Home Garden : Plantix, An App Saviour

I wasn’t as aware of environment back in my youth as I am now. Now we stay in a flat in Bangalore, and blessed with two balconies. I take care of the one attached to my bedroom and my MIL after the one  attached to hall.  We have a decent spread of plants.  As the plants kept on dying for one reason or the other, my pots started to get empty. MIL doesnt like waste – so she put some chilli seeds and we had a chilli plant at home. We even saw the first chilli come out and were super excited. Only issue –  small white bugs.

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I have usual medicine at home which I spray every week and plants have their soil enriched every month. Tried pruning the plants, spraying medicine – nothing worked.

Meanwhile, the hibiscus plant I bought some 4 or 5 months back had seen 9 buds. I was overfilled with joy. Only issue – same white bug I saw on the chilli plant. I decided to use technology and downloaded Plantix App from playstore.

You take a pic, upload it and the community will tell you what pest the plant has or what disease it is infected with.  My pic got an answer in 5 minutes – MEALY BUGS.

What a relief! I googled around, they are one of the toughest to kill and I have to resort to rubbing alcohol or neem oil. Atleast I know what my problem is – which is 90% solution.

Here’s little more detail about Plantix – https://plantix.net/

Have a good  day  and keep rocking!

 

Customer Experience

It’s been really long time the charger for our iPad was broken.  Mother in law started playing the same game on the tiny screen of Samsung S2. As long as there is Jugaad, we don’t worry much.  Today, she insisted I get the charger at any cost.

So, I go to Elements Mall and then visit the Apple Care.  So many people sitting and standing. What do you do when you don’t know what to do?  I keep quiet. I sat for 5 minutes. Nothing happened. Finally, I called out to the only Apple customer service guy I could spot – ” Is there a line?  How can I get myself in front of you guys? ”

He stared  back and pointed me to an iPad on the right corner of store. “Register there and take token”, he said. I promptly went there and was so impressed with the digitization of the token system.  Token no. 44.  Until then I didn’t hear anyone calling out tokens, but the moment I took one – I started hearing them. Token 41, he shouted.

I patiently waited for my turn. ” iPad Charger”, I said.  He got one piece for me, and tested it. So far, happy customer.  Then something very awkward happened. He went inside and got a piece of paper. And instructed me – “Write your name, number and email on this”.  Now, It’s my turn to stare. I told him – ” These are the exact details I gave your system  5 minutes ago, which are there on the iPad in your hand. Why do I fill again?”

He looked at me as if I was questioning his existence.  And answered back – ” The billing system needs those details, you please fill it”.  I shut up, filled it and finished the payment formalities.  Left the Apple Premium Care Store.

Doesn’t matter how exceptional the orders from the top comes, it is very critical to get the ground level feedback. Somehow, I felt the issue the service center guys were facing should be a common one, and very strange is left unaddressed by the concerned party.

Apple can do a thing or two better in this.

An Open Letter to Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain Hospital, Bangalore

My elder daughter Saanvi had a persistent fever and we had to get her admitted in BMJH, Millers Road on 16th around midnight.  After coming home yesterday night, I was so frustrated with the mistakes your esteemed hospital had made, that I have decided to write an open letter about it.

a) The weakest link of your hospital is your nursing staff.  Despite being in a private ward with nursing charges of 1400 per day – boy, I did receive sub standard attention. The alarm button which was supposed to alert the nurses didn’t work most of the time. And the times it worked, the nurses had 50% clue on what to do next. WHY?  We reached a stage where we could not trust any action the nurses did, and started questioning everything, for our confirmation. Sample examples –

>  The changing of Saline measurements. Doctors after visits did change the numbers, which half of the staff wasn’t aware. So, we were always worried if 100ml/hr is a good number to inject into kid’s body.

> After her regular doctor changed her saline from NS to RF, the night duty nurse promptly puts NS back at 4 am after the RF bottle is finished.  When we question them next morning, no apologies and just rather changes the saline. Why are you not aware in the first place? What if this is an important injection you’ve exchanged with something else?

b) As Saanvi did have persistent fever, the doctor insisted for a daily platelet count check. Which translates in english to, a daily blood test. So,  the nurses now cannot get the nerve of a 5-year old, and keep pricking until they get one. God, please teach the nurses how to conduct a perfect blood test before releasing them for duty?

c) The Star of All perhaps. The platelet count on 19th showed 32,000 which is in danger zone. They shifted the kid of PICU for continuous monitoring. As the previous day was 95,000 – we were still in shock how could it drop so drastically.  No doctor comes and assures us after the kid goes to ICU, and comes in after almost-a-quarrel with the PICU nurses.  And orders a second blood test. Lo, the platelets jump to 97K.

Here comes the best part now. The doctor looks at the reports and casually says – 32K is a wrong report. The clots have been collected during blood sample and hence the test is incorrect. You can ignore it. WHAT??!!!  I have been undergoing mental trauma since morning, as I was worried on further platelet drop.

Now, when you know the nurse and hospital is at fault –  you just do not talk anything. And going by doctor’s expressions – this looks like a very recurrent phenomenon. Except us, NO ONE AROUND was surprised by an incorrect test result.

So, please – either your nurse should know that she hasn’t collected the blood right way.

OR, as a doctor – you should suspect this and order a blood test right away. Atleast, talk with the worried parents sitting clueless in the ward?

Oh, and icing on the cake. No mention of 32K in the discharge summary – cleanly wiped off.

d) The process of creating a discharge summary takes 4 hours. And what a wonderful report is it?  It mentions that Saanvi has fever since 3 months, and her age is 4 years and 4 days. Please guys – give us a break?!!  And every single action moved only because we followed up until no end. The floor co-ordinator was getting angry on being asked of the status – instead of pro-actively attending to the issue.  Even after we spotted these errors and asked them – they are quite casual about it, and said they will courier.

Although the doctors are good, the overall experience created by the hospital was extremely unprofessional.

And what about the massive amount of paperwork? Nurses handing over instructions over pieces of paper was equally scary.

Next time in case of medical emergency, your hospital is the last option to look for.

Yet Another Honor Killing

Yet another honor killing. My morning was ruined when I saw the news on front page – a lady was killed by her parents because she married a guy from another caste. We had a heated discussion at home, a rare scenario where everyone contributed to it.

Here’s my take on this incident –
No parent would want to “kill” their kids after bringing them up, with all they have. I would also not think that a normal family with working father and stay-at-home-mom who raised their family would adopt such radical thoughts and actions. So, the family must have had a hint of crime in their legacy, coupled with really ill-meaning relatives. And the parents are at fault for not being “parents” enough – birthing is easy, bringing up is not.

They did not trust their daughter enough to make good decisions in life, and got swayed away by the people who lead them to such atrocities.

No, I will not blame parents for this. Any parent is a human first, with all their weaknesses and prejudices, and then a parent. So, things don’t change all of a sudden when kids are born. In fact, they never change. I knew families where the kids went their way and the parents never accepted them. It’s just too hard to change the perceptions, even though you and your loved one are at risk.

I would have loved if the parents have tried to trust their upbringing more than the relatives, tested the guy with all their will and accept him whole heartedly. But, instead they filled their heart with hatred that their heart did not cry when they killed a part of it.

Back to the girl’s side of the story. She loved this guy for 3 years now.

The problem with girls is they want EVERYTHING – the boy friend from intercaste marriage, his parents happy with her, and her parents double happy with her decisions.

Now, when you are wise enough to choose a life partner, why are you not practical to understand that this is one of the toughest choices in life a lady has to make – the guy or parents. Sure, try and convince parents with all your might. If feasible, go with them and try to forget him. But, if you are adamant enough that he is the one for you, can you please safeguard your life from potential dangers? Why be half-bold? Give all in, get married and don’t be in touch for a while until things cool down. She could have done all sorts of things, except informing them that she did get married against her wishes. The nicest of parents would take 6 months to 1 year to get to terms with their daughter’s decision. So, while you adjust at the life you wanted, why can’t you give time for your parents to reconcile and adjust?

All said and done, parents are to be partly blamed as they did not trust their upbringing enough. But, I would blame the girl more than anything else – If you are bold enough to make choices in life, be practical and anticipate the things that can happen. Protect yourself against them. Where is the life of dreams if you are dead ? And guess who gets my sympathies – the guy. I wonder he would ever be able to forgive himself for supporting the girl and marrying her regardless.

As someone who did go through the phase of convincing my parents for my better future, I strongly believe that a girl should be bold and practical enough, if going in the path of her dreams, rather than the arranged marriage route.

Have a great day and keep rocking!!

Apartment vs duplex house : who’s the winner?

Back in Hyderabad, we used to live in a duplex house. Ever since we moved to Bangalore – it’s an apartment in an apartment complex. The changes I observed prompted me to write this blog post.

Own duplex house:

1. Duplex house gives a feel of ‘ownness’, everything including the land is yours.

2. The terrace. I’ve spent countless mornings at my terrace drinking coffee and observing nature, strolling and listening to podcasts or simply sitting in a corner and writing. My spot in terrace was always special. The fresh air breeze always soothed me and helped to refresh almost instantly.

3. The physical excercise. Being a duplex with internal stairs and my forgetful nature, you can only imagine how many times I’d go up n down. I’d never need an excercise machine for my legs in my life.

4. Lots and lots of space. I had place to hide stuff I wanted but not now.

Apartment:

1. Lots and lots of people. For an extrovert like me, just watching groups of people is a great energy booster.

2. In house facilities within the apartment complex and for free.

3. Lot of play area for saanvi. So much that the first day we came here, she ran off until the gate in the 5 seconds we spent doing something else and not watching her.

4. Community events. More people, more fun.

All said and fine, my life is still 75% the same because the wonderful family set up I had in Hyderabad continues here. Afterall, home is where heart is!:)

Bangalore : Finding a rental

Wednesday being a holiday, me and Vinod spent the whole day roaming around the Bangalore streets. This post is just to record my experiences in finding a rental apartment to stay.

Our office, being at Bhashyam circle – all of our management has been insisting we take the rental flat at malleshwaram. I spoke to my colleagues at work, to get a list of areas to hunt down a house. Later that night, we searched few properties in common floor.com and got a few posted by the owners. One of them called back and we scheduled an appointment for Wednesday morning 7:55 AM. The flat was at hebbal, 6 km from my office. The house was neat and the area was good. Rent was 15,000, which looked negotiable. The owner was a young guy, and he took us in his own car to view the house. A very good beginning to the day!

Next was a series of houses at malleshwaram, which ranged from bad, worst to pathetic. The area resembled koti in Hyderabad – congested lanes, shops and eateries all along and lot of temples. Pakka business area. The houses were very old and. Even lacked the lift. After viewing the houses for several hours, we were exhausted. And disappointed.

The last house we saw was at R T Nagar, a 3bhk in White House apartments. The moment I saw it, I knew this is my home! With 600 flats in the community, the apartment complex hosted a gym, swimming pool, temple, kids play area, senior citizens chatting area and much more. The area looked very peaceful and had lots of kids. Perfect for saanvi. The flat was very spacious and well lit. We had 2 agents coming with us – from our side, and from the owner’s side. The negotiation started at 20,000 rs per month and a monthly maintenance of 2,200 extra. We deferred the decision to Thursday, but deep down my heart I was convinced that this is where I would stay in Bangalore – clean and lively.

Today, we went to the owner’s place in sadashiv nagar. The experience I had at their place is the main motivation behind this blog post. We sat down for negotiation and were stuck at 18,500. We demanded 18k and the owner’s grand father wanted to rent at 18.5k.

The grand father is an old man, in his eighties and had his entire family with him to talk about the rent. I had to face a whole lot of questions about our personal lives and the kid. One middle aged lady bought us tea and biscuits. I was amazed by their hospitality – we were not even their tenants ! As we further negotiate, an old lady – the wife of the grandfather come with a plate. It has haldi, kumkum and a flower garland. I took kumkum, haldi and the garland. I took blessings from her. This gesture won my heart, and I was reminded of both my grand mothers. Further down the discussion, we agreed to 18k rent and agreed on the rent agreements. As Vinod took out his wallet to pay the token advance, they denied stating that today and tomorrow were Inauspicious for taking money. They further said that they trust us 🙂 we walked out really happy.

The flat would be ready by Monday, and I really look forward to stay in Bangalore. Hopefully, TTP would see some good days too!

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Top 10 Things I noticed in Bangalore in my 2 days of stay

With my company asking us to relocate to bangalore, I was forced to come here this tuesday. After an year or so at Hyderabad and spending loads of time with my daughter, I was every bit resistant to come to bangalore.  The past 2 days have been really eventful, at work and roaming around finding a house to move.

Here are the top 10 observations in my 2 days of stay, in no particular order.  

1. The street side dogs in bangalore are very healthy. I almost missed twice, in getting bitten by them. 

2. The Polices here have beach hats, in smaller sizes. I found it very funny.

3. Almost everyone speaks either english or hindi. Some even telugu too. I think i will miss the chance of learning Kannada.

4.  There are too many Pani Poori stands in bangalore. I ate at a couple of them to check their taste and they were good. Too much tamirand paste in bangalore vs too much green chili paste in hyderabad.

5. Malleshwaram is similar to Koti in Hyderabad  – good to roam around, but bad to take a house and settle down.

6. People complain about traffic, but always take their car out. Huh!

7. The price difference in a normal food eatery and a restaurant is too much.  Comparatively, the normal food eateries in bangalore are a lot, and very very reasonably priced.

8. Nandini Milk makes it presence felt at every nook and corner.

9. Cleanliness is something which needs lot of work in Bangalore. I went through the “so-called” fantastic areas of bangalore, only to find them drowned in their own garbage.

10. The Climate is really awesome. The Sun tries it’s best but you will always have chilled air roaming around you.

As I stay longer, I will serve more bangalore stories to you in my blog platter. Till then, take care!

 

How I got my family to use Clay idol of Lord Ganesha

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First of all, belated Ganesh Chaturdhi for all my friends & well wishers. This is our first Ganesh Chaturdhi where we used Clay Idol of Lord Ganesha.  All these years, we were used to using the Idols which were extremely colorful and nice to the eyes. We weren’t ignorant – we knew that the idol would cause damage to the environment once immersed on the 10th day – but hey, what damage are we causing when we compare the one done at Hussain Sagar? And know what – the clay idol isn’t as beautiful as this one. So,  although I have been trying to get the clay idol last year, couldn’t succeed. So, how did it happen this time?

As usual, I started my trials few days before the festive day – and telling my family on how using a clay idol again & again. When we went out to buy one the night before, I took my husband purposefully a bit farther than usual, so that he may find any interesting clay idols. Bingo! We found one which is made of clay, but has few colors added to it. The shopkeeper admitted to colors to be synthetic, and we paid Rs. 110 for the Lord Ganesha’s Idol.  Upon purchase, Vinod says – ” I didn’t knew that clay idols could stand still like this. Adding colors is definitely appealing. Isn’t it?” We came home and the entire family was convinced by looking at the environment-friendly but less beautiful looking Idol.

I noticed a very profound thing. People are materialistic for sure.  Don’t snatch things away from them in the name of Environment or Larger Good. Sure, you want them to help you out for a better cause. But, leaving a glimpse of what they are used to, will motivate them to help out for the cause. I can surely say that the synthetic colors added on Lord Ganesha’s Idol is what made it bring home.  Isn’t it only human that we crave things we are used to? Making people appear evil, only because they don’t give up on their material things is very ODD and INCORRECT. Instead, if you truly fight for a cause – find a way to retain the status quo a little bit and bring in the change slowly.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Water Woes and Lessons Learnt

waterI live in independent duplex house.  Everyday, we have motor running for about 1 hr to 1.5 hr to keep the water flow running in the house. Yesterday was no different until my mother in law felt a burning smell coming from the motor. She switched off and we had enough water for the day. At 7 PM, my father in law saw the tap dry and asked us to switch the motor on. BANG! The motor does not run !!!!! What do we do now?  As with usual Indian households, we do have our electrician numbers in a small diary. And mind you, all the numbers exist only in the diary and that is THE Scared book in our house. So, we rang to our family electrician who was out of town only to return next day morning.  After filling up all the buckets in the house with help from our neighbor, we called another electrician who is a frequent to our opposite house. He came, took the motor with him and He Went. It was supposed to get fixed by today afternoon. So, the only thing I did since yesterday night was to wait to get the motor fixed. I never slept in my whole life with 1/2 bucket water in my room and did not face any water trouble so far.

Came afternoon and brought the motor. After fixing it and see the water flow, we rewarded the electrician and let him go. We had powercut for half an hour as soon as the electrician went. Once the power is back, I was hoping to have a nice bath and relax myself. As the water did not flow in any of the taps except one, the house entered in a panic mode. We called the electrician again, who said the only option is to open the pipes going to the water source and see if he can do something. If there is really no underground water, even he cannot help us. Pretty simple and straight forward. As our usual electrician was supposed to come to the city today, we let this guy go and called him. He said he would come around 5 PM. All the water that was left in the house was 1 bucket in total.  I started looking out for water tanker options. Isn’t it good to have some water saved at home, if again the motor suddenly turns its back against us?  Relaxed throughout the day so far, I even preached my folks that this isn’t a life emergency and we will get it fixed. My fuse blew when I started searching for water tankers. After calling almost 75 numbers in a span of 1 hour, I was frustrated and tired.  Only 3 of them supplied water tankers, and none to my area.  None of the numbers I missed called me back. Yeah, it’s summer and they are in water business. Quite understandable.

As my father in law came back from work, he learnt the entire story. Our usual electrician was on the way and we had lost all our hopes on him.  My FIL brought another trusted electrician to check the motor. He too said that the pipes had to be opened and things need to get replaced, mostly.  We argued with the decision of getting this repaired. What IF we didn’t have ground water at the end? What IF we had? Finally, at 7 PM we decided to get the pipes out and try to get it repaired.

After 2.5 hours of uncertainity and replacement of 3 parts, the motor was finally fixed. But, what was also fixed is my negligence towards water. I know what you are thinking and don’t hate me please. I never had a situation in my life where I need to be cautious OR the water in front of me was all the water I had. So, my attitude is very natural. After marriage, my husband and later my mother in law observed my water habits and nudged me to be more careful. Afterall, there is a saying that your expenses will be as good as your water spending habits. But, I always squinted them for their miserly habits and carried on with wasting water. Today is the day. What did I learn finally?

1. Water is precious. And you will only realize when you dont have it. So, if you waste it often, you will get the realization even more often.

2. We had 2 buckets and my mother in law wanted to bathe with one of the bucket water. Even Saanvi hadn’t bathed since morning. I was miffed at her choice of keeping herself clean. But, when I cooled down myself by watching some nonsense on TV, I was again drawn to my own limitation of “setting expectations” trap. And when I dropped expectations on her behavior, I turned my usual self.

3. Make your things priority. Had i bathed Saanvi in the morning, I would have water adjusted accordingly.

4. The Water Suppliers facility in Hyderabad is utterly pathetic. I wished today that i disappear from Hyderaba d for ever in all the summers.

5.  Independent houses in far off areas are good – atleast for the simple reason that they have abundance of ground water supply. Apart from the privacy I enjoy, water has to be the next best reason to like my home now.

6. By evening, everyone at home was exhausted and started picking up on each other vehemantly. What I did was to go upstairs and finish up the article pending for The Rodinhoods website. That is the best thing I did today – If you cannot contribute positively, please stay away from the discussion.

7. Saanvi was at her worst from the past 2 days – ALL The food is practically rejected. So, when she rejected her dinner, all my policies went haywire. What followed was shouting on Saanvi, Saanvi crying and me crying.  If I’d have taken a short break and watched the nonsense TV Again, may be I wouldn’t have put my day’s frustration out on her. Lesson learnt again.

Hopefully, my folks at home will be happy with my decision to use water judiciously.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Get your Aadhar card done in Hyderabad in 1/2 hour

aadharAadhar card is mandatory for every Indian. As with every other thing, once it is mandatory – I have the skill of pushing it below the to-do list. My entire family got it done, while I still lazed quoting my daughter. When I came to mom’s place – I *had* to take my grand mother to get her Aadhar done. So, I went ahead and got mine & my daughter’s done – as it looked very obvious for any more excuses. We started from home at 8:15 AM and again back at home by 10AM. Amazing! The entire process at Aadhar card enrolment center took us about 45 minutes.  Here is the venue:

HYDERABAD – KARVY NAINA TOWERS
KARVY NAINA TOWERS,
8-2-609/NT, Road #10, Banjara Hills
HYDERABAD
Andhra Pradesh
India
PIN CODE: 500034

Once you go there, this is what happens:

a) There are Karvy staff at the first table you see after you enter in. They take your documents and verify. After verifying the xerox ( and sometime originals – do carry yours) they stamp your document. For kids aged below 5 yrs,  just remember to carry date of birth certificate.

b) Go to the next counter and get your token. Wait inside to be called in. The process is simple – the operator digitally enters your information.  Follows is the photo and thumb impressions. You get a receipt of the enrolment and you are done.

* The entire process is free of cost.

The best time to go to Aadhar card enrolment center is morning 8 AM. You will be back in 1/2 hour time. What are you waiting for? GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Have a good day and keep rocking!!