## FIRE! How much do you need to retire today?January 12, 2021

Posted by Ragesh G R in Unleashed.
Tags: ,

FIRE! That is Financial Independence and Retire Early is a buzz word in the last few years. It means amass a high enough corpus of wealth such that you are not compelled to work anymore. One can still work or pursue their passions of course, but even if one stops working today, this corpus would be enough to sail you through the rest of your years.

Now, this is not a thorough calculator but a quck back of the envelope kind of worksheet to help us gauge the ballpark number required to retire.

For this we need some inputs:

M – Monthly expense at the time of retirement (which will persist throughout the retirement. So child school fees etc can be avoided)

E – Yearly expense. Basically M*12

N – Number of years you expect to live once you retire (Yup! š¦ we need some assumptions on this too)

g – Growth rate of the corpus. May be you have invested this corpus in a Debt Mutual Fund or FD or something that grows without much volatility

w – Increase in withdrawal rate. You start withdrawing your yearly expense from the corpus but the yearly expense will also increase due to inflation and other reasons

Finally, Corpus – C – the money we need to amass by investing

The simplest formula for C is:

C = E*N

That is. The corpus needed is Annual Expense at the time of retirment * Number of Years left to live off the corpus after retirement.

This is assuming that your expense inflates at the same rate as the corpus grows. Assuming you live for 30 years after retirement, If your corpus of 30X is invested in an instrument which grows at 6% a year, then:

Withdraw X in year one

Withdraw 1.06X in year two

Increase withdrawal by 6% every year (same rate as the corpus growth) and corpus will become 0 at 30th year. This is because. Assume corpus invested in a 0% return instrument and you withdraw a static X every year. Then obviously the corpus will last 30 years right? Similarly if we increase the withdrawal by the same % as the corpus grows then corpus will last 30 years regardless of your withdrawal rate as long as it is equal to corpus growth rate.
On the same note, if you want your corpus to last 40 years, then you need 40x

Example: 1 lac is the monthly expense. So yearly E is 12 lac. So to live 30 years in FIRE, you need atleast 3.6 crore rupees. This is assuming expenses increase just at the rate of corpus growth.

Have attached the excel as well. below:

https://rageshunleashed.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/fire-1.xlsx

You can play around with the yellow numbers. I have assumed growth rate and withdrawal increase rate as 6%. But doesnāt matter as long both rates are same. You can tweak that in the formula and increase withdrawal rate etc. You can try for various values N, M, g and w.

Another question is. How to calculate E. If you wanna retire today you know E. If you wanna retire say 10 years later then: Eā = E*(1.06^10). That is about 1.8E

If your expense is one lac a month. Your expense after 10 years will be 1.8 lac a month. Then question might arise, what about lifestyle expense inflation ? Well feel free to increase the withdrawal growth rate w more than corpus growth rate g. You will need more than 30X then.

You can key in investment growth rate (g). Withdrawal growth rate (w). Here I have used an approximate formula that X = N*w/g. That is for example for the same 35 years scenario, if investment grows at 6% and withdrawal grows at 8% then you need 48X and so on. And of course I re iterate this is back of the hand calculation for ball parking minimum FIRE corpus. Donāt use this as investment strategy or a final retirement calculator. Thatās why in case of FIRE better be on the side of caution. If you plan to live 30 years, 40X would be a good buffer to aim for. Whether we achieve even 20X, well thatās another question. But atleast we can work towards it. Of course there are more accurate methods by using bucket system where not all is invested in a conservative vehicle.
But yes, this is the back of the envelope intuitive ballpark calculation: Annual expense AT THE TIME FOR FIRE multiples by number of years you will live in retirement, at the very minimum.

## Get people to pay for your skills. Build income by building trustDecember 12, 2020

Posted by Ragesh G R in Unleashed.
Tags: ,

Financial security and the need for a sustainable passive income is more critical than ever. Learn how to use your skills and expertise to gradually create a robust income stream in Pattabiraman Sirās course: Earn From Skills. He is the author of Freefincal. One of Indiaās most trusted personal finance portal. Use this special link to get a 30% discount on the course: Earn From Skills

As a user of that course myself. The content is worth its weight in gold!

## Buying a car? Here is how you can optimise the purchaseDecember 5, 2020

Posted by Ragesh G R in Unleashed.
Tags: ,

Buying a car is a dream for most of us, and these days it is a reality. Hence the dream has become a desire, and slowly now the desire is becoming a necessity. Behind buying a home, a car would be the second biggest big-ticket purchase in our lives. Hence we need to give it enough thought and consideration and its impact on our personal finance.

Read how at my article on freefincal at https://freefincal.com/buying-a-car-here-is-how-you-can-optimize-the-purchase/

## Car modification, registration and license for physically challengedFebruary 12, 2017

Posted by Ragesh G R in Unleashed.

Most of us are passionate about driving and riding here. This becomes all the more important if you are physically challenged because, driving is one place where there is absolutely no difference between physically challenged person and others, movement wise. Every other place, since we use some aids like crutches, calipers, walkers, wheelchairs, our movement is restricted by how flexible these walking aids are.

Hence, the ability to drive is more important for a physically challenged person than any one else. It is not a cakewalk to own and drive a car here if you are physically challenged. The rules and their awareness are only recently being clarified due to many Government Orders. So below I will furnish all the details for a physically challenged person to own and drive a car (same applies for scooter too, but car is more challenging, I will tell you why).

REGISTRATION

1. Zero in on a comfortable car.
1. If both your lower limbs are affected, then opt for an automatic car (+modifications for hand controlled accelerator and brake)
2. If only your right leg is affected, then you can opt for manual or automatic car (++modifications for hand controlled accelerator and brake.
3. If only your lower left leg is affected, then you can opt for an automatic car without any modifications
4. If only one of hands is affected, then you can opt for an automatic car without any modifications
2. Have the following documents ready, apart from usual ones like ID, address proof etc
1. National Physically challenged ID card + Disability Certificate. In Chennai, it is provided by Government Peripheral Hospital, KK Nagar
2. Driving Ability Certificate which tells what kind of car (Refer point 1.1 to 1.4), you can drive. In Chennai, it is provided by the Government Peripheral Hospital, KK Nagar, as well as Artificial Limb Center, KK Nagar. Many RTOs prefer the latter
3. There are many Government orders, which talk about Road Tax relaxation, Excise duty relaxation, Rules for modification etc. Have this handy, but ideally you won’t need them as RTOs will have it

1. While buying, ask the dealer to give temporary registration. This step is very important. If you register your car as LMV then everything breaks
2. While negotiating the price, tell the dealer that you are going to register it as an invalid carriage and hence you are eligible for 50% reduction in own damage premium. But since you have not already registered your car as Invalid Carriage, they may not give you 50% discount, but you might get big discount. Also, after one year when you renew, ensure you talk to the insurance people and provide them the copy of your disability and Driving Ability certificate + your RC Book which mentions “Invalid Carriage”. They will provide you the 50% discount
3. A note about scooters. TVS provides Scooty, Scooty Streak and Wego with extra balancing wheels exclusively for physically challenged persons. Since it is done by the company itself, you need not move an inch to get it registered as invalid carriage, get tax exemption and get 50ā reduction in premium. It would take couple of months, but there is no effort required from our side. The dealers will do all. Big kudos to TVS for that. But please ensure you have all the certificates I mentioned above

1. After getting delivery of the car, make sure your dealer gives you all forms related to the car like Form 20, form 22, form 19 etc.
2. Then you need to get the car modified from an approved agency which has type approval from A.R.A.I for its driving equipment and also the state governments approval for doing the modifications. Agencies which helped me are :
1. Dealers | Auto Mate India (Company who makes hand controlled kits)
2. SHREE VARI ENGINNEERING MR.SHANKAR +91 9884604824 shreevariworks@gmail.com
3. Shankar is very helpful and will ascertain which category you belong to and what kind of equipment will that particular RTO Approve and do the modifications accordingly. He has made dreams come true for 100s of physically challenged people in Chennai. He will also provide the requirement approval documents and Govt Order copies which help you register your car and get license
3. After getting the modifications done, ask your dealer if they can get your car registered as an Invalid Carriage. If so, it will be easy. Many Maruti Dealers have the required knowledge to do so. In case of other companies, you might have to get it registered yourself (like I did)
4. If you are doing registration yourself, get your car weighed at the weigh bridge and get the weight receipt
5. Approach the local RTO with all the car related forms such as
1. insurance
2. invoice,
3. pollution,
4. excise,
5. sale letter,
6. temp reg certificate
7. Form 20 with class of vehicle as INVALID CARRIAGE
8. N.A.M.V filled by you which says what alterations you have done to the vehicle
9. A.R.A.I approval, govt approval as well as the certificate (which the workshop will give) for the alterations and the workshop which conducted the alterations
10. Address proof, ID proof etc
11. Disability ID card and Disability Certificate
12. Driving Ability Certificate
13. Two copies of the Chassis number on two papers (done by pencil sketching)
14. Covering letter requesting the RTO to register your car as Invalid Carriage and for Tax exemption
6. First step would be to approach RTO and get his/her signature on the forms. Then he would ask the inspector to check your car and give his approval. Then he would ask you to submit the forms in the office. The registration charges are minimal since you will get 100% Road Tax exemption
7. Be prepared to visit the RTO 2-3 times in case needed. Once the forms have been submitted and accepted at the office, they will ask you to come after a week to collect the RC book
8. That day, you need to pay a nominal fee of around 120 rupees to “alter your vehicle” to Invalid Carriage. You will receive the RC book that day itself, in the afternoon or evening.
9. Ensure the class of Vehicle is Invalid Carriage and other details like colour, engine, fuel etc are correct. Congrats! STEP 1 Completed

1. Now that you have your car registered as Invalid Carriage, go to https://parivahan.gov.in/sarathiservice/sarathiHomePublic.do
2. Apply Online->New Learners license. Provide all the details, upload the scanned copies of all the forms, print the pre-filled forms
3. Approach the RTO Office again with all the forms in the above step as well as your RC book original and copy, Disability ID Card, certificate and driving ability certificate.
4. Ensure you take your car for the LLR also
5. Pay the fees at the fee counter, then see the inspector, who will approve your forms, then get it approved at the office, then get your photo taken
6. You can download the LLR the same day evening from the same website.
7. Wait for 1 month
1. Go again to the same website and apply for the New License (or Additional Endorsement, if you already have license for say a scooter).
2. Fill all the forms, upload all required scanned documents, and take print out of the forms
3. Visit the fee counter, pay the fees, meet the inspector, provide your driving test, get his approval
4. Get the forms signed at the office, take your photo
5. You can get license collected next day from the RTO Office

Enjoy your new freedom!!

## Car driving for the physically challenged – All you need to knowOctober 17, 2016

Posted by Ragesh G R in Unleashed.
Tags: , , ,
1 comment so far

Most of us are passionate about driving and riding here. This becomes all the more important if you are physically challenged because, driving is one place where there is absolutely no difference between physically challenged person and others, movement wise. Every other place, since we use some aids like crutches, callipers, walkers, wheelchairs, our movement is restricted by how flexible these walking aids are.

Hence, the ability to drive is more important for a physically challenged person than any one else. It is not a cake walk to own and drive a car here if you are physically challenged. The rules and awareness of the rules are only recently being clarified due to many Government Orders. So below I will furnish all the details for a physically challenged person to own and drive a car (same applies for scooter too, but car is more challenging, I will tell you why)

REGISTRATION

1. Zero in on a comfortable car.
1. If both your lower limbs are affected, then opt an automatic car (+modifications for hand controlled accelerator and brake)
2. If only you right leg is affected, then you can opt for manual or automatic car (++modifications for hand controlled accelerator and brake
3. If only your lower left leg is affected, then you can opt for an automatic car without any modifications
4. If only one of hand is affected, then you can opt for an automatic car without any modifications
2. Have the following documents ready, apart from usual ones like ID, address proof etc
1. National Physically challenged ID card + Disability Certificate. In Chennai, it is provided by Government Peripheral Hospital, KK Nagar
2. Driving Ability Certificate which tells what kind of car (Refer point 1.1 to 1.4), you can drive. In Chennai, it is provided by Government Peripheral Hospital, KK Nagar, as well as Artifical Limb Center, KK Nagar. Many RTOs prefer the latter
3. There are many Government orders, which talk about Road Tax relaxation, Excise duty relaxation, Rules for modification etc. Have this handy, but ideally you won’t need them as RTOs will have it

1. While buying, ask the dealer to give temporary registration. This step is very important. If you register your car as LMV then everything breaks
2. While negotiating the price, tell the dealer that you are going to register it as an invalid carriage and hence you are eligible for 50% reduction in own damage premium. But since you have not already registered your car as Invalid Carriage, they may not give you 50% discount, but you might get big discount. Also, after one year when you renew, ensure you talk to the insurance people and provide them the copy of your disability and Driving Ability certificate and your RC Book which mentions “Invalid Carriage”. They will provide you the 50% discount

1. After getting delivery of the car, make sure your dealer gives you all forms related to the car like Form 20, form 22, form 19 etc.
2. Then you need to get the car modified from an approved agency which has type approval from A.R.A.I for its driving equipments and also the state governments approval for doing the modifications. Agencies which helped me are :
1. Dealers | Auto Mate India (Company who makes hand controlled kit)
2. SHREE VARI ENGINNEERING MR.SHANKAR +91 9884604824 shreevariworks@gmail.com
3. Shankar is very helpful and will ascertain which are you belong to and what kind of equipment will that particular RTO Approve and do the modifications accordingly. He has made dreams come true for 100s of physically challenged people in Chennai. He will also provide the requirement approval documents and Govt Order copies which help you register your car and get license
3. After getting the modifications done, ask your dealer if they can get your car registered as Invalid Carriage. If so, it will be easy. Many Maurti Dealers have the require knowledge to do so. In case of other companies, you might have to get it registered yourself (like I did)
4. If you are doing registration yourself, get your car weighed at weigh bridge and get the weight receipt
5. Approach the local RTO with all the car related forms such as
1. insurance
2. invoice,
3. pollution,
4. excise,
5. sale letter,
6. temp reg certificate
7. Form 20 with class of vehicle as INVALID CARRIAGE
8. N.A.M.V filled by you which says what alterations you have done to the vehicle
9. A.R.A.I approval, govt approval as well as the certificate (which the workshop will give), for the alterations and the workshop which conducted the alterations
10. Address proof, ID proof etc
11. Disability ID card and Disability Certificate
12. Driving Ability Certificate
13. Two copies of the Chasis number on two papers done by pencil sketching
14. Covering letter requesting the RTO to register your car as Invalid Carriage and for Tax exemption
6. First step would be to approach RTO and get his/her signature on the forms. Then he would ask the insepctor to inspect your car and give his approval. Then he would ask you to submit the forms in the office. The registration charges are minimal since you will get 100% Road Tax exemption
7. Be prepared to visit the RTO a 2-3 times in case needed. Once the forms has been submitted and accepted at the office, they will ask you to come after a week to collect the RC book
8. That day, you need to pay a nominal fee of around 120 rupees to “alter your vehicle” to Invalid Carriage. You will receive the RC book that day itself, in the afternoon, evening.
9. Ensure the class of Vehicle is Invalid Carriage and other details like color, engine, fuel etc is correct. Congrats! STEP1 Completed

1. Now that you have your car registered as Invalid Carriage, go to Home
2. Apply Online->New Learners license. Provide all the details, upload the scanned copies of all the forms, print the pre filled forms
3. Approach the RTO Office again with all the forms in the above step as well as your RC book original and copy, Disability ID Card, certificate and driving ability certificate.
4. Ensure you take your car for the LLR also
5. Pay the fees at the fee counter, then see the insepector, who will approve your forms, then get it approved at the office, then get your photo taken
6. You can download the LLR the same day evening from the same website.
7. Wait for 1 month
1. Go again to the same website and apply for the New License (or Additional Endorsement, if you already have license for say a scooter).
2. Fill all the forms, upload all required scanned documents, and take print out of the forms
3. Visit the fee counter, pay the fees, meet the inspector, provide your driving test, get his approval
4. Get the forms signed at the office, take your photo
5. You can get license collected next day from the RTO Office

Enjoy your new freedom!!

## Chennayil Oru KoduM(azh)ai KaalamDecember 8, 2015

Posted by Ragesh G R in Unleashed.

Dec 2014, my dad was about to retire and we needed to move out of Kalpakkam Township, our safe haven, and look for a good abode in Chennai near to my office. Search was frantic in all online portals. We needed a 3BHK with good amenities, near my office. Many ads we replied to, had either water shortage or stairs with no lift etc.

Coincidence 1: One day, after a gap of 2 years, my friend Srikanth DMāed me on twitter and asked for my phone number for a casual catchup. During that talk I mentioned my rented house search. He introduced me to an upscale township called Bollineni Hillside, near my office. I saw the pics, the amenities, and the area; all looked good. I searched the portals for this township but could not find any appropriate houses for rent

Coincidence 2: My friend Rahul returned from Dubai after a long time and we went for a drive, and picked up Sundaresan on the way. Sundar happened to mention about magicbrix.com for home search. I searched for Bollineni Hillside in magicbrix and voila! I got what exactly what I wanted.

Coincidence 3: I called up the owner of the house and found him to be a very nice and friendly person. The actual owner was his son-in-law who in fact was working for the same company as me!

The house ticked all my boxes, and, for the price, it was great value for money too, and we moved in after a few weeks, in March 2015. This decision would prove vital, almost lifesaving, later in the year.

This year has been hectic, in a good way. Major milestones happened in a jiffy. Moved to a new rented house in the city in March 2015, got married!! In June 2015, got promoted on the very day of my wedding, bought a car in Sept 2015. Things were going great until November 2015

November 2015, the Chennai monsoon started. Well we all know what this means. A few decent rains for one month. Much needed respite from the heat and dryness. At the max a little water logging here and there, a few exams will get postponed, worst case, a holiday or two from work, and things will be back to normal.

And things seemed to be going the usual route in 2nd week of November. But then, heavy rains started. A bit of water logging, a bit more than expected, office was declared holiday. Office was functioning normal the next day. I thought I could go to office, but when I reached my township gates, there was water up to knee level and further down water was up to chest level and hence the township roads were cordoned off. I tried two other gates of the township, all got blocked by water after a few hundred yards. Hence I returned to the safe abode of my home.

But to our horror, we were faced with 2 problems. The pre-paid cooking gas had ran out of balance. Hence cooking was impossible. We tried to go to the facilities office to recharge the gas, but the office itself was in chest deep in water. My dad tried in vain to wade through it risking it and came back when water level started rising.

Next weekend, the same thing happened, but this time, they advised us to limit to one fan and one light. DG power was there 24/7 and water was there 24.7, hence we didnāt even need to stock up on water (A costly mistake as we would find out later). Gas also was there, so cooking food also was no problem. We thought the fury of the North-east monsoon had subsided and we can return back to normal.

Come November 30. Rain warnings started again, and I left the office a bit early.

Then it started. It started raining heavily from late that night. We expected that the rain would subside by morning.

December 1, morning, I woke up to the sounds of the rain lashing, moderate at times and heavy at times. I could not believe that the rains which started late night was still going strong. Hence, I could not go to office, and took leave. Later I heard that the offices were closed at 3:00 PM instead of 6:00 PM. That was the first alarm bell. If the offices have to be closed 3 hours early, then something must be really off, I thought.

Then things slowly started taking a turn for the worse. The piped gas got water logged and cooking gas flow to all houses ceased. The main power was shut down and power was from DG. Which meant no hot water, and also, the induction cooktop could not be run on full power. All it could do is, make a lukewarm tea, or warm existing dishes from the fridge.

This is where Coincidence 4 came into play. It was my dadās birthday on Dec 1 and my dadās brother who is staying with us, knowing that it wonāt be possible to cook a birthday banquet in the morning as it needs lot of time, had prepared the banquet (Kerala Sadhya) overnight. All this had been done before the gas went kaput. Also, he not only made around 7-8 dishes, he made them in large quantities as well. Hence, we had a great meal for lunch for dadās birthday and then the gas went kaput.

Then we started the survival mode. We would warm only 2 of the dishes from the fridge. If we used dishes A and B for lunch, then we would use dishes C and D for the dinner, lest anyone gets stomach upset by eating too much dal for example. We also targeted the easily perishable dishes like sambhar and dal first. We saved the dishes with higher shelf life, such as curd based dishes, pickles, etc. for later days. Power (although DG) was still 24/7 and water was still 24/7.

Then things started to get really bad when at around 12:30 at night, we opened the restroom tap and there was no water. Not even a drop! Having used to running water 24/7 there was absolutely no backup water except the 20 liter can of drinking water. A chill ran down my spine. This was an apartment complex and there was no well or lake inside it. I remembered Vadiveluās dialogue ā āKudikkaradukku kooda thanni illama irukkalam, aana idukku thanni illenna asingama poidume daā (Not having water to drink is one thing, but not having water for sanitary purposes is an embarrassing disaster). This was all the more relevant because we have our 84 year old grandfather with us who is semi paralyzed and bed ridden. I alerted my dad and uncle immediately. Samuel Tayor Coleridgeās lines came to my mind ā āWater, water everywhere, not a drop to drinkā. Then it struck us. It is raining heavily. Why not harvest the rain?

Dad and uncle went down with buckets and collected rain water from the drain pipe of the terrace. It had been raining for around 18 hours. so any contamination on the terrace floor would have been cleaned off, we surmised, optimistically. Either ways we can at least use it inside the toilets. Next 1 hour from 1 AM to 2 AM was spent in rain water harvesting.

Then I started to get worried, āToday it is raining, hence we can harvest the rain, what about tomorrow, when rain stops? How will we manage?ā My wife consoled me saying āNothing will happen, think positive, everything will be alight by tomorrow, sleep nowā With her calming words, we all went to sleep, hoping for the best.

Dec 2, morning. I woke up to find that running water was up again, albeit at low pressure. Having learnt the hard way, the first thing we did was to fill up and stock up on water in all the containers that we could find. Rain had also subsided so there was no possibility of rain water harvesting.

We were yet to make breakfast, so we resorted the friendly neighborhood restaurant which was fortunately open. We brought tea and breakfast from there. Lunch and dinner too, was bought from there. We made rice with whatever power that the induction cooktop now running on DG could provide.

Then I looked up on the internet, TV etc, it had been raining continuously from Dec 1 very early morning to Dec 2 8:30 AM. Chennai and some places in TN had been hit with the worst flood it had ever seen in the last 125 years. In about 32 hours, it rained incessantly, deluging the already waterlogged streets, overflowing the already filled up to brim water bodies, making them breach. Houses in low lying areas were under 6 feet water. Even aeroplanes got washed away a few meters in the 2 feet of water on runways. My heart sunk. My city had become a disaster-zone. It rained in 32 hours, what usually rains in UK for a year (and UK itself is a rain lashed place). No amount of preparedness or DRS could be ready for such a deluge. Chennayil oru Mazhail Kaalam became Chennayil oru Kodu Mazhai Kaalam and finally it had become Chennayil oru Kodumai kaalam L

Then even the DG power went off. They announced that, to conserve diesel, power will not be available from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. So here was the plan. We would buy breakfast and tea from the hotel nearby. And with whatever power was there, we would make rice using the induction cooker if we can start the cooking by 6:00 AM. The dishes made for the banquet was in the fridge, but there was no time to warm it. That is ok, we can adjust with cold dishes, we agreed. They were made using traditional Kerala techniques, and boiled well, in such a way that it wonāt get spoilt soon. Hence, that was the routine. At 6:00 PM, we would sometimes buy tea from the nearby shop or make it ourselves if we have time or if the induction cooker had enough power.

The mobile networks got shutdown. I sought the help of my good old fiend, the internet to communicate with friends and relatives, to assure them that we are safe, to know about weather, airplanes, trains, buses, etc. All eyes were on weather forecasts, all prayers were for the rains to stop. TamilNaduWeatherMan facebook page was the lifeline for all us to know what lies in store. We had booked tickets for my wife to go to Mumbai. It got cancelled. It was rescheduled. It got cancelled again.

Then it became even more frightening. They announced that power and water will be available only from 6-8 AM and 6-8 PM. Mornings became a race against time. Do morning chores, cook rice, make coffee, stock up on water, all this before 8 AM, in 2 hours. All this became all the more challenging with an ailing 84 year old grandfather who was bed ridden due to partial paralyses due to stroke who needs constant attention, and who was unable to fathom the gravity of the situation unfolding around him. With this announcement I was convinced that we are seriously running out of diesel, and with roads blocked, procuring diesel also might be a challenged. I prayed that even if water and power is reduced to 1 hour per day, it is manageable, compared to having absolutely no power or water altogether. The radio show I was listening to was giving me hopes as, they said power and network were slowly coming back

The very next day, around 4 PM, main power was back, much to our relief. Then after 10 minutes, broadband was back, connecting us back to our relatives and friends. We immediately reached out to near and dear ones via WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype and Hangout. As we surmised, they were all really worried and concerned, since there was absolutely no updates from us for the last 3-4 days. Couple this with the gruesome images of the deluge in the worst areas, all day in TV and they were fearing the worst. We assured them that we are completely safe, barring minor inconveniences.

I was glad that the city is on its way to recovery, but things were not all smooth yet. Gas was still down. So we were still resorting to the hotel for breakfast. But since now we had main power 24/7, we could use the induction cooker at full power to cook rice, make basic dishes and boil tea. We were still forced to refrigerate, re-use and save whatever dishes we have, and stretch it as long as it goes. It is today morning that we finally got cooking gas. Mobile networks are still not fully up, even as I write this.

At this time, I am filled with many emotions. Gratitude. Gratitude that there has been so many lucky coincidences to make me stay in a place where which was not affected in a life threatening way by the deluge. Gratitude that I am lucky enough to afford such a place. Gratitude towards the support teams and support systems and backup systems at my Bollineni Hillside Township who made sure that the residents felt as little impact as possible. Gratitude to all my family members who did not lose their cool and who calmed each other down, and who took strains to ensure we had enough food on the table and other amenities even in such a tempestuous time. Gratitude towards all my well-wishers.

But this is just the tip of the ice berg. We may be physically ok, but mentally very sunken. The personal fears and worries caused by the disaster is just a part of it. But I am mostly filled with sadness to see the fellow men suffer. People, friends and strangers who were not as lucky as me, who lost everything. Life, possessions, shelter, food, dignity. My maid waded through hip level water to reach my home. I stand humbled in front of her resolve, dedication and mental strength in spite of suffering so much. Places are still water logged, relief materials still not reaching them, death of 250+ people. I canāt even imagine what they are going through. I am trying to do whatever little I can, by donations, cash and kind, passing on info about volunteers needed and offered, passing on info about operable roads, keeping a close watch on weather updates and keeping everyone informed etc. but this is absolutely miniscule, compared to what some people are doing. It was heartwarming to so much strength and unity, so many volunteers who risked their own safety. Hats off to everyone who is trying to revive the victims. All we can wish and pray is to never see such an event again.

## Some good online shopping websitesAugust 28, 2011

Posted by Ragesh G R in Unleashed.

Some good online shopping websites that I am familiar with:

Exclusive Shirts & pants
http://www.charaghdin.com/
http://www.zodiaconline.com/
http://www.colorplusonline.com/index.html

T shirts, sports wears, accessories, foot-wears of all brands
http://www.myntra.com/
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## I think, therefore I amJune 29, 2011

Posted by Ragesh G R in Unleashed.
Tags: , ,

When we think of “I”, what do we interpret it as? We think “I” am an entity, a human being, an autonomous free willed organism. Oh really? Let’s see. Let’s travel, let’s start in the middle, at the organism level.Ā  A person is a set of cells, each carrying out its own responsibilities. What controls these cells? Our brain! Is it? or is our brain controlled by the cells in the brain. So who am I? Am I my brain? is my brain controlling me? or do I control my brain? These two questions are absurd because there is an inherent problematic vague entity here; “me”/”I”. If we take that “me”/”I”Ā  out, our questions are not that absurd. Millions of cells work together, each doing its own job, just like a dance pattern shown in World Cup inaugural ceremony. It only leads to a situation, where “me” or “I” don’t exist. We don’t exist per se. What if the cells suddenly decide to stop working in tandem, and diverge and fade away into the vast space?

We are able to perceive organisms because we are at that level, where we are able to distinguish between the millions of molecules that make up a person and the molecules in the air surrounding the person. But that’s just a convenient abstraction. At the molecular level, most things are different and exhibit different properties. At the atomic level, they become more similar. One may not be able to distinguish between the Nitrogen atoms in air and the Nitrogen atoms in ammonia. So at the atomic level, you can’t make out if this atom is a part of what molecule.

Let’s go deeper. perceive at the subatomic level. Everything starts looking similar. For that, imagine, an observer who is small enough to perceive at the subatomic level and since he is so small and limited, he can comprehend only subatomic levels.Ā  We are sitting on top of an electron, and in a distance we see another electron. Now since we perceive only subatomic levels. we don’t know if the other electron is part of the same atom? or it’s part of another atom of the same molecule? or it’s part of an atom of a different molecule ? or it is part of an atom of a molecule of a different element? compound? cell? organism? You see, at the subatomic level, we can’t distinguish anything. It could be that we are sitting on an electron inside a person and the other electron you saw was of an atom in the air molecule, see we didn’t find the difference between person and air, we didn’t know where person ended and air started. And you see, most of an atom is empty space, the empty space could be inside a person or outside.Ā  The observer sitting at the subatomic level suggestion seems absurd, does n’t it? No, let’s make an analogous counterpart, assumeĀ  a normal person is perceiving the sky. He sees a bright light, he does n’t know if the light is a satellite of the same planet, or a different planet, a star? a solar system? a galaxy? See!, just like our subatomic observer could not distinguish between atoms, we can’t distinguish between the location of planets, stars, solar systems galaxies etc, we can’t comprehend them. If we startĀ  at the subatomic level, electrons revolve around nucleus, and at the top, satellites revolve around planets, planets around starts, starts around black holes, and probably even galaxies are revolving. So we see a fractal like pattern emerge.

So at the subatomic level whole universe is identical. Hence we all are a set of electrons and protons. At a high level, our universe might be a part of a universe set, at the lower level, the electrons could be galaxies themselves. Probably I am not writing this blog, my cells in my body are sick of their ‘unsung hero’ status and want to show who the boss is. I could be just a hostage to my cells, who work at their whim. But hey, why worry, I don’t exist anyways, he who executes functions on a null pointer gets an exception! Take that! you over smart cells!

## Musimatics and Fibonacci!December 20, 2009

Posted by Ragesh G R in Physics and Maths, Unleashed.

Music and Maths! these two have always enamoured me, and more so when both of them are inter-linked.

One can write an epic on the mathematical fundamentals of music! But I want to focus on some of the interesting patterns in music.

For the benefit of people who don’t know let me touch upon the basics.

The Basics:

Let us take the 12 notes in the musical scale. If you play all twelve one after the other on the Piano, does n’t it “feel” like they are arranged like a stair-case, with equal intervals between steps? Yes, that’s exactly how your ear perceives it, “as if” it is an Arithmetic progression. But the truth is ou ears auditory response is logarithmic. Hence to give you a linear feel, their logs have to be in A.P. Hence actually, these notes are in Geometric Progression. That is, the ratio between each note is the same. What is this ratio?

Let’s look at 13 notes (inclduding the start of the next octave), say

C2, C2#, D2, D2#, E2, F2, F2#, G2, G2#, A2, A2#, B2, [C3… ] OR

Sa, Ri1, Ri2/Ga1, Ri3/Ga2, Ga3, Ma1, Ma2, Pa, Da1, Da2/Ni1, Da3/Ni2, Ni3, [Sa^…]

The 12 notes are arranged in octaves, in way that, the same note in the next octave is twice its frequency. So C3 is twice the frequency of C2, OR Sa^ is the twice the frequency of Sa. Hence all the corresponding notes in the next octave is in phase with the notes in the current octave, because the notes in the next octave are overtones of the current octave tones.

Therefore, when two people sing Sa and Sa^ together, you won’t feel much difference, because every second cycle, the wavelengths synchronise.

Now we have 12 notes in GP and Freq(Sa^) = 2*Freq(Sa).

Therefore each notes is separated by (12th root of 2) or Antilog((1/12 )* log2) = 1.0594 ~~ 1.06

So every note is 1.06 times the previous note, and so (1.06)^12 = 2.

The Patterns:

Now, I told you all these because, there are many interesting patterns based on it.

If you see, Sa and Pa are stable , that is they dont have any derivative frequencies, we can call them the base. That is why most musicians sing Sa, Pa, Sa^ before commencing the concert, so as to set the reference. But the beauty is still to come.

If you take the octave as flanked by the 13 notes from Sa to Sa^, Pa comes as the 8th note. Hmm, 13 and 8 ? does it ring a bell? yes our Fibonacci. 8 and 13 are both consecutive Fibonacci numbers.

One more!, typically not all 12 frequencies are used in a Scale,Ā  only 7 are used, that isĀ  chosing only one Ri, one Ga etc. So then our Octave becomes 8 notes in length. Now here Pa is the 5th note. 5 and 8 ? does it ring a bell? Oh yes, again consecutive Fibonacci numbers.

So POSITION Wise, Pa divides the Octave in the Golden Ratio, (5:3 Or 8:5)

Since Pa is the 8th frequency in an Octave. So if the frequency of Sa is say X.

Pa is (1.06)^7 = 1.5 !

So, Sa, Pa, Sa^ has a frequency of X, 1.5X, and 2X respectively.

Notice anything? Yes! they are in Aithmetic Progression! So Pa divides the Octave in the Golden ratio position wise, and divides the frequency in to an Arithmetic Progression!

I can over-ambitious and say that even Frequency-wise Pa divides the Octave ALMOST in Golden Ratio (1.5 ~ 1.6). LOL! But I don’t want to :-p.

See, how many beautiful patterns emerge, even from a simple and basic analysis!

Disclaimer: If you are a music connoisseur, you might have known this already.

## Easiest/Laziest formula for Nth Fibonacci numberDecember 12, 2009

Posted by Ragesh G R in Physics and Maths, Unleashed.

There are many formulae for finding the Nth Fibonacci number, from recursive to non-recursive. Let me try to find the easiest laziest formula.

We know that most of the Fibonacci numbers ( from the 7th )Ā  are in the Golden ratio. Let Golden Ratio (1.618…) be Phi.

Then F(n) = F(n-1)*Phi = F(n-2)*Phi^2 and so on.

So generally F(n) = F(n-x)*Phi^x

But we can’t write F(n) = F(1)*Phi^(n-1), because this will give you inaccurate results , because the 1st 7 numbers do not follow the Golden Ratio.

So the highest value x can take for a fairly accurate determination is n-7.

So our formula becomes F(n) = F(n-(n-7))*Ph^(n-7)

Therefore F(n) = F(7)*Phi^(n-7)

Fibonacci series goes as 1,1,2,3,5,8,13

So F(n) = 13*Phi^(n-7).

This will give a you a fairly accurate value for Nth Fibonacci.

You can get even lazier and say F(n) = 3*Phi^(n-4)

But this will magnify the error for 3 non compliant numbers and give you inaccurate resulsts, but if only it was accurate, this would be betterĀ  from a laziness perspective if you are programming, because there are only 4 special cases. Of course we can argue that computation of Phi^(n-4) will take fractionally more time than computation of Phi^(n-7), but we can neglect that š

Disclaimer : I am sure this already in some literature, but I got this idea when I was in the restoom (a link to my previous post LOL! ), so its mine , he he ! and I could not find similar text by “lazy” googling

## R-BuddiesDecember 10, 2009

Posted by Ragesh G R in Unleashed.

I have been working in a corporate office for 2.5 years now and have made many real friends. But this is not I am about tell you now. I am going to tell about a set of pseudo buddies you make because you cannot control your body’s metabolism. Yes! Restroom buddies!

You still may think it is some people you befriend in the restroom. No! these are pseudo! Over the past 2.5, I have seen a pattern, the same set of people seem to be present in the restroom when I enter the restroom, regardless of what time I enter, be it morning, noon, afternoon, 3 PM 4 PM whatever odd time, they are there! And even on the same day, they are there everytime you go! Then you realise, that these are the people whose bodies may probably function similar to yours, may be they have the same rate of metabolism, may be they have the same bodily cycles. It makes me get a friendly feeling towards them. After all, who does not like similar people!? Something like a stockholm syndorme. But the friendly feeling is not because you see them everyday, it is because deep down you know that you may be physically similar people.

And this similarity, cannot be masked by any artifical means, it is the most basic of similarity. This is where all humans become equal. The equality here is unbelievable. I see all people from Entry level trainees to Senior Managers everyday, different ages, different ethnic groups, different regions.

It cannot get more equal than this. Irrespective the class / strata / race you are, it only means you may have similar functioning bodies, and no one can deny that or no one can change that. It gives a sense of belonging, that you are not alone.

It might seem gross , does it? Think about it! Where can you find more equality? All protocols cease to exist here. and it is great to know that “similar” people to you exists in all walks of life.

I am writing this because, I was curious to know if anyone else too felt the same way, about meeting the same people in restroom everyday and wondering if that is because these set of people have a similar metabolism pattern as you!

## The amazing quartet!June 2, 2009

Posted by Ragesh G R in Physics and Maths, Unleashed.

Long ago, in school, when I was solving an arithmetic problem, I observed that 6^3 = 5^3 + 4^3 + 3^3.Ā  Interesting enough, I thought, we have atleast one set of such 4 integers x,y,z,w such that w^3 = z^3 + y^3 + x^3.

Now they were all adjacent/contiguous integers. Great! I thought.

Now if that was not interesting enough, the triplet on the right hand side of the equation is a pythagorean triplet! Wow! Great!

So we have aĀ  set of quartets {x,y,z,w} which are even more exclusive than the Pythagorean triplets, such that w^3 = z^3 + y^3 + x^3 AND z^2 = y^2 + x^2 (That is to say x,y,z are Pythagorean triplets). Beautiful is n’t it?

To put it simply, we have some perfect cubes which can be expressed as the sum of the cubes of a pythagorean triplet.

Well how frequent are these kind of quartets ? Well an easy answer would be {30, 40, 50, 60}.

But the speciality with {3,4,5,6} is that all 4 are adjecent integers. So they are unique, because, all other quartets will spread out and won’t be contiguous integers.!

Disclaimer: Some of you may have known/observed this already.

## BlogAddaMarch 24, 2009

Posted by Ragesh G R in Unleashed.
1 comment so far

## Shall we meet?June 5, 2008

Posted by Ragesh G R in Unleashed.
Tags: , , ,

“Ragesh!”, a loud cry comes from outside my balcony, I rush to the balcony to find my dear friend Barath ready to shower his sharp and witty comments, as soon as I come to the balcony.. We just stand there, and talk (put mokkai as it is called now, but sometimes even profound things, like Time Travel etc, he he) relentlessly on one thing after another. As we speak, we spot Samson and Srikanth chit chatting near their house. Both Barath and I cry out their nicknames so loud across the 300 yards distance separating them, they come running, atleast to stop us from uttering their nicknames over and over again, and getting damaged in public as our voices richo- chet across the buildings and produce surround sound. he he. Soon, there would be about 6 – 7 of us there , talking away, ah! bliss…good times , good times.. This was year 2000, when we were in Std X, when we didn’t have cell phones or bikes or cars! But still friends of mine and I managed to meet almost everyday (mind u, this is apart from 6 hours of being with each other in school! ).

Come 2003, after all the tension and hype of all the +2 examnations and umpteen entrances ranging from IIT-JEE’s to an examination conducted by a small college, we are free to roam like free birds for 3 solid months. oh and what fun it was. This time it was different though, we would go around in bikes and the friends circle expanded, tearing the streets, with Suku and gang, stopping at a street corner, to eat something, do some “bird watching” and then tease each other on anything that pops up in your mind, however illogical or senseless they are.. Again as we would meet everyday.. go for a walk around the beach, go to each others home.. We were sure our friends would be home, and if not we know where to find them, and hey u are visiting about 12 friends everyday, so odds are that you will find 8 of them.. I would come home for only for food.. hee hee.. just roam around using 1-2 liters of petrol everyday, and would go out no matter how hot, cold , rainy or windy it was.. so will my friends.. Again, we didn’t cell phones, in fact not all had even land phones i guess..

Then we enter college, well, it is not that easy to catch up with all the friends during weekdays because, by the time all of us come back home, it will be about 5:30 p.m and many people went far , even in other states to study, but even then, we would catch up on the weekends, oh yes! the same roaming around we used to in 12th will continue, only difference is each of us will hav a different story to tell about the good, bad and funny things about our colleges. But this time , we got cell phones, so even if we can’t meet, we woud be sendng SMS’s to our friends through out the day till our fingers hurt and go on even after that. Weekends would be fun, some roaming around, some visiting friends houses, mostly Kalpaka’s and eating out, in some road side vendor’s shop, where we can be our naughty and boisterous selves.

And then we got jobs. All interaction reduced to chats. But if it was so, then fine, but chat we used to do in college!, till the wee hours of early morning like the long late night chats I used to have with Kalpaka, Charanya, Sandhya and Srikanth L. Now, everyones online, but almost no one is talking to anyone, (except for Sandhya, Ghanesh and Ravikumar in my case with whom I chat a lot during weekends, and have lot of fun) Why? because, most are fagged out at the end of a long tiring day of 10 – 12 hours (see, I love my job very much, but 12 hours of work and travel will make tired whoever u are), that no one is feeling sprightly enough to communicate. What about SMSs? Oh, don’t get me started! the SMS craze is over, partly because, now the operators have started charging for SMSs and we got bored of it, and if you have a phone like I do, the Nokia N72, sending one SMS will give u ache in the fingers for 1 minute, compared to the 1100’s and 3315’s we owned in college in which u type 100’s of SMS a day faster than you type on the keyboard.. The main reason is we have now got so many avenues to communicate that we take it for granted, we think , “Well, we got phone and SMS and chat and orkut and what not, we can communicate whenever we feel like”, but the “feel like” does nt come more often and we end up not communicating at all. The gap increases, all the more reluctant we feel to catch up with old buddies, Why is it so difficult? I don know..

Last week, the same 7-8 of us who used to meet daily in shcool days, had to send a thread consisting of 300 mails just to decide when and where we all shall meet together, after a gap of aroud about 4 months. This week, my friend and colleague Rajeswari spent endless hours communicating and organising over two days, just to decide where, when and HOW she and 4 of her friends(Sathya, Swetha, Priya and Swathi, who used to meet daily in college and even in weekends), can meet this weekend.

See the HOW, that is a new clause added, first it was anytime anywehere, then it was anywhere but in a particular time coz someone has n’t returned from college and so on, then it was at a particular time, at a particular place coz people come from far away on a weekend, so they dont have enough time to come to all the friends place etc. Now it is how! ya How! everyone is available, but all are busy, “how can we meet? hey I have work, next week our project release, I have a client call next week, so i ll be home at only 9:00 pm and i have work on Sunday too”, so more often , people silently come home, sleep for a day , take rest and go back.

Weekends, are different now, not anyone to hang around, it is rare, It is 2- 3 months since I went out to roam with my friends, no one is available , no one is ready, everyones just sitting around, lazing, taking rest, me too..

Unbelievable! the things we took for granted, are now precious and rare and almost forgotten.. Everyone is preoccupied, or pretend to think so, or even fool ourselves into thinking that we all are preoccupied. We fee like the “Babuli” character in Std X CBSE English text book. We would have thought “I ll never change” and here we are! Time changes us all is n’t it? It might have changed me too. I don know, I don’t have a version control system installed for my character.. LOL!

All I can say is, next time you feel like seeing ur dear friend, don’t call him/her and ask for an appointment!, but yell out her/his name in front of her house, you would n’t want to miss out the pleasant surprise on your friend’s face when he/she sees you, do you? You want to see him/her in his/her shorts and not in their make up and Allen Sollys, don’t you?

.. And if you don’t find him/her at home, don’t go back! look for her/him, probably they are sitting on the same perch you both used to share many a secret, many a joke, and many a crush, probably even thinking about you….

## Play TagMay 11, 2008

Posted by Ragesh G R in Unleashed.
Tags: , ,

Tagged by Ravi KKumma

Last movie seen in a theatre:

I am not enough a movie buff as to go to a theatre and watch. Yet to watch my 1st movie in a theatre, he he

What book are you reading?

Other than technical e-books or articles, not reading any book as of now.

Favourite board game:

As Ravi said, if Dias Tennis is a board game, then oh yes! DT it is!

Used to love Business game (Monopoly) when Divya and I used to spend long hours playing it..

I love playing Cricket trump cards, Rummy and 5 cards..

Favourite magazine:

AUTOCAR India.. Awesome! Vrrrroommm!. Reader’s Digest

Favourite smells:

Ravi has blown my cover, so gotta admit it, like the smell of new quality books. Then comes smell of my mom’s chicken, cologne ..

Favourite sound:

The sound of my car engine as it climbs to 5500 rpm as I floor the throttle.

Worst feeling in the world:

The fear that your achievements may go unnoticed.

When some one who you care about fails to understand you.

When you are accused of something you didn’t do..

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?

Sometiemes I think “Who am I?”

Sometimes I think “I can’t get up from the bed without drawing a free body diagram and resolving all force vectors”

Sometimes I think “I am an object of a concete class, which method should be performed upon me to make me get up”

Favourite fast food place:

Pizza Corner

Few small shops where I go with my friends.

Javagreen in my office.

Future childās name:

Mercedes if the child is a female, and Benz if the chid is a male. Only child. I do not want the world population to increase in a fibonacci series because of me ..

Finish this statement, āIf I had a lot of money Iādā¦ā

1. Elevate the standard of living of my grandma

2. Buy all the cars I have listed in “The Cars I would love to own page

Do you drive fast?

You bet! I would to like to embark upon an unending journey to eternity at the velocity of infinity š

Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?

LOL, what?? Sometimes I hug my mom.. But she is real..

Storms – Cool or Scary?
Cool. Romantic

Do you eat the stems on broccoli?

Nope. Don’t eat broccoli in fact

If you could dye your hair any colour, what would be your choice?

Copper/Burgundy/Gold in different layers

Name all the different cities/towns you have lived in:

Udayanpuram (beautiful. scenic, in Kerala) and Kalpakkam

Favourite sports to watch:

Cricket, esp when Sachin is on song. Formula-1, esp when Michael Schumacher used to drive..

One nice thing about the person who sent this to you:

A typical Libran, driven by his moods, sometimes sober, sometimes light; sometimes cool, sometimes tensed; sometimes as calm as the ocean, sometimes the raging storm, an honest and smart guy who never tries to exploit or cheat anyone..

Whatās under your bed?
What do u expect? 10,000\$ which I earned selling my latest invention? I wish, he he.. Just the cot. he he

Would you like to be born as yourself again?

Yes!!

Morning person or night owl?

Night owl! anyday (I mean any night. lol)

Over easy or sunny side up?
Depends on my mood..

Favourite place to relax:
My home, if it is my current , then its in my bedroom, with my computer, else it is grandma’s place in my hometown in Kerala, the pulchritude of nature at her pristine best..

Favourite pie:

I have n’t tried, but I like pi though(3.141926…)

Favourite ice cream flavour:
Chocolate! (esp as Sundae or with lots of nuts)

You pass this tag to ā

Kalpaka

Revs

Swat cat

(If you can tag yourself that will be great too)

Of all the people you tagged this to, whoās most likely to respond first?

I think it ll be Revs, (if she gets time/access to blog), coz she writes like 10 blogs per nanosecond. her blogging rates is counted at the rate of MPPS (Million Posts Per Second), lol