Meha hospitalised

There’s a flip side to a child’s growth! 🙁

Meha has started crawling and we were happy. But she kept touching lots of things and kept putting her fingers in her mouth every now and then. We couldn’t keep a complete track of this activity and now she is down with viral infection. Everyhting she eats comes out in the form of a vomit or otherwise. We were under the impression that these are the signs of teething. But alas! We were wrong.

No preliminary medicines worked and ultimately all this loss of fluid resulted in dehydration and we had to hospitalise her yesterday night. Stool reports suggested viral infection. After two bottles of drip, she is better now, but still is so weak that she keeps sleeping and is not even half as active as she was. May be she will be there in the hospital for 1 or 2 days more. But she has lost 750 grams from her total weight of 6kg 🙁

UPDATE: 31st Dec 2005

Meha is back home! 😀 But she is somewhat low on energy and is still unable to digest milk, which is her main food intake at present. So she is on special diet 🙁 But is recovering 🙂

A day before hospitalisation

In hospital

Back home, with her doll

Talk, talk for life at just Rs. 999!!

The competition in cell service providers has reached a new height. Thanks to Tata Indicom for starting it 😀 Their new scheme costing 2500 gave 2 years’ validity and consequently incoming calls for 2 years without recharging. This caused panic within other CDMA/GSM cell operators and windfall for Tata. It increased its market share manifold (although it still remains quite low comparatively).

Reliance came up with its own schemes :roll:. Orange (now Hutch) in Mumbai came with a recharge of Rs. 999/- that gave 1 year’s validity (so incoming calls for 1 year) and talktime of Rs. 500/-. Thats pretty reasonable. But there still was some scope of reductions and Airtel came up with a life time validity package for Rs. 999/-. (Note: No details or direct links from Airtel site is available at present. The site seems to be under upgrade 🙄 )

Hutch in a span of few days matched it with Hutch chalta rahe. Only thing that one needs to do is rechrge it once in 6 months, even if it is with as low recharge as Rs. 10 in case of Hutch.

I am pretty impressed. Chrages in India is one of lowest in the world and we are still experiencing further reduction!! 😀 This is what competition can do. Now once someone spends Rs. 999/- he can remain mobile by spending only Rs. 20/- in a year! Is there any more scope for reduction? Only time will tell. But the new regime of CPP (Calling Party Pays, i.e. free incoming) that was introduced some years ago has done wonders for the cell penetration. Today, I saw a BMC sweeper on the road talking on his cell! The telecom revoultion seems to have arrived 🙂

You have two choices

Here’s something that I received in email and wanted to share with people. I know, it must have reached their mailboxes many times over, but still I liked it and so wanted to share. So here it is.

Jerry is the manager of a restaurant. He is always in a good mood.

When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”
Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs when he changed jobs, so they could follow him around from restaurant to restaurant. Why? Because Jerry was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always there, telling him how to look on the positive side of the situation.
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, “I don’t get it! No one can be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?”

Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, I have two choices today. I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood. I always choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be victim or I can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I always choose the positive side of life.”

“But it’s not always that easy.” I protested.

“Yes it is,” Jerry said, “life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. It’s your choice how you live your life.”

Several years later, I heard that Jerry accidentally did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business.
He left the back door of his restaurant open and then in the morning, he was robbed by three armed men. While Jerry trying to open the safe box, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found quickly and rushed to the hospital. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident.

When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Want to see my scars?”

I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place.

“The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied, “Then, after they shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or could choose to die. I chose to live.”

“Weren’t you scared?” I asked.

Jerry continued, “The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the Emergency Room and I saw the expression on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read ‘He’s a dead man. I knew I needed to take action.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, there was a big nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything.”

“‘Yes, to bullets'” I replied, “Over their laughter, I told them that I am choosing to live. Please operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day you have the choice to either enjoy your life or to hate it. The only thing that is truly yours – that no one can control or take from you is your attitude, so if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes much easier.

The tax scenario in India

When VAT was about to come into effect all over India and there was opposition from all and sundry, the Indian Government stuck to one argument that many countries around the world have implemented VAT. Agreed, sir. But how many countries in the world have as many other taxes as we have in India? Here’s a very basic scenario.

A manufacturer starts a new business, floats a partnership firm/limited company. He first has to pay stamp duty (ad valorem in certain cases).

He first purchases machinery and raw materials. He will pay Sales Tax/VAT (or Customs Duty in case of Imports).
Once his ready goods leave his factory, he pays Excise Duty.
On transporting his good from one place to other place, he pays Octroi.
On selling these things and earning profit, he pays Income Tax.

After paying all these taxes, if he still manages to accumulate some wealth, he pays Wealth Tax. And we have not even considered under the table taxes that he has to pay to anti-social elements in the government departments.

Earlier there ware two more taxes, Gift Tax and Estate Duty. Gift Tax Act was abolished and more logical provisions covering gifts were introduced in the Income Tax Act. Estate Duty was paid on inheritance of assets and was abolished just before it was Indira Gandhi’s turn to pay it.

When will government simplify the tax structure in India? Is there any inclination to do so?

I have not even mentioned here Service Tax, Interest Tax, Fringe Benefit Tax, etc. 🙄

The current finanace minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram, has a one point program of levying and collecting more and more taxes. But are they used in the right way? As per one newspapers report, Education Cess of 2% levied across all the taxes and helped the government amass more than 6000 crores. But it remains unused till date!

Twins can be different too!!



Whenever people hear that I am a father of twin daughters, they all think about all the stupid double role bolloywood movies they have seen. One of them gets hit and the other feels the pain! People think this must be happening with all the twins. Nothing can be further from the truth. From my experience of more than six months I can say that twins can also be as different as chalk and cheese!

Take the example of my daughters, Mahi and Meha. Mahi is elder by 2 minutes 🙂

Mahi observes a lot and keeps thinking. She even observes her own hand and fingers for minutes at a stretch. Meha has no time to observe. As soon as she sees something, she wants to grab and play with it.

Mahi hates milk and likes soups, rice and other preparartions. Meha loves milk and makes a face everytime something else is put in her mouth.

Mahi will cry when a toy falls from her hand. She will wait for someone to give it back in her hand even if its lying next to her. Meha will go and take a toy even it is a few feet away.

Mahi sits in all the swings, chairs, carriers, etc. that we got, Meha is almost always a bit afraid and apprehensive.

Mahi loves massage and loves to take bath. Meha cries at the top of her voice and hates both the activities.

Mahi doesn’t cry when strangers lift her, Meha starts crying within 5 minutes.
Mahi never smiles at strangers, Meha smiles at everyone.

Mahi looks like my grand-mother, Meha looks like me! No! They both DON’T look same! Meha is also taller than Mahi by about 1.5 inches!

Mahi is fond of dad and Meha is fond of mom 😀

There are so many differences. Of course there are similarities as well. But the point is, there are so many differences. Just because they are twins, doesn’t mean there are only similarities.