Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Few things I learned after Mithun:

We always believe we will live forever. Bad things always happen to others.

Only when things hit us bang on your head you realise... Life is so unpredictable....

My husband was an IT guy…all techie…And I am a chartered accountant…Awesome combination you may think…

Techie guy so everything is on his laptop…his to do list… his e-bill and his bank statements in his email… … He even maintained a folder which said IMPWDS…wherein he stored all login id and passwords for all his online accounts…And even his laptop had a password… Techie guy so all the passwords were alpha-numeric with a special character not an easy one to crack…Office policy said passwords needed to be changed every 30 days…So every time I accessed his laptop I would realise it’s a new password again… I would simply opt for asking him ‘What’s the latest password’ instead of taking the strain to memorise it.

You may think me being a Chartered Accountant would means everything is documented and filed properly… Alas many of my chartered accountant friends would agree that the precision we follow with our office documents and papers do not flow in to day to day home life… At office you have be epitome of Reliability / Competent / Diligent etc but… at home front there is always a tomorrow…

One fine morning my hubby expired in a bike accident on his way home from office…. He was just 33…His laptop with all his data crashed…everything on his hard disk wiped off…No folder of IMPWDS to refer back to…His mobile with all the numbers on it was smashed…But that was just the beginning… I realised I had lot to learn…

9 years married to one of the best human beings…with no kids…just the two of us to fall back on….but now I stood all alone and lost…

Being chartered accountant helped in more ways than one but it was not enough… I needed help…His saving bank accounts, his salary bank accounts had no nominee…On his insurance his mom was the nominee and it was almost 2 years back she had expired… but this was just a start…. I didn’t know the password to his email account where all his e-bill came…I didn’t know which expenses he paid by standing instructions…

His office front too was not easy… His department had changed recently…I didn't know his reporting boss name to start with…when had he last claimed his shift allowance…his mobile reimbursement…

The house we bought with all the excitement…on a loan…thought with our joint salary we could afford the EMI…when the home loans guys suggested insurance on the loan…we decided the instead of paying the premium the difference in the EMI on account of the insurance could be used pay towards prepayment of the loan and get the tenure down…We never thought what we would do if we have to live on a single salary…So now there was huge EMI to look into …

I realised I was in for a long haul…

Road accident case… so everywhere I needed a Death certificate, FIR report, Post Mortem report… For everything there were forms running into pages…indemnity bonds…notary…surety to stand up for you…No objections certificates from your co-heirs..

I learnt other than your house, your land … your car, your bike are also your property... So what if you are the joint owner of the flat…you don’t become the owner just because your hubby is no more… So what if your hubby expired in the bike accident…and you are the nominee but if the bike is in a repairable condition …you have to get the bike transferred in your name to claim the insurance…And that was again not easy… the bike or car cannot be transferred in your name without going through a set of legal documents… Getting a Succession Certificate is another battle all together…

Then came the time you realise now you have to start changing all the bills, assets in your name…Your gas connection, electricity meter, your own house, your car, your investments and all sundries… And then change all the nominations where your own investments are concerned…And again a start of a new set of paperwork…

To say I was shaken…my whole life had just turned upside down was an understatement…You realise you don’t have time to mourn and grieve for the person with whom you spend the best years of your life… because you are busy sorting all the paper work…

I realised then how much I took life for granted…I thought being a chartered accountant I am undergoing so many difficulties…what would have happened to someone who was home maker who wouldn’t understand this legal hotchpotch…

A sweet friend then told me dear this was not an end…you have no kids…your assets will be for all who stand to claim…after my hubby’s sudden death…I realised it was time I took life more seriously… I now needed to make a Will… I would have laughed if a few months back if he had asked me to make one…But now life had taken a twist…

Lessons learnt this hard way were meant to be shared…After all why should the people whom we love the most suffer after we are no more…Sorting some paperwork before we go will at least ease some of their grief…

1.      Check all your nominations...
It’s a usual practice to put a name (i.e in the first place if you have mentioned it) and royally forget about it. Most of us have named our parent as a nominee for investments, bank accounts opened before marriage. We have not changed the same even years after they are no longer there with us. Even your salary account usually has no nomination…. Kindly check all your Nominations…
-        Bank Accounts
-        Fixed Deposits, NSC
-        Bank Lockers
-        Demat Accounts
-        Insurance (Life, Bike or Car or Property)
-        Investments
-        PF & Pension Forms

2.      Passwords….
We have passwords for practically everything… Email accounts, Bank accounts, even for the laptop you use… What happens when your next in kin cannot access any of these simply because they do not know your password... Put it down on a paper…

3.      Investments…
Every year for tax purpose we do investments… Do we maintain a excel sheet about it… If so is it on the same laptop of which the password you had not shared… Where are those physical investments hard copy…

4.      Will…
Make a Will…I know you will smile even I would…had I not gone through all what I did…It would have made my life lot easier…a lot less paperwork…I wouldn’t had to provide an indemnity bond, get it notarised, ask surety to stand up, no objections certificates from others...

5.      Liabilities…
When you take a loan say for your house or car…Check out on all the what ifs…what if I am not there tomorrow…what if I loose my job…Will the EMI still be within my range…If not get an insurance on the loan…The people left behind will not have to worry on something as basic as their own house…

My battles has just begun...But let us at least try and make few changes so that our loved ones would not suffer after we go…We do not know what will happen in the future…But as the Scout motto goes: Be prepared…

52 comments:

  1. Thanks didi..
    I wish you all the strength!

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  2. I am smiiten by your words, and more by your strength!!. Priya, as kids we have hardly known each other, I remember vaguely this girl who came in and went out, who I saw from my balcony. Then, I vividly rember, She came in and went out again, by this companion, who I caught some glimpses of and just to find out, that you married him. 'Mithun' - I shall now see him as this person, with a beautiful smile, and You- Priya, an Extension.....of The Lord Krishns"Mithun" as it is rightly meant!!....
    I connect with you in more ways than I can express...lots of healing your way!!

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  4. Hey Priya, I didn't have the guts to call you earlier ... But you, after all the loss, think ahead and even guide us in the process, what can I say, Hats off to you ... You know I had prayed for you and Mithun, guess thats the least I could do, but after reading this post, I have even more respect for you ... May God be with you always Priya - Anuradha

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  5. thanks priya...God Bless you....Hats Off to your strength..i wish I had even 1% of that...

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  6. I cant believe you are the same Priya I used to share my bench in school when we were kids! So hurt yet so strong .. thank you so much for the blog!

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  7. I admire your strength and will power ma'm...similar thing happened to us, world upside down family vanished in ago..my dad have to strength knit all the things in one web...its not that the accidents or mishappenings make us strong or stone...it is just that life is a gift one need to come out of yeasterday's haunting dreams and pursue the life which will atleast suffice the soul waiting for us to reunite..

    God bless you sister !!!

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  8. Priya..your strength and spirit has always been an inspiration...but having read your words here, I realized once again the richness of the clarity in your thoughts and the ever helping hand you extend to make others' life easier! Thanks a bunch for making us face the reality though your life. There are no words to comfort your heart or ease your trouble, but HOPE...is something which I will forever have for you to spring back and face and live life with all readiness and spirit!

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  9. Quite an Eye opener for lot of ppl. Great intent to put up ur experience on the web.
    God bless you with luv and strength

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  10. Thank you priya,
    your strength shines through. If you need someone to help you, stand in a queue, run around govt offices, etc. Please feel free to call me or my brother. Recently our dad passed away and i too went through the same hell.
    9845175680
    krishnaprasad

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  11. I can see a lot of Strength and hope in each and every word you have written. Hats off to you Priya Akka.Lot of times, we take Life for granted and keep postponing things for tomorrow not knowing that we may or may not have a tomorrow. This post was an eyeopener for me.Thanks for writing this post.

    Sending lot of prayers on your way for your recovery from the huge loss.

    -Shobana(Shwetha's Friend)

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  12. no words can bring back your love to life, but your memories can add life to that love. I pray you have all the strength and support to sail through. and you seem to be on that path. the blog was an eye.opener. thank you.

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  13. Hello Priya didi , You dont know me ... and i realy dont know what to say at this point.. But i was thinking that after going through all the pain in the world , u sat down to write this blog as an eye opener for others .. This blog will be "some thing to ponder over " for all the girls..You had the goodness to share your tensions so that some one else will not go through the same pain ..i really appreciate this and pray with my full heart that god gives u all the strength , the courage , the will power to guide u along ..Am so sorry for your loss, and i will pray to GOD to keep you strong .. lots of love .. -manjusha(shwetha's oracle collegue)

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  14. Great Strenght to take the Pen and right this note!!
    My prayers!!!
    (Read ur story via FB!!! Ur welllwisher)
    Sincerely,
    Roshini

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  15. Thanks for sharing this. Wish you all the best and well wishes. Got this link from a common friend.

    Regards,
    Yashwant

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  16. Hi Priya,

    I am sure you wouldnt recognise me. But i def do, & think i got to knw you very well after reading this write up. I literally have tears in my eyes while i read this. Hats off to ur strength, seriously.. My best wishes & prayers are with you .. Please takecr of urself..

    Regards
    Tejaswita

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  17. Hi Priya,

    I came across this post thru FB. My condolences for your loss. I admire the strength and resilience which is evident from this article. Even in great emotional peril, you chose to throw light on these so as to guide others.

    Kudos!!!

    cheers
    Anusha

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  18. Hello Priya,

    Thanks for making the time, in the midst of all that was happening in your life, for posting this very moving and incredible useful and sensible bit of advice.

    Wish you well.

    Vidya

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  19. Hi Priya,

    Really hats off to all your guts and streangth!!!thanks for sharing!!!

    GOD BLESS YOU!!!

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  20. Dear Priya,

    I salute your confidence/courage & the strength you ooze is amazing ! Like you said what has been done cannot be undone; but what can be done needs direction and the right execution. learnt many a valuable lessons and my prayers and best wishes to you !

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  21. Hi priya. ...i am xtremely sorry abt ur losss and no one can ever fufill it. ..Except GOD......inspite of such devastation i will advise u hold ur faith,be strong and a day will cum wen u will realise. ..He is there. .....i know u may not believe my words now......as no one can knw wht u must be goin thru rite now....but Be strong and only Tyme will help.
    Tc

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  22. Dear Priya,
    I only remember you as a Jay View kid - I never realized you've been going through this trauma. God bless you and give you some peaceful moments to help you reflect and come to terms with your loss. I'm grateful to you for writing this post, for it surely gave me a great jolt - I never imagined the implications till I read this.

    Take care.
    Geeta

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  23. Dear Priya ,
    A the outset may god give you all the strength to deal with this great loss and secondly would like to thank you of going through all this effort amid the crisis in your life.

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  24. Thanks for opening a lot of eyes even in your grief. Power to you!

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  25. I don't know you and happened to read this just by chance, while browsing online. Your courage and strength have bowled me over and I would like to offer my deepest condolences to you. You are a Hero and you will survive this, because whether you know it or not, you have immense power and strength.
    God bless you and may He make more such women for the whole world to look up to!
    I will be very pleased to be your friend and help you in whatever little way I can.

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  26. Hi Priya,

    I can completely correlate with you for I have gone through the similar situation. My deepest condolences for your husband and wish you all the strength to handle the situation.

    Please feel free to drop me a note if you think I can be of any help to you.

    God Bless and Take Care..

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  27. May God be with you always. Take care..

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  28. hi priya,
    my deepest condolences...no words can bring back your man. Thanks for posting your advice...may go give you a strenght and peace. take care.....

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  29. Hi Priya,
    My deepest and heartfelt condolences to you on your loss. Hats off to you for taking you precious time into writing up this blog, to bring awareness to the rest of us. I don't know you personaly, but saw the posting on FB through a common friend of mine. God bless you.

    Regards
    Santosh

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  30. Hello Priya bhabi, very nice post...sad to read but an eye opener. please take care. bye

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  31. Hi Priya,

    Our deepest condolences to you.God takes away people who are dear to him from earth, to keep them with him. We do not know the reason behind his act, but believe me everything has a purpose. I know it is a great loss to you but i hope you can overcome these difficulties with gods grace and may peace be there on your heart. All i can say is we are there for you, anything , anytime do not hesitate to call us. You have shown remarkable strength in the past, and will continue to do so. We pray to almighty that his blessing be there with you to overcome this difficult period.

    Venkatesh ( JMB-MUM)
    Gita Venkatesh

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  32. We always believe we will live forever. Bad things always happen to others.
    You are right. We always believe that bad things happen to others. In my childhood I had heard about a story how one ignores conveniently while the neighbor’s house is burning ! This is human tendency.


    Life is unpredictable and therefore uncertain. I have been saying that death is certain but Life is an accident. The fact that I am alive today is a matter of miracle. A bubble filled with air floats on the water not for very long time. It has to burst at one point of time or other.



    I knew very little about Mithun- about his career as a techie. Honestly, I had lost track about you as a chartered accountant.


    I think this is common with every person who depends on his laptop than conventional note pad. Whatever happened in his case is really very unfortunate that the whole dat…a is locked and un accessible.

    You said it right. At home front there is always a tomorrow. Unfortunately in Mithun’s case the tomorrow was erased !!

    I would daresay that ‘no kids’ is a blessing in disguise. You would have had to spend half of your energy consoling the kids or even to worry about bringing them up in the absence of their father. You are not alone and lost. You have Somanth as your father in law. As I know him he is a responsible father and I am sure he will give a helping hand.


    The difficulty is genuine but I am sure there must be some solution somewhere. You may have to wait and pursue.


    The Office front is expected to be sympathetic to you and hence help you no matter who the reporting boss is.


    It was an unfortunate miscalculation of the House Plan. How whatever has happened has happened. The solution, I believe lies in surrendering the house back to the builder or seller




    I know how difficult and hazardous it is to follow the rigmarole of death certificate FIR etc., But this has to be complied with. Is there any alternative?

    Likewise getting a Succession Certificate too, is very hazardous/


    Yes !! You have got to undertake the task of the necessary paper work.


    You are very right. You don’t have time to mourn and grieve for your beloved with whom you spend the best years of your life. But that is a part of YOUR life. You have to face it courageously and boldly.


    This is very true. What would have happened to someone who was a house maker? There are umpteen number of women who cannot understand any legal formalities. You are fortunate that you ara a CA

    It is always wise to make a WILL. It is not at all difficult to do it. You don’t need a lawyer to do it. All that you need is two witnesses to sign along with you and then have it registered if you feel. It is advisable

    This is a good advice to all concerned I agree with all that you have suggested in the rest of your blog



    I appreciate your courage and wish you good luck

    Anil Sharma

    Posted by Priya at 2:28 AM

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  33. I started reading this blog as Guest, and just thought for a while to step into u r shoes and think.even for 1 sec, i am unable to be in ur position
    Frankly Speaking Being in grief and sharing this information..resembles how strong u r and how helpful u are...Hatsoff to you Priya..
    May Mithuin RIP and give more strength to be helpfull in all around

    Nag

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  34. Most marraiges are not happy ,and over 30% end in a divorce in India.Thats the reality . Society always sympathizes with a widow and I understand that is the same with all the peopel here . On a totally different note, I am not sure what her the husband must disclose all the passwords and make all nomination in the name of the wife so that she gets all after he is killed , bumped off , or plain dies because of stress. There are innumerable cases where husbands are bumbed off in road accidents , poisoned by wifes and paramors to grag his property.(Just google and see). Even in a divorce the wife normally aims to grab all of the property that the husband has and what he has got from his parents . Women in india do not get any property from their fathers and believe that they have a solem right to their father-in-laws and husbands property. Men get married in early 30's and I have friends who have made joined FD's with wives of all theitr savings from their 20's and lost everything when the marraige brpoke down.In these circunmstaces it is extremely dangerous for a husband to disclose these aspects to his wife.

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  35. I am proud i know u... Mithun will be happy when u stand strong... and i know u will... Love u loads priya

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  36. thanks for your info . let me pray for his soul rest in peace. my heartily wishes for ur bright future.

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  37. Priya me and my husband were Mithun's colleague in IBM, he always used to speak about you both, i heard about the news..for 2 days we could not even believe he is no more.

    But you are a very strong women, really loads of thanks for sharing this information. Stay brave and god bless you :).

    Savita

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  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  39. Hi! Priya!!
    My heartfelt condolences to you..

    the way have written your blog gave me goose pimples..

    It was like reliving the past... I lost my husband in a car acccident in 2003...

    i have a daughter ...to add to all the woes we were constructing our house and i was staying in a rental place ..i donot know how but i just managed to built my house singlehandedly...i too was injured in the car accident and i did what i had to on my own ..going to insurance companies,bank...

    the uppermost thought in my mind then was to survive...to have the same standard of life i enjoyed before...not let my daughter or my father-in-law who was 83 then feel the pinch..i decorated my house just like we both had decided..

    i just had to move on...no amount of crying would get him back..and hats what i did ...

    Ratna Kulkarni
    P.S
    i read this article in network FP.
    After the accident i became a Finanacial advisor.

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  40. Hi Priya,

    Let me first pray GOD to give rest for your Husband's soul and equally, you are Blessed with his good things in your future.
    Be prepared to see the world......

    Wishing..
    Balan & Raji

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  41. I have no idea who you are..
    reached your blog through a forwarded mail on your post.
    May god bless you with the strength to go ahead in life...
    Prayers

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  42. Priya,
    No words can fill your loss and nothing that i say might ease the troubles that you have been through. All i can say is that i will pray for Mithun's soul and pray to the almighty to give you all the strength that you need to carry on.

    Thank you for taking up the courage to put your thoughts, your sufferings on this blog.

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  43. It’s really small world. I got your write -up via forwarded mail and after reading it felt it can be none other than my Friend PRIYA who has written this.

    When called up my guess was right. Thx priya for sharing this blog details and such a toching writeup on reality and human nature for taking things so lightly.

    I know no words can fill up your loss or make thing easy for you but I appreciate this writeup which will make at least others life little easy.
    Thx for writing eye opening write-up and believe me I have started putting up important things/passwords in place so that in case if I am not there my family should not go through all these troubles.

    Neeta

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  44. May God be with you always.
    Prayers

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  45. Dear Priya, you dont know me. I got this blog from one of my colleagues. I am completely moved by seeing your courage and strength. The world will be a different place if we have more of Priyas. May God gives you all the strength to come out even more stronger. I am sure Mithun is seeing you from somewhere up there and is proud of you. Thank you so much for sharing this. God bless you and take care..

    -Tusi

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  46. Dear Priya,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family through this heartbreaking time. There's nothing I can say that will ease your pain. My deepest condolences.
    My mother faced similar thing 30 years back - when my father expired in an accident - at that time I was just 2 years old & my sister was not even 1 year. But my Mom strongly faced this world & we are so proud of her. I think god gives all of us this strength.
    I must appreciate that you have shared your learning – I have shared this with lot of people I know.

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  47. Hi Priya,

    This idea has been with me for quite some time.
    It does not have a name so we can call it "Soft Insurance" for now.

    And I have imagined working out an online solution to it. (I am a decent programmer although it is not part of my usual work).

    The general idea goes like this...
    I have an Online Account where I submit all my details, along with contact details of next of kin.
    This service regularly (say monthly or quarterly) checks with me (by email) whether I am active.
    Nothing happens if I respond and confirm that I am active.
    But if I fail to respond, then the system automatically sends this information to the next of kin.

    Legal, Security, Safety & Logical details need to be worked out.

    The main purpose is to prevent my loved ones from facing the kind of issues that you faced afterwards, while at the same time keep things private until I have truly become inactive.

    The idea came not only from the fact that I want my next of kin to receive all details after I am no more, but also if I wanted to say something to them only after I am no more. (I hope you understand what I mean).

    Please pardon my direct and blunt language (sometimes people say I emotionless!)

    Tried finding your contact details but failed.

    You can find me here and send me a message.
    http://in.linkedin.com/in/shailendrars
    http://www.facebook.com/shailendrars

    Above all, you have shown great strength. I am sure you will see through things. This blog post has brought you a lot of true friends. You can choose any of us in your time of need.

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  48. Dear Priya, I do not know you & came to your blog from the following link

    http://www.jagoinvestor.com/forum/importance-of-will-and-life-insurance/4441/#comment-15842

    May Mithun RIP. Instead of saying sweet words to you, I w'd ask all the readers of this blog that it's not the time to say few sweet words but to ACT. ACT NOW. then only the real purpose of your blog post 'll be fulfilled.

    Thanks

    Ashal

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  49. The purpose of yours enlightened me a lot. Thanks for the motivational blog.

    office keepers

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  50. Ma'm, Thanks for sharing this. Wish you all the best and well wishes. Got this link from website, www.jagoinvestor.com

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  51. I respect ypu I was 21 when my father passed away in car accident. I have no sympathy as its for weak. I dig my way to bring my family leaving my studies to take situation under control. I do know people read but they dont react, and its if they react then it would be for their own good. Do read jagoinvestor blogs. This people are doing good work. especially manish. I used it as an escrow blog to testify my decisions in life.but many people are already mundane by financial crisis as they have already lost track of time and investment. Best part in this blog was that the author was without kids. I guess I can share my full experience. Also I do advise you to share your experience in " chicken Soup for Indian soul volume 4 " do contact me .

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  52. Priya,
    I just happened to read your blog as one of my friends shared the link with me. Despite the fact that i dont know you, I had tears in my eyes while i was reading thru your blog. I truly envy the courage you have in sharing the "lessons learnt the hardEST way" amidst all the pain, hurt and the sufferings within you. Hats off to you lady. May God be with you always.
    -Arathi

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