To Live-In Or Not To Live-In

When are you getting married is the most frequently asked question to girls and boys who come of age in an Indian society. Is marriage the only option or an alternative waits to be unveiled. The live in concept has slowly crept into the conservative yet ever-evolving Indian culture

‘Live-in-relationship’ is a living arrangement in which an unmarried couple lives together in a long-term relationship that resembles a marriage. It provides the youth an opportunity to know their partner before marriage without engaging in a legally binding relationship with them. India is a country of culture, religions and traditions and at the same time a country which is developing fast and embracing the global changes faster. When it comes to finding answers for such paradigms, we first need to come out of the right and wrong mindset. So let us weigh the pros and cons

PROS

  • The people involved, get to know each other’s characteristics, financial potential, physical and emotional strengths, family background, close relatives and so forth, which eliminates the element of surprise or horror when the relationship is sealed
  • Sharing and division of expenses
  • Neither of the partners is dependant on each other financially, socially or legally, so there is mutual respect in their relationship giving each other the space they need
  • A sense of maturity develops which becomes  a strong foundation of a lifelong relation
  • They can decide whether a long-term relationship is an option and if there are compatibility issues, they can walk out of the relationship
  • Also saves one from the expenses of a big fat Indian wedding and legal hassles associated with separation

CONS

  • The biggest drawback of a Live-in relationship is the social stigma attached to it in the Indian society. Even Indian parents are  not open to such ideas because of the notoriety attached to it
  • There is no sense of security in a live-in relation, be it emotional, financial or mental. A person can be led astray without giving a second thought. Does not give a person a sense of stability or a sense of dependability or even a sense of settling down
  • As there is no accountability, partners may suddenly break up the relationship which may cause emotional trauma to the other person involved
  • The possibility of one party exploiting the other, physically, emotionally or financially is high as there is no credibility towards society or the families.
  • Chances of getting bored and walking out are also high
  • Though no commitment but emotional attachment is always part of a relation which does affect the people involved, married or not
  • Though live-in relationships are legalized in the country and an act is legislated to protect women from an abusive relationship, but Legitimacy, and Inheritance, maintenance of children born out of wedlock presents a dilemma to the Indian Courts

Some may perceive it as a trivialization of responsibilities that come with a relationship as well as an effort to maximize the fun and fantasy part of life and eliminating the pain part. Some people may be of the view that live in reduces the number of divorces and the mental torture families go through also reduces domestic violence as the partner can leave anytime. Does it really? Thoughtworthy!

As society evolves, its values change and new experiments take place.  In a country like ours, live-in relationship culture will take time to establish.  It is more of an alternative, that leads to the more established institution of Marriage. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step; so is living in that first step towards a happily after story?

By NSS

25th January 2018

 

Darwin’s Theory Wrong – Satyapal Singh

Saturday, January 20, 2018, several reports were out about the Union Minister, Satyapal Singh’s speech made in Aurangabad at the ‘All India Vedic Sammelan’. He was quoted saying, “Darwin’s theory of Evolution is scientifically wrong”. Singh, the Junior Minister of State for Human Resource Development, the department responsible for education in India also said, “It needs to change in school and college curriculum. Ever since humans came to Earth, they have always been humans,” he said. He also stated that nobody ever saw an ape turn into a human and that our ancestors nowhere mentioned that they ever saw an ape turning into a human. He did not offer any scientific counter to the theory though
Darwin’s theory states that all life has descended from a common ancestor, this evolution took millions of years. All complex forms of life evolved from simpler ones through genetic mutation.

Scientists attacked him for dismissing Darwin’s theory. Scientists said it was politically polarizing science, they said that the minister lacks knowledge. Scientists from all the well-known academies of India have unanimously drafted a letter urging him to retract his statement. The letter mentioned that Indian scientists and scientifically oriented ones are pained by his claim. There is plentiful and undeniable scientific evidence to the fact that humans and apes had a common ancestor, every new discovery adds support to Darwin’s insight. Also, statements like Singh’s would harm efforts to propagate scientific thought in the country, that it would also diminish the image of the country at the global level. This petition after being signed by the supporters will be submitted to the Ministry of HRD, the PM’s office, and the President on the 24th of January 2018.

Celebrities also took a dig at him by telling him to stop Monkeying around and tweeting things like even apes have joined the protest against the theory and deny any involvement in the creation of human beings. Even the opposition attacked BJP and the PM for appointing someone who has no regard for scientific reasoning

However, on Sunday, Singh stood by his remarks. He said that Darwin’s theory was being challenged by various eminent scientists the world over and that “Darwinism is a Myth”. He said that he-Singh,  was a man of science so would not make claims without any basis. He even proposed for an international debate on the issue to decide if Darwin’s evolution theory merited a place in school textbooks. All types of scientists be invited to the debate. According to him, media was fuelling controversy over his statement

99% of the human DNA and that of the Chimpanzee match and that is proof enough of Darwin’s theory. But before concluding that logic and reason was soundly defeated by Singh’s statement, one needs to keep in mind his background , he is an MSc, an MPhil in Chemistry from Delhi University, has an MBA in Strategic Management from Australia, and an MA in Public Administration, including a PhD on the Naxalite movement. Some food for thought!

 

By NSS

23rd January 2018

Wonders Of Art

Ever been able to describe the feeling and the effect it has on your mind when you listen to an impeccably beautiful piece of music; the peace or the exhilaration when dancing on your favourite number! Without art, the stars would collide and all life as we know it would cease to exist. Let us see how these various art forms work wonders in our lives. We all know the art of dance keeps us physically fit. Different kinds of art have different remedial characteristics. Over and above the mental relaxation one attains, learning certain forms of art helps to cure physical problems.

In the age of machinery and gadgets lot of the arts pursued by our grandmothers and great-grandmothers have disappeared knitting is one of them. The art of knitting and crocheting helps to reduce heart rate and blood pressure. The repetitive action of needlework brings a rhythm in the mind and body and brings the mind to a relaxed state. Thus helping to regulate the blood pressure.

The art of singing can help cure stuttering. Stuttering is a speech disorder where a person breaks or repeats words or parts of words. For example instead of saying come to a person says – c..c.. come, instead of to he says t..t.. to. One generally uses a smoother and easier voice while singing compared to when speaking. The words are also prolonged and sung in a tune with a continuous flow. In this process, the brain gets trained to continue the flow of speech and speak without breaks.

Learning to play a musical instrument helps overcome learning difficulties in children such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). In some cases, the child can hear but has difficulty processing what he hears. This can affect his ability to concentrate. Music strengthens the auditory and visual areas of the brain. These areas are connected with speech and reading, comprehending, problem-solving and concentration. When children with learning disabilities learn a musical instrument, attention, impulse control, self-esteem, self-expression and memory improve.

The art of painting helps to vent out a number of emotions stored in a person. Such stored emotions which would otherwise result in hypertension, depression, anger or arguments can get away out on the canvas. Art is very often described as an expression of feelings to describe something felt or seen by an individual to others who have not felt or seen the same. All the negative emotions like anger, sadness and depression can be safely expressed using crayons, color pens, and paper. Very often people paint pictures of a person yelling or alone in red, orange and black colors to express their negative feeling. It is better to handover a canvas and paints rather than hammer and nails and who knows venting out may eventually lead to creative painting. In fact, spastic children are encouraged to indulge in art like painting, apart from a definite improvement in physical skills, the fun factor can also bring the mental benefits and stress relief.

Every art in itself gives a joy of creativity and inner satisfaction to an individual. The satisfaction also builds the self-esteem. It takes away the mind from the usual stressful thinking, without actually running away from the problems. As rightly stated by Twyla Tharp “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home”. Art has the power to transform both the mind and the body.

So which form of art are you taking up?

 

By NSS

20th Jan2018

Financial Security

What makes a person secure about something? As security expert Bruce Schneier states, “Security is both a feeling and a reality.” The belief of not having enough is what makes one insecure. It is important to cater to the internal and external reasons for insecurity and then work towards the awareness of releasing yourself from the pattern or mental block

Let us see what gives us external financial security

Steady income. This is the foremost factor that makes one feel secure. If you have a steady income, your lifestyle expenses and the running costs are taken care of

No Debt. The lesser the debt, the lesser the stress. Clearing present debts gives a sense of empowerment. Credit card debts are a strict NO-NO Mortgages increase the pressure and hamper one’s mental health

Insurance. Life, health and so on. Accidents can and do happen, and if one is adequately insured, he is saved from financial ruin. Insurance provides protection to the assets built by your hard earned money

Emergency savings and Investments. This is a safety net for urgent or unforeseen expenses or more serious ones like illness or unemployment

Homeownership. Is probably the biggest financial and emotional decision of a person’s life. It gives a person a sense of pride and security

When all these are achieved one gets a sense of financial security. Now the question is how does one attain these goals With a basic understanding of saving, budgeting and investing, the probability of a solid financial future increase

Act and Earn

Financial security can be increased by financial literacy
Extra income never harmed anyone. Have an additional stream of income apart from the regular, steady source for the unforeseen events that lie ahead

Plan a budget and stick to it

Plan a practical budget. Consider all your expenses including rent, utilities, food, tuition fees, transportation and any other miscellaneous expenses. If after all this you are in the negative, you need to trim your budget. If in the positive, its time to save.

Think before you spend

Like time, spending money also expands to one’s income. Prioritize your expenses. Spend less than you earn. Dispensible expenses can be cut and the same finances used to find the bigger dreams in life. This will need some self-control but will reap high benefits in the future. Live simply today to have a comfortable tomorrow

Save

Saving will help improve net worth. Have a portion of the income automatically go into term deposits or other investments, compulsive savings is the only way one can get into the habit of saving. Spend what is left after saving. Have daily, monthly and annual goals for savings. One very important thing to remember while investing is ‘Do not put all your eggs in the same basket’ so you have a backup that you can bank on. Choose something to save for, a house, your child’s education or your retirement.

Be Debtfree

Take loans as far as possible only for the most important assets, home, education loan. Pay bills on time, it not only saves you from paying penalties but also gives you a good credit score. Never borrow money to support your lifestyle

Protect your assets

Risk management is an important aspect of protection of assets. Protect yourself, get a health insurance; and life insurance to protect your family

No Procrastination, no waiting for a magic solution. Pull up your socks and start working towards a financially secure future!!

By NSS

20thJan2018

Workplace Communication Skills

Communication works for those who work at it. Thus said John Powell.

Just because we have been talking all our lives does not mean we have good communication skills. It takes a conscious effort on the part of an individual to develop the ability to communicate. In the world of business with increased sophistication, it is imperative that people at all levels develop effective skills for communication
Our day to day business communication is an amalgamation of email and text messaging interspersed with face to face communication.
Let us acquaint ourselves with each skill

Verbal Communication Skills

  • Saying the right thing at the right time is the most important point
  • Be friendly and approachable. Be loud and clear while talking. Keep the audience engaged by interaction
  • Know your audience, use words familiar to them. Do not hesitate or fumble making them lose confidence in you
  • The audience has loads of things on their minds, their mortgages, their assignments, family issues because of which the attention span is limited. Know what are the most important points you want them to retain and take with them. Reiterate the key points. Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them what you have to tell them, tell them what you told them. Make sure, the speaker and the listener are on the same page by summarising and asking for feedback
  • Do not lose focus of the topic of discussion. Do not let your train of thought derail. Be precise and to the point.

Non-Verbal Communication Skills

  • It enhances the expression of the message. Statistics quote that the non-verbal component constitutes 93% of the communication, wherein 38% constitutes the vocal element, your volume, pitch, tone, how you sound. 55% is the non-verbal elements, the facial expressions, the body language, the gestures, the posture and so on. Only 7% is conveyed through the words.   Though the weight of the different elements depends on the situation and the individuals involved, HOW we say is more important than WHAT we say.
  • Making eye contact is very important when interacting with someone, it signifies the gravity of the statement.
  • You also need to appear confident by maintaining the correct posture. People would be more keen on listening if you stand straight appear balanced and relaxed rather than when you slouch and appear bored.
  • A smile opens communication doors.
  • The tone of voice conveys a wealth of information from enthusiasm to disinterest

Listening Skills

  • Communication is not only about talking and presenting your ideas but also about listening and comprehending
  • Giving undivided attention to the speaker without being distracted by external stimuli or internal thought process; thus listening without distortion and incorporating the views in the communication
  • Listening shows that you have an open mind, respect and accept others’ opinions resulting in an active collaboration
  • Acknowledging, summarizing and paraphrasing by the listener promotes two-way communication
  • Asking questions affirms your engagement in a conversation and asserts clarity
  • More often than not, we are preparing our own dialog while listening to someone which results in distortion of the message received

Writing Skills

  • Written communication must be as clear and concise as possible. Long enough to cover all the important points and short enough to qualify as business communication
  • Avoid ambiguity
  • Review the writing before sending. A grammar check and spell check  would be advisable
  • Make sure to involve only the relevant people while addressing written communication
  • Follow up to ensure that the person on the other end has understood and is able to undertake the task

Follow these pointers and be a better communicator.

Happy Communicating!!

By N.S.S

14thJan, 2018

 

No Visit To The Store, I Still Get More

Some do it out of sheer pleasure, some out of laziness, others may do it due to a handicap, lack of transport, old age or the mere fun of going through your choicest products all at one time with just a click. Whatever the reason, the internet is the latest go-to shopping destination. Let’s find out why.

*Buy anything under the sun. From grocery to fashion to furniture to electronics to private islands to zombie survival kits anything and everything sells online. There is a wide range of products with innumerable brands from different sellers at one place. Web stores even offer a far greater selection of colors and sizes than found locally

*Ease and Convenience. Shopping in the middle of the night in your pajamas for fun or because you have been busy with your kids all day or are the workaholic who does not have time to buy the essentials during the day. With the advantage of no billing queues, no waiting for the store assistant to guide you through the merchandise, no crowded malls, no fight for parking spaces, no gas waste, online shopping offers an array of easy effective means to buy what you want sitting in the comfort of your house

*Nag-free shopping. As there are no tired husbands and cranky kids lugging along, nagging after you all the way. You can take as long as you like, no rush. In fact, you can even fill up your shopping cart over a period of several days or sleep over it and then click on BUY.

*No Overheads. A visit to the shopping mall carries with it the extra cost of the burgers and waffles that we binge on also the toys and the auxiliary items we buy only because they jump on at us from the store displays.

* Environment-friendly and baggage free shopping. You do not need to travel to the mall causing air pollution and finding yourself stuck in traffic jams. You are saved the effort of staggering around with tons of shopping bags

*Cheap Deals and great discounts. Websites offer way better deals than stores, they also offer higher discounts as they have low inventory and operational overheads. Various discount coupons or cash back offers for massive savings are also available. If try and buy is what you are looking at, try at your local store and buy online at a better deal. Works for me 😉

*Compare and shop. It is easy to compare the prices at a variety of stores with just a few clicks instead of store hopping.  Detailed product description and manuals are to our immediate access. Product reviews available also help us make better decisions.

*No Geographical boundaries. Be the International Diva with the latest collection of the season without traveling all the way to those countries.

When I sometimes go to a store, even though the store assistant shows me almost all of his stock, I end up liking nothing. To save me this embarrassment or the displeasure of the salesperson, I buy something that I know I wouldn’t use. Online shopping saves me from this embarrassment or compulsive buying and I totally appreciate it!!

Though it depends on the product in question or the touch and feel for some commodities, by and large people have reached the online shopping tipping point where more and more consumers prefer to shop online than in stores. To Each his own reason to shop online! What’s yours?

By N.S.S

10thJan, 2018

 

 

Simple Money Saving Tips For Students

Penny saved is Penny earned, how often do our parents quote Benjamin Franklin. This quote teaches us life’s important lessons of self-control and discretion so we can save and spend the money well on the right things at the right time.

Here are a few tips on how as students, you can not only make do with the tight budget but also save money to spend it well on that dream you secretly guard.

*Plan your budget and stay focused. Know your recurring expenses and keep some amount aside for the accidental expenses that you might encounter.

*Pay bills on time or even before the due date to avoid late fees and get early bird discounts

*Buy grocery from the supermarket that offers maximum discounts, plan your visit to the supermarket so that you have a list ready to avoid impulsive buying. Negotiate and haggle on purchases that permit it

*Make sure you have no dues on your credit cards, lest you waste your money paying unwanted interests. This will even help you have a better credit score for future loans and purchases

*As far as possible use Public Transport or carpooling or a two-wheeler pooling to save on fuel. Short distances can be walked to or cycled to, thus saving your Gym membership expenses as well.

*Join a local library so you can borrow the books you like to read. Buy used textbooks or reference books, they would be cheaper and often have the important stuff highlighted 😉 and tips written on the corners of the books that turn out to be more helpful than the material in the textbook itself. Photocopying a reference book also can be done.

* Say NO to tempting and expensive brands. Brands are for the future you, not the present you.

*Party at home rather than in extravagant places. Where ever possible, encash on student discounts or bulk discounts, like a food joint or lounge. Also, there are weekdays when these places allow free entry to students, party on those free days.

*Kick the butt, stay away from vices that leave you in debt.

*Try earning scholarships for various courses

*Use WiFi where ever possible, make sure you have a pre-paid data plan so you do not overindulge

*Plan your travel well in advance to get cheaper deals

Now that we have gone through tips on saving money, here are a few on how to get the extra income*Coach other students on academics or any form of art like playing a musical instrument or a dance form or a sport which helps you make the extra bucks

*If something is not useful to you anymore, try selling it to someone who can find a use for it personally on various websites available thus making the extra pocket money

*Working at the local coffee shop is also an option that can be considered.

With power packed determination and dedication “Mission Savings”
here we come!!!