HJ’s weekend

Written By: Harinee Jibeesh

Written: 05/30/2017

My weekend was fun because I went bowling, went to the playground , played with my friends, watched a movie- Parent Trap. It was fun. There was a baby in the home that I watched it in.My parents friends had come to visit us from Richmond. I played with the 2 babies and that was my weekend.

I love School

School school school, You are the best

Cool!

Holly the best Yay

Out in Antarctica

Open to Learn

Love School Forever

 

-A Poem by Harinee Jibeesh

Published: 06/27/2017

Road Rage inducing Drivers

Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t anger easily. And in the past 2 years, I have realized that more than anything – it is those Idiots on the road who make me angry . Here is a list of my top ‘Get the Fuck Off the Road’ people.

  • Driving Slow on Fast Lane: For some, it might be ignorance but for majority it is not. Regardless of your speed, if you are on the left lane and you see a vehicle behind you, you must move to right and let the vehicle pass. FYI – Left Lane is called ‘Passing lane’. Pass and merge people. Don’t hang out just because you pay the road taxes. You might be driving at speed limit +10, but if the right lane is empty – you must move. That’s the law of the land.
  • Last Minute Merge: These are the people who merge at the very last minute. All maps point out to your turns well in advance. Why then do you wait till the last 1/10th of a mile to merge? adding salt to the injury are those who merge with little to no space to merge. It is left to the drivers behind to brake appropriately.
  • No Indicator Turns: those lights on your cars aren’t ornamental people. For fuck’s sake, light them up at least 5 second before your turn. There are those who don’t even use indicators and then there are those who use it after they have started to turn. What exactly do you think is the purpose on an indicator?
  • Tailgaters: Or maybe I should say Tail-gators. Why in the world would someone want to tail gate? Maintain a 2-3 car distance. Isn’t it as simple as that? I am determined to call the cops on the next person who tailgates me. It should count for harassment, right? Imagine you are one of those lovely tailgaters and the one in front of you belongs to the category above…see where I am going with this? It is not hard to predict the future.

The next one causes me amusement more than anger or frustration.:

  • Distracted Drivers: You better have an amazing life insurance (and auto insurance too) if you are one of those who loves to use your cell phone or groom yourself (read make-up) when you are driving +10 on the left lane. Let me tell you this, I have 100% confidence on your driving skills but are you sure that the driver about to merge into your lane isn’t high or crazy? Are you willing to bet your life on the driving skills of those around you?

I have always had a kind of curiosity on what might have triggered the origins of the word ‘Fucktard’. Now, I am almost certain these are the people who lead to invention of an innovative word. That being said, do you have any personal pet peeves around drivers on the road?

Practical Lesson: New vs Used Car

A year ago, after months of new vs used research, we ended up with a 5-year loan on a brand-new over-budget Toyota Rav4. It was my first ever car (new\used). We plan to keep the vehicle for a few years (more than 5).  As apprehensive as we were while buying a new vehicle, the joy of a shiny new toy convinced us that it was a good decision. The 0% interest on the loan helped too.

Warning lights for following got thrown out of the window.

  1. We owed more on the car than our net-worth.
  2. Rate of depreciation was faster than rate of loan repayment.
  3. For a family of 2 that uses a local train for commute, SUV wasn’t really a necessary vehicle of choice.
  4. Our Rate of savings would take a huge dip thanks to an exorbitant monthly payment.

Today somebody backed into our car. The damage was more than what one would expect as it was a simple parking lot accident with neither party hurt\scratched. Air Bags were not diffused. Their insurance is paying for the damages.

As a result:

  1. Our 1 year old newly purchased vehicle has an accident history.
  2. We now owe more on the vehicle than it is worth.

We wish we had come across Mr.MM and the FI Community earlier. We could have avoided this mistake and ended up with more savings. The only saving grace is that we will be hanging on to the vehicle as many years as we possibly can. This was a Lesson learnt the hard way.

Power of compounding using Curry Leaves

Most of the inspirational blogs I read nowadays tie to some childhood memory that I seem to be hanging on to. I came across the online Financial Independence community recently and most of them talk about the powers of saving and compounding. This reminded me of a story my mom told me as a kid and here it goes

A man had 2 kids and when they were grown up and ready to make it on their own in the world, he gave them each a small curry leaf plant* and asked them to take care of it. Curry leaf is widely used in a variety of Indian dishes.

A few years later he decides to visit his sons. He makes his way to his first son’s house. After the initial conversations, he brings up the curry leaf plant that he had given him when he left the home. The son replies: ‘Oh, that plant? It was so tiny. I used the leaves within the first 2 weeks. I think it dried up after that’.

The man soon makes his way to the second son’s home. He realizes that the second son is far more prosperous than the first one. And as expected, after his initial conversation, he brings up the curry leaf plant. The second son replies: ‘Oh that plant? You should come out and see it. It has become a huge tree and has produced several other plants and the entire neighborhood now uses Curry leaves from my plants’

Regardless of what the details of the story is, when you think about it, it does boils down to common sense. Anybody can tell you that. Do not strip the plant of all its leaves. Let it have a chance to grow so that it can replenish the leaves. And once you do that, the plant can provide you with curry leaves for the rest of your life. If understanding a plant is so easy, why then do so many people have a tough time understanding their finances?

This story spoke to me as a kid. What i learnt is – Do not continuously withdraw from your savings\investments to a point where it cannot build up faster than you withdraw. Let it grow to a point from where withdrawing will not affect the year-on-year balance as the interest will keep replenishing whatever you take.

*Curry Leaf: It’s a common leaf native to India\Sri Lanka and is used a lot in Cooking. Not to be confused with Curry Powder. scientific Name: Murraya koenigii.

Obtaining Infosys Employment Verification Letter

How to obtain a detailed Infosys Experience Letter?

As a courtesy, Infosys has started giving detailed experience letters which is necessary for I-140 Immigration petition\PERM application in USA. The process is extremely simple. I got my experience letter within 2 weeks. If you are still in contact with your managers from Infosys Days, it would be easier. Following is a detailed step by step guide to get your experience letter.

Step 01: Send an email to US_EmpVerification@Infosys.com stating that you are looking to get your detailed experience letter.

Step 02: Within a couple of days, you will get a response along with 2 attachments for you to fill out. If you do not hear back, you can always follow up.
The First document is a format in which Infosys gives the experience letter. You would have to list all your job duties and Tools for which you are requesting the experience letter.  Sample below:

The second document has 2 sections. The first section is for your current employer to fill out.  It requires them to confirm that they require the experience letter for the GC processing. A sample snapshot of the document looks like this:

The second section if for you to list down your managers during Infosys Tenure. Your managers will have to validate your job duties and tools used. I listed 5 managers from my Tenure and the request for validation was sent to 2 of them. You can use approximate start and end dates as it would be difficult for anyone to remember these for all their projects.

Step 03: After filling out the 2 documents in step 02 to the best of your knowledge, reply to the email from US_EmpVerification@Infosys.com with attachments. Within a couple of days, you will get an email saying it has been sent to your managers for validation. This email will have the email address of the managers to whom it has been sent for validation.

Step 04: Once it is approved, you will receive the employment verification letter in your inbox. If not,  Send an email to your managers saying that you have asked for a detailed experience letter and they would have to approve it. I also listed down the duties for which I was seeking their approval and listed them down by projects. This is not something one should do, but I did.

Step 05: You will get the experience letter within a day of the managers approving it. In my case, it took about 10 minutes between the managers approving and me receiving the letter in my inbox.

Points to Note:

  1. I do not know Infosys Internal SLAs. I can only guesstimate based on my experience.
  2. Infosys gives the experience letter as a courtesy and reserves the right to deny it.

The Millionaire Next Door – Book Review

I do not know why but I am into Financial Blogs these Days. And one of the books I came across on multiple blogs is ‘The Millionaire Next Door’. This book was available on EBay for 2$ with free shipping so I got a copy for myself*.

Anybody who is $ conscious should read this book. It is about 2 researchers who study common habits of millionaires. Here the term Millionaire is someone who has 1 million in savings\investment\worth. Why should you read it? Because it answers the following questions

  1. Where is my money going?
  2. Can we live happily and save with 1 person’s salary in the USA.
  3. Kids are so expensive these days. It is impossible to save with kid(s) in USA?

Some of the most interesting things I learnt from the book

  1. People who drive Flashy and expensive Cars are not necessarily millionaires.
  2. You cannot point out millionaires by their attire\car or their house.
  3. Most Self-Made Millionaires’ households run on budget.
  4. Ivy League Education may guarantee a high paying job but not necessarily a high bank balance.
  5. Millionaires don’t necessarily eat fancy food or at fancy restaurants.
  6. There are more millionaires than we think of.

Maybe if those aren’t the things that you are looking for in a book, the following might be interesting. The authors have presented the book as a case study with detailed math charts. Most of the case studies are presented in a way that one could easily relate to. It is easy to find yourself as a character in the book. So, if not to gain a new perspective on the world of millionaires, read it to judge yourself on the scale set by average millionaire next door. The presentation and point of view of the authors is presented in a practical yet humorous way.

What the book does not do is give you recommendations on what you should do with your money. It just tells you what Millionaires so with their money. Even if it is just for fun, go read it!

 

*Most FI Blogs don’t recommend buying books. They recommend Library.

Fate of the Furious – the No-Spoiler movie review

My rating: 8/10

This movie has more ups than downs. The scenes are amazing and I have a feeling that small screen will not do them justice. If 10$ is too steep for you, wait for a Saturday morning show at a local AMC or use the free movie ticket options that mobile carriers hand out on Tuesdays. Do what you have to do, go check this one out at a theater.

Good

  1. The sequence the movie begins with is quite cool where Dom is challenged to race with a pitiful excuse of a car.
  2. Rock and Jason Statham. The chemistry they have is amazing. Their witty interaction makes you smile every single time.
  3. I loved the Car\Van\Jeep\Tank\Submarine Chase on the snow. It was something new that I had not seen before and this sequence alone is worth watching the movie for.
  4. It is the right dose of comedy and action and it does have its thrills.
  5. Scott Eastwood is a fresh face and looks like he will be here to stay. (I Cannot help it, I am a sucka for a pretty face).
  6. The individual stunt scenes are as amazing as the ones with the cars. Jason Statham wins the day.

Bad

  1. I know the movie is about Fast cars and its share of car crashes. But sometimes, there is a limit on the number of cars that you can watch getting crashed.
  2. Cheesy Dialogues. Let us be thankful that there are very few non-comic scenes where people are talking. And most of it is very cheesy. I personally love cheesy but I can picture a few folks twitch every time Vin Diesel said ‘Family’.
  3. I am a huge fan of Charlize Theron. I believe they could have made her look more glamorous. I personally did not dig her look in the movie.
  4. Didn’t Statham kill one of their own? wonder what happened to put them all on the same side. So much for Familia.
  5. Scott Eastwood character flip. He started out goofy and towards the end, he was one of them? Transition was too quick to be true.
  6. I love Michelle Rodriguez. They could have done so much more with her character.

The future:

  1. It would be interesting to see what they have in store for Luke Evans. (Owen Shaw)
  2. It would interesting to see if Charlize Theron makes a come back in the next movie(s).
  3. It would be interesting to see if we get #JusticeforHan.

Life – the movie review

My Rating 8/10.

This movie has more ups than downs. So, I am going to give it a 7 on 10. The +1 is for Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal. It is a thought provoking movie so be prepared to come out with a lot of questions about Life.

The Good

  1. Amazing Acting by everyone. There isn’t one person in the cast who hasn’t done justice to their roles. Simply brilliant.
  2. Amazing concept. The storyline deserves a round of applause. I loved the way they started with what proof of life outside earth could mean and the possible cures for most of the health problems faced by the world today.
  3. Literally, some of the best out-of-the-world Cinematography (I can say ‘Literally’ without cringing). Loved the picturization and the rebirth of the alien form. Those were well enacted scenes.

The Bad

  1. There wasn’t enough background on the characters to justify their emotions. There was a lot of disconnect and a whatever information was provided, was done so in few disconnected scenes scattered throughout the movie.
  2. Lack of screen time for Ryan Reynolds. Sorry, couldn’t resist but he should have had more time.
  3. Has a few unanswered questions and doesn’t leave a lot of hope for the viewers. I can’t help but think what happened to the other samples? Did it make its way to the earth?

I should have read about the storyline or watched the trailer before watching this movie. Lesson learnt for the next time. Would I recommend a theatre watch for this one? Probably not. Better wait for a streaming service.

What will stay with me forever: ‘Calvin is not bad or evil. He is simply doing what he should to survive’

Do whatever you want. Others can take a hike!

To start with, I define Kid as anyone between the ages 10 and 15. As a Kid, I watched a lot of informative television channels and had a lot of ideas about what I wanted to do with my life. My mom always made sure there were enough Essay books at home (pre-internet era) so that I was never hungry for knowledge. I had a few very specific ideas about what was right and what was wrong and many a times voicing my opinions to the grown-ups resulted in lengthy debates that would always end up with a ‘You are a kid, wait till you grow up’. Now, around 15 years later, I think ‘Damn, I was a smart kid!’.

  1. I will not visit the Temple Regularly: I come from a religious family. As a kid, I remember Dad going to the temple before work every day. But somehow, as traditional as my parents were, they never forced any religious practices on me. I was encouraged to make my own choices provided I could justify them. Today I am as religious as ever but I do not make a regular habit of visiting any place of worship. I go if I feel like it and my relationship with my god is special and I don’t have to justify it to anyone now.
  2. I will not take a Loan – Ever. I remember a relative scoffing at this idea saying that if I wanted to build a house in future, I would have to go the route a lot of people do. And later in life, I moved to the USA where credit seems to be a way of life. Even dual income families earning over 200K a year live paycheck to paycheck. And somewhere along the way, I ended up buying a Car on a Loan (0% interest – Not that it matters). Not a great decision as I now constantly worry about the 500$ that goes straight to my loan payments and what should happen if there were no payday. Moral of the story – Go with your instincts. Others can shut up.
  3. I will not have a Great Indian Wedding: As far ago as I can remember, I wanted a court wedding where the bride and groom just sign a piece of paper and it is all over in 10 minutes. I have hated the grandiose that comes with a traditional Indian wedding. The 10 odd costume changes that a bride must undergo in under 2 days is enough to give me a headache. I was told this was a silly feeling and that as I near the marrying age, my views will change. The argument being what girl wouldn’t want a fairy tale wedding. Not this one. I couldn’t get everyone on board with the court marriage but I still had my wish with a ‘Blink and You Miss it’ Wedding ceremony.
  4. I will Not Have Kids: I have been saying this for a long time. And as far back as I can recollect, I have been told ‘You will Change your mind’. No, I will not. I am not interested in adding to the world population and I have a detailed post about my reasons for not having kids. I have been lucky to have come across a lot of other men and women who share my views on this topic. That side of the fence is not as Lonely as I have been led to believe.
  5. I want to Retire at 35: I remember a conversation I had with a very successful uncle as a kid. He told me very patiently that 35 is not an age to retire as that is the age when I would start to reap the benefits of all the work that I had put towards my career growth. Fast forward 20 years and my opinions have not changed. I still want to retire at 35, travel the world, maybe start a dog creche, or a local youth center etc. Long story short, as much as I love my job (Yes, I work if I am stuck indoors alone with nothing else to do) I do not want to spend all the time that I have left in this world within my cubicle for 40 hrs a week. Thanks to Money Mustache, I have found out that there are a lot of people out there who do this now.

The point of this post is to let myself and others know that it is OK to think differently. Sometimes the opinions you form as a kid guide you throughout your life and it is OK. There will always be thousands who think you are wrong and will make sure that you know their opinion. Sometimes they maybe your loved ones. Sometimes, they aren’t willing to consider that your choices may be right for you. Whenever you come across this scenario, muster up the best THE ROCK expression you can and say ‘Is that what you think? It doesn’t matter what you think! ‘. At the end of the day, as long as you can justify your actions and decisions to the mirror and you do not cause anyone a discomfort, you are free to live by your choices.