DISCLAIMER: This blog-post caters to the people above the age of 25.

It is easy to gift something to a woman. The choices are practically infinite and options galore all over should you decide to show your gratitude or express any other emotion by means of gifting.

But alas, same is not true for men. How many birthdays & farewells have we seen men being gifted any other thing apart from a watch or a tie or a shirt or a perfume? Some adventurous ones might get cuff-link. Maybe a book - but I guess the list of options ends even before it practically begins.

This poses a very difficult problem for someone wanting to gift something to us - the hominis - the kindred of men!

Gifting as such is not an easy thing - if you want to be considerate about the person receiving the gift. We all want to present something which can evoke emotion and make the recipient feel cared for, thought about. This act of transpiring heartfelt emotion from materialistic gifts for men seems an impossible task.

Yet, the daunting never give up.

If you are facing the same dilemma faced by thousands of wannabe gifters to men - do not worry. Help are few gifts for men you can take a look.

But how about getting little more adventurous? There is a lot of interesting stuff waiting to be picked up and gifted to the worthy man. Like these gifts for him you may be tempted not to gift.

Image courtesy here
While it purely depends upon the taste of the person you are gifting - for each man has his own choice of poison - for the connoisseurs of spirits you may want to look at Scotch as a gift as one of the options. It certainly can please your man if he is an explorer of the drinks menu to sit back and relax.

Image courtesy here
So don't hold back, be adventurous and try out unconventional gifts. Everyone likes to be surprised every once in a while, and what is a better way than to gift something thoughtful which suits your recipient's taste? You will make the person feel special, for if you have taken time to think about the gift, your effort shows. It is an incredible feeling to know that you are cared for and thought about, and a little gift can go a long way in confirming this feeling.

How adventurous have you been?  Do leave your stories in comments, I would love to listen to yours!
The other day Roohi and I were talking about investments and avenues available for investor of today. Everything can be done with a click now - this was unimaginable just couple of years back. I still remember the time when I used to call my investment agent who used to bring paper based forms for application. I used to get paper statements.

All that has changed.

Now there are multiple platforms like FundsIndia and FundSuperMart where for you can create a free account and use their platform to a zillion investment options - mutual funds, bonds, fixed-deposits and so on.

Most significant benefit of such platforms is that you can get a snapshot view of your holdings across options in a single view. Not only that, you can redeem your investments with a click of mouse should you desire. They also provide all sorts of reports for your records and submissions (ELSS documents to be submitted to your office for tax saving investment proofs).

The convenience is immense and obviates all reasons of a lazy mind like me.

I am sure once you explore these, you will get hooked and will not turn back. It is an awesome habit to start investing small and these platforms make it extremely easy to do so.

Even CAMS, which is a transfer agency is providing several tools for online transactions. These tools help you track your investments without having to create an account provided your correct email id and/or phone number is registered.

Folks - go explore these, and take that first step towards the awesome journey of little investments which yield huge rewards in due course of time. After all drops make an ocean!
The digital age of ours has offered many benefits, many comforts - more than we can possibly experience or enjoy in one lifetime. This comfort, however, has come with a price - a price we have paid, and continue to pay with the ever increasing divide between people. When we watch videos of friends having fun together, it brings a nostalgia in our hearts, striking a chord we feel we have lost ages ago. And we do not take a moment to click the "like" button. But in the real world, the rigamarole of life ensures that our human-to-human interactions are minimal.

In this dreary desert of digital nothingness, there are few things which can help us keep our sanity alive. Like, shutting that "like" button for a change - and instead calling the person right away to tell them we had a good time.

Or even better - taking that bike/car out and endeavoring to meet them in person. Don't you think the world was a better place when we used to roam around in shorts and used to call upon our friends without having to worry if they will be there? And did we have not the most amazing of fun in those impromptu visits punctuated with loads of nonsensical laughter and fun accentuated by the common sense of happiness emanating from our young selves? Those silly jokes, those childish games, those fights, making up and then fighting again - though was the routine, but don't we remember the most trivial of things with most fondness?

I guess heart aches for things which can never be brought back. Yet, there is so much in the current lives we continue to loose and later regret. Our relationships with people, our connections with real humans, our attachments are slowly withering away in the desert air of apathy and lack of time for each other.

In the process of having, have we not lost all we had? Did we not feel the happiest when we had but nothing? With giving our hearts and souls away, we indeed have amassed a lot of materialistic wealth, but our inner self is thirsty, sun-parched devoid of the warmth of friends and kin. This perennial shallowness of our times is eating away at the core of our existence. We are forever angry and with everyone.

I feel, all this can change with little effort and a bit of care. What if we throw away digital and embrace old-school style. Little meetings can soothe very old aches.

Meeting real people, making new friends, talking to a stranger, engaging in activities which makes us human - if we do a bit more of this on a daily basis, I think we can still regain - all is not yet lost. The shimmer of hope is there - and can become a fiesta of fire if kindled with smiles, love and laughter. We can still experience the joy of real togetherness if only we begin to care.

See this video which shares similar emotions about discovering real togetherness -

A fictional story - any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.

Bang! An explosion and I woke up, drenched in cold sweat. I was breathing heavily and had a bad headache. The world seemed to be spinning. Feeling my forehead, I felt a slight bulge. What had happened? The darkness around felt nauseating with the smell of alcohol and traces of smoke. Did I had it too much last night? I tried hard to recall, but the darkness, eerie silence and sound of dripping water in the leaking tap did not let me concentrate. Damn, leaking tap. I again forgot to close it. I vowed that it won’t happen again. When I opened my eyes it was pitch dark around and I had to grope around to settle myself down.

My hand touched something cold. Water bottle! I gulped water. My throat seemed parched with thirst and water soothed me a bit. My sleepy eyes got adjusted a bit to the darkness. Why was it so bloody dark? Did I not leave the bathroom light on? May be there was no power.

Five minutes of heavy breathing and few more sips of water brought some of my senses back. I remembered my meeting with her. It was a good meeting. We started off on a cold start, but soon struck a chord. It was a short conversation, but she agreed. I was happy and partied with my friends. Couple of beers and few puffs of cigarette later we had a great time with no worries about tomorrow. After all she had said yes. My forehead twitched. Damn, what happened? Oh yes, after last few of my friends left, envying at my luck and I closed the door, I turned and stumbled on the beer carton. The pain of hitting the edge of the table came rushing back in that recall of the moment. I remembered how I struggled to get up and crashed on my bed with the impact of the hit along with the cocktail of emotions which surged out of my drunken state and my joy of meeting her.

Water bottle was empty and I was still thirsty. I struggled to find my way in the darkness to reach the light switch. The light brought back the unspeakable horrors committed around in my room. My heart was racing. I remembered one of the friends had commented - "You never know till the last minute." I panicked. What if she changes her mind? What will I do?

Ting tong.

It was 6 AM by now.

I slowly walked towards the door. I made sure to move the carton to the side with a kick and opened the door. "Saab jhaadu laye ke nahi?" - she asked. (Did you get the broom Sir?) Kantabai did keep her promise to come from next day.

My faith in God was instantly reaffirmed.
अब मेरी लड़की बड़ी लगने लगी है…
कल वो मेरी हथेली पर समा जाती थी,
आज गोदी से बाहर निकल जाती है ।
This is the poem I wrote for the 'raindrop challenge' by papercut on AllPoetry.com. Thought that I should share it with my poetic friends to know what they think about it...

(An attempt a Haikuish composition on life - the description is longer than the poem itself!)