Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Banking on it ... !!

I have a savings account with 2 or 3 banks but the features provided by each account are like chalk and cheese. But I take a liking to one of these accounts.

The ATM pin number is 6 digit instead of the conventional 4 digit pin. I am not sure if this is a boon or a bane but I like it for the simple reason that someone in possession of the card will have to try harder to crack the pin. If you forget to collect your card from the ATM machine and someone else comes after you and tries to withdraw money from your account, he/she will not be able to do it. This is due to the fact that you are prompted once again for the pin on every cash withdrawal. I like this feature a lot. The next is the Sweep In/Sweep Out facility. This is the most impressive.

If the balance goes beyond 20000, the remaining amount is converted into a Fixed Deposit. For example, if you have 50000 in your account, 30000 will be converted to Fixed Deposit for 6 months and you will get the prevailing FD rate on this sum (it is 8.5% now). This may seem like a forced FD. It is not. The beauty is the reverse operation called Sweep In. Supposed 30 K out of the 50K is converted into a FD. Now, you have 20K available for withdrawal. Lets assume that you remove 19K. Now you have only 1K available. Lets say that due to some X reason, you need some cash in excess of 1K, for example 2K. When you attempt removal of 2K, 5K out of the 30K kept in FD are swept into your account for removal (in fact, sweep in works in such a way that you will always get your cash, no matter what amount by reducing the FD amount). So what happens to the terms and conditions of the FD? Nothing changes except the FD amount. Your FD amount will now be 25K. The duration for FD does not change. The 5K that was swept in will fetch you the interest according to the bank savings account rate. Now, if somehow your balance increases again and goes beyond 20K, it will again be swept out albeit as FD2 since the duration for this will be different. Lets discuss a scenario.

You have 50K in your account today. 30K will be swept out as FD1 for the duration Aug 27, 2008 to Feb 27, 2009 (6 months). You remove 19K from the remaining 20K. Now you have 1K left. You remove 4K. From FD1, 5K will be swept in to your account. Now you will have 1 + 5 = 6K available for removal. Since you want 4K, you will get this amount and 2K will remain in your account while FD1 now has 25K. Now, you deposit 20K in your account on September 1, 2008. So the balance goes up to 22K. Out of this amount, 20 K will be swept out as FD2 for the duration Sep 1, 2008 to Mar 1, 2009. If you now attempt to remove some amount more than the available balance, money from the lower valued FD will be swept in ... in this case FD2. The best thing about the sweep in/sweep out feature is that you can view your swept out FDs on the ATM machine as well ... !!

I have found this extremely beneficial in the last 18 months since I get almost double the interest than other banks.

The customer feedback process is fictional. That was a firm belief until this bank came along. They have a dedicated customer feedback section on their online banking section (I know most of the banks have this). The difference is that you will actually get a call or a personal mail (within 24 hours, sometimes they called me within 5-8 hours and it is not an auto-generated mail). For example, I had written to them regarding the scarcity of ATM machines in Pune. They replied with the upcoming ATM machine sites and today I see these machines at all the places they promised. There is one right in front of the housing society where I stay :). Another feature (I am not sure if this is a feature) of theirs is that if you pay your petrol bill via their debit card, there is some surcharge deducted from you account after 3 days. This used to happen here too. But they credited the surcharge back at the end of the month. In between, they stopped doing this. So the surcharge was only debited and not credited back. When I wrote to them about this, they immediately called me and informed that they have changed the policy and it is in the process of going back to the previous policy. And Yes, they were right. Now I don't have to pay surcharge for petrol, although they have warned be beforehand that the new policy may come into action later.

I also have my locker with them. Whenever I visit the branch and tell them that I want to use my locker, they will leave whatever they were doing and guide me to the locker room. I have seldom taken more than 5 minutes at the branch. When I forgot my net banking password, I called their customer care. Firstly, the line was not busy. It was answered immediately. They told me that they can tell me the new password right away on the phone. I liked it but I didn't opt for it. Instead I asked them to courier it to me. They said it will take a maximum of 3 days. The new password was at my doorstep 2 days later. Marvelous ... !!

These are some of the features I like about them.

On the flip side, there are some cons too. The minimum quarterly balance amount is 10K which is a bit high. Plus, all banking activities which demand some banking/service charge/tax may end up emptying your pocket more than other banks. For example, I wanted to make a bank guarantee for myself and they were charging me at least a percent more than most other banks.

But the 2 activities mentioned above are not the regular banking activities and the points scored by the features are more than these cons.

Plus, this is my highest profit earning stock and due to this reason, I had opened an account with them.

Question : Guess this bank ;)

Cheers ... !!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oscar weekend ... !!

Well, it started off as a plan to view 6 acclaimed movies but due to some wavering of activities, we managed to experience just 3 of those. My friend, Vikash had lent me his DVD containing these 6 movies and he had written the names of all 6 on the DVD, albeit in a very user friendly (a UI person acknowledges presentation :)) manner. He had written down the genres and the movies belonging to each genre. The genres were Serial Killer, Heist and Crime/Murder. Under Serial Killer, there were 3 movies ... Se7en, Mr Brooks and Silence of the Lambs. Inside Man and The Bank Job belonged to Heist while Crime/Murder contained Memento. I was quite impressed by this categorization and we decided to start of with genre of Serial Killer.

So we started off with Se7en. The movie basically deals with a 2 cops investigating the case of a serial killer who is murdering people in line with the 7 deadly sins. It is amazing how knowledge about a particular topic/belief stands you in good stead while watching such movies. It was guesswork that we predicted what the story might be when we saw the scene of the first murder, thanks to the knowledge about the 7 deadly sins. The portrayal of the 2 cops, played by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt is very nicely depicted although I felt that Brad Pitt hammed in some of the scenes. In essence, as a viewer, you know that the murders will keep happening. But there is a subtle twist during the climax which makes you acknowledge the thought of the writer. I personally thought the highlight of the movie was the horrific way in which each of the victims is killed along with the climax. The protagonist during the climax (Kevin Spacey) reminded me of a similar climax in The Usual Suspects.

We shifted our attention to Heist and picked Inside Man as the movie (I remember Vikash recommending this movie as a must watch). How true he was. Kudos to the writer/creator. The movie is about a bank robbery planned by a person called Russell along with around 4-6 fellow conspirators. I don't think I will be able to post the plot of the movie since it will spoil the fun if you have not seen the movie. I freaked out on the performance of Denzel Washington as the cop assigned to save the bank robbery. I was also pleasantly surprised by the younger-than-normal look of Jodie Foster. The movie is all about the master plan of the bank robbery and the climax. The expressions of Washington during the climax makes you take your hat off to him. The most liked attribute of this movie for me is that way it starts and ends (the credits). You will hear Chhaiyya Chhaiyya (entire song) during the start and the end. Way to go Indian music :)

Finally, we moved to Crime/Murder and there was only one movie there ... Memento. I remember quite a lot of people recommending this movie to me (namely Vikash, Sabhtarsha, Prameela, Vivek and Mohsin). To be honest, I didn't think the story was all that great but the presentation was nice. I thought I will never understand the movie at first glance but I surprised myself. The narrative is the key in this movie and you get the hang of it after around 20 minutes have past. Again, I think I will stay away from writing about the plot. It is a nice movie which makes you acknowledge the technical creativity of Hollywood.

Out of the 3 that we saw, I would say Inside Man was the best followed by Memento and the least preferred was Se7en (this does not mean Se7en is not good, watch it for Morgan Freeman and the climax). The performances that I enjoyed were that of Denzel Washington in Inside Man, Guy Pierce in Memento and Morgan Freeman in Se7en. But you need to experience Kevin Spacey's cameo in Se7en. This guy is amazing. There were not a lot of ladies in all 3 of the movies. Jodie Foster was OKish. Gwyneth Paltrow as Brad Pitt's wife in Se7en was petite.

We look forward to the 3 remaining movies. I have also made a wish list of movies that I need to get my hands (or eyes?) on. They are:

Forrest Gump
Shawshank Redemption
Pulp Fiction
Schindler's List
Citizen Kane
Cinderella Man
Brokeback Mountain

One last little note. I am assuming that Johnny Gaddar was not picked from some non-Indian movie and even if it was, I have not seen the original of Johnny Gaddar. If I take into account Johnny Gaddar and the 3 movies I saw, I would say that Inside Man and Johnny Gaddar would be my top 2 followed by Memento and Se7en. This is just a personal opinion and not intended to ruffle more than a few feathers ... Cheers ... !!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Decoding GOLF ... !!

I was chatting to one of my friends when GOLF came up. He was of the opinion that its a boring game. Possible reasons for this is that it is a slow game and not many people know how it is played. When I started watching GOLF, I too was under the impression that it is a boring, slow and dull game. But believe me, its one of the most skillful games on the planet. Plus, one of the biggest money earning individual sport on par with Tennis and Formula 1. So what exactly is this game all about?

I don't know how to formulate the work flow of the game. So I will just let my mind rip.

Well, for starters, there are 18 holes in a standard golf course. Now, 18 holes also has a 1 to 1 mapping with fairways. In essence, when you say hole, it actually comprises of the fairway and the green. So what is a Fairway, a Green and a Tee?

There is a small piece of real estate called Tee on each Fairway. It can typically be thought of a circular/square area of radius/side = 3 meters. You have to place a ball holder (I am sure people have seen this in some Tom and Jerry cartoon. A Ball holder can be imagined as a small 1 inch nail which is dug into the ground and you can place the golf ball at the top of the nail) anywhere you want on the Tee. Place the ball on the ball holder and start off in your attempt to putt the ball. Phew!! Now what is a putt? Putt is defined as the attempt to make the ball go inside the hole of a particular Fairway. Now what is a Fairway? Fairway is the distance between the Tee and the Green. Simple. What is a Green? Green is the piece of real estate where the hole is situated. It can be imagined as circular/haphazardical (is that a word) area triple the size of the Tee.

So in short, there are 18 Fairways in a standard golf course and hence 18 Tees and 18 Greens. I hope I have been successful in my endeavor so far.

Each Fairway (from now on Fairway and Hole will be used interchangeably) has a Par value assigned to it (does 'par' ring a bell? I will come to this later). It is typically either Par 3, 4 or 5. Now what do you mean by Par? Well, the par value of a hole means that you need to putt the ball in maximum those many number of shots to not change your score. Confusing? Lets take an example.

Lets say you are on Hole 1 which is Par 4. Your score is Even(zero) at the start of the game. I will come to scores later. Now, you start at the Tee of Hole 1. Typically, Fairway lengths are the functions of the Par value. Par 5 holes are longer than Par 4 and Par 4 holes are longer than Par 3. So when you tee off from Hole 1 of Par 4, you will land somewhere on the Fairway, still some distance away from the Green. This was your first shot. The second shot will take you somewhere closer to the Green, if not the Green. The third shot will be your putt shot where you attempt to put the ball in the hole. Now if you do so in the 3rd shot itself, then you have taken one less shot than required for Par, since it was a Par 4 hole. This will subtract one from your score of Even. Even can be though of Zero. So now your score will be -1. Remember, in GOLF, lesser the score, better you are. The person with the least score wins since he has taken the least shots to putt the balls in the 18 holes of the course.

This is becoming longer than I imagined but I am enjoying it.

So the 18 holes of the course are made up of Par 3, Par 4 and Par 5 holes. I have seldom seen anything other than these 3 values. Typically, when you add all the par values of the holes in a golf course, it should add up to 72. Very few golf courses around the world add up to 70, 71, 73 or 74. So a snapshot view of a golf course can be 10 holes of Par 4, 4 holes of Par 3 and 4 holes of Par 5 which imply 10*4 + 4*3 + 4*5 which adds up to 72. So if you take 72 shots to putt 18 holes, your score will remain Even, hence the English phrase "par for the course" which means average or not bad.

Now the scoring system. In most golf tournaments, there are 4 rounds, each of 18 holes where each round is played on a new day. So typically all major golf tournaments span 4 days. There is a cut off for every day similar to our entrance exam percentile system. Each tournament has its own percentile system. For example, if the percentile value for a tournament is 50%, then all players within 50% of the score of the leader make the cut for the next day. The remaining players don't make the cut and are eliminated. Of course, there is much more the percentile system than just this. I have just written the most basic elimination system.

So the scores. Every player starts off on the first day at the score of Even (denoted by capital E and most often in BLACK. E denotes zero). If on a Par 5 hole, you take just 4 shots to putt the ball in the hole (from Tee to the hole), then you have taken 1 shot less. So your score at the end of that hole is -1 (most often, scores less than zero are denoted in BLUE). If you take 1 shot less than the par value, it is called a BIRDIE. If you take just 3 shots to putt the ball on a Par 5 hole, it means you have taken 2 shots less. This is called an EAGLE and it subtracts 2 from your score. If you take 3 shots less then it is called a DOUBLE EAGLE and implies you subtract 3 from your score. In almost 100% of the cases, you cant putt the ball in 1 shot on a Par 5 since Par 5s are the longest holes/fairways. You need to be Heman/Shaktiman (or a cartoon) for that to hit the ball right from the Tee into the hole (Par 5s are upwards of 500 yards).

On the flip side, if you take 6 shots to putt the hole on a Par 5 hole, it means you have taken 1 shot extra. This is called a BOGEY. It adds one to your score. (Most often, scores greater than zero are denoted in RED) If you take 2/3 shots more, it is called a DOUBLE/TRIPLE BOGEY. It means you need to add 2/3 to your score. And the most common score in golf is Par. This is when you take the same number of shots as the Par values. So on a Par 5 hole, you will take 5 shots to make a Par. Par does not change your score. So the champions have more of eagles, birdies and pars rather than bogeys and double bogeys.

The equipment comes next.

Every golf player carries a heavy bag with himself. Since he devotes his entire time on analyzing what shot he will play, he leaves the task of carrying the bag to another person. This person is called the CADDIE. You will generally see a person walking with the golfer carrying his bag. Now what does this bag contain? Lots of stuff.

By lots of stuff, I mean lots of clubs. Yes, golfing clubs. Golfing clubs are divided into 3 parts. Woods, Irons and Putters. Woods are those clubs which have a solid base at the bottom (looks like a sophisticated version of a hockey stick). A very thick one. Woods are used when the golfer wants the ball to cover a lot of ground on the fairway. Typically, Woods are used for Tee shots since the hole is very far away from the Tee and the golfer wants to get as close to the hole as possible. There is variety in Woods too. There is a universal scaling nomenclature for golfing clubs which I am not too sure about. For example, there is stuff like 1 wood, 2 wood and 3 wood which essentially means that the base of the club differs in some respect. I don't know how it differs. Typically, Woods help the golfer cover around 250 yards. Similarly, there are Irons. Irons are used when the golfer does not want to cover a lot of distance, Irons help the golfer cover around 90 - 200 yards. Why such a big gap? It is because irons also have many flavors. Like Woods, Irons also come in the type of 1 iron, 2 iron ... right up to 9 iron. 1 iron has the capability to cover the maximum distance while 9 iron will cover the least. Putters are used on the Greens when the hole is very close. You just need to push the ball and not hit it. That's when putters are used. Whenever you see a golfer position himself close to some hole, it means that he is using a Putter. Putters don't have numbers but most golfers carry more than 2 or 3.

So, adding up everything, 3 Wood clubs, 9 Iron clubs and around 3 Putters. This gives you around 15 clubs to carry in the huge bag. Pity the Caddie. Mind you, caddies get paid a lot. So if you fail in your endeavor to learn Golf, you might be interested to give Jeev Milkha Singh a ring.

Some errors that golfers can make on the course.

There are some patches on the fairway that are troublesome like trees, bunkers and water. When a golfer tees off, he might not always land the ball in a suitable position for the next shot. There are lots of trees on all Fairways. In fact, a Fairway can be thought of an avenue with trees on both sides. If the ball falls among the trees, then his next shot may become difficult since he has to negotiate the trees and then head towards the hole. The shot might hit the trees and fall at the same place. One shot wasted. Remember, every shot counts to your score. On a Par 5, if your tee shot ends up in the trees and you take 2 more shots just to get out of the trees, then it means that you have consumed 3 shots and you have just 2 more shots to putt in order to avoid your score being incremented. Then there are bunkers. Bunkers are trenches of sand mostly found near the Greens. The problem with them is that once the ball falls in a bunker, you need a lot of ability to get it out of the bunker and at a spot close to the hole. Most often, golfers goof up bunker shots which leaves them far away from the hole. Irons are used to get out of bunkers and they are mostly the high numbered ones since the hole is very close to the bunker. Water is the most interesting according to me. Most of the holes on the golf course also have a small pond (even small lakes), sometimes close to the hole, sometimes not. If the ball falls in the water, you cannot go inside the water to hit the ball :). The golfer is allowed to place a new ball somewhere close to the place where the ball fell in the water. Of course, this means that the new ball is now placed on the course and not the water. But the golfer has to give up one shot in the process. For example, if on a Par 4 hole, the golfer's tee shot landed on the fairway and his second shot landed in the water (which is close to the Green), then he will place a new ball somewhere close to the Green. But in doing so, his shot count will be 3 and not 2, since he was provided the liberty to get the ball out of the water.

Now about the golf course. Not many of us know that there is a lot of thought and planning that goes into the designing a golf course. Yes, a golf course is designed and most of the golf courses in the Americas, Europe and Asia are almost wonders of the world. I may be exaggerating but one of the reasons the popularity of golf has gained is due to the fact that people flock to the courses to enjoy nature's bounty besides enjoying some high class golfing acumen of top players. Every golf course has pretty ponds (almost on every hole), small waterfall streams, bunkers (trenches of sand), serene and green fairways, pretty trees and a clubhouse (where golfers rest after the day's play). Golf has also become an extremely fashionable sport. The clothes and the entire attire of golfers make people sit up and take notice. More so with the women players :)

Now about the tournaments. The golfing universe is governed by a body called the PGA (Professional Golfer's Association) in the US. In Europe, its called EPGA and the woman's counterpart is called the LPGA. There are 4 Majors in Golf synonymous to the Grand Slams in Tennis. The only difference is that the Golf Majors happen only in the US and nowhere else. The Majors are Augusta Masters, US Open, the PGA championship and the Open Championship. There is the thrilling Ryder Cup which takes place once every 2 years alternating between US and Europe as a venue where the top 15 players from the US take on the might of the top 15 players from Europe. It has the same needle as the Ashes or an India-Pakistan encounter or a Brazil-Argentina match up in soccer. It is my personal favorite although the Augusta Masters comes a close second. The number of people that turn up for the Ryder Cup is amazing especially on the last day of the tournament when tension runs high among players. I think I will need another post for the Ryder Cup. I can go on and on with the Ryder Cup.

Some common terminology now.

Front 9 refers to the first 9 holes.
Back 9 refers to the last 9 holes
Hole in 1 means that on a Par 3 hole, the golfer's tee shot directly put the ball in the hole, which is an amazing feat, more to do with luck rather than ability. This also means that he has made an EAGLE, since he took 2 shots less than the par value and now his score needs to be subtracted by 2.

The golf course is a sea of green but immaculate planning takes place to keep different shades of green at different places. For example, the Tee is a light green patch of grass. The fairways have comparatively thick grass and also a darker shade of green. The Green (the place where the hole is) is the most contrasting. Almost 90% of the Green (again, the place where the hole is) is a very light shade of green starting from the hole and flowing outwards. The Green is like a circle inside a bigger circle where the non-common part between the two circles is lined with the darker shade of green as that of the Green.

When you see a golfer hitting a shot on TV, you can see some graphic like the following:

Tiger Woods -4
Hole 12 423 yards Par 5
2nd shot 2I
193 yards to the hole/pin

This can be deciphered as: The current score of Tiger Woods is -4. He is on Hole 12 which is a Par 4 and it is 423 yards long. He is playing his second shot of the hole. From where he is at the moment, he is still 193 yards away from the hole. This also means that his Tee shot (first shot) made a whopping 423-193 = 230 yards. 2I means that he is using a 2 iron club to hit the ball.

You can also see something like the following when a golfer is attempting to putt the ball in the hole on the Green.

Phil Mickelson -11
Hole 4
For Birdie

Note here that when a golfer is actually attempting a putt, all other details are not shown in the graphics. Since he is on the Green itself, the length of the hole is not required coz he is very close to the hole now. Neither is the par value required since "For Birdie" tells you that if he makes the putt, then he has done so in 1 shot less. If he makes the putt, then his score will become -12 and he will move onto the Tee of Hole 5. If he misses, then the next graphic that comes up will be:

Phil Mickelson -11
Hole 4
For Par

If he makes this put, then there will be no change to his score and he will move to the Tee of Hole 5. If he misses then he has to attempt the BOGEY putt.

At the end of the playing day, the card of the golfer may look like something like this:

Front 9
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Par 4 5 4 3 4 5 4 3 4
Score 4 4 4 3 5 5 3 3 3

Back 9
Hole 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Par 4 4 4 3 5 5 4 4 3
Score 4 3 5 2 4 5 4 4 3

This can be read as follows:

Hole 1 was a Par 4 hole and the golfer took 4 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score Even
Hole 2 was a Par 5 hole and the golfer took 4 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -1
Hole 3 was a Par 4 hole and the golfer took 4 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -1
Hole 4 was a Par 3 hole and the golfer took 3 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -1
Hole 5 was a Par 4 hole and the golfer took 5 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score Even
Hole 6 was a Par 5 hole and the golfer took 5 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score Even
Hole 7 was a Par 4 hole and the golfer took 3 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -1
Hole 8 was a Par 3 hole and the golfer took 3 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -1
Hole 9 was a Par 4 hole and the golfer took 3 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -2
Hole 10 was a Par 4 hole and the golfer took 4 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -2
Hole 11 was a Par 4 hole and the golfer took 3 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -3
Hole 12 was a Par 4 hole and the golfer took 5 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -2
Hole 13 was a Par 3 hole and the golfer took 2 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -3
Hole 14 was a Par 5 hole and the golfer took 4 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -4
Hole 15 was a Par 5 hole and the golfer took 5 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -4
Hole 16 was a Par 4 hole and the golfer took 4 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -4
Hole 17 was a Par 4 hole and the golfer took 4 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -4
Hole 18 was a Par 3 hole and the golfer took 3 shots to put the ball in the hole. Score -4

It can also be observed that the golfer made 6 birdies (on Holes 2, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 14) which makes his score -6. He also made 2 bogeys (on Holes 5 and 12) which makes his score +2 and he made 10 pars (on the remaining holes) which don't change his score. So his overall score is -6 +2 = -4 as seen as the score after the 18th hole.

Now the greats of the game.

I don't know a lot of them but Jack Nicklaus (The Golden Bear), Arnold Palmer and Hale Irwin are legends of American golf. Some of the more contemporary American names are Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, Davis Love, David Duval, Corey Pavin, Tom Watson and Chris DiMarco. Some great European players are Colin Montgomerie, Seve Ballasterous, Sergio Garcia, Bernhard Langer, Jose Maria Olazabal, Padraig Harrington, Nick Faldo and Lee Westwood. There are some greats outside America and Europe as well like Ernie Els, Greg Norman, Nick Price and Vijay Singh (he is from Fiji and not India). Some of our dear Indian players are Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa and Shiv Kapur. The women's game also has a lot of greats but I know only two ... Annika Sorenstam and Laura Davies. The problem with remembering names with women is that you are hardly looking at the names ;)

Well that's about it. I don't know if I have missed something but I think I have covered the basics of the game. I will end with a short summary of the game.

  • A golf course contains 18 holes.
  • Each hole consists of the Tee, the Fairway and the Green.
  • The hole is on the Green.
  • You start at the Tee and end at the Green.
  • The distance between the Tee and the Green is called the Fairway.
  • The distance between the Tee and the Green ranges from 150 yards to 600 yards depending on the Par values.
  • Clubs are classified as Woods, Irons and Putters.
  • Each hole has a Par value assigned to it. It is either 3, 4 or 5.
  • Shots made by a golfer are called Double Eagle (-3), Eagle(-2), Birdie(-1), Par(0), Bogey(+1), Double Bogey(+2) and Triple Bogey(+3).
  • Troublesome areas on the golf course for a golfer are trees, bunkers and water.
  • The person who carries the golfer's bag of clubs is called CADDIE.

Cheers ... !!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Expectations ... !!

That word scares me. I have promised myself so many times that I will let go of expectations. I am ashamed to admit that I have tried and failed on numerous counts. Certain situations, certain people, certain surroundings will coax you into expecting that much more than you should normally be expecting.

As most of us know, expecting a lot disappoints sometimes. But expecting a lot less may not always be the right way of going about things. For example, before I got married, I used to get worked up when my then-girlfriend-now-wife couldn't meet for a long time or not meet at all. After analyzing the cause, I backed off and I didn't put a lot of pressure on myself and her. It looked like a solution but then I started getting surprised whenever we met which isn't that most amazing thing in the world.

That's the problem with expectations. You never know how much or what to expect. But in most of the cases, you can escape by expecting less (again, less does not mean way below what you should be expecting). Only a few days back, I experienced this feeling when I had lost all hopes of something (I don't want to write about it) happening. But it happened and at the very last moment. It made my day.

Henceforth, I am not playing games with expectations. I will always lose. Cheers ... !!