Monday, June 28, 2010

Citi Forward credit card advantage

Credit cards are definitely not a pain if used properly. I am so glad to use this particular card, Citi Forward which serves our purpose quiet well. The reward which the card gives us is a bonus for every single dollar we spend (So we kind of earn something for we spend. Cool right?. Wish I have used this card all my life). This particular card earns us five points for every one dollar we spend on dining out, movies, books and music. Since we dine out often, this card is perfect for us to earn those bonus points (We earn while we drool ;-)) There is no annual fee for this card and also we get hundred bonus points if we pay the bill on time every month (This card encourages you to pay on time which is a very nice gesture)

We accumulated the points for over an year and just recently redeemed the points for a gift card and got a "Sony Cyber-shot Digital Camera H55" which is worth some $ 220. Both the Citi credit card and the Sony camera looks perfect for us. :-)

Similarly there are various credit cards with different kinds of rewards. Some cards are specific for travel purposes and if you are a frequent flier, you can apply and enjoy its rewards by accumulating miles. So when you have accumulated enough miles to take a domestic or international flight, you can very well use those miles. And there are also cards as students cards, small business cards, low interest credit cards and so on.

Bottom line here is use your little brain and apply for a credit card which best suits you and enjoy those rewards. Citi forward card points are redeemable through its Thank You Network and here comes a heartfelt "Thank you" from us to Citi card :-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ramayana

An epic most read, heard and seen in every home in India. Thanks to the media channels which telecasted this wonderful epic since my childhood days. I grew up watching this epic every weekend along with my Grand Ma. An epic which tells you a tale of Good and Evil or Good versus Evil. Just like any kid fond of hearing any kind of stories, I saw and heard this epic through curriculum, television and from my Grand Ma. An epic which throws light on many characters and incidents and also draws certain morals at frequent intervals. It's a story about kingdom, family, love, envy, struggle, courage, patience and victory of course.

I believe the epic Ramayana dates back around 11th century. Though many characters are involved in this wonderful epic, most popular ones happen to be Rama (The Good), his wife Sita and Raavana (The Evil). This story prevails around these characters and no wonder why people praise, pray and fall in love with Rama and Sita and curse the evil soul, Raavana.

Here comes a Tamil movie "Raavanan" in this 21st century, I should say a modern day Ramayana, a movie directed by my most favorite director Mr. Manirathinam. Anyone could easily relate the characters in the movie to the epic Ramayana. The story is nothing new but there was this slight line which takes a bend and leaves us a question about the evil soul (at least that's how it's portrayed always). What if there happen to be a beautiful, soul inspiring quality with the so called evil person? This slight touch is what Raavanan movie is all about.

And the portrayal of Rama and Raavana in this movie is just a reverse to the original epic Ramayana. Just like a coin has both the sides, Rama (Dev) has a Grey side (Not a black side though) while Raavana (Veera) has a "Pink" side (as he's good and lures towards Raagini ;-) )

Let me leave the story for now, there was something about a particular scene I really felt haunting. Many a times I heard and seen elders who usually love to bless any young girls by wishing her a husband like Rama. I was neither excited or felt sad about it. But now after watching this movie (Probably, I didn't understand and realize this sort of question as a kid) in one particular scene when Dev suspects her wife Raagini's fidelity (like in the epic, Ramayana) I felt extremely odd. That's the most disgusting question that any husband could ask a wife (especially to a woman like Sita). What an awful way to hurt a woman.

Rama, a person (or a God) of such caliber as shown in that epic could ask such a question, then he's definitely not the ultimate husband as our elders think (sorry, it's no more a blessing!). Honestly, it's not right. I am so sorry to say this statement and I don't mean to hurt any one's sentiments or religious beliefs. And here I get a prompt reply from someone saying that it so happened because of the fear of society then. No wonder the shame still continues as most live and fear for others than for themselves. Whatever could be the reason, that's something beyond any repair and I am not buying it either.

Who knows? There could be a Rama in a Raavana and vice versa. No one is perfect. It not only applies to us but to God himself (If only you assume Rama to be). And I am in love with Mr. Manirathinam's version of Raavanan (a movie) and definitely not with Kambar's Rama (an epic).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mathematics

Here is an interesting real life story I came across. No fiction guys.

Two girls met at work and after some time they get to know each other. And they started to share their funny memories from their childhood days. And in one of these days they came across this big word "Mathematics", One said "You know, it's very funny to think how we used to copy in school exams, especially Math. I used to help my friend a lot on that". Another said, "Oh yeah, me too. It was so much fun at college. Passing papers, tricking the examiners, kind of nostalgic to think about it now". One continued, "There is one particular friend of mine, who's so terrible in math and she will go nuts whenever we have a math test". Another was so quick to reply, "Hey, that happened with my friend too, poor girl she used to be so silent only in Math classes otherwise very mischievous".

One stated further, "In fact there was one time, she copied from me in our eleventh grade exam and the funny thing is that she scored better than me. Hilarious. I still used to make a prank on her whenever I get to talk with her", she giggled and thought about the school days for a moment. While the second girl smiled and said, 'That's interesting. Thank god, nothing that sort happened with us. But I used to help her a lot both in classes and in the class tests'.

Suddenly some weird thought appeared and the first one said to the other, 'Please, don't tell me we are talking about the same person'. The second person was quick to reply, 'Nope, that's not possible. my friend is in US right now'. Before she ended the statement, the first got so excited, 'Hey, my friend is in US too' Then the other said, 'This is crazy, so are you going to tell me that your friend's name is Akila?'. The first one almost laughed out, " Yes, It is indeed!" And it was 'me', who played that best actor role in their leisure time. When I heard this from both of them during my visit to my native few months back, I chuckled and looked up the sky to the 'Good Guy' who directed this wonderful episode with my friends. What a way to unite my two friends! There I saw a twinkle which meant a big smile to me.

Brought a smile guys? I know, it's always so much fun to pull some one's legs. Not enough? Well, let me try one more! No fiction! Truly My Story!!! Keep reading......

When I was in tenth grade, "as planned" I sat beside my friend for a Math test. My friend's so good in Math, she could work on it so quick and will finish off just fine. It's always me who felt very difficult to cope up with her to quickly copy that before she switches to the next page. There was one particular problem she was working and wanted to push off real quick to submit the paper on time. And in one particular step she wrote 5 x 5 = 15. I saw that and signaled her to turn towards me to ask her to correct that step. She was so sweet, even in her busy calculation she managed to turn towards me. But by that time there was this "Great Mathematical Brain" of mine which from no where appeared so suddenly and all I thought was I have to be wrong while she should be right always! So I signaled nothing and asked her to continue working on her paper. That's it. We were caught when our Math Mam corrected our paper. And I admitted that I was the culprit. I should have told our Mam that I was right for the first time while my friend was wrong for the first time ;-)

Seriously, even the word "Mathematics" terrifies me. It's always been my demon in life. I truly belong to the "I hate Math club". I know what you all must be thinking by now, "So, this is how you passed all your exams?" Come on guys, this is insulting. Not always you know. You don't trust me? Give me a simple addition and I am sure I will leave my fingers to work on it like a kid, thrice the time it takes for you!

Jokes apart, those of you who are so good at it, I salute you, I envy you and I really want that ability from you. You guys simply rock. Hey Dhivya, Gayathri and Kaleesh, it was all fun, thank you and I love you all so much. I will make sure my kid sits beside your kids for the math test in the future too ;-)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

America

Just two years back, this was exactly the same day I landed on this beautiful country. My dream destination. Without any person's influence or I should say very less knowledge about it, I always dreamed of being in this country. I don't know why I loved so much about this country then. It was my dream, my wish, my joy and my love for wanting to be in this country one day. And I am so glad it happened on this day. Now I realize this is the land which makes life worth living each day. Its no wonder my love for this land has gone more farther now.

It could possibly only me who can still feel the first moment of being in this country on this day. I am sure that will never wind up in my memory, never in my lifetime. A day where my long lasted dream and my wish came true. And I am not exaggerating any bit of it. This is a place where not only dreams evolve but it also shapes up well to form a life out of it. Anything and everything is possible here. If you ever have a dream and a passion, bring it here and I am sure you will win in this land. The kind of creativity in people living here is something which makes me mesmerized often. Truly a land of beautiful ideas.

Do I have to talk about love and life on this land? You will never realize what real life is all about until you set your foot on this land. Wherever I go I see people just live their life and also enjoy every bit of it. They simply make sure they are living their life rather than living some one's life or dream. I really fall short of words to describe their love and appreciation. I honestly accept that some of the most romantic ideas can only happen in this land and I wonder how they come up with such sweet things in life. Best romantic place ever on earth. Never seen or heard so much appreciation in any form until I came to this country.

America, a land of life, love, joy, appreciation, creativity, dreams, parenting, sense of humor, smiling faces, privacy, courtesy, real freedom, spectacular movies, amazing ideas above all this is where you can be real 'You'. I am so happy for being in this country. And the hardest part is the thought of leaving this place one day. Hopefully not sooner. Fingers crossed. Its not about the money, infrastructure and sophisticated life which makes me fall in love with this land again and again, its mainly because I learnt so many things from it. Of all the beautiful things I have come across this is what I love and learnt from this country, 'how to be myself and live my own life'! Yippee! I am living my dream. I love America and God bless America!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

DeGray Lake Resort

We went to this beautiful resort in Arkansas last weekend. It was super fun as we tried the boating for the first time. Had a wonderful time there. Have a look at the video of this place.


video

Thursday, June 3, 2010

TED

Here is an interesting website which delivers beautiful ideas. I have been following this website for quite sometime and I thoroughly enjoy some of the most incredible ideas. Most of the time, I enjoyed and overwhelmed with such fascinating presentation and information by some of the individuals. I really insist and appreciate your valued time looking in this website. Here are some of my favorite TED talks and I suppose the list is endless...

Steve Jobs - How to live before you die,

Ken Robinson - Schools kill creativity,

Adora Svitak - What adults can learn from kids,

Anil Gupta - India's hidden hotbeds,

James Cameron - Before Avatar, a curious boy,

Elizabeth Gilbert - On nurturing creativity.


Check out the website, www.ted.com - "Ideas worth spreading", truly it is!