Naga Chokkanathan

Archive for April 2015

I worked in Hyderabad for few years. It was a nice city, but very different from our native state.

For most of us, it was the first experience living in a new city. We had to learn a new language, understand new customs, interact with new people… some saw it as a challenge, some found it as a torture.

For example, one of my friends knew the local language already. So some others learnt from him. It was a fun experience even though the learning process itself was difficult.

Another group learnt the local history and started visiting interesting places whenever they had time. Like this, each group was finding new ways to manage the stay in an unknown place.

As my work was interesting, I could forget this and got along with friends. Slowly I started enjoying the city.

After few months, a new person joined our company. He was from the same state as ours and he went through the same issues we originally had. So we tried to help him by introducing him to good food, interesting friends, movie theatres etc.

However, for some reason he was not comfortable with that city. He kept complaining about the weather and told us he will go back the moment he gets a better job in his home town.

He was trying many interviews too. But, for some reason he was not getting selected. He was forced to continue living here which frustrated him.

At one point, his constant complaining nature made us go away from him. This further upset him.

My friends told me that his work performance is affected too. Managers were not happy with him. He is a talented person, but this mental torture was making him look average.

We all felt for him. But didn’t know what to do. We can offer to help, but he should be ready to accept.

That year, we all planned a summer trip. We asked him if he would join. He refused.

On the day of journey, I saw his dull face and asked him if everything is okay. He said yes. But I could see that he was worried about something. May be, he thinks he should’ve joined us?

So I asked him openly, ‘do you want to join the trip?’

‘No’, he answered immediately. But that was a weaker no, when compared to his previous refusal.

Hence, I pushed further and made him accept. I don’t know what made him change his mind, but I was happy to have him in that trip. But, from where will we find place for him in the car?

Originally, we were planning to take a taxi with a driver. Now we changed that plan and took just a taxi. Two of my friends volunteered to take turns and drive so that this friend can join us.

He was thrilled beyond our expectations. He thanked us many times until we asked him to shut down and enjoy the trip. He had great fun and returned as a different person.

That single trip changed his perspective about living in a new city. He learnt to enjoy any place, because people matter as much as the location. He told me this when he moved to a foreign country after two years.

I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdealactivity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.


I got an Email from Blogadda, asking me to blog about this:

Tell a story when you followed your heart, went ahead and made someone feel special – through words or a gift or just a simple gesture, and that decision created magic!

Before starting to write, I asked my daughter Nangai to write about the same topic. This is the story she wrote.


Sonu Becomes A Superstar


N. Nangai



Few months ago, I found a diamond, which was considered as black coal by my entire class, including me.

What is it?

Actually, it isn’t a “What”, but a “Who”.

I am talking about my friend Sonu.

She joined as a new student in my class, as her parents shifted from another city to Bangalore. We welcomed her wholeheartedly, but she didn’t reciprocate with love.

Just in a matter of few weeks, everyone (including the teachers) understood that Sonu is an adamant, proud and lazy girl who didn’t care an inch about her studies. She ate during classes, threw water on other students, fought with them and did many other irritating things that were not allowed our school.

Once, she threw my best friend Preeti’s glasses out of the window. I was enraged and frustrated by her behavior.

In fact, as you might have guessed, everyone in the school longed to slap her and teach her a good lesson.

She always scored the lowest marks in class. But she didn’t care about that. She actually jumped with joy when she got “0” marks in Mathematics. Would you believe that?

Few days later, she announced in the class that she is shifting to a new house. We felt like telling her, ‘That’s not enough, better shift to a new school too!’

Next day, when I returned home and went out to play, I got a big shock.

It was Sonu who was coming towards me; looks like their family had shifted next door.

From that day, I had double trouble. Both in school and at home she kept on nagging, teasing and disturbing me.

One day, I went to play outside and saw Sonu under a tree. She was crying and sobbing.

I felt very happy to see her sad. But the very next minute, I felt bad for thinking so. I had never seen this proud girl crying, there must be a SERIOUS reason.

I slowly went near her and sat down beside her. I asked her in a gentle tone, ‘Sonu, What’s the matter? Why are you crying?’

She didn’t speak for few minutes. And then, she wiped her tears and explained me what had happened. ‘My elder brother Varun came home from Singapore today. I love him so much, we used to be great friends and all of a sudden, he went there to study and I was left all alone here.’

‘So, today when he came back, I made a card for him and bought the best quality sweets using all my pocket money and savings.’

‘Varun came today, hugged me, saw my card and sweets. He was very happy.’

‘At that time, my school report card was lying on the floor. He picked it up and when he saw my low marks, he became very angry and started scolding me. I have never seen him so enraged.’

After narrating this, she started crying again, ‘What should I do now? My brother hates me!’

I thought this is the right time and explained her some of the advice my parents have given me. I told her to take her studies seriously and I even gave her some of my secret exam preparation tips.

She looked determined now. She told me that her marks will be much better when Varun comes to India again.

Guess what, she was not kidding. From that day onwards, she was a different person, focused on her studies and everyone was happy to see a turnaround like this in her.

But, I was not happy.


Because, she did so well in her exams and took away my first position in class, using my own advice and secret tips. This is not fair!

Even though we both are good friends now, I don’t want to let her be the first rank holder. I want to beat Sonu in the next exam.

Ah, I spent 10 minutes explaining this to you. That’s enough chatting. Let me get back to my lessons now.

Where was I? Oh, yes… Lesson 14, India’s Freedom Struggle…


I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdealactivity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.

When I read the title “My Money Book”, published by “Exide Life Insurance”, I naturally assumed this must be a book helping people invest right, detailing various ways to invest and what we need to remember when investing in a certain asset.

But, I had a pleasant surprise when the book reached me. It was actually a data entry book, where people can capture everything related to “their money”.

This book starts with the personal information sheet, with basic details about the person using the book, followed by important details about their family members. Then a separate section is given for contact numbers of family doctor, chartered accountant etc.

I was curious to see the “Financial Advisor” in this list. I know it is quite common for many families to have a financial advisor, personal or professional these days. But putting it under essential information helps those who don’t have one, implicitly sending a message that by having a personal advisor you can help your money grow.

The next section is about Insurance Policies. It covers Life, Health, Motor and property insurance, capturing basic details such as company name, plan name, policy number, nominee, sum assured, maturity date, policy term, premium amount, premium payment frequency etc. Enough space is given to capture details about many policies.

Bank details come next. The user can capture two bank accounts, with all details such as Account Number, Account Type, Branch IFSC Code, Relationship manager etc. It is also possible to capture Locker details, along with the items sored in the locker. Demat account, credit card details can also be captured here.

Following section is on loans. It covers home loans, auto loans and personal loans. Each one can be captured with basic details such as Bank Name, Loan Account Number, Loan Amount, EMI etc. One can also capture the prepayments they have done against a loan.

Next, we can put all the investment details. It starts from basic things such as fixed deposits, mutual funds and then covers public provident fund etc. too. For each investment, the user can add details such as Bank Name, Branch Address, Amount Invested, Investment Number, Date, Duration, Rate of Interest, Maturity Date and Maturity Amount. A separate sheet is given to cover other investments which may not come under these.

This is a useful book for sure. But I would love to have these in a future edition:

1. For insurance policies, a 10 or 15 year planner which allows the reader to “tick” each year, after they have paid the renewal
2. A calculator which helps one decide whether they are insured well (also things such as Kids’ education etc. can be given as a reminder in this)
3. An online version of this document which one can access and modify anytime
4. Shares portfolio: People want to track where they invested and how that particular share has grown
5. On the credit card particulars, the most important detail “Payment date” should be added

Thanks Exide Life Insurance for the thoughtful design!

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The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Organization He works for / belongs to.

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