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INVESTING IN GOLD I love Gold. A diamond may be called a woman's best friend, but the best friend of Indian women is Gold. Gold has always been a form of insurance for securing the future. However, it is also a good investment vehicle. Since gold is a precious metal and its reserves on the Earth are being depleted fast, in all probability it would continue to be very precious and its value would increase significantly with time. Gold is a kind of universal currency. I may not accept a dollar or a pound but I would certainly accept gold. The security of the paper currency is gold. In times of a national crisis people fear that their assets may be seized and that the currency may become worthless. They look upon gold as a solid asset which can always be used to buy food or other essential commodities and services. Thus, in times of great uncertainty, particularly when a war is feared, the demand for gold rises. In the event of a war or currency failure, gold is the only thing which can buy

you food and shelter no matter where you are in world. This is the only investment which you can keep, gift, trade, wear and even eat!!! In India Gold has traditionally been the preferred investment. It is considered the most reliable investment and it has a significant psychological effect also. Normally when we think of investing in Gold, we think of buying jewellery - bangles, necklace, ear tops etc. Most of us men buy these and gift most of them to our wife. She is happy to have such a caring, smart, intelligent, loving husband and we are happy that we have invested in gold. There is, however, a small show spoiler in this apparently happy ending emotional drama. We bought the gold at say Rs. 13000/10 gm (for 22 carat jewellery). But we did not pay Rs. 13000, which was the actual value of

the gold. There were some manufacturing charges also, which vary from 15 – 20% depending on jeweller. For instance, my neighbourhood jeweller charges Rs 300 per gram. So, we paid Rs. 13000 + 15-20% = as Gold + manufacturing charges. We have therefore already lost 15% of our initial investment. Moreover, when you need the money and plan to sell that jewellery and if you are selling it to a jeweller other than the one from whom you bought it, he would also deduct 10% of the total value. You can consider these as additional charges you paid on the investment. I would say that these are very high charges indeed. So, possessing gold is good for your peace of mind but certainly not a wise investment choice. (Ladies, don't kill me for that!!) But don't loose heart. You can still invest in gold. Purchase gold, but not in form of jewellery. Buy it in the form of coins, biscuits, bars etc., which do not require manufacturing. In this way


you will have gold at the price of Gold with no extra manufacturing charges. I am sure that your wife would still like the biscuit and coin of gold. Remember that whatever you buy, whether jewellery or coin, it should have the Hallmark logo on it to ensure purity. If you don't care about Hallmark, the jeweller would not care whether the jewellery he is selling is of 22 carats or 18 carats. Chances are, that you might end up paying for 22 carats and actually get 18 carats only. You can buy gold in a bigger quantity or in instalments in the form of coins. There are two sources of buying gold the jeweller and the bank. I would prefer to buy gold from a reputed jeweller with the Hallmark sign on it. That is the only way I can trust that the gold I am buying is pure. You can also buy it from a bank. The purity will be guaranteed, but it would come at a cost. Banks charge more for the gold you take from them as compared to jewellers on pretext of giving pure Gold. There is one more difference: the jeweller from which you bought Gold would buy back his Gold at the current market price, but a bank won't. So, I would recommend buying from a reputed jeweller with the hallmark logo on it. What do you understand by pure Gold? What is 24 carats, 22 carats, 18 carats etc. Before understanding that, it's good to know that you will have 22 carats pure gold when you buy jewellery but you can have 24 carats of gold if you buy a gold coin or biscuit. Pure gold is designated as 24 carat, which denotes the 'fineness' by which bar gold is defined. Gold from which jewellery is made (22 carats) is 91.67% pure. You can buy gold in SIP i.e. buy gold for a fixed amount and store it either at your home or in a bank locker. The only problem is that you will always be worried about the safety of the gold. There are thieves and robbers are everywhere and the nearest may be your trusted

Kaamwali! Even bank lockers are not so safe. If you have something precious in bank lockers, I would strongly recommend checking your locker at least once a month. The good news is, that you can now invest in Gold and own it without keeping it with you. This means that the gold is yours but you don't have its physical possession. Let other people take care of your gold while you sleep peacefully. I know that you will love this. This is possible by investing in a Gold ETF i.e. a Gold Exchange Traded Fund. Gold ETFs are exchange traded funds that passively track the performance of gold bullion. These funds buy gold with the investors' money (on the behalf of the investors) and convert it into units. You don't get the physical delivery of the gold. The units of the gold ETFs can be bought or sold on the stock exchange just like the shares of companies. For this the investor needs a demat account. The daily net asset value (NAV) of Gold

ETFs is decided by the price of gold. There are other ways of investing in gold like gold derivatives etc. but they are complex and not suitable for common investors. They are good for traders. Gold should be part of every investment plan and portfolio. The share of gold in the portfolio should be between 10 and 20%. An ideal portfolio for a young person would be 70% equity stock or equity mutual funds and 30% debt. Gold should be placed in the debt portion of the portfolio. Even aliens like gold. When I was doing research on the topics “If Gods were Aliens” and “Effects of Aliens on human evolution”, I came across some ancient Sumerian mythological texts and some documents supporting an ancient astronaut theory. As per those texts and documents, ancient Gods or Aliens called “Anunakis” landed on the Earth in search of gold. These “Anunakis” created humans from Apes to help them in mining gold. And this is how human life evolved. Well, this is a controversial and unproved theory. More about this later.


ATTITUDE Regardless of your age, your place in the world, your occupation, or the ways you choose to spend time, I can guarantee that your attitude is one of the most significant things that determine your happiness and contentment in life. Attitude is so powerful because it is one of the few things that every single person has the ability to be in control of, regardless of any other factors in life. When the going is good in life we have no complaints, we can choose what kind of attitude to face each day with. When our lives seem like they couldn't get any worse, we can fortunately still choose what kind of attitude we will have each day. Can you think about a time in your life when your attitude made all the difference? Or, maybe think of an example from the life of someone you know. Can you think of a situation when all things looked grim and yet your or someone else's attitude made that situation better just by being positive? You may be wondering why it is important to maintain a good attitude regardless of other factors in your life. That's a good question. One thing I've learned about life is that it will not always go my way. It is highly unlikely

that every single day for the rest of my life will be filled with joy, friendships, and peace. It is possible, but highly unlikely. It is much more likely that life will throw at me things I wasn't expecting. Tragedies, sicknesses, and relationship trials will come my way and it will be my attitude that determines how those events affect me. Maintaining a good attitude in life allows us to remember that even in tough times we have much to be thankful for. You must choose to let your attitude reflect this rather than reflecting the fact that you are not getting exactly what you want at the moment. Let your attitude reflect how your life has been blessed in different ways and all the good things that have happened to you. We have all heard it said that "attitude is a little thing that can make a big difference." I agree wholeheartedly with whoever said those words, but I'll even take it a step further and simply say that attitude is a big thing. Attitude is perhaps one of the biggest factors, that determine the path and results we see in life. When we can look at the worst situations with hope and a right perspective, nothing will be too difficult to bear.


Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated throughout India with lot of fervour and is regarded as the nation's most important festival. Due to India's rich cultural heritage, the festival is celebrated with a different hue and colour in each region and in South India, the festival is celebrated during the 'Narakachaturdashi Thithi'. It relates to the story of the conquest of Narakasur by Lord Krishna thus signifying the triumph of good over evil. It is also believed that when Narakasur was killed, Lord Krishna granted his last wish of celebrating his last day with pomp and grandeur and this practice began. Diwali, the festival of lights, got an extra splash of colour and brightness this year at FIL, Chennai. Everyone participated with much vigour and enthusiasm and these were reflected in everything, be it the Diya competition, Rangoli or Bay Decorations or the Best Dress competition.


There were touches of innovation in everything and the judges were

impressed by the colourfulness and the creativity. The custom of lighting earthen diyas is usually not followed in Tamil Nadu during this Diwali as this is saved for Karthikai Diwali a fortnight later when lamps, diyas and candles are placed around the house. But that didn't dampen the spirit of the employees who took part in the Diya making competition.. There were diyas made out of fruits, which were painted in bright colours and sprinkled with shimmers. The Rangolis with a wide variety of flowers were also not far behind in their glamour and glitz and the competition grew much stiffer with every single Rangoli standing out loud for its authenticity and colourfulness. We had our final event, the Dress competition which was held on the Diwali Day itself and the winners received the awards from our Site Head Vinod Venkteswaran. The day was a gala day for all in the office and everyone enjoyed in high spirits.


I HAD NO SHOES AND COMPLAINED, UNTIL I MET A MAN WHO HAD NO FEET As I write this, I realize what prompted John Grisham to write "The Street Lawyer". I had seen too many of these people too. So many, that I became used to it. They are everywhere - at stations, parks, flyovers, in Kamla Nagar, Connaught Place. Every time I saw them sleeping under flyovers, I would often say to myself, " They really spoil the look of Delhi", never realizing that everybody's got to sleep somewhere then and who wants to sleep under a flyover??? Neither I nor they, I guess! The other day I had gone as a volunteer with my sister, who is a doctor, to a free medical camp in the Chatterpur slum area. I was astonished to see that some came with wounds that should have been attended to long ago. Then there was another to whom the doctor said, "You should go to medical for surgery as soon as possible." The poor girl, she had a weak heart that needed surgery. I wonder if

she'll ever get it done in AIIMS? Thanks to my NOKIA phone, I took some pictures that day; moreover the camera drew a crowd, especially children, and I found myself amidst a small group. When I observed the crowd again, I realized that they had little clothes to cover themselves and I felt foolish for spending several minutes in the mornings, wondering which of the many dresses to wear. As the old saying goes "Fools never realise what they've got until it's gone". I never knew that I had much more than I needed. If I were to write all that I had learned that day, I should be writing a "The Street Lawyer" type of novel. On our way back, I thought "Happy if the man that feeds the poor"- this keeps me going‌. That night, as I lay back, I knew I had become a better person than I was in the morning‌


STEPPING INTO 2009: Something to leave behind, something to take along

Stepping into a new year is, in a way, like moving into a new premises. One has an opportunity to discard the junk which wastes much needed space and creates negativity, take along assets and bring in stuff which would add value to one's life/work. If someone were to ask me what should be left behind in 2008 I would suggest that one should leave behind the biggest stumbling block to success: fear. (OK, I understand that you are reading this in the new year, but I am writing it in 2008 :-) Success in life is attributed to several factors with intelligence, smartness and luck amongst the most popular. While some believe that a cocktail of factors is the formula for success, there are others who feel that a single factor, especially luck, plays the biggest role. Whatever be the single most important factor for success, I am sure that there is no barrier bigger than fear, which holds a person back and prevents him/her from enjoying a full blooded life. One interesting aspect of human nature is that people seldom admit to being afraid. Considering how the courageous are glorified in the real world as well as in fiction and how scorn is heaped on those who lack courage, people usually convince themselves that they are also courageous and that they fear no man and no situation. However, deep in their hearts they are aware of what makes them turn white with fear, whether it is the possibility of suffering from a life threatening disease, losing their job, a mathematics examination or simply a roller coaster ride.

Pakistan's current denial of the evidence that the terrorists who recently struck Mumbai were bred and fattened on its soil. Sooner or later others can see them and refuse to accept one's denials. Eminent investor, entrepreneur and educator Robert T. Kiyosaki has put fear on the top of the list of 5 obstacles to becoming rich in his book Rich Dad Poor Dad, the others being cynicism, laziness, bad habits and arrogance. He writes, " We're all heroes at something and cowards at something else. My friend's wife is an emergency room nurse. When she sees blood, she flies into action. When I mention investing, she runs away. When I see blood, I don't run. I pass out." He goes on to say, "People are so afraid of losing that they lose‌Failure inspires winners and it defeats losers. It is the biggest secret of winners. It's the secret that losers do not know. The greatest secret of winners is that failure inspires winning; thus, they're not afraid of losing." He has basically explained how the fear of losing money prevents people from playing the big game of investment. They never make it big in life and struggle financially. Therefore, identifying and accepting one's fears is one of the first steps on the path of success. The next step is to find a way to overcome those fears and leave them behind. As most fears arise due to a belief of the

mind that exposure to a certain situation would lead to a loss e.g. of life or limb or wealth etc., one needs to look around, see how numerous others have faced the same risk and emerged unscathed and convince the mind that the fear is either irrational or exaggerated. Some fears may be deep rooted and treating them may require professional help. Medically speaking, fear is controlled by a part of the brain called the amyglada. However, the need to consult a medical professional for treatment of fear may be there only in extreme cases. Most of us can overcome our fears by observing how so many others are facing the same risks successfully and using our own will power to overcome the fear so that it stops being an obstacle to our success. The most regrettable thing about fear is that it can hold back a person who otherwise has the intelligence, knowledge and potential to achieve his goal. What a pity if someone with the strength and stamina and therefore the potential to swim across the English Channel never wins even a swimming competition because his fear never lets him get into the water. Therefore, if we were to decide at any point in time what to leave behind in this journey of time and what to pick up on the way, and we find that any fears still stalk us, then they are the first liabilities to be dumped and fearlessness should be the first quality to be picked up and developed. Without the catalyst of fearlessness, the reaction to produce success may be so slow that an entire lifetime may be over before that much desired success can be tasted.

Non acceptance of one's fears is much like

MISCELLANEOUS Harpreet Singh Khosla

Those were the days Terror Attack (26/11) Those were the days When battles were fought And demons were faced With blood everywhere And our eyes drenched We watched in awe And offered our prayers Those were the days When people were disgraced Their hands were tied And many lives lost We braved the storm and Together we fought. Those were the days When the system failed Where promises were mere words And character was weak The darkness mystified

And trust was betrayed Many reports, many views Lots of anger and hatred brew Some called it a victory Some called it a defeat Others warned it might repeat So are we ready to face the brunt Rather than just sit and grunt. We may have others to blame Let's review if we brought this shame Ask yourselves a question each And you will know what to preach Do I vote? Do I give bribe? Am I corrupt? Am I selfish? Maybe yes, maybe no You can't fool yourself, I am sure.

POETRY Surbhi Chhabra

STILL I RISE When words end, feelings come When you fall, hope to rise comes With the end of journey, inspiration begins To fight was what I was taught, to never give-up Was what I learnt. To capture I did invade, but to think I could Be subjugated was a mistake I knew I would fail one day because half The time you are winning and the rest you are on the floor. I thought I was in the smoke, until I realized... It was a cataract in my views I was the one who taught others until in the Crowd this ray of light came up and said...

“ Your mind just trailed, you never failed, you can never fail” ' Coz with the end of nothing, there is always a beginning of something…..

Kanika Varun POETRY


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