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Are you bitten by the “impulse shopping” bug?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jimy Shah @ 9:14 pm

As I wrote about Change is the only constant, I discovered one more incident to attests to it. There has never been a day when I went to office depot and came out with only what I entered to buy. This weekend something unexpected happened. I went to office depot, picked up item X which I intended to buy and left the store. I even did not look at the store flyer or any other isles. I did not realize this change immediately after I left the store but today when I was reading an article on impulse shopping I realized that I exactly managed to cut down on my impulse spending. Now suddenly I feel great about it. It sounds like an achievement to me.

Yes, impulse spending has been one of my weaknesses. I think I am doing well recently to overcome this weakness. For me impulse shopping is something that you feel great at the time of shopping and later you regret. This feeling is like a free fall; even since you become the proud owner of that item you sooner or later start feeling guilty about that spending. It just shows that you did not intend to purchase that product if you were given some time to think about it. What is it that is stopping us from taking that time, thinking about it and then making the decision? There are many factors but the three dominant ones are marketing, peer-pressure and lack of information.

Marketing: Those flashy adds which run 24X7 on television, media hype about a product, store employees trying to convince you that this purchase will be the best thing you can do today etc. are marketing strategies that companies use. How many times you have gone to Costco or BJ’s and got out with 70% of the items which you did not need at that time? How many times you have been driven to a store by just looking at the big SALE signs? I definitely have committed these mistakes many times, but its frequency and magnitude has reduced drastically over last couple of months.

Peer-Pressure: This is the one which many of us feel does not apply to me. But I am very sure that deep down under, in some corner of you, it does affect you also. For instance: your co-workers discussing about their newly owned Iphone in the kitchen area, your best friend’s wife boosting about the new HDTV that they bought yesterday and how amazing the deal was, your friend giving you a ride in his newly hatched, fully loaded luxury car. There are many more such incidents which somehow leave an impression on your mind about that product. To make things worse you find that same product in the front isle of the store that you visit the next day. Now when you find that product, that dormant impression that was left in your mind takes life and prompts you to go closer and explore that product. It depends on individuals how much you can resist to such temptations. If you are like the ideal
customer you might end up spending your hard earned dollars on that product. At that moment, factors such as availability of money and need of that product are easily taken care of by the impulse shopping bug that was alive in you.

Lack of information: I really feel bad when I come home with a product and soon realize that there are cheaper, better quality things available which can suffice that same needs. This should be very rare in today’s information overloaded age, but believe me this happens very often than you can imagine. Consumer Report, CNET reviews, Amazon or even GOOGLE
should give you a very good idea about any prospective product that you are eying to get home. When that impulse shopping bug was biting you, if you were aware that there are other better deals available in market, it might have be easier for you to resist that spending and move on.

For me getting a new car is one of the prime candidates for impulse shopping. Most of my friends know that I have talked about buying a new car more times than Obama talks about health care reforms. Every time I sit in a brand new car, the impulse shopping bug in me becomes active. After I leave the car, I will google the price, ratings etc. Sometimes I have also been to the dealers to find out more about the car. But today I can proudly say that I have repelled those storms. I still have my old, reliable, sturdy and sexy beast, Nissan Maxima with me and I plan to hang on to it for a long time. This impulse shopping fever lasts only few days then it settles down. Now I am aware about this cycle and hence I somehow convince myself to hold on for few days before I take any major purchase decision. This extra time that you get before making the purchase gives you chance to analyze, evaluate and rethink about your decision. If that decision was a result of impulse shopping, in most cases you will end up scraping that idea. This is my way of saying NO to impulse shopping.

How do you avoid this monstrous bug?

Do share the experience of reading this blog by leaving a comment to this post. It is the only way for me to improve.


-Jimy Shah

Live 2 Eat, don’t Eat 2 Live!



Change is the only Constant

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jimy Shah @ 8:12 pm

I often wonder how these two contrasting Cs are so very related. In a programming world ‘CHANGE’==’CONSTANT’ is bound to give me FALSE, but in a philosophical way I think it is TRUE. Science has also proved that a body with MASS resists against change, which was termed as Inertia by Sir Isaac Newton. So we human beings are no different. Most of us don’t want to change. But things are changing and with this change perception of people is also changing rapidly. To me this economic down-turn is an eye-opener. There are many gigantic firms such as GM, Citi, BoFA etc. who have been forced to change. On the other hand there are companies who are making changes to take advantage of this economic meltdown. Few companies along this line are Procter & Gamble and Google which are investing more in R&D and new innovative technologies so that they can thrive when the economy gets better.

Michael Malone in his book The Future Arrived Yesterday has made very interesting point that future corporations will have to walk away from traditional change they used to pursue. The change, where company’s management, technology and ideas change once a decade. For a company to survive in future they will have to come up with a more dynamic structure which is capable of changing every month if necessary. I agree with him that instead of reacting to the situation we need to anticipate things and take action in advance to be truly successful. I consider Google to be the role model in this kind of future world. Google has changed the perception of doing business and earning profits. They turned the then existing business model on its head by coming up with the Google-way which gives its products for free and profits from its so called by-products. It looks like an amazing idea today after we have seen Google succeed, but I think most of us would have written this idea off if we would have heard it before 10 years. Technology has a big role to play in this, but what really matters is the idea, the innovation, the desire to change.

In this ever changing world, employees would also have to be multi-skilled. Only doing your job correctly will not suffice. You will have to constantly adapt to the changes that the company makes and create a space in the newly revised company. On the other hand, companies will also have to break their regular stereotypes. The best change that I read about successful firms like Nokia, Google etc. is that they encourage employee rants. This is a wonderful thing to do. You don’t need to wait for one of your directors to come up with a brilliant idea; each of your employees has many such ideas to unleash. This has proven to be very successful recently and many more companies are practicing this now. I think the time has gone when people used to stick to a job from graduation till retirement. Careers are more volatile now than ever.

To give this change a try, look around yourself to find one thing which you would like to change to be more successful and take one step towards your success. I am sure that will make you feel better.


-Jimy Shah

Live 2 Eat, don’t Eat 2 Live!



Cooking: An Art

Filed under: Cooking, food — Jimy Shah @ 7:05 pm


The first question that I get from my mom every time we talk is “Shu khadhu aaje?” which means “what did you eat today?” This is the single most growing concern amongst moms (especially for ones who do not stay with their kids). I have a solution to that, or at least I think so. Get your chef’s hat ON and assure it to your mom that YES YOU also CAN cook and eat delicious, healthy food which can make your mom happier than ever. Nothing can make a mom happier than the assurance that her child is eating properly. My mom would be very happy when she reads this postJ

Ok, coming to the main point, cooking for me has always been an Art. I think it takes an artist to makes a *good meal. If you have the interest, requirement and skills for cooking and add unattainable passion to it, nothing can stop you from steaming a mouth watering dish. If you do not have any of these at this time, not to worry, desire to learn is enough to get started.

Caution: When I say “cooking” I do not mean making ready to eat food or mixing up any ingredients in house without understanding what it is going to produce. This article is completely and solely dedicated to the enjoyment of cooking rather than fulfillment of our tummy.

What exactly is cooking? Adding up some veggies, lentils or rice and dumping in some spices from the Indian Store? Not really. There are four main ingredients which makes cooking an art. Let’s see what they are:

Interest/Desire : This is the prerequisite for entering the world of cooking. If you do not enjoy cooking, the aroma of your desire, the taste of your willingness will not garnish the food. Food without these important factors is bland and unattractive. Was it too dramatic? Ok, what I meant is you need to have that basic interest and desire to cook. You should have that drive (apart from hunger) that will get you from your cozy chair to the heat of your kitchen.

Requirement : We humans don’t do anything unless and until there is a need for it. If you have someone at your place who could serve you hot meals, I doubt you will even bother thinking about cooking. So there has to be a need for you to cook otherwise very few of us would get that initial exposure to cook. Another part of requirement is the constraint factor. Each one of us must be having some constraints such as health, time, or money. It is very important to take these constraints into consideration and build your cooking routine around it else it is not going to serve the purpose and won’t last long. For instance, I cook only on weekends, to be precise only on Sunday afternoons. I do not get time on weekdays due to the drive of playing tennis every evening. If I don’t cook on weekends, that week simply becomes an eat-out week for me. There is nothing wrong in eating out, but the point is most of the times I don’t enjoy it more than homemade food. It is also not recommended monetarily and health wise also.

Skill : This is the least important of all the ingredients for the art of cooking. You don’t need to be a top-chef to cook a delicious meal. I think everyone has the basic skills required to cook a decent edible meal to start with. If you have the other three ingredients (Interest, Requirements and Passion) taken care of, skill is very easy to develop. There are many tools available on web such as Google, YouTube videos, cookery shows, books, your mom or sister’s guidanceJ which can improve your skills. Make use of these tools at leisure and hone your cooking skills. I learned my “Cooking 101” when my mom got her hand fractured and it was up to me and my dad to take the responsibility of our kitchen. Doing as suggested by my mom while cooking meals and after getting constant encouragement from her we managed to withstand that entire month without starving (as eating out for 1 month is not a recommended option). Another way to develop cooking skills is to participate in potlucks. This forces you to cook something that is going to be scrutinized (in a positive way) by others. Potluck opens up the door to enjoy and learn from other’s cooking skills. You get to experience food from different cultures. One of my favorite is cupboard potluck where the rule is to hunt your cupboard and find out something that you can cook. You are not allowed to buy anything from the store. You have to use whatever is available in your home. Usually cupboard potluck makes more sense when scheduled impromptu. This is a nice frugal way of enjoying a potluck. We had a cupboard potluck last weekend and it was lot of fun.

Passion : Hmmm, now this is a tricky one. It is so difficult to add this ingredient unless you already have this in your armory. I would say it is not impossible to develop passion, but for most of us passion is a natural thing. You just feel passionate about something, there are no whys for it but you just feel passionate. This being said, it does not mean that you cannot discover passion. Doing something repeatedly exposes and makes you think about that thing differently. After cooking for few months you may realize that you really enjoy doing it and this is something that you really want to do more often. That is passion for me.

I have a habit of capturing memories of my cooking and making them live forever. Here is a small example of it: Direct from Heart. Don’t you want to enjoy such delicious meals? What are you waiting for? Hold on, if you are thinking of going to a restaurant, stop right there… give it a try on your own. Try to think of your favorite dish today and Google it. I am sure you will find a very detailed recipe and videos for it. If you cannot find it, shoot me an email, I can point you to a good resource which will suffice your needs. If you are interested in finding out good online resources for recipes, keep in touch with this blog, soon I am planning to list of some useful resources that I use regularly.

I hope you enjoyed this blog. Do provide me with you feedback on what are your thoughts when it comes to cooking. Share your experience with cooking so that others can learn from it.

Confession: I simply love to cook, but till now I have been playing around with my strength that is cooking Indian food. My next target is going to be familiar with the culinary art of international food. Probably I will have a post on how this goes later this year.

* good meal = Edible, enjoyable, attractive and memorable.


-Jimy Shah

Live 2 Eat, don’t Eat 2 Live!


YOUNGISTAN: The future of tomorrow

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jimy Shah @ 6:01 pm

“Yes We Can” has been an iconic statement used by President Barack Obama which galvanized the youth of America and brought him the historic victory. Using high end technology for his campaign he targeted youth and change the perception of election. He realized that if there is someone who can make a change, it is The Youth.

Recently in Iran, the youth is trying to change the regime. This is only possible if they believe they can make a change. Youth has used new technologies like Twitter and Facebook to voice their opinion and gave a new dimension to the usage of these tools. They showed the main stream media their future.

All these incidents have instilled special power in the youth. A belief that their vote counts. Previously youngsters were perceived to be ones watching movies, playing sports and partying, isolated from politics and world, incapable of making strong decisions. Obama’s wave of “YES WE CAN” not only created history by being the first black president, but left a bigger impact of making the youth alive. He gave birth to The YOUNGISTAN.

During my school days, I had my room walls filled with film star’s posters. My grandfather used to address my room as FILMISTAN. This is where I got to relate to this word YOUNGISTAN for the youth power all around the world. This word is getting more and more popular in the social networking paradigm.

Youngistan’s residents like Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Jack Dorsey and many others have changed the way we use internet and social media in our day to day life. In recent India election young MPs such as Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Rahul Gandhi, Agatha Sangma and many others have made it to the big stage of Indian Parliament.

Somehow now even I feel that I can make a difference. My say has some weight associated to it and is not completely ignored. This gives lot of confidence and makes me explore the paths which I would have never explored otherwise. I feel like a member of this dynamic YOUNGISTAN.

What do you think about this YOUNGISTAN? Are you a part of it?


-Jimy Shah

Live 2 Eat, don’t Eat 2 Live!


What is your RISK comfort factor?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jimy Shah @ 4:54 pm

RISK: a source of danger; a possibility of incurring loss or misfortune, is embedded in each and every moment of our life. While driving a car there is a risk of getting hit or we hitting someone. While walking there is a chance of falling or getting hit by a car. After 9/11 sitting in your office or home is also not safe. There is a chance of some flying saucer coming in front of you and giving you the glimpse of your final moments. Cooking food is also full of risk, there are chances of food getting overcooked, burnt, over spiced etc. Investing in stocks is a synonym for risk so it does not need any explanation. What do you think about keeping your money in bank? Well the government makes sure that if the amount is less than $200k your money is safe and you will get it back even if bank goes bankrupt. But if you look at it closely, regular banks gives interest rate of somewhere around 0.1% and online banks give rate between 1.5-2%. Historic data shows that inflation is on average 4% each year which means that by keeping your money in bank you are losing it at a rate of anywhere between 2-4% depending on where you are banking. So keeping money in banks is also risky. Foreign nationals roaming around are in constant risk of being caught and interrogated or harassed if you don’t have your passport, valid status proof etc. Yes, by law foreign nationals are required to carry passport and other proofs with them 24×7, drivers license is not enough. Each of these things has their own risk factor; few are life changers while few are not that serious.

All these things make me feel why am I sometimes reluctant while making decisions thinking that it is too risky? I think “risky” is a relative term. It’s very difficult to say that option A is risky and option B is risk free. When we discard some options based on risk, all that means is that we are trying to minimize our risk. Minimizing risk does not always means maximizing profit or the outcome. If you can minimize the risk and maximize the results then you have made the optimum decision and that’s what we all try to achieve. But most of the individuals whom I have met in my life are “safe players”. They do not want to maximize their profit but they do want to have minimum risk. This is what I call risk free ghetto group. Their mantra of life is very simple, follow the crowd. This will make sure that risk is less as compared to exploring previously unexplored paths. They are struggling to survive and they don’t have the desire or will to stand out. A representative of this group is well known as the common man. The one used by each politician in every other speech as his weapon which he can mould in any shape he wants.

Probably I also belong to this ghetto, but I am at least trying to rethink whether I belong here or not. Recently I have been asking myself questions like, do I really want to do what I am doing? Do I enjoy doing what I am doing? What is it that I can do better? How can I make my money grow in folds rather than reducing in banks? Do I want to be where I am now? I am sure most of us must have asked these questions to ourselves and probably might also have got answer to it. But very few, the brave ones, would have done something differently after answering these questions to make it a reality. Why is that? Because the risk factor is too high in most of these answers which might require significant changes in our life.

I hope this has stimulated some thoughts in your mind and will help you in spending some time thinking about this. It might not be always that you will implement each of the things that you want to do, but giving it a thought and deciding on a firm YES or NO based on our RISK comfort factor helps a lot. Give it a shot; it’s an interesting exercise if you have never done this before.

Image source: http://www.bized.co.uk/


-Jimy Shah

Live 2 Eat, don’t Eat 2 Live!


Do you know where you are spending?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jimy Shah @ 7:43 pm

How many times have your thought that you should not have spent your money on something after you had already done that? When was the last time you regretted your decision about eating out tasteless food, buying that useless electronic gadget, going on vacation and then realizing it wasn’t worth it? I think this happens to most of us and the reason is simple, if you don’t enjoy what you are spending your money on, it is not going to satisfy you. My definition of controlled spending is to know the value of your spending and enjoying it.

There has been occasions when I will eat lunch out for the entire week and on the weekend when I evaluate my weekly expense that “oh no” feeling comes to my mind. Recently this has reduced a lot as I take home cooked lunch to work. It gives me immense pleasure while eating and also gives satisfaction while my weekly expense analysis. This is just a small step which I took to cut down on calories, but it also proved to be economical. This does not prevent me from eating an odd meal out with friends. Friday nights have always been a blast and fun-filled events. It is almost a no-limit night as far as spending is concerned. All we are looking for it to burn down the weekdays work pressure and get ready for a relaxing weekend. I never think twice before spending on Friday nights, why? Because I enjoy what I do and I strongly feel that my money is worth spent.

Starbucks coffee, I spend around $50-$100 on my Grande sweetened Iced Coffee. I enjoy every drop of it and I don’t think I will cut back on them even if they doubled its price. For me this is not a lavish spending. I am sure you all must be having few of such habits which might appear to be wasteful spending to other but for you it’s absolutely worth it.

Recently I have started following few blogs on personal finance and investing. One of my favorite is simple dollar. The most important thing that I get from these readings is the motivation and that extra push which helps me in executing my financial plans. Maintaining monthly budget sheet and doing regular analysis helps me in finding the bottlenecks and gives me a chance to rethink on my spending. I can see the spending graph linearly increasing each month. Now I know where exactly my money is going and I am trying to take measure to cut down on spending which I don’t enjoy much. I believe in Spending More and Earning More but when I don’t enjoy what I am spending on it does not make any sense in continuing such spending. To realize this you need to analyze and think about your spending. Analysis of your finances does not always mean finding ways to cut down on spending but it’s a tool which gives you that second chance to rethink about it. If you decide your spending is worth, its fine, go ahead with it but at least now you know what are you are spending on. My only aim, when I started keeping track of my spending and creating those beautiful looking graphs in MATLAB and Excel, was to know what I am spending my money on.

Do you follow any other techniques which have worked for you to keep an eye on your finances? What is your mantra of life when it comes to spending or controlling wasteful spending? Do share your experience on how you manage your finances. I am sure each one of you has a trick in your bag which could be helpful to others.


-Jimy Shah

Live 2 Eat, don’t Eat 2 Live!


Are you ready for the new Hi-Tech world?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jimy Shah @ 12:29 am

Few days back I discovered PING which allows you to tweet, write to a wall and scrap at the same time from a single interface. Isn’t that cool? The underlying point is that WE ARE ENTERING a gadget loaded, software stuffed and information inundated AGE. I call it The Hi-Tech Age. Newspapers, telephone directories, normal cell-phones, dial-up internet, bulky computers and CRT televisions are out on the other hand Kindle, Iphone, FiOS, NetBooks and Flat Panel LCD TVs are in.

I often find myself heavily dependent on the technology for most of my work. May it be communication via Emails or maintaining my To-Do list via Evernote or Facebook/Orkut to get updates on Friends life or Twitter and RSS feeds for news around the world, I am all dependent on technology. My colleague Abhi often reminds me of this by his famous quote ” Abe keetana dependent hai tu technology par, Nuclear war hogi to duniya 50 years peeche chali jayegi”.
I often just laugh it out, but I think he has a serious advice for me. But I find it almost impossible to do without my Gmail Calendars, Evernote, Iphone, Facebook, Delicious, blogs, 24-inch monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse. These things are so embedded into my life that I cannot think of a life without them. “I take your advice seriously Abhi, but it’s too late for me to turn my back to these extremely helpful and interesting stuffs.”

Once I started using Google Calendar and my Iphone, I have started remembering (at least my friends think so ;)) birthdays. Facebook and Orkut has enabled me to keep in touch with my old friends whom I might not have gotten chance to interact with. My RSS feeds keeps me informed about what is happening in the world and around me. My Iphone allows me to watch my favorite videos, play a game or two when I am lying on my bed. Evernote allows me to keep my tasks, ideas and things organized; it acts as an extra brain for me. No need to write any more CDs or DVDs as I can hook up my Iphone via USB cable to my car stereo system. Aren’t all these things amazing? How much work these things have taken off your shoulders? Or let me put it this way, how much extra work these new things allow you to do? It is a lot of help, you get extra time to work on stuffs that you really need to work on and for which the technology is not yet invented or at least not discovered by you.


Is this overdependence or just making the most of available resources? One another thing why I won’t like to give up these gadgets and software is not to be left out of this new boom. Recently Twitter was on the cover of TIME magazine. If this is not enough, let me tell you that a week back one billion Iphone apps were downloaded. All these facts make me believe that it is OK to be a part of this massive new crowd of tech-geeks and to make most use of these new emerging technologies. I still feel that there are many more new technologies out there which I have not explored and I am all exited to witness the future.



What do you feel about this new hi-tech world? Are you a part of this new upcoming world?

Do share the experience of reading this blog by leaving a comment to this post. It is the only way for me to improve.


-Jimy Shah

Live 2 Eat, don’t Eat 2 Live!


Is default the only option?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jimy Shah @ 4:59 pm

Have you ever used the terms “Comcast for internet”, “Windows for Operating System” or “Wal-Mart for grocery store”? If you have, don’t be hesitant in accepting it, everyone in their life must have realized that the company/brand with which they associated a product/market is just the DEFAULT (popular). Market is full of such companies and products which dominate in their area of expertise. I would like to share my experiences and thoughts about few of these companies.



Comcast: I have had some mixed experiences with Comcast. The most recent one was very pleasant. But the nagging one is that I cannot QUIT Comcast. Yes, I simply cannot, even if I want to. The reason being in my apartment (Framingham, MA) there are no other service providers. Comcast is probably aware about this and this could be one of the reasons why I am not getting any special deals/discounts from last 18 months. I have called them up more than 10 times emailed more than 5 times requesting for some discount/deals, but the result was expected “I am sorry to say but currently there are no offers available in your area“. They attract new clients with lucrative offers such as $19.99/month for high speed internet (12 Mbps) and after 6 months it shoots up to $59.95 for the same. The funniest part is that just internet costs more than internet + cable after the first 6 months, do this even makes sense? Not to me at least. On the other hand I hear from my colleagues that Verizon is way cheaper than Comcast. All these makes me to believe that, because they are aware that practically no one can live in America without internet and I don’t have any other choice apart from Comcast, they simply don’t care about me (a loyal customer).

Enough said about the thing that bothers me the most about Comcast, but as I said earlier my experience with Comcast has been a mixed bag. The good part has always been my interaction with the technical support and customer support. They have always been very helpful and supportive. They have even provided me with a refund of 10 days when I was without the internet for some modem issues. They send a technician onsite without any charges to inspect the modem or the connection if you find any issues.

So, I would give a to Comcast’s technical support and a to Comcast’s ability and policy to deal with existing customers.


Windows the only tool for the lazy lumps like me. Windows is something that is embedded into our daily life so much that it is almost next to impossible to stop using it. I often think why do all these big companies pay thousands of Dollars to buy Windows products and maintenance, when open-wares such as Linux, Open Office, Evernote, GIMP etc. are freely available? What makes them feel that it is worth investing in Windows? Or are they really investing?

Few reasons which I would make me invest in Windows are:

  • Technical Support: This probably is the biggest force that drives big giants to invest in Windows. The sole assurance that someone is there to help when in need makes the Windows proposition very promising.
  • Years of market presence: Windows is one of the oldest and most popular Operating System. Windows was popular when the internet and computer bug had just bitten people. This made it the default Operating System of the 20th century. This adds to the investor’s confidence in Windows that most of the people are familiar and comfortable using it.
  • Ease of collaboration: Most of the users are familiar with Windows and relatively less familiar with UNIX, the opposite might not be true. So it is always easier to share and interact with others in terms of Windows utilities and files. Not to forget that there is a generation of geeks getting ready for the UNIX dominated world. I respect such individuals who try to do different things, but let’s be honest as of now it is far from being true.


So, being a novice UNIX user, I would give a to Windows as it is a life-saver for most of us.



Wal-Mart, they sell for less. Have you ever imagined how do they sell for less? How can they sell things for so less and still maintain such a huge profit margin? Do they compromise on quality? Do they pay less compensation to their employees? These are the questions which have always bothered me when I enter Wal-Mart. It had been our favorite store for me and my roomies during our 2 years of college. We used to get a trunk full of Wal-Mart plastics stuffed with milk, bread, beans, ice-cream, laundry liquid, kitchen cleaner and all other things which you could possibly imagine.

Few things which bother me about Wal-Mart are:

  • Never ending checkout lines. Staying alone, I hardly have more than 5 items to buy from Wal-Mart at a time. Still, I have to wait in the long line at the “Items less than 20” checkout counter (Wal-Mart here does not have self-checkout counters). I could see out of 20 registers only 4 are open at any time. This is not an experience from a day or two but from last 18 months. On the other hand when I go to Target or Stop N Shop, I rarely find a checkout line more than 3 people, which is amazing. Even the “people/sq area” ratio is significantly higher for Wal-Mart. I like to have my own space when I am grocery shopping and do not want people to bump into my cart every now and then. That’s a big from me to Target and Stop N Shop and a to Wal-Mart.
  • Next is the quality. During the college days when our college bus will only go to Wal-Mart and without having a car of our own, Wal-Mart was the only option that we had. So I never got a chance to compare great value with any other brands. But now I can see the difference, a huge difference in terms of taste, looks, feel and date of expiry. May it be bread, milk or ice-cream, I can surely see the difference now. Things at Stop N Shop and Target are of relatively good quality. They are charged at 5% extra rate, but for me it’s worth it as it adds up being a very small extra amount to my grocery budget.
  • One more and an important thing which might not make sense to many are to pick up a great value item in front of everyone or to invite friends at dinner and taking out the great value milk can for making the milk shake. Let me confess, apart from the above 2 reasons this is also a factor which keeps me away from Wal-Mart. It is sort of uncomforting feeling to have a great value item in your refrigerator. Do you think this is a valid reason? Have you ever felt the same?

Overall a relatively smaller to Wal-Mart and a big to Stop N Shop and Target.


What are your experiences and observations about Comcast, Windows or Wal-Mart? Can you remember any other such companies/brands which people associate with a product/market?

Do share the experience of reading this blog by leaving a comment to this post.



-Jimy Shah

Live 2 Eat, don’t Eat 2 Live!



Random Walk

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jimy Shah @ 3:23 am

    When I think of Random Walk, the first thing that comes to my mind is the mathematical analysis and the most famous Markov processes. Hold it, you must be tempted to ask are you a geek? No I am not and so I am not allowed to wear this geeky
hat. So my random walk is slightly different, in fact very different and thankfully it does not involve any MATH in it.

    Ok, my random walk is the random desire that came to my mind today to go on a walk. Weather here in Boston gives you out of this world kind of feeling. So I could not resist myself and after having my homemade aloo partha from Edison, I decided to reinvent myself and go on a random walk. It was around 9:35 pm when I went out; by this time half of America goes to sleep. As I expected the parking lot and the streets were completely deserted. I still continued my random walk and made a random turn to a random street. And guess what? It turned out that I never knew there was a Citizens Bank just 100 yards from my apartment. This was just the first random place out of many which I discovered. I continued my random experiment and kept going on with my random walk. The weather was perfect for such a walk and my Iphone confirmed it by showing it to be 62o F. Soft cool breeze blowing gently and the combination of a Pajama and a cool-dude T-Shirt made the experience amazing.

I decided to explore the unexplored street in my neighborhood and dared to enter it during these late hours. I could see infrequent fleet of cars but not even a single living creature nearby. I was waiting for the traffic to pass by so that I can cross the road and go to the other side and suddenly, a car stopped. Do you think I was getting intimidated or frightened?? Naah… but that did arouse suspicion in my mind. It did not last long as I could see a hand coming out of the car window and waiving indicating to move on and cross the road. I love this place, this is one of the few places where I have seen such a courteous drivers. Kudos to all those drivers who stop for the passerby and gives the pedestrian a sigh of relief. After getting to other side of the road I started walking and singing a popular Himesh’s number. Within 5 minutes I got my next random surprise, I saw a church which was again less than 300 yards from my apartment. I remember observing huge mass of people passing by this street but never realized that there was a church nearby. Around the church was a nice pedestrian walkway which I used for my next 15 minutes walk. I started imagining myself walking/running on this newly discovered walkway every morning. I wish I really did that, but for a person like me who wakes up at 2:00 pm on weekends it almost seems impossible. So I stopped my imagination and continued humming Himesh’s number.

Soon I decided to take a U-Turn and started heading back. Then my eyes went on to observe an Indian restaurant right across the street “Welcome Indian Cuisine” was the billboard, bright and glittering. I always found this place to be very unattractive from my car as this was the way which I passed by twice a day. But suddenly, when I had time to observe this place closely, I discovered that it was well structured and had quite a lot of free space and parking on both sides of the restaurant. Suddenly a place which was distasteful started appearing appealing. I could see many tables occupied with people wearing salwar kameez, the traditional Indian dress. My test buds started expressed their desire and I made this place to be my next gourmet venture for this weekend.

I continued and observed places such as a Medical Center, Auto repair shop, grocery store and so on. I turned to the familiar street which took me to my community parking lot and soon my random walk ended. It ended with a lot of discoveries and changed few of my viewpoints. Not to mention that it helped in digestion and made me feel better after a heavy dinner. I have decided that I will try to continue this decision of walking and make it a tradition. I also decided to continue with such random experiments which led me to my to-be random tradition (walk).

I would recommend everyone to go out of your apartment some day and experience the freshness around you. I can bet, if you have never done this before you will find at least one interesting observation during your random walk. Do share your experience if you happen to experience one of these random walks.



-Jimy Shah

Live 2 Eat don’t Eat 2 Live



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