case you read this, thank you Rahul Dravid!

I am glad to see such a response. There are a couple of request to share the video. But I will resist. This is personal and I would like it to be that way. I do not mind sharing a screenshot.

The video is now accessible to public on YouTube. We hope that the message reaches Rahul Dravid and other people who are working to make the world a better place by their kind acts. 

This has been an emotional journey for all of us. You can find more details at http://akshaydhokememorialtrust.org

What is Rahul Dravid like in real life?

How did French evolve from Latin?

Answer by Steve Wright:

Like many questions in Quora, there are excellent wiki pages available for the basic information you seek.  I'll try to explain some of the reasons for these changes, and I hope you'll take the time to compare very late Latin (also called Early Common Romance, as the forerunner to or middle ground between Vulgate Latin and Old French) and subsequent French evolution.

Generally speaking, all languages get simpler with time.  Exceptions fall out of use, "difficult" pronunciations become less difficult (this is dramatically true of Old French), verb forms that seem to sound similar or express similar ideas tend to get fewer in number, similar inflected endings either fall together or become indistinguishable, foreign borrowings replace original words, and some phonemes disappear altogether, or else are replaced by similar phonemes.

Among all the direct descendants of Latin, Old French probably had the most drastic sound changes from Early Common Romance, certainly much more than old Italian and Old Spanish.  The number of vowels and vowel combinations dropped almost in half, final vowels sometimes  reduced to the schwa sound, and this final schwa sound also got dropped.  There are scholarly articles that work out the rules for why a given vowel changed in some words but not in others; the most important trends had to do with whether those sounds were stressed or not, and stressed sounds tend to resist change more than unstressed sounds.

Initial "st-", "st-" and "sc-" (pronounced as "sk-") came to be considered a difficult pronunciation, and the letter "e" was often added before these pairs to make them more euphonious and increase pleophany.  This happened in Old Spanish, too, but old French went a step further and often dropped the middle "s" both from these initial letters and in the interior of words.  The modern ô is a spelling remnant of where an "s" was dropped from an interior "os + consonant".  This is the process by which "hostel" became "hôtel".

As in many other languages, dental and glottal stops were often "softened" to sibilants (Latin cant- vs OF chan-).  Clarity in pronunciation takes a beating in most every language in every age.

How did French evolve from Latin?

Comment by James Anderson on an answer to Will the feature inspect element feature expose the programming code also of the web page?

Comment by James Anderson on an answer to Will the feature inspect element feature expose the programming code also of the web page? :

Comment by James Anderson on an answer to Will the feature inspect element feature expose the programming code also of the web page?

Do present day Indian youth prefer traditional wedding?

Answer by Smriti Iyer:

Hell YES!!!
I cannot answer for all of the present day Indian youth of course!
I am a TAMIL BRAHMIN, and I personally prefer a 100% traditional wedding.
Wedding day, for me is a festival of celebrating happiness, family and togetherness. It's a time when we share one of the most important days of our life with all the people we love.

A lot of youth these days don't seem to understand the cultural  essence of our weddings.
Indian wedding rituals have a lot of meaning to them, and if we understand each one of them separately, we'll know why they're important.

Below is a detailed description of the Tamil wedding ceremony and the meaning of various rituals.

The priest recites Sanskrit mantras from the Vedas in the presence of agni (the sacred fire). Agni, the sacred purifier and benefactor, is deemed a witness to the marriage rites. With the grace of the vedic mantras and the blessings of the elders, the couple begins their journey of married life.

Ganesha Puja
Parents seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha (the elephant faced deity) for the removal of all obstacles and the success of the ceremony.

This is a ritual conducted by the bride and groom with their parents. Prayers are offered to ensure that all goes well with the alliance. The groom is given a set of veshti by the bride’s parents. Sacred threads are dipped in turmeric are tied on the bride and groom’s wrists to protect them from in-auspiciousness.

Kashi Yatra
Here, the groom sets off on a pilgrimage towards the holy city of Kashi, on the bank of the Ganges in search of spiritual knowledge. But as he leaves, the bride’s father meets him and convinces him to stay and marry his daughter. He agrees, and he proceeds toward the marriage hall.

Exchange of Garlands & Oonjal (the swing)
The groom meets the bride, they exchange garlands three times, then sit in a swing. Just as the two chains of a swing move together connected by one plank, the couple will jointly face the oscillations of life, sharing the joy and sorrow together. The elders then carry a lighted lamp and pour water around the swing to invoke Shri (auspiciousness). Colored balls of rice are thrown in different directions to lure away undesirable spirits, and music is played to drown out inauspicious sounds.

Marriage Rituals:

Ganesha Puja & Sankalpam
Anu, Vijay, and their parents worship Lord Ganesha and express their intentions for the marriage ceremony.

Kanyaka Dhanam
The bride’s father, taking the bride’s hand in his, offers his most precious gift to the bridegroom. The groom’s parents then present the bride with the traditional nine-yard sari. The mangalyam (a gold pendent bearing symbols of the family deity on a yellow thread) is placed on a plate and presented to the elders and other guests for their blessings.

Mangalya Dharanam (tying the gold pendant)
This auspicious moment (muhurtham) is fixed according to the bride’s birth star. The bride sits in her father's lap- A sign showing- "my little girl sitting on my lap is going to be someone's wife now".
The groom takes the mangalyam, and fastens the first knot around the bride’s neck while chanting a mantra. Because marriage is not only a union of two inviduals, but is a union of two families, the groom’s sister fastens two more knots, symobolizing acceptance of the bride into the groom’s family.

Panigrahanam (holding the bride’s hand)
The groom lowers his right palm on the bride’s right hand and prays for a long life, progeny, prosperity, and harmony with the bride during their married life, marking the beginning of a new relationship.

Saptapadi (the Seven Steps)
This is the most important part of the marriage ceremony. Only when the bride and groom walk the seven steps together, is the marriage complete. The groom holds the bride’s right toe with his right hand and helps her take seven steps while reciting the vedic mantras.

Pradhana Homam (the main fire ritual)
The couple pay homage to Agni (fire) by doing pradakshina (going around), offering ghee, and chanting mantras.

Asmarohanam (stepping on the stone)
The groom helps the bride place her right foot on a special stone and he chants, “May you be strong and unshakable like this stone, face the challenges of life, and withstand all adversities.”

Laja Homam (offering puffed rice)
The bride’s brothers fill her cupped hands with puffed rice, which she offers to the fire. The bride recites mantras, praying for her husband’s well-being and a married life filled with peace and harmony. After each offering the couple circles the fire and the bride steps on the stone as above.

Sakhya Homam (ritual for friendship)
The couple offers oblations to fire chanting mantras for lasting friendship through mutual understanding.

Ashirvadam (blessings from the elders)
The couple, now husband and wife, seek blessings from the elders and guests present at the function.


I would just like the addition of ONE non traditional thing- separate cocktail get together just for the youngsters (don't want any orthodox Tamil elders there!)

Thanks A2A Sneha RS. Beautiful question!

Do present day Indian youth prefer traditional wedding?

Is 32 too old to start going to the gym for a 6 pack?

Answer by Ankur Warikoo:

From 21kms to 6packs in 5 months

I am 33 years old and this is my story

When I ran the marathon in December 2013, I was left with a weird question in my head.
Leading up to the day of the Marathon, I had never really run a full 21kms. The maximum I had was 14kms – 5 days before the marathon day.
And as a newcomer, you are given 3 hours to complete the 21km stretch. Thats 7kmph – brisk walking I’d say!
Was it possible that I didnt prepare for the marathon at all, but would have still ran the 21kms on the day?
The math (7kmph == brisk walking) suggested yes! This realization was unsettling.
And as I love doing, I asked myself a tough question
So what is it that I can do, for which I will have to prepare each and every day. I cant cheat the system by suddenly “running” on a decided day, if I hadnt prepared for it for every day before it!
January 2014
The marathon training has done some good. From 85kgs I had come down to 79Kgs. However, the days post the marathon were spent in celebrating the success. And I was back to 82!
I needed to exercise
and I needed a diet plan
Basically I needed a trainer.
And it was Ajay Singh again (Groupon colleague and the same guy who shared the video that changed me!)
On 17th Jan, he shared the diet plan that would lead me to the healthiest phase of my life
6:30am: 2 bananas + 10 almonds
7-8am: Workout
8:30am: Protein Shake + Oatmeal + Apple
11:30am: 2 tbsp Lemon Juice + Veg Salad (Olive Oil Dressing) + 1 Green Tea
130pm: 2 bowls of boiled Kidney Beans + 2 carrots + 2 borwn bread toast with peanut butter
400pm: Handful of nuts + Green Tea
700pm: Protein Shake + Roasted Veggied + 1 bowl of boiled chick peas
900pm: Green Tea
Drink 8 bottles of water everyday
No sugar at all
And then he added a clear piece of instruction
Dont eat anything that is packed, processed, canned or on someone else’s plate!
February 2014
I measured my body fat percentage on the 1st of Feb = 26%. Your abs shows when body fat reaches sub-10% levels!
Basically – I had to burn my fat.
One way was to not consume it – which is something that the diet plan ensured.
The other way to get into an intense fat-burning exercise regime – Weight Training
Weight training builds your muscles. And when you strain your muscles you body spents energy the entire day trying to recover from the “shock”. Cardio, on the other hand, stops burning fat the minute you stop doing it!
Ajay gave me the schedule – one body part a day
Monday: Chest
Tuesday: Shoulders
Wednesday: Back
Thursday: Abs
Friday: Arms
Saturday: Legs
and so it started – the race to the abs!
March 2014
BF had reduced to 18%
The abs could be felt if I dug my fingers into my stomach. But that wasnt the point
I weighed 78kgs
April 2014
This was a month I lost! Was travelling almost all of it – and wasnt able to work out.
Surprisingly, the unregimented diet that I was on during this month, didnt increase my weight or body fat. Testimony to the muscle-burns-fat logic.
It was working!
May 2014
BF reached 15% – it was getting harder to burn more.
“Concentrate on your legs. Thats the biggest muscle in the body – and can sustain the most pain. There are only two modes when you are doing legs – vomit or faint!”, advised Ajay, in his true style
That month, I lifted 100kgs on my legs!
June 2014
My personal deadline for the abs. BF had reached 12% and the first 2 packs were showing. The rest 4 were buried under what seemed like irritating-hard-to-dissolve stomach fat.
Aparently it was water, and not fat! It was time to reduce the water flab around your lower abs.
June 23 2014
I weighed 72kgs – an incredible 14kgs below my highest
Body fat had reached 10%
I stopped all salt in my diet (salt absorbs water). And reduced water content to 1 bottle a day
The first day was tasteless. The next day I called Ruchi to ask why she had added salt to my lunch.
She replied that she hadnt!
Brain >> Senses!
July 7 2014
I finalized the photographer for a shoot.
Yes – I was planning to have it all this while. Life doesnt give you too many opportunities to get shot in 6packs!
July 12 2014
Day before the shoot
Body Fat: 8.3%
No salt for the past 2.5 weeks
Abs showing
July 13 2014
Day of the shoot. Went to Ajay’s gym for “pumping” – spent an insane 2 hours out of my wits!
Sharad (colleague who got the shoot organized) and Ajay were there during the shoot. Absolutely weird and amazing experience. I realized I suck in front of the camera, am too concious and I cant carry looks that are not me!
When the photographs finally came in – I couldnt believe my own eyes. I was looking at a body that didnt feel like mine. It was a healthy body – a confident one! And one that had been an absolute pleasure to build.
I sent a text thanking Ajay for all his help. His reply was fascinating.
The best part about bodybuilding is that it is not a team effort. It is just YOU. You cant blame anyone for your failure so no one gets the credits for your victory.
What I told you all through is something easily available on the Internet and I have shared it with several others. You have to believe and know for a fact that it is only you who decides what happens to it now.
The power of knowing that you alone control this – is a powerful one.
Because its really the same with everything else as well.
Here I am – from an era before

And here I am now!

Updates (based on comments)
Body Fat is measured through an instrument called the Body Composition Analyzer (BCA). Here is what it looks like –

I dont drink, so cutting down on alcohol is not applicable to me. However, for the diet to work, it is necessary to reduce alcohol and preferably remove it all together.

Here is the workout regime that I followed

Day 1: Chest

Day 2: Shoulders

Day 3: Abs
Leg Raises – 20 – 15 – 12 – 10 – 8 – 8 – 8 – 8  (30 seconds rest) – LINK to the technique
2)      Hanging Leg Raises – 10 – 10 – 10 (30 seconds rest) – LINK to the technique
3)      Wood Chopper – 15 – 15 -15 each side (30 seconds rest) – LINK to the technique
4)      Crunches – 15 – 15 – 15 (30 seconds rest) – LINK to the technique
5)      Side Crunches – 15 – 15 – 15 (each side) – LINK to the technique (starts at 5:59)
6)      Side Bends – 15 – 15 -15 (each side) – Link to the technique (starts at 0:55)

Day 4: Back

Day 5: Arms

Day 6: Legs

Is 32 too old to start going to the gym for a 6 pack?

Will I ever be happy again after the loss of my only child?

Answer by Sugandha Banga:

The internet is the last place where I would even think about sharing this part of my (or rather my parents') life. But the intensity of the question did not let me hold back. I can only hope this helps somebody in some way.

When I was roughly a year old, my parents lost my elder sister (who was around four years old at that time) in an unimaginably tragic accident. It was the month of August—a time of the year here in India when kite-flying is a rage. 15th of August happens to be our Independence Day, an occasion that is celebrated by a ritual of kite-flying which begins with the onset of the month.

It so happened that my parents had gone to a market on our two-wheeler. My mother held me in her arms. My sister waited outside on the scooter in the parking since it wasn't going to take them too long and the vehicle was well in sight from the shop.

From the neighborhood, somebody's kite came floating down, and its Manja (kite)—the abrasive string used for flying kites—began to get entangled around my sister's neck. Somebody was probably pulling it from the other end thinking his kite had got stuck somewhere, while she struggled to get rid of it. It began to cut through her neck. When my parents saw this, they went running to her. But it was late. I remember my mother telling how they were desperately trying to rejoin my sister's neck. The very thought of it sends shivers down my spine. My father picked her up in his arms and they took her to the nearest hospital. She was declared brought dead.

My sister was an unbelievably gifted child, I am told by everybody in the family. Extraordinarily beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent (she had finished reading all her books when she was in lower kindergarten and had asked mom to get her promoted to the next class, which had taken everybody, including the teachers, by surprise), and divine in some sense (this might sound plain stupid, but I always felt so. I learned that she never liked me even though I was just a meek little baby. She would often say things like she didn't like me, I was going to take away her parents from her etc. But at the time of dying, and this is something unbelievably heart-wrenching for me, she had an Alpenliebe in her mouth which she put in mine).

All that it took for the unfortunate incident to happen was some minutes. Of course, my parents must have lived with regrets thereafter… we could have done this and that. But when something is about to happen, it is bound to happen. No matter how hard we try, how much we advance, there is a God up there who decides/does everything if you are a theist, and nature that does the same if you are an atheist. Or maybe nobody does it, things just happen. Life.

My mother tells me that for a long time, obviously, both of them were inconsolable, to say the least. I cannot imagine my father, who happens to be an emotionally weak person, setting his first child's dead-body to fire, or my mother who had preserved her in her womb for 9 months, seeing her bleed to death right in front of her eyes.

Some years later, my younger sister, and then my younger brother, were born. I can't thank God enough for the fact that I was too young then to remember anything later. All this has been told to me by older cousins, relatives, and a bit by my mother when as a curious child I would flog her with questions on seeing old photographs. My father has never talked about it except for a few rare times way back in the past and my mother gave up after it became too much for her to handle. I don't know why I always started by asking, "Do you still miss her?" Maybe, it was the insecurity of the child that survived, or I just felt so bad that I hoped and wanted to be assured that we had filled the vacuum. Her answer to this question was always  the same, "Obviously. The first child is always special". She clearly told me not to bring it up again.

If it is possible, do consider having another child.

There is a lot of pain in this world. Some people manage to live through it, some don't. What the latter does is nothing. What the former does is that it gives meaning to the concept of life and becomes a source of inspiration for fellow-sufferers. It may seem to you right now that you cannot continue to live. But the truth is: it may take some time, but you will get back to normalcy, sooner or later. You know why? Because we don't have any other choice.

This is the worst time for you to decide what you should do with your life, so please, don't. But I beg you to consider one thing: there must be somebody very close to you for who your life matters. Maybe your spouse, your siblings. If not, think of your parents. What would it be like, or what would it have been like, for them to see their child die of suffering? Would you be able to inflict the pain that you are going through on people who love you, knowing just how unbearable it is? There is so much suffering in this world. Instead of becoming a part of it, why not devote your life in trying to reduce it? Could there be any better way to give meaning to the life of your child who is no more?

Closer home, Jagjit Singh, the (late) legendary Ghazal singer, lost his only son very young. He went into silence for six months, while his wife Chitra—who too was a great singer of those times—quit singing altogether. When Jagjit ji reemerged, he made his art the purpose of his living. Some of his most memorable works are believed to have come after that phase. Ironically, ghazal singing is one form of art that mostly dwells on pain. This bereaved father had plenty of it.

When he passed away recently, the entire nation shed tears and paid remembrance to him. In the hearts of his millions of fans, Jagjit ji is immortal.

There are many more artists who have risen after the loss of their beloved ones. Eric Clapton being another one. How did they survive? By finding a new purpose of life—their art.

And that is all what you now need to do; rather, that is all what I pray you do. Instead of thinking how worthless life has become, give worth to it. Find a new purpose of living. And trust me, it is not like there is none. You just need to move on. More importantly, you need to decide to move on. Every piece of the shattered puzzle will begin to fall in place eventually. Have faith in yourself. Have faith in time—which is the only pill for this.


I don't know what mom would feel about me sharing such a sensitive area of their life on a public forum (well, I am certainly not going to tell her about it). Personally, I don't think I 'own' this experience, as I was not the one who went through it. Yet, sharing it was extremely difficult because talking about it, and consequently earning credits, is eerie.

But I have heard her mumble many times, "There is no pain in this world greater than the pain of losing your child." And strangely, we tend to find strength in others who have had similar painful experiences and risen from them. And that alone was the motivation behind me writing this answer. My heart goes out to the OP.
I just want to say, thank you all for respecting the emotions involved. I hope this serves the purpose it was posted for.

Will I ever be happy again after the loss of my only child?

What is the one thing that I can start doing today that will promise a greater life for me in the future?

Answer by Smriti Iyer:

At least 15 mins a day, extend it longer if you wish to later.

I believe the simplest way to start this practice at home is (this is how I started off first, before learning the more advanced methods) –

  • Turn off the signals in your phone
  • If there are people at home, inform them not to disturb you for sometime
  • Go into a silent room
  • Turn the bright lights off- If its day time, put the curtains on the window for the indirect dim sunlight. If it's night time (not preferred generally, but still) try keeping on only one light (faint white/ blue)
  • If you're doing it alone, set your alarm 15-20 mins from that moment. Make sure that the alarm tone is a soothing one, preferably some slow instrumental music
  • Sit cross- legged and comfortable and keep both your palms touching the knees
  • Close your eyes
  • Breathe normally, be aware of every breath you take
  • Don't try to empty your mind (IT WILL NEVER WORK WITH THAT BEAST), let your mind bring in as many thoughts as it likes. You will not even the realize the moment from which your thoughts eventually fade away
  • After sometime you might feel sleepy, at that moment slowly without moving too swiftly, lie down straight with hands on either sides of your body. Relax. (trust me, the mind is NOT sleepy at that moment, it is just in a state of total rest)
  • When your alarm music starts playing, again, without moving too swiftly, slowly get up and sit up straight like before
  • Don't turn off your alarm and sleep off! lol! 😛
  • Now take three deep breaths
  • Slowly open your eyes

Now you're ready to conquer the world! 😀

There are a lot of different ways to meditate. Some are simple, others are pretty intense (like DETOX) and are to be done only once a week. Many people have developed their own methods of meditation, some of which are truly AMAZING! (personally- Art of Living) and are also teaching people in large numbers.

Meditation is a practice to calm our mind that goes through so much in our day-to-day life.
It is often misunderstood to be a concentration exercise… well, that's WRONG!!
Concentration is the result/ reward of meditation.

The concept is actually totally opposite of concentration, it is letting the mind loose. During meditation, whatever comes into the mind, let it come. Ultimately, we will not even realize the moment after which our mind would stop having any more thoughts.

Our brain is soulfully responsible for all the decisions we make throughout the day. Think of how much pressure we put to our brains. A little detox everyday can help us control anger/ anxiety/ confusion/ sorrow/ jealousy etc.. (you name it!).

What Happens in Your Brain When You Meditate?
This is where things get really interesting. Using modern technology like fMRI scans, scientists have developed a more thorough understanding of what’s taking place in our brains when we meditate. The overall difference is that our brains stop processing information as actively as they normally would. We start to show a decrease in beta waves, which indicate that our brains are processing information, even after a single 20-minute meditation session if we have never tried it before.

In the image below you can see how the beta waves (shown in bright colors on the left) are dramatically reduced during meditation (on the right).

Frontal lobe

This is the most highly evolved part of the brain, responsible for reasoning, planning, emotions and self-conscious awareness. During meditation, the frontal cortex tends to go offline.

Parietal lobe

This part of the brain processes sensory information about the surrounding world, orienting you in time and space. During meditation, activity in the parietal lobe slows down.


The gatekeeper for the senses, this organ focuses your attention by funneling some sensory data deeper into the brain and stopping other signals in their tracks. Meditation reduces the flow of incoming information to a trickle.

Reticular formation

As the brain’s sentry, this structure receives incoming stimuli and puts the brain on alert, ready to respond. Meditating dials back the arousal signal.

Enjoy this gift of meditation everyday! And you yourself will experience the difference it will bring in your life.

Medical sources- What Happens to the Brain When You Meditate (And How it Benefits You)

What is the one thing that I can start doing today that will promise a greater life for me in the future?

What are the ways in which private sector banks are better than the public sector banks ?Why and how are they better, as all give the sa…

Answer by Ayushi Mona:

First of all, all banks do not give the same interest rate of 4%.
Interest on savings account have been deregulated by the RBI and hence different banks give different rates.

It's also wrong to choose a bank which gives 6% over 4%.

There are several parameters that make some banks better than others.
Apart from traditional deposit and lending activities, you should choose a bank (whether it is a private/public/foreign/cooperative) bank based on what you expect from the bank.

Citibank has 42 branches in India as compared to State bank of India's 13000. The way they use branches to leverage the customer's experience is radically different. SBI's branches act as work stations with hectic deposit/withdrawl/value added functions pan India whereas Citibank posts profits with negligible number  of branches by using their branches as Wealth Management stations and building relationships.

Indian Private banks, unlike Citi and HSBC use a dual mechanism of high end banking as well as low end segment banking.

Private Sector Banks (including foreign banks) are better as :

1) They provide more customized services and greater personal interaction. A dissatisfied customer can shout for the manager much like he would, at a restaurant.

2) Employees of PSU banks are chosen via national level entrance exams. They often enter the sector with a sense of entitlement of working in a stable , government job rather than a MBA working at ICICI or Citi who's competitive and of a more client servicing orientation as per the organisation's diktats.

3) Private banks also do a better job at providing more holistic, all-around banking facilities  with family accounts , dedicated Relationship Managers, investment advisories and a host of add-on facilities.

However, PSU banks especially the larger banks like SBI and Canara are fast catching up.

The retail banking space is deeply competitive. There are several private sector banks that are better than PSU banks but it's best to exercise caution as the range of banking products across banks is almost the same. Choose a bank and branch that works out the best for you.
Also, a bank that offers great netbanking and mobile app services.
You'll be more dependent on technology than people for your banking needs in the future.

P.S. I have worked with both kinds. The views expressed here are my own.

What are the ways in which  private sector banks are better than the public sector banks ?Why and how are they better, as all give the sa…

What should every Indian know about your state?

Answer by Raghavi Ravi:


Biggest Misconception: Tamilians look like this!!

1. yessss..!!! FOOD.. 😀 😀 We live to eat.. :))))))))
Tamilnadu is famous for its deep belief that serving food to others is a service to humanity. The region has a rich cuisine involving both traditional veg and non-veg dishes. Rice and legumes play an significant role.

our mornings begin with

2. We take great pride in our heritage and culture.

Brihadeeswarar Temple, A temple unimaginably majestic both historically and architecturally.

A widely held belief is that the shadow of the gopuram (pyramidal tower usually over the gateway of a temple) never falls on the ground

The temple is said to be made up of about 130,000 tons of granite. The Kumbam(apex or the bulbous structure on the top)itself, a 60 ton granite stone carved in one piece, on top of the main gopuram is believed to have been taken to the top by creating an inclined slope to the height of 66m to the top of the gopuram.

3. We love our language ,who doesn't. Tamil is one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world(2000 years).
Saint Thiruvalluvar, is a celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher.
The Thiruvalluvar Statue is a 133 feet tall stone sculpture.

4. Come here to witness some of the world's best Architectural beauty

Ramanathaswamy Temple,Rameshwaram, TN

Meenakshi Amman Temple,Madurai

Shore temple,Mahabalipuram

5. Kutralam, Spa of South India

6. Kancheepuram saree (also known as a Kanjivaram sari) is a type of sari traditionally made by weavers from Kanchipuram . These are woven naturally. The Kanchipuram sari is distinguished by its wide contrast borders

7.Marina beach, is considered the world's second longest urban beach

8.Hillstations: ooty, kodaikanal, yercaud,valparai

9. Mudumalai National Park

10. We are crazy fans of Superstar, A. R. Rahman, CSK

11. Economy of Tamilnadu

In the 2013 Raghuram Rajan panel report, Tamil Nadu was ranked as the third most developed state in India based on a "Multidimensional Development Index".

  • Agriculture:Tamil Nadu has historically been an agricultural state, while its advances in other fields launched the state into competition with other areas. Even so, Tamil Nadu is a leading producer of agricultural products in India.Tamil Nadu is the home to Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, known as the "father of the Green Revolution" in India.
  • Industry and manufacturing: BHEL has manufacturing plants at trichy and Ranipet.
  • Automotive : Many heavy engineering and manufacturing-based companies are centred in and around the suburbs of Chennai.
  • Textiles: The textile industry plays a significant role in the Indian economy by providing direct employment to an estimated 35 million people, and thereby contributing 4% of GDP and 35% of gross export earnings. The textile sector contributes to 14% of the manufacturing sector.
  • Leather: Hundreds of leather and tannery facilities are located around Vellore. The Vellore district is the top exporter of finished leather goods in the country. Vellore leather accounts for more than 37 percent.
  • Fireworks: Fireworks industries in Sivakasi contributes to 80% of India's production of safety matches as well as 90% of India's total fireworks production.

12.Wind farms:Tamil Nadu is one of the wind power hubs of South Asia.Tamil Nadu generates 40% of India's wind power.

13. We don't waste water as we know its value.

14. Bharatanatyam and carnatic music

What should every Indian know about your state?