V. (Master the) Vedas.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read about it hereOther posts in the A to Z ChallengeAncient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspireJack of all tradesKeep my shirt onMake a lot of moneyNoOff the GridPokerQuestion EverythingRun a MarathonSettle in the mountainsTeach and Up in the Air.

Next is V. V for (Master the) Vedas. 

Vedas are ancient Indian scriptures that apparently contain the sum total of all ancient Indian wisdom. It was written over the years and by multiple people across the entire length and breadth of the great Indian subcontinent. Apparently, vedas is not a work of human imagination. It is what the sages heard from the divine. More on this later.

The four vedas 
So, once I have hung my boots, I'd want to devote my time studying the vedas.

Why would I want to do it? I dont know. It just sounds unfair that this great body of work exists and while I was around on this planet, I did not spend time with it. All the more important because I believe that I am curious about the world around me and no better way to try and satiate the urge than the vedas.

Plus the vedas is like a collection of ideas and thoughts that everyone has an opinion on. And each sect would have their interpretation of the vedas. Each interpretation would make for an interesting read. Will show me different perspectives and opinions.

I wish I could leave everything and chase the knowledge and understanding like its no one's business. Just wish I dint have to work for money!

Oh, this series by Times Wellness is a good starting point!

U. Up in the Air.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read about it hereOther posts in the A to Z ChallengeAncient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspireJack of all tradesKeep my shirt onMake a lot of moneyNoOff the GridPokerQuestion EverythingRun a MarathonSettle in the mountains and Teach

Next is U. U for Up in the air.

The movie. The one that had George Clooney in it. The one that was based on the book. The movie is about a dude who travels to places in America to layoff people. The important bit, the one that I want to achieve in this life, is that he has 1 million frequent flier miles and has a personal goal of collecting 10 million miles.

If you think its undoable, check out Chris and Ansoo. If not a million, they would be pretty close. In fact, at one point, I had 300,000 miles myself.

So the movie is about this guy who's job is to meet people who have been laid off and counsel them on the post-layoff distress. As a part of his discourses (read speech, monologue etc), he asks them a simple question. What's in your backpack. He further sort of glorifies the joblessness and extols the virtues of a frugal, free life. Lee Child and Jack Reacher would be proud of him. Not a pleasant job but a job nonetheless. That takes him to multiple cities and allows him to meet people and allows him to earn miles!

Like I said, at one point, I had more than 300K miles on me. I am not sure how many am I left with now. The trouble is that they are/were staggered across multiple airlines and multiple alliances. Plus a lot of them have expired because of inactivity. And I have used a lot of those for some travel in the last one year of joblessness. When I start work again, I want to stack up on the miles again. Took me 3 years to get 300K. There is no reason why I cant do it again. The million miles figure shouldn't be tough to achieve. Lets see...

Further, if I compare myself to Ryan or Jack right now, I have a houseful of things that I want to cling on to. These are books, pictures, photos, toys, puzzles, posters and I dont know what all. I want to be able to reach a point where I can pack whatever I own in a carry-on case. Thankfully, I am not that attached to clothes, so my bag is anyway half empty. But the other things, I need to start simplifying. I need to start giving away things. May be I'd start with my books. I dont know. I'd think on it. Soon.

So, the U for me is Up in the air. And the other smaller question. What's in my backpack?

Before I close this post, here is a question for you. Two. How many miles do you have? And what's in your backpack?

T. Teach.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read about it here

Next is T. T for Teach.

Teaching, they say, is the noblest of all professions. They say that a teacher has the opportunity to shape the future of individuals and communities. And the teachers have the responsibility to shape the future of individuals and communities.

A teacher can inspire, can change the way a pupil thinks and works. In fact most great men became great because they had access to great teachers. Look at history. There is Arjuna and Eklayva and Guru Drona. Look at modern times. There is Warren Buffett and Ben Graham. Examples are plenty. So many that I can write a whole book about teacher / pupil success stories.

So, I am very sure that before I die, I want to take up the opportunity of being a teacher. And the responsibility of being a teacher. There are ifs and buts. And I know I would find answers.

Prof. Sanjay Bakshi
Ifs are, what if I am not a good teacher? What if I fail? What if I cant communicate well? What if I am redundant?

Buts are, but why would someone want to learn from you? But what would I teach? But is what I teach relevant in the modern world?

Tough questions. Tough to answer. I have a few years to find answers. And I will. I have to teach. There is no two ways about it. Thing is, when you teach, you are defending what you proclaim to be an expert at, in front of so many curious brains with their respective individual perspectives. Each interaction, each conversation, each defense, each objection, each rebuttal, is like a lesson. Its like a sentence, its like an execution and its like a new life.

More than responsibility and the opportunity, teaching is a brilliant way to improve yourself. Try it and you'd know. I have done some bits of it and I am dying to get back in front of a class and share what I know and learn from others.

Thats it. Bucket List item starting with T is Teach!

Oh, this post about teaching would be incomplete without a few words about Prof. Bakshi. He's one amongst the multiple giants who've kindly given me their shoulders to stand on. I am very fortunate that I took his course on behavioral finance at MDI. It has changed me for good.

To be honest, I was a really poor student and he may not even remember me. But whatever limited I know in life, whatever little that I am proud of, Prof. Bakshi has played a large part in helping me achieve it. Thank you Sir.

Do read Prof Sanjay Bakshi's Story. This has to be one of the most inspiring stories that I've ever read.

Onwards to U tomorrow!

Other posts in the A to Z ChallengeAncient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspireJack of all tradesKeep my shirt onMake a lot of moneyNoOff the GridPokerQuestion EverythingRun a Marathon, Settle in the mountains

S. Settle in the mountains.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read about it here

Next is S. S for Settle in the mountains.

I am too young to retire. Too young to even think of it. And yet I am too old. Too old to not have planned for retirement. And the only plan I have, is to go live in the mountains. Not the Himalayas but may be Panchgani. Low hills, away from tourists. Where weather is fine the year around, I am ok with cold but hate garmi. Where I can go for long walks on the ups and downs and think about things. Where when I sit and write, I can stare into distance and look at the birds floating in the mid air.

Some random mountain town
I have a question. Are you a hills kind of a person? Or a beach, sea, ocean kinds of person? I am told that this answer reveals a lot about your personality. I am a hills kind. I dont mind beaches but I dont want to live next to an water body. But would love to live in the mountains.

To me, mountains are infinite. They present an intriguing case. You want to know whats on the other side and yet you are glued to the side you are on. You imagine wonderful things that the elevation is blocking. You think of those faint trails that were created by people walking up and down and wonder why did they make it. Mountains are challenging. You need certain amount of effort etc to be able to walk on the long tough windings roads. And while you walk, you can think and wonder about those little things that Mother Nature has created around us.

Ok! I sound like a failed romantic. Time to cut it short. So, the next thing on my bucket list is settle down in the mountains. Let me tangibilize it. Within the next five years. Ideally somewhere in western ghats. If not that, somewhere in Himalayas. If not even that, may be Nepal ;P

Other posts in the A to Z ChallengeAncient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspireJack of all tradesKeep my shirt onMake a lot of moneyNoOff the GridPokerQuestion Everything, Run a Marathon

R. Run a Marathon.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read about it here

Next is R. The first thing that comes to my head when I think on character R is Reacher. Of the Jack Reacher fame. And the next is Run. And this is what the thing on my bucket list is. Run. Run a Marathon. And finish it.

R is Run a Marathon. Not just run, but finish a marathon.

There is nothing else I want to do more than running a marathon. To me its like the ultimate test of human spirit and grit. Its where you push yourself so much that every part, every muscle of your body is stretched to the extreme. So much so that you cant go anymore. Plus its not a one time thing. You cant just wake up one morning and decide that you want to run a marathon. You gotta train hard for it. Like shit. For years. And even then you aren’t sure how you’d perform on the D day. That is marathon. And that's what I really really want to do.

Run Forrest Run!
Thing is, as a kid I was very active physically. I could run, jump, duck, walk, play, roll, squat, dive, shove, push, move with ease. I had great reflexes and I took pride in my extremely amazing reaction time. As I grew old and fat, I started to lag behind.

Now, when I am past my useful age, I can hardly move a muscle. I cant run ten inches without panting and heaving. I am that unhealthy. I can feature in those late night informercials where men complain that no one wants to talk to them because they are fat and all that. That!

Like other feedback loops, I am trapped in this one. Since I am unhealthy, I cant run and since I cant run, I am getting more unhealthy. And it sucks.

From that, fat, I want to be someone who can run marathons. All 42 KMs of it. Its not about the time. Its not about records. Its about a personal battle and its about finishing. Its about reaching the end. Its about finishing. See F.

There is just one way out. To go out and run. Run a meter today. And two tomorrow. Three the day after and so on and so forth. Its very simple. No? But to someone like me, who wants ACs and shoes and tracks and inspiration and all that, its a mammoth task. So huge that I always finds an excuse to not run. In fact to end this non-running bit, I have given myself a simple goal. If by the end of the year, I am not 30", I would get a brand new iPhone to Neo. And if I am less than 30, he would get me one. And a large part of my inch-loss will have to come from running. If not running, then may be yoga or swimming.

Ok, I am digressing.

Coming back, I really really want to run a marathon and finish it. There are people (Fauja Singh) who take up running at 80 and are still running marathons at the age of 100. If they can, why cant I? Its such a simple sport. All you need to do is step out and go do it. Go run. Nothing else. All the damn world is the track and everything is an obstacle.

Damn! I want to run. A marathon!

P.S.: While I am at it, do see this ad by Nike. Has to be one of the best running ads that I have seen ever. And maybe this one as well.

Other posts in the A to Z ChallengeAncient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspireJack of all tradesKeep my shirt onMake a lot of moneyNoOff the GridPoker, Question Everything.

Q. Question Everything.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read more about the project here. The other things on my bucket list are Ancient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspireJack of all tradesKeep my shirt onMake a lot of moneyNoOff the Grid and Poker.

Next is Q. Q as in Queen. Q as in Quit. Q as in Queue. Q as in Question. Question Everything. Yeah, Q is for Question Everything.

One of the biggest gifts that I've received when I was sent here, is the innate curiosity. I think this sets me apart from everyone else. Its my secret weapon. Its my magic wand. Just that I need to start using it. I'd come back to it. Right now, its about Q. Q for question everything.

From this xkcd
So, thing with questions is, it opens doors. So many and so often. Most relationships, business or personal, start with innocent questions. If you are trying to break ice with that cute girl sitting across the aisle in the local Starbucks, a question is the easiest way to do so. If you want to get new business from a tough client, ask questions that would help him do his job better. If you want a raise, ask a question. If you want to quit, ask a question. In fact all the wisdom of the world is contained in just six words. Why, What, When, Where, Who and How.

Thanks to my curious mind, I keep asking questions all the time. It worked just fine till I was a child. But now that I've grown up, it often lands me in trouble. I am dismissed as an over-enthusiastic, pesky companion and am left alone. Serves well because when I ask a question, I am called dumb once but if I dont ask that question, I remain dumb for life. This is an age old quote. Even has a wikipedia page. Other times the other side is patient and even enjoys while answering but such people are few and far between. But then these people make the entire thing about asking questions worth the effort.

But all said and done, its one of the best weapons that I have in my arsenal. And I need to sharpen it. To a point where it becomes my personal weapon of mass destruction. Ok, I am sorry for all the hyperbole. 

So yeah, the thing for my bucket list and another mantra for life, is that I want to retain my ability to ask questions even when I am ridiculed and am dismissed.

P.S.: Not too happy with this post. I would try to rewrite this as some other date. 

P. Poker Professional.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read more about the project here. The other things on my bucket list are Ancient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspireJack of all tradesKeep my shirt onMake a lot of moneyNo and Off the Grid

Next is P. P for Play at a professional level. Poker. 

P is pretty simple. So simple that if I had to list just three things for my bucket list, I would have chosen B, M and P. Book, Money and Poker. In that order.

Poker for me is No limit Texas Hold Em.

Professional for me is make enough money with it that I don't need a day job. Professional also means that it becomes my day job. Like Sachin Tendulkar is a professional cricket player, Roger Federer is a professional tennis player, Amitabh Bachchan is a professional actor, Jeffery Archer is a professional writer, I want to be a professional poker player.

Like I said, Its pretty high on my bucket list. Right after book and money.

Stu Ungar - The greatest poker player IMHO
So, my first encounter with Poker happened almost ten years ago when I went on a trek and someone taught me the game there. I dismissed it as too mathematical and complex at that point and moved on. And then I played it off and on when I went to Goa (the only state in India where gambling is legal).

However in last three or four years I started to think more about it. I started to go to home games and played with a lot of friends and strangers. I made some money. I lost more than I made. I read whatever material I could find and I could comprehend very little. But I realized that I loved the feeling of sitting on a table and making decisions that can change fortunes at the drop of a card. True with all forms of gambling. But with poker, it has been proved beyond doubt that its a game of skill (whereas all other forms of gambling are more dependent on chance). And unlike other sports or games, poker requires you to have like a million weapons in your arsenal. You need to know maths, psychology, probability, opponents and so on and so forth. Challenging. Aint it?

When I took the break to work on the book, I had some free time on my hands. I used that time to get regular with poker. I now play once every week. If not that, twice every month for sure. I know its tiny if I am to get serious about poker but its a start. Its my honeymoon period. Life looks rosy on the other side. I just need to do the grind and get there. But, I have started keeping scores and I have started to treat it like a serious sport than a mere form of recreation. Hopefully one of these days, things fall in place and I get the practice going. And then who knows what.

Thing with poker is, if you are good with it, it opens so many doors that are otherwise closed to you. You get to travel. Get to make money. Get to make or lose a fortune in a hand. There is this element of luck. There is risk and there are rewards. There is rush. There is the element of capability. There is psychology. There is science and there is art. There is people-watching. There is trash-talk. There is competition. There is individual confrontations and there are skirmishes. Its something that I can work on and improve. This is a skill that I can develop. Its independent of age (unlike tennis, swimming, cricket). Its an individual sport. There is that element of unknown. The thing that makes it exciting and addictive. Its everything that an adrenaline addict may want in life.

Oh... I can talk about it forever. Its beautiful. Its frustrating. Its liberating. Its exhilarating. It takes time to master. And even when you've mastered it, you can never tame it. Its like that illicit affair that adds spice to your life. Its like that out of control mistress, the temptress that you cant live with or without.

I sincerely wish I knew about the game when I was younger. I knew about it 10 years ago and I should've spotted it back then. I don't know why I did not. Its ok. You get better with it as you age. I may be ready for it. Just need to decide and take a plunge. One of the easier things on the bucket list. Assuming you are good with it. I know I am an average player. And I know that I can get better as I play. The question is, do I have the balls and galls to take it up?

I dont know. Time shall tell. In the meanwhile, lemme go find a game. Do wish me luck with the hole cards. And more importantly with the river. And do try the game. Trust me, nothing like it.

P.S.: If poker excites you even an iota, do read about the glorious life of Stu Ungar. And see this.

O. Off the grid.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read more about the project here. The other things on my bucket list are Ancient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspireJack of all tradesKeep my shirt onMake a lot of money and No.

Next is O. O for Off the Grid.

Off the grid is when you are living a life that no one is aware of. Its the life Osama was living when he was hiding from the US of A. Or all such dictators live when they run from their adversaries.

In my case, I dont have someone to hide from, but I would want to go off the grid atleast once in life. If I had my way, I'd escape once every year. I do try around my birthday but I dont really succeed. Why would I do it? Because I want to know how it feels to get detached from the world that we all love so dearly.

The epitome of an off the grid life this guy (Chris McCandless) who went Into the Wild. First time I read the book, I was appalled to know that there are people who are strong enough to be able to do that.

I cant. Not in this life, not in a million lives. Not for a billion bucks. I, however, want to go off the grid for a few days. In fact come to think of it, Vipassana comes close.

A quote from Into The Wild
Ofcourse we live in a connected world and there is a constant barrage of tweets, likes, pokes, emails, notifications, alerts, reminders that comes our way. Its really easy to let go and go with the flow of these interruptions. Most say its good. We move forward and we get work done. Some say its bad, its shortening our attention span. I dont have a side that I can take. I like both perspectives. But there is something that I want to do about this constant connectivity. And that is, go off the grid. At least once in this life time.

Vipassana is close. For 9 days you live life like a pauper and you practice serious moderation of air, water and food that you intake. You moderate your thoughts and you try to peel off layers from your conscience. Its close to being off the grid because you dont talk and you dont know anyone else. But then you are confined to a small area. 

However, If I could go someplace without anyone knowing about me, it would be off the grid. I dont want to use a phone or email or ATM card or anything that leaves a trail. I dont want people to know who I am. I want to hide. Hide in the open. They may be looking for me but since they dont know who I am, I could be in front of their eyes all the time and yet remain hidden. I would even go underground if required. The way most assassins go after they've committed a crime. Mafia called it going to the mattresses. Actually mattresses is about preparing for the war, but its about a safe house where no one can track where you are.

And not because I want to hide. But because I want to live life without a worry. Without fear. Without lure of these notifications that make us social. In fact if all goes well, this year on, I would be able to go off the grid for two months every year. Keeping my fingers crossed. In the meanwhile do hear this song by Veder, from the movie Into The Wild.

Finally, the big question. Would you go off the grid? Do you have the balls?

N. No.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read more about the project here. The other things on my bucket list are Ancient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspireJack of all tradesKeep my shirt on and Make a lot of money.

Next is N. N for (Learn to say) No.

I really really want to learn to say no. They say its one of the biggest qualities that a leader has. And I suck at it. I try saying no but cant help it most times. And I end up losing time, losing money, losing face. In the events industry parlance, we call it "udta teer lena". No, I cant translate that in Hindi. And no I cant explain that to junta from non-events background. Btw, do see this collection that I started sometime back. I called it the confessions of an ex-event manager.

Read this post. From Oct 2013.
So the thing with saying yes all the time is that you lose your mojo. This quote by Kristin Armstrong is probably the best example.
... learn to say no, so your yes has some oomph...

Just because I say yes to everything, there are times when I am taken for granted and I end up in a spot. There are times when people dont even ask me because they know that my default answer is going to be yes. And hence I have to start saying no. No, I dont mean I would say no all the time, for fuck sake. But I would get selective about things that I say yes to. And that's all.

Thing is, I know that its tough to say no. I also know evolutionary biology makes it tough for people to do something that puts them in a spot. I know we have that fight or flight gene. I know odds are stacked against me in terms of what I am hoping to achieve. But how hard could it be? Its just a word, made up of two simple alphabets. N. O. No.


Hang on. I have a question. How about sharing this post with all and sundry on all networks that you guys know of? Yes? #no?

M. Make money. A lot of it.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read more about the project here. The other things on my bucket list are Ancient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspireJack of all trades and Keep my shirt on.

Next is M. M for Mint money like its nobody's business. Make money. A lot of it. Make wealth. I have spoken about money and wealth in a previous post (G) and hence I wont talk about em too much.

But one of the things on my bucket list is to get insanely rich. Insanely rich as reach the levels of Bill and Warren.

Forbes Top 3, as on Apr 15, 2014
Its no secret that I want to be successful. So successful that its nobody's business. So, I need an indicator for it. Could money be that indicator?

Money, as an indicator, is tangible, comparable and is easy to comprehend. Everything else, happiness, impact, job creation, satisfaction, learning, fame etc have some degree of intangibility. In fact look at the top three in the list above. 2 of those 3 are my heroes. Not a bad number. And if all goes well, someday I'd end up near the top of that list. Probably in the top three. If I can do that, I would have done a lot of things from my bucket list. A, C, D, E, F, G, I and K. 8 of 11. Again not a bad number. 

Both "not a bad number"s indicate that money may be a worthy proxy for success. And thus, the next thing on my bucket list is, make money. A lot of it. 

Unless someone points at a better alternative. Can you?

While writing this, I realized that words aren't flowing as smooth as they ought to. Writer's block? I dont know! I am planning a four hour writing/editing marathon for #tnks tomorrow morning. Lets see how it goes. 

K. Keep my shirt on.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read more about the project here. The other things on my bucket list are Ancient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspire and Jack of all trades

Next is K. K for Keep my shirt on.

Keep my shirt on loosely translates into "staying patient under adversity or otherwise." Here, check this UD page for more definitions and other things.

The Hulk Rip!
As a kid, I used to trip on WWF (as it was known those days) and I was a big big fan of a few superstars. Its been ages but I still remember a few. There was Stone Cold Steve Austin, there was Bret the Hitman Hart and ofcourse there was the mighty Hulk Hogan.

I was not much of a fan of the fights that happened in the ring but I loved the non-aggressive shenanigans such as opening moves, rivalry and complex plots. I am sure all of you would remember the badass thing about Steve Austin. The way he'd flip the bird, the way he'd catch those beer cans deftly and then smash against each other and pour it down his throat. Show business I tell you!

But nothing came close to Hulk Hogan tearing his shirt and screaming at the top of his lungs. Those days, if someone asked me what would I want to do when I grew up, I would say I want to grow up to be Hulk Hogan.

I thought that being a wrestler was the coolest thing that anyone could do. And to be one, you ought o have temper. I worked towards it. Really hard. Even if I wasn't angry I would fake it. And over the years, I dont know how, as I grew up, I became a rude, impatient and a short-tempered man. No, I am not blaming Vince McMohan or WWF or other wrestling shows for my behavior but it definitely is one of those things that would have contributed.

And to be honest, I am not proud of it. In fact, in the last few months I have realized that I need to flip completely. And I needed to change. And the change would happen if I could try and keep my shirt on.

The idea is to become calm and serene (if the word is valid here). I want to be as stable as a Banyan Tree, so that when the ship rocks, I know how to handle it. Its a toughie but what is life without a few challenges? I am going to take it and crack it. And hopefully inspire some people!

Lets start action right now! Can you try and keep your shirt on? Bet?

P.S.: Come to think of it, this is more of a "mantra for life" than an "item on the bucket list". But I want it. And I want to put this on paper even if this does not conform to any definitions.

J. Jack. Of All Trades.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read more about the project here. The other things on my bucket list are Ancient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a Baby and Inspire

Next is J. Tenth post in the series. To be honest I quite liked working on this. Guess its because it made me write everyday. Or may be because I luckily chose my theme as Bucket List.

Anyhow, next is J. J for Jack. Jack of all trades. 

Jack of all trades is someone who knows about a lot of things and yet has a hard time getting adept at any one. Most knowledge is superficial. Most of it is academic and would not stand serious scrutiny by any expert. But then, since Jack knows about a lot of things, he is uniquely positioned to do well. Before I launch into an enquiry about other pros and cons, do read this wikipedia page about Jacks.

Jack of Spades ;)

So let me list the good things. For starters, Jack can create connections among multiple disciplines that he is aware of and can create something that any expert in any discipline will never even imagine. Since Jack does not knows the boundaries as well as an expert knows, he is more likely to challenge em. And ofcourse there is a very thin line that separates a Jack and a polymath. Jack also is comfortable in new settings because by definition Jack is innately curious and looks at everything as a challenge.

In term of bad things, the very nature makes Jack a scatterbrain. And Jack keeps chasing the next shiny thing that would catch his fancy. Jack is quick to grasp new things but is often bored when it comes to real work. Jack loves to procrastinate. Jack takes forever to take decisions. Jack can never reach high-up in a corporate hierarchy. Jack will always live in the shadows of experts. Jack can never be a creator but will always be a manager. So on and so forth.

Its a long list and the arguments may never cease.

For me, I decided long back, unknowingly ofcouse, that I want to be a Jack of all trades. And thankfully, I have spent time becoming one.

To be honest, I think I am almost one. In fact, once I learn a few more skills, few more vocations, few more tricks I would become the Jack that I've always wanted to be. In terms of self-evaluation, I believe that I would the Jack I want to be, if in a room, I can engage more than 90% people in a one to one conversation about their respective worlds. Because I would know more than average on almost 90% things that are important to people. Thats it. Simple.

Simple. And yet, its a big deal. Most people can talk about just 10% to 20% things in a place full of strangers. But Jack can easily score a 90%. Its a big deal. A big fucking deal. And I want to be one before I die. A big fucking deal. And a Jack of all trades.

I. Inspire.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read more about the project here. The other things on my bucket list are Ancient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my Wealth and Handle a Baby.

Next up is I. I is for Inspire. I picked Inspire over India, Individuality and Identity. And over I.

So, before I die, I want to do something that inspires people. Far and wide. I dont want to be just a superdad that is like the default hero for his kids (not taking anything away from superdads here) but I want to be someone that a lot of people look up to. Someone like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Sachin Tedulkar, Warren Buffet etc?

Steve Jobs. One of the many greats who inspire me.
Why, you may ask. Because, the world as we know it (political, divided into boundaries, ruled by a few, stuck into hierarchical etc) is fucked up and its coming to an end. Soon. I dont know when. I cant predict but it would. Its logical.

And it would be replaced by a world where individuals will have more power than the collective, boundaries would be intellectual than political, extremists will be in a minority and a new class would emerge. And emerge not to rule but to live their lives the way they want to and do things they want to. Without worrying about society, norms and other such things that drag us down.

I want to live in a world like that. I want to create a world like that. I inspire people to do embrace it. Actually this may be too esoteric. Let me make it simple.

I want to be someone that inspires others to do more, do better, push themselves and become the best they could be. Simple enough?

So the reason why I am so so fixated on inspiring others is because I think that's a brilliant way to give back. I am not really great by any stretch of imagination but I have learnt from a lot of great people. I have talked about this a million times. The thing about standing on the shoulders of the giants. So one of the ways I could give back, is by inspiring people.

I dont know if I am the right person to inspire but I know that if I did not, I would be disappointed.

I dont know what I would end my life as. If I do some future gazing (because I dont know what I want to do with my life) I'd end up as either a writer or a teacher. I wont be a businessman (I plan to create a huge business and then give it all away). I wont either be a cog in the wheel or another brick in the wall (I plan to not work the day I start making enough from writing, about five more years if JA is to be believed). I hope so atleast. Inshallah.

So I'd be someone who's honed a talent (of writing) so well that it started making money. Or I would become a majestic failure. Either ways, it would be amazing. I would have glorious story to tell. And arent these stories that inspire other people? Remember the story when Steve Jobs was fired from Apple and he came back? Remember when Warren Buffet talks about his days as a newspaper salesman? Sachin's story about how his coach would place a coin on his stumps? And arent these stories interesting? Arent these stories inspirational?

Do see E. Entrepreneurship as well. And these two videos.

H. Handle a Baby.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read more about the project here. The other things on my bucket list are Ancient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) Finisher and Give Away my Wealth.

Next up on my bucket list is, H. Handle a Baby.

I am scared of babies. Yes, scared is the right word. I will goto all lengths to avoid touching a baby. Leave alone touch, I go long way to not even be in a room that has a baby in it. If I could have, Id get a restraining order against babies coming within a two KM radius of me. Anything to do with babies, I want out. I just cant handle the babies. For my life.

I know that at some point in time in life, I'd have to eventually learn how to handle babies. And I better do it sooner than later. I could argue that I could go without babies but I cant. More on it in a bit.

The Meme Baby
So the thing with babies is that they are really unpredictable. They are irrational. They are moody and reason often does not work with them. And I hate when I cant reason with someone, something. Babies.

Since I have a large family with like a thousand cousins and thus tens of thousands of babies, I have had a harrowing time with em. I've been patient and I've tried every trick in the book to try and be civil with them but they dont give me an opportunity. I am like that cat that has touched the hot stove once and I refuse to touch another. In fact I have touched the stove a thousand times and I've burnt my hand every single time. So that's why no babies.

On a more serious note, the thing with babies is that they look so fragile. And I am such a giant. I am such a monster that I feel that if I even touch the babies, I'd hurt em. Its like if I touch em, Id put a dent in them. There I said it. The biggest issue I have with kids is that they are fragile. They are just beginning the journey and I am almost towards the end of it. And I cant hurt something that is just blossoming. I cant imagine doing it. Ever.

In fact, I am so sure about it that if you want to blackmail me, if you want to get a secret out of me, if you want me to squawk, all you need to do is throw a baby at me. And I'd submit.

Jokes apart, like I said, I really really need to master the art of handling babies. Because two of my favorite couples have babies due in less than a month. And I am better prepared before I go see their babies. Yes, I am talking about PD and Neo. And I promise, I'd learn. How to handle a baby.

Worst Travel Experience. Ever.

Wrote this as a part of Medium's Worst Travel Experiences collection. Originally posted here.

Everyone has had their share of red-eyes, lost (or delayed) baggages, missed flights (or connections), hotels with wafer-thin walls (or lousy room service), watery soup (or unbreakable steak), an occasional bug floating in curry at the airport, a tryst with a conman in a foreign country, long waits in never-ending queues that move painfully slow and so on and so forth while traveling.

If you ask me, these sound painful but to be honest, none of these count as bad experiences. These are rather good. So good that you remember each of them. So good that you talk about these. So good that these make for stories that everyone wants to hear and sympathize with. One of the stories even got me a date once upon a time. The one where I was at the receiving end of Thai barkeep who refused to serve me, because I refused to tip the gatekeeper to get in.

On the other side, the bad travel experiences are the ones where everything goes picture perfect. The worst are the ones where the flight is on time, the cabin has no children, you get your beloved aisle seat, the co-passenger on the window seat does not get up to use the loo, the food is warm and tasty, the immigration queue is surprisingly small, the bag is first off the belt, the taxi is waiting right outside the exit and the weather at the destination, picture perfect. To me, these are bad. There are boring. You cant remember a single thing.

You dont get to talk to anyone. You dont get to experience anxiety. Your Dopamine, Endorphins, and all such -in's stay in control. The damn travel is of no use. After you'e back from the trip, you can hardly remember things you did and places you saw. Because everything went as expected, even picture perfect. Not fun if you ask me.

So, my worst travel experience was this road trip with friends.

Four of us packed ourselves in a car and we drove from Mumbai to Goa. Its about 600 KMs and in India, takes about 9ish hours to drive that much. For Indians, Goa is like the party capital. Its the Vegas of India. There is no sin you cant buy if you have enough money. There is no luxury that you can indulge in if you are willing to shell some money. There is no experience you cant live if you are daring enough to try.

We had, I think, a four day window in which we had to go and come back. I remember that we were to take turns driving and we hoped to cover the distance overnight. Apart from this, I am being honest here, I dont remember a single thing from that trip. It was supposed to be a friend's bachelor and we were supposed to spend the next four days partying, gambling and generally chilling out. And I am sure we would have done exactly that.

Everything on that trip went so well that I have no recollection of it. I dont know what hotel we stayed at, what all places did we go to, how much did I win at the poker table and how much sleep I managed while I was there. I just remember that I went to Goa on a car and we came back on a car. No one had lost anything, no one was hurt, we did not spent a lot of money and we were totally in control when we came back. How boring could the trip go? I dont even know why I signed up in the first place!

There. The worst travel experience of my life.

I was happier one time when I went to Thailand and a friend broke her knee and other got so drunk that she got into a fist fight with the local Taxi Drivers. Oh, did I mention that she is all of 44 KGs and 24 inches at her waist? The tiniest woman that I've ever seen!

So since that Goa trip, sometime last year, I go out of my way to ensure that every trip I goto, I do something to make it better. I do something that makes the trips memorable. I use this 4 point checklist that helps me avoid bad travel experiences.

A. Never plan an end to end itinerary. That means you leave some gaps in between. May be don't book the hotels. Or take your onward connection from a different city and use roads to reach that city. Like for an upcoming trip, I havent booked my hotels as yet. I have blocked rooms because I need those for visa and immigration but I plan to figure out accommodation once I reach there. I know I would end up shelling more money but thats ok. Its one life and I can always make more money.

B. Insist on talking to at least five strangers everyday. I start with the co-passenger. Even if he wants to stay shut. Even if they dont speak my language. Start with a friendly hello and the most obvious question of them all. "Are you from abcd?" Replace abcd with your destination.

C. Do not pack as if you are moving houses. Travel light. As light as you can. Travel with just your passport, your identity and probably one toothbrush a la Jack Reacher style. Ok, thats too extreme. But may be carry a small bag, one change of underwear and few teeshirts. Big enough to fir the overhead bin in an airplane. If you are going for more than seven days and you have a bag bigger than overhead cabin, you are carrying more than required.

D. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Try to eat local food, travel the way locals travels, experience the things the way locals do. Its that simple and that easy. And its doable. And its cheap. And it will be eyeopening. And you will remember it.

Thats about it.

I have two upcoming trips. Both of them are to places that I have been to and I would ensure that they are not boring. I will try to post the bits that made the trip interesting. Till then, do share your worst travel experiences. There are teeshirts to be won. No wait. Not just teeshirts but there are bragging rights as well! Details here!

G. Give Away my wealth.

This is the seventh post in the A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read more about the project here. The other things on my bucket list are Ancient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship and (Be a) Finisher.

Next up on my bucket list is, G. Give Away my Wealth.

I define wealth as the amount of money that I would be able to make over my lifetime.

I want to believe that it would be a lot of it. Lot as in at-least as much as Uncle Scrooge made, if not more. And for the uninitiated, his net worth is estimated to be between 21 billion and 607 tillion (not trillion but tillion). Here, do see this link.

And when I've made the money, I want to give it away. All of it. No kidding.

Scrooge McDuck 
For this post, I am trying a format that most content farms use. Let's see if I get more hits / comments. 

Money. Good or Bad?
So, the thing with money is, you cant have enough of it. You may be Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim, Mukesh Ambani, Azim Premji, Sharad Pawar (yes the agriculture minister), Shahrukh Khan, Saurabh Garg (yes me), you always want more. I have no clue why. Research says that even if money was fake or it was play money or it was even Monopoly money, people would have as much fixation with it as they ought to reserve for real money.

Money if you ask me is one of the greatest inventions of mankind. I cant decide if its a good idea or a bad idea.

Good because it makes transactions so much simpler. And bad because by creating an instrument, we have created something that can be measured. And defined as a tangible number. And once we have a tangible number insight, we start chasing it.

Imagine if we did not have money or currency, what would we chase and how would we hoard all the money that we want to?

What is Wealth?
I define wealth as "money on steroids."

Let me explain.

If you make enough money to pay your bills, take that annual vacation to an exotic island and buy the next shining car that comes out, you are no doubt doing well for yourself. You are rich. You have money.

If you make enough to do all of the above and you are still left with enough to up the ante, travel in business class, buy two cars, get three homes, you are doing even better. You are richer and you have even more money.

But if you do everything listed above and you still have money left and you don't know how much, you are wealthy. You have wealth. Not money. And this wealth enables you to take decisions at the drop of the hat. Wealth allows you to buy toys without thinking about the price. Or the cost. Or the value. These three are different things.

Wealth allows you to chase frivolous dreams. Remember Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark etc? Wealth allows you to be free. You are no longer a mortal. You can even buy create an antidote to death. Some say that one of the Google founders is trying to defeat death. So on and so forth. You get the idea.

The endeavor, thus, needs to be to make as much money as we could while we can. Not because we could buy cars and all that; but also because we are talented and we've been gifted with the talent and drive to make money wealth. Convincing enough? Let's go make some money wealth!

When to give? Now? Later?
The next question that immediately follows the pursuit of wealth is, when to give. While you are making money (that 10% donation that most religions proclaim that we ought to make or those things that rich people keep doing to stay in the news) or after you have hung your boots (like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett etc have done with their wealths).

I've heard all sorts of argument. There are plenty. Its a thing that I could write an entire book about. And here are two, one for each. Each is the most convincing argument in support of that particular. Read and decide.

Give now. Because tomorrow is too late. Because the impact that you could make today may not be required tomorrow.

Give later. Because you would have more money and thus more opportunities for impact.

Parting Words
I've made my decision.

I would chase wealth like its nobody's business. I would get wealthy beyond imagination. I'd try at least. And once I have made as much as Uncle Scrooge, I would give it all away. After I have provided for my family, responsibilities and for my sustenance.

Let me tangibilise it. I'd giveaway 99% of my wealth. And when I say 99%, I will. Even if that means I would have to sell my immovable assets. Or I wont have anything to pay for my bills. Or I would not have a single paisa in my bank account. I will. I want to actually. That's the idea of the bucket list. No?

I just hope I have the balls to do so when the time comes.

What about you? Money vs Wealth? Will you give or not give? Now or Later?

F. (Be a) Finisher.

This is the sixth post in the A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read more about the project here. The other things on my bucket list are Ancient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a Supermodel and Entrepreneurship.

This is a tough one. This one is making me think. This one is about a thing on my Bucket List that starts with F. I made a list of things that are important to me, that start with F. Here is the list. Family. Friends. Finish a marathon. Find a treasure (like real treasure) and I cant decide what is important enough to be on the bucket list. 

In fact the idea of these writing prompts is to make you think. This one is making me think. I know that going forward, the rest of April, it would get difficult. 

Ok, the random vomit of words has given me an idea. I know what I am going to talk about. Its called Finisher. 

The next thing on my bucket list is, "Be A Finisher."

Before the blogpost, let me define a Finisher. Someone, when he takes up a task, ensures that it reaches a logical conclusion.

All my life, so far, I have been guilty of leaving things mid way. Last few months, for a change, I have started to put an end to things. And its a different high altogether. I really want to be known as a finisher. If there was an epitaph, I would want it to read, "Here lies a man who finished things that he worked on."

Screen-cap from Cool Runnings. More on this later. 
So, for a scatterbrain like me, things are often tough. I see something shiny and I am tempted to cling onto it. And just when the clinging bit starts sinking in, I see another shiny object and I want to move on. And I do.

Thus, I hop from one thing to another, leaving the old ones behind. Nothing wrong with it. But often, I tend to leave things midway. Without finishing them. When I look back on life, I don't really see a road studded with diamonds and studs and achievements and all such things. But I see a bridleway strewn with projects half-done, half-dead, abandoned, left mid-way. To rot. To be ignored.

No these things dont come back to haunt me but its not a nice feeling to have. I realized it when I was making my CV. And preparing for an interview. More than justifying it to the world, I realized that I hated looking back at things that I left like that. It felt shitty. And anything that feels shitty, I am going to change it.

So last few months, I have worked really hard and I have started to finish things. I am beginning to become a finisher. I no longer abandon things just like that. If something doesnt work out, I put an end to it. I accept the failure and move on. I put the pieces back in place and close them. A logical conclusion. It may not be a desirable ending but its an ending. A clear end. I don't abandon it. I am ok with failure but I am no longer ok with abandoning something. I think thats the biggest thing I learnt from writing a book.

I want to be a finisher. I want this to be on my bucket list. I want to be known as a finisher. I want people to hire me because I can finish things. I want people to know that I am a finisher. I want to tell myself that I am a finisher. Most important of them all, I want to look into a mirror, stare myself hard in the eyes and tell myself that I am a finisher. Because I think that the easiest person to fool is self. The world sees what you may not choose to see. I dont want to fool myself. If you know me and you see my fooling myself about this (or other things), please do point out. I shall be obliged. Ya, thats the word. Obliged.

Thank You.

Oh, and do see this bit from the movie Cool Runnings. I will not spoil it by telling you what it is. But its a must see scene. I saw it atleast ten year ago and its still fresh in my head. Its that powerful. I thought of the word finisher and I knew I had to include this scene in the post. Do see it. Leave everything else and see it.

And if you still have some time, do read about Fucket List. I found this while searching for things that start with F and could be on the bucket list. Do you have a Fucket List? I haven't made mine as yet but I am tempted to. May be next month ;)

E. Entrepreneurship.

This is the fifth post in the A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read more about the project here. The other things on my bucket list are Ancient RuinsBookCoffee Shop and Date a Supermodel

The one thing that I am probably most desperate about, the thing that I really want to do in life before I hang my boots is to be able to launch a business and run it successfuly. By successfully, I mean I want to make money from it (so much that I dont have to work ever again). It means that I want to be an employer of choice (the way Googles and Facebooks of the world are). It means that I want to be an industry leader in what I do (not in terms of revenue but in terms of thoughts et al). It means that I want to create things that users love. It means I want to leave a dent. Cliched. Over used. Abused. But I really really want to.

Steve Jobs.
I have no clue why I want to be an entrepreneur. I do love the freedom that comes with it. I do love the excitement that comes with it. I love the grind that it requires. But I dont know the real reason, something that comes from deep down in my heart. I have no clue. But I merely know that I want to be one. Someday. In fact I have tried in the past and have failed. On atleast two occasions. Both times, I put in time and money and effort and I failed. I had partners that were better than me and I failed. I am assuming that now, when I try again, I would be better. I sincerely hope so.

I am going to take another shot at it very soon. As soon as a couple of months. This time, for a change, I have the luxury of an investor who believes in the idea and is willing to help me with it. Lets see how it goes. Apart from the book, this is the second biggest thing I am going to work on this year. And I am geared up for it.

I'd talk more about it as I get closer to doing it. Inshallah it would happen. Like they say, if you want something real bad, the entire universe conspires to bring it to you. Dear Universe, please do your conspiring act and help!

To end this post, until I can create a company, until I am an entrepreneur, I shall continue to try. Till then, here are a couple of videos that I think every aspiring entrepreneur must see as often as they could!

Thats about it. Please go see the vids and thank me ;P

D. Date a Supermodel.

This is the fourth post in the A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read more about the project here. The other things on my bucket list are Ancient RuinsBook and Coffee Shop

Before I launch into the next item on my bucket list, lets get some definitions out of the way.

A date. I define a date as a meeting, an encounter, an activity done by a couple where they talk about things that are important to each other. They engage in all the frivolous activity because they either hope to make out after the date or they are evaluating each other as prospective partners for the rest of their lives. If there is a third reason, I dont know. I am probably too old and too old-school.

A supermodel. I define a supermodel as a woman who is so stunning that when she walks the ramp, she makes the heads turn. She makes the time come to a standstill. She presents such a stunning picture that it gets etched in your minds for a long long time to come. She leaves you feeling happy and gooey in your heart. The knees go weak and your throat goes dry. You want to say a million things to her but you cant even come up with a measly hello (remember "you had me at hello"?).

So coming to the next item on my bucket list, it is, Date a Supermodel. And in absence of a reference point, the woman I want to date is Priyanka Chopra. A quintessential Indian woman. Dusky, petite, long haired, million dollar smile, cute and hot at the same time.

Priyanka Chopra 
So the thing with a date is that its one of those encounters that may or may not result in a long term relationship. For someone like me, its always been a problem. You meet me once and you'd not want to see my face again. I just dont have what it takes to hold attention.

Anyhow, so the point of the date would be see how it feels to command attention of everyone in the room. Including the stunning beauty sitting across the table. It would a beauty and the beast, goldilocks and bears and so on and so forth.

A supermodel is like something untouchable. She is a public figure. She is for everyone to see and admire. A very few can reach the inner circle. Fewer have the balls to talk to her. Just a handful can get into a conversation with her. And the one who could date her, has to be one in a million. Just like her. Because she wouldn't deserve anything less. In fact, I think Priyanka Chopra deserves one in a billion.

Actually, I've seen her once. At some hotel. She was going away from it while I was entering the hotel. While crossing me, she accidentally looked into my eyes and the world came to a stand still. My world did. She on the other hand continued to walk. She did not pause. She did not wait. She carried on. With her security guards and managers and friends and well-wishers and all such people. Leaving me behind. With a burning desire. A desire to date her. Date a supermodel.

One may argue that dating a supermodel is one of those things that you'd like to do, not something that you HAVE to do. I have an answer ready. I'd say, there is a thin line of difference between something that you'd like to do and something that you have to do.

Like to do means "if you do it, great. If you dont, great."

Have to means "an itch that you have to fucking scratch." Have to equates to must do. If you dont that you are unhappy. You think your life was a waste if you didn't do things that you have to.

So yea. I have to have to date a supermodel someday. I want to do it so bad that its part of my bucket list. Filed under D. D for Date a Supermodel.

Oh, I do have a long disclaimer at the end of this blogpost.

The only real person that comes close to my definition of supermodel is sgMS. She may not be walking down the ramps but she could if she chose to. Its a misfortune of the world that she is not. Thankfully, I've been lucky enough to have dated her, once upon a time. Of course I couldnt keep her attention or affection and we have moved on. But I still hope that I am back with her somehow. If not now, may sometime in future. If not in this life, may be in next. But sometime. It would be such a loss for me if I cant. Its like, its like the purpose of my life was to be with her. And if I dont have her, there is no meaning to my life. No, its not hyperbole. Its the truth. I know. And I hope she knows as well. You know it. Right?

C. Coffee Shop.

This is the third post in the A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read more about the project here. The other things on my bucket list are Ancient Ruins and Book

C is for Coffee Shop. Not a chain. A few outlets maybe.

Let me hazard an opinion. A coffee shop is one of the most important inventions of the current era. Why? Not because they sell overpriced beverages. But because the coffee shops give us those proverbial third places where we all can chill. First place is home, second is office. Third place is an in-between where we could choose to remain anonymous and seek asylum whenever we want. Atleast this is my definition of a third place. Of a coffee shop. This to me like a modern reincarnation of those salons that thrived in the last century.

So, one of the things that I want to do in life before I die, is to be able to create, own, manage and run a coffee shop that is loosely modeled on these salons.

I dont intend to make money off these salons but I want to sort of curate culture and change at these place. And if it could become a self-sustained venture, nothing like it.

Imagine a place where you could go without any inhibitions or any obligations as such. Where you have other great minds to chit chat with, where you could exchange ideas and where you create things. Think of a mashup of a co-working space, a coffee shop, a library, a school, a movie theatre, a laboratory and a barcamp. I would call it Acme Labs (inspired by Pinky and Brain).

Imagine is a place where you could come up with ideas, you could find co-conspirators to work on ideas, you could get an audience to showcase your ideas and then another audience to talk about your journey from ideas to execution to customers.

In fact, the modern coffee stores are very close to my ideas of Acme Labs but then they are for-profit operations and thus they cant allow a lot of freewheeling. I wish they could. I would not move out of such places. I could even live at such places. The other thing with these coffee shops is that they are more of watering holes without alcohol and most banter is social, rather than cerebral.

Anyhow, someday when I have figured out shit in life, I would really want to put money towards creating atleast one such edition of Acme Labs. Its not a question of if. But a question of when. There is no question about that. However, I have a question for you dear reader. Would you want to come to Acme Labs? To have a coffee and get into conversations about ideas? To translate these ideas into great pieces of art or business?

The Nidhi Kapoor Story

Did you like this post? May be you want to read my first book - The Nidhi Kapoor Story.

Check it out on Amazon or Flipkart?