Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My Friend Pragya

A Simple story but with a difference. Born in a small town in UP and having spent most of her budding years in its various towns, Pragya is a girl who has now travelled most parts of India on her own. Her initial education has been in hindi-medium schools. Understanding and speaking english fluently was a far-fetched dream for her. This made her feel little inferior in front of her city-living cousins who even spoke english at home!!! When her parents got her admitted to an english-medium school after they found one in a town, it was like starting of the realisation of a dream.

With her parents help and a strong-willed determination, Pragya came out with flying colours from her academic life. She was an above-average student in school and college and was considered an all-rounder. Her popularity was such that most of her friends and teachers still remember her, talk about her as an example to other students and are also in touch with her.

She has travelled the length & breadth of India for education & work. She has made lifelong friends everywhere because of her good and humble nature. Pragya can never hurt anybody and if, unknowingly, she is the cause of anyone’s sadness and she comes to know, it hurts her the most. The best part about her is that she is always willing to help people and she never discriminates when making friends. Her friends list comprises people from CEO to peon level.

At the last, I would say, Pragya is a totally self-made girl and a living inspiration to many people. She has a long way to go and may god give her strength in the journey.     

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cabin Crew Career Guide

Teacher asked us in the classroom, “Child, what do you want to become when you grow up?” About half of the class said ‘engineer’, close to the other half said ‘doctor’; those who were little more adventurous said ‘pilot’ or ‘cricketer’ or ‘like some esteemed politician for e.g. Pandit Nehru or Indira Gandhi’. Some of us also said ‘like Kiran Bedi’. We were given loud applauds by the teacher and everybody around us for thinking big and were encouraged to keep our goal in front and work towards that by scoring good marks in class. No doubt, we also filled with pride and looked forward to a great future.

How many of us, in 90s, ever thought in our wildest dreams to make a career as a ‘Cabin Crew’ (or ‘Air Hostess’ in common language)? I would say may be 0-1 in a class of 30. This career was not ever thought of forget any kind of coaching in it. The reasons were many. First, there were not many airlines in India. Secondly, those that were, recruited ladies with way too much experience in terms of age and the work, more-or-less, had the impression of a kind of a government job where-in you enter and then retire at the age of 60 or near. Thirdly, the career was not looked up in good spirit and many had an impression that it is not a career for girls from good families and cabin crew are mostly brainless girls. Last but not the least, the career was certainly not meant for boys.

I know, the above are bitter but facts. You and I have listened to most of the above and have also nodded in acceptance, willingly or unwillingly. So, if anybody had even a little sparkle in her/his heart to pursue this career, it was cruelly crushed in the bud. That was the time back in 90s.

Well, times have changed now almost 180 degrees, and surprisingly, within a span of 10 years. Thanks to the opening up of the aviation sector and mushrooming of various private airlines, we see now a lot of young girls and boys joining them and enjoying a great career. Working in an airline as a cabin crew is no longer considered a taboo but a career of glamour, dignity and respect. Moreover, the best part is though the job can recruit you just after your school life but it gives a chance to finish your education while working, thanks to its flexible work schedule. It is open for boys who are termed ‘Flight Stewards’ in the same role and what more, gives you a chance to travel the world and meet various celebrities!!!

I am proud to say that a kid from my family, my own sister, Pragati Srivastava, has made us all proud by flying for a famous airline in India for many years and what’s best was that she joined after class 12th and is now an MBA. She completed her education while pursuing her passion.

In connection with her profession and for the extreme love of it, she has come out with a book Cabin Crew Career Guide in association with Capt. Shekhar Gupta, CEO of Aero Soft Corp., where-in she has given step-by-step explanation for the budding enthusiasts to make a career in this field. The book is a training manual in itself and covers all the aspects at a nominal price. I am again proud to say that this is the first attempt by anybody in this field to come out with a full-fledged career guide.

So, boys and girls, think high, aim high and then only you will be able to fly high. I am sure this book will be a good information guide to you and will help you prepare for a successful future. It will be a mentor, a coach and a friend in your journey to 30,000 ft above the earth.

To know more and order a copy, please check this link:
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Sunday, November 3, 2013

My father's book: The People who changed the World

He saw a dream many years back but family and work responsibilities took most of his time. A year after his retirement, my father Mr. Rajesh Kumar Srivastava (Sashakt) has come out with his first book, The people who changed the world. This book is on his favorite subject ‘history’. He has always been a keen student and follower of history and has a passion like a child when any topic related to history, especially, Indian history is brought up.

In this book, he has analysed the world history with a totally different perspective and emphasizes that there is a lot to be learned from other races if we need to move towards the path of progressive development. There are many points which are highlighted which have not been thought of before and I am proud to say that this book is being acknowleged and appreciated by its many readers.

To know more about the book and to order a copy, please visit the site:

I am sure this book will be worth a good read and will make us understand the world with a totally new perspective.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Memoirs

Well, who doesn’t like to talk about one’s own life and I have no hesitations in admitting that I am one of them too. The only difference being I prefer writing to talking. So, here it is, My Life in a Synopsis or a short memoir till date.

To start with, I was born approximately three decades ago. I know I know, girls don’t tell their age. Where am I telling? You can guess it. J I basically belong to Uttar Pradesh and most of childhood was spent at its various towns & cities, the major part in the City of Nawabs ‘Lucknow’.  I was born in a Srivastava family and hence my surname. My father Mr. Rajesh Kumar Srivastava is a retired bank employee and my sweet mother Mrs. Rekha Rani is a home maker. I have a younger sister Pragati Srivastava who is also working.

Most of my education has been in Lucknow in Chiranjeev Bharati School and all the time spent there has built the foundation of my further life. I finished my graduation from CMS Girls Degree College, Lucknow in B.Sc (PCM). Afterwards, I came to Bangalore for my further education which was MBA from Alliance Business Academy. I did my specialization in finance.

As for my work life, I possess over seven years of work experience till now in various domains & industries & all of it has been in Bangalore. Initial 5 years were dedicated to aviation industry where I started as financial executive and later worked as Flight Analyst for Air Deccan and Kingfisher Airlines.  After that, I joined a retail real estate consultancy. Currently, I am in Hyderabad working for another real estate company.

I am married to a handsome & loving bengali guy whom I met during my MBA days. My second family (in-laws) are in Jharkhand. So, this way, I have quite an experience of so many cultures of India. I believe I have been lucky in this. Not many people at my time were getting the opportunity to study, work/marry outside their place/caste and I am thankful to my parents who believed in me and respected my choices.

Waise to I have many hobbies but one of my favourite one, as you all would have known till now, is writing. Another one is reading. I love reading all kinds of books except horror. Reading gives me a lot of reprieve from all the hustle-bustle of the world. Other than these, I like watching TV especially comedy shows and most-of-all I like spending time with my family.

This was my short self-story. It really brings solace when you write down what you feel in black-and-white & what more than writing about your own life. Whenever, I want I can come back to it and what more, can keep updating!!!
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Manna Dey - End of a musical era

What a lovely morning was in Hyderabad today but as-soon-as I switched on the television, heard a very saddening news and suddenly those clouds of happiness turned to the black clouds of sadness & grief. The news was the death of one of the jewels of Indian playback singing industry Manna Dey.

He died at the age of 94 at Bangalore’s Narayana Hrudayalaya hospital around 0350 hrs after ailing from a long illness. His death has left us with a void which is very hard to fill.

Born in Kolkata in 1919, Manna Dey’s real name was Prabodh Chandra Dey. He wanted to become a wrestler in his younger days but destiny had other plans for him. I feel it was our fortune that he chose singing as his profession over everything else otherwise we would have been deprived of listening his soulful voice.

He started his film career in 1943 with the film Tamanna. Manna Da has sung over 3,500 songs in his career in various Indian languages. He has been awarded many times in his life, the major awards being Dada Saheb Phalke award, Padm Shree and Padm bhushan, to name a few.

We can never forget the timeless songs he has made us hum & dance like the most comic classical ek chatur naar….Or the evergreen love song of older couples ae meri zohrah jabin…. Or the patriotic ae mere pyare watan…. Or the awesome laga chunari me daag… Or the song of friendship yaari hai imaan mera… or the ultimate romantic pyaar hua ekraar hua hai….Or the puzzle of life zindagi kaisi hai paheli….And so on…. The list is endless.

A body dies but a voice doesn’t. Manna Da, you have gone but your voice is still with us. May your voice live 1,000 & more years and may many many generations listen, adore & learn from you. R.I.P.
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Monday, October 21, 2013

Automobile Growth in India - Key Drivers


Indian Auto Industry is one of the most dynamic in the world. As per Industry Pundits, the domestic Auto industry’s growth is estimated to be more than 20% in the near future.

Some of the key drivers for such a robust growth in the Indian Automotive Industry can be listed as under:

v  Purchasing Power:  Purchasing power of Indian people, and in turn, their disposable income has indeed gone up in accordance with India’s economic growth story which is consistently showing signs of positivity.

v  Status Symbol:  Possessing a car or, for that matter, more than one car, has become a matter of prestige & a symbol of Self- esteem amongst Upper middle class Indians. 

v  Increase in number of Nuclear families: With children going to other cities for studies & thereafter settling down, the increase in the number of nuclear families in on a high. With this increase comes the increase in the consumption of cars as well.

v  DINK: Amongst the Nuclear families also, the factor of DINK (Double Income No Kids) plays a major part. With both Husband & Wife being working, the requirement of two cars becomes a necessity as both need to drive down to their respective destinations separately.

v  Young India: With majority of Indian population being less than 35 years of age, India is a very young nation. Also, increase in employment opportunities due to the emergence of BPO sector, young Indians get disposable income in their hands very early in their career. Hence, they want to give wings to their aspirations by putting their money in luxuries like mobiles & automobiles, thus growing India’s consumption.

v  Easy Interest/ EMI Options: Thanks to the easy availability of loans for car purchase from Banks & financial institutions & attractive EMI & Interest schemes, possession of a car was never so hassle free.

v  Indian Weather conditions: India, being a predominantly hot country, people who wish to travel little longer distances prefer to do so in a car than a bike as the option of switching on an air conditioner can only be possible in a four-wheeler.

v  Attractive offers by car manufacturers: With attractive offer schemes given by car manufacturers during off & non-peak seasons like providing heavy discounts, some of the buyers wait for the low season of the year to satisfy their buying spree.

v  Varied Segment options available: With different kinds of segments of cars available by a particular manufacturer, the buyers now-a-days have variety of options to choose from even if they have a set budget.

v  Healthy Competition: Now-a-days, Indian consumers are well-travelled & are well-aware about global trends, hence they look for value for money for what they buy. The entry of foreign players has given a downward push to prices. Hence, people are getting a better value for money & they don’t mind buying a four-wheeler if the return-on-Investment is good.

v  Attractive advertising & marketing: Car manufacturers are putting in more efforts in making people aware of their products & what they have to offer by investing in right kind of advertising, be it print, television or even Aerial (through helicopters).

v   Skilled Staff: Last but not the least, the hiring of right kind of staff by the automobile manufacturers also helps in driving the sales, as these are trained people who know how to make their guests turn into customers & how to retain those customers by giving good after-sales service & high-end experience of car buying.

A sum of all the above factors is helping the Automobile industry in India to grow exponentially & in leaps & bounds. The belief by Industry pundits in India to be a 4-million units car market by 2015 is surely going to bring a smile on the faces of car manufacturers.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

House Shopping ? – What to Look Out for

What are the most important needs of any human being? Well, no second thoughts on that. Roti, Kapda aur Makaan. These three have been the basic requirements of the homo sapien race since we got the first ray of civilization. Not to mention that all three have equal significance in our lives as thinking life without anyone of these is completely unimaginable.

We can write paragraphs about the surplus or dearth of these things to many of our brethren but here my objective is to talk about the third need (not in the order of significance), makaan. We all know how much value our houses have in our lives and by ‘value’ I mean not only in terms of money but also emotions. These are emotions only which make a House a Home. Needless to say, moneywise also the value of one’s house never goes down. This is an investment where one will never notice a depreciation. Small or big, but the demand of a house will always be there.

Since having a house is so important, isn’t it our right to properly investigate & then put in our hard-earned money in somebody’s hands? So here are some of the points to check out for before investing in a real estate:

a)      Location: Location of the property is the most crucial factor. If you are living in a city and are planning to buy a house there for immediate residential purposes, it is very important to have it at a good location. The location should be such that all the required social infrastructure like Hospital, School, Police Station, market etc. should be within 2kms range. Also, the location should be such that owning a house there should fit in your budget.


b)      Pricing: Needless to say, we all check prices of anything we buy in our daily life. So, when buying something like a property has to be preceded by good research of the market related to prices and I am sure it is not something which I need to emphasise much as we all do it. But along with the price, do check about the size of the flat, number of bedrooms, amenities provided (if the house is in a society), maintenance etc. at the declared price and compare some properties in the chosen area with each other before putting your money into one.


c)       Appreciation of the Property: Another very important factor to understand is the appreciation of the property in next few years especially if you are buying the house mainly for investment purposes. Due to the fast-changing market scenario and volatile rupee value against dollar, the property prices also get affected. Though mentioned earlier that its price never goes down, still one needs to make sure how fast and at what rate the price is going to appreciate. This depends a lot on the first point ‘Location’, as the faster the infrastructure grows around your property, the faster and higher will be its price appreciation. For example, Cunnigham Road in Bengaluru, Banjara Hills in Hyderabad are some of the areas which are seeing sky-rocketing growth in prices now due to their good growth.


d)      Reputation of the Builder: It is very important to check the reputation of the builder from whom we are going to buy our property. Research on its past projects and if possible go and visit some of them. Get to know from the market how has been the builder’s performance in honouring its commitments, i.e., has it been able to give the possession in time? If not so, how much was the gap between the given date and the actual date. Now-a-days, it is discouraging to see even some big and well-known developers faltering on their commitments and hence it is very important to know their history and not to trust blindly on the name. Its best if you can get to talk to some of the residents of the builder’s previous projects as they will give the most honest response, positive or negative.


So, friends the above are some of the points which I feel are the most important in buying a house anywhere. I know there will be many more points but the list is endless. If you feel there is something as important and I have missed that out, request to let me know in the ‘reply’ section below.

But overall, don’t miss out on the above four points and make your future dream house your dream home.J


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