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!