Behind every successful woman…

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Lately, the most popular topic in my friend’s conversations seems to be the big M. However, it has not been followed by joy as it should.
There is fear,frustration and drama with a capital D. Sadly, most Indian parents will teach you to stay away from boys, your whole life. Then suddenly, expect you to be perfectly comfortable with a random, balding STRANGER sporting a moustache!!
Yup, your prince charming might be tall, dark and handsome…. or…. well, clean shaven and metro sexual. Thiers, is male with a heavy bank balance and born to their ideal family friends.
Many traditional Indian families, even among the educated sections are willing to sideline every dream or ambition their daughters have, in the pursuit, of marriage. Fortunately, I’m not, from one of these families and the reality of it baffles me!
Blame anyone you want, for the lack of women, at the forefront in India. The truth remains, that the most important people in their lives, are responsible for it.
How far have we really progressed , if we validate women by their marital status? and the kids they’ve birthed? Should parents be putting this kind of pressure, that pushes their children into making hasty decisions?
While I watch women my age, throw away their careers, leave cities they love and observe traditions they neither care for nor understand, I wonder, if behind every successful woman, there is…… a progressive more understanding family?

Is Uber’s price war compromising the safety of its customers??

I’ve been a fan and a regular user of the service since it launched in Bangalore. However lately my experience has been less than pleasant.  They have started a price war with unbelievable discounts causing the demand for their service for increase. This obviously means they have more drivers tying up and the new ones have clearly not been through a thorough background check.
1.Drivers are now calling up and saying they don’t want to pick you up if they are busy and ask you to cancel the trip
2. Can you rate a driver you haven’t travelled with? So how does one change this?
3. Cabs are not as easily available and the waiting time has increased
4. Some drivers have no idea how to properly follow the location which means a lot of back and forth calls to explain causing frustration at the clients end.
5.Safety: a driver I booked recently refused to come to our point since he wasn’t sure how to get there! Its on the map for crying out loud. Due to no other available cabs we were forced to walk up to where he was parked late at night.
6. The incident that just occurred in Delhi might have just destroyed the brands credibility. Especially since they are still new and the question of women safety is one of India’s biggest talked about problems this year.

How this unfurls we will have to wait and watch. But personally I do think the brand has made some compromises lately that have lead to a poor customer experience.

Is Uber’s price war compromising the safety of its customers??

I’ve been a fan and a regular user of the service since it launched in Bangalore. However lately my experience has been less than pleasant.  They have started a price war with unbelievable discounts causing the demand for their service for increase. This obviously means they have more drivers tying up and the new ones have clearly not been through a thorough background check.
1.Drivers are now calling up and saying they don’t want to pick you up if they are busy and ask you to cancel the trip
2. Can you rate a driver you haven’t travelled with? So how does one change this?
3. Cabs are not as easily available and the waiting time has increased
4. Some drivers have no idea how to properly follow the location which means a lot of back and forth calls to explain causing frustration at the clients end.
5.Safety: a driver I booked recently refused to come to our point since he wasn’t sure how to get there! Its on the map for crying out loud. Due to no other available cabs we were forced to walk up to where he was parked late at night.
6. The incident that just occurred in Delhi might have just destroyed the brands credibility. Especially since they are still new and the question of women safety is one of India’s biggest talked about problems this year.

How this unfurls we will have to wait and watch. But personally I do think the brand has made some compromises lately that have lead to a poor customer experience.

Quarter Life Crisis!

So I turned 25 this year. Just like every other girl in any universe, I panicked about it since 2014 hit the calendars. Of-course finding 3!!! grey hair  did not make it any easier. So I did what any self respecting drama queen would do.. made resolutions! Never mind what they were! The only significant change I made this year was Zumba!

It’s a high intensity dance work out, well it’s supposed to be. Most of the class is just moving around in the most awkward poses while trying to avoid looking at themselves in the mirror. All the time wondering, how the hell does the instructor not have a single layer of fat in his body!

Wondering if it works? Absolutely, some people in my class have actually lost a lot of weight and either way , its the most fun you’ll have working out. Almost makes the aches and being crammed in a sweaty room for an hour worth it.

So why is 25 such a crazy year? It’s when shit hits the fan! Let’s face it, given our lifestyles, “ain’t none of us gonna live till a 100!” So you’ve lived more than a quarter of your life. You validate your choices and count your achievements , think about where you’re headed. All that crap you would normally do after about 5 drinks too many. Only you’re sober and will not fall asleep any minute or forget about it in the morning!

Then there is the big elephant in the room at every family gathering, the “M” word. The big “settle” as the Indian moms call it. If none of that was bad enough, facebook will constantly remind you of ridiculous crap like “25 women under 25 to watch out for” or “things every 25 year old should have experienced”. Pay no heed to them, they’re all unrealistic expectations that obviously drive better traffic to websites with quizzes like “what color are you?”

So yes, should this be a point to make those changes that will help you get to your end goals? Definitely.  I would say you’re not in the worst place if you’ve:

a. Stopped abusing and overusing hash tags (#ihavenoideawhatthepurposeofahashtagisanduseitanyway)

b. Learned that hangovers are real and shots are stupid

c. Reduced your circle of friends to people you can actually tolerate

d. Learnt to make a decent meal

e. Use sick leaves for what they are meant for

f . Found common ground with your folks

g. Stopped cussing like your life depended on it

h. and have a plan!

Should it be a year to be down in the dumps if you haven’t ? Absolutely not! Because don’t forget 26 is coming for you!

To spay or not to spay?

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Every pet owner has spent time wondering if spaying is the right thing to do. Be it a moral dilemma or a health concern, its one of the hardest decisions you will have to make as a pet parent. I recently had my 3-year-old female cocker spayed and these are my notes!

1. Age : While it is recommended that you spay after the first/second heat, early spaying has way to many adverse effects. I waited a little too long because we were moving around and the stress seemed overwhelming. However, do not be afraid to go ahead with the surgery if your dog is healthy, even if she is older.

2. Choosing a surgeon : Make sure you walk through the procedure, while some people believe leaving behind one ovary is good, it may result in infections later on that can be fatal. It is ideal (my thoughts people may disagree) to remove both ovaries and the uterus. Pick a surgeon who is careful and experienced, I say this because they must remove the stump as well. Many times its left behind resulting in a fatal infection later on in life.

The surgery is laparoscopic, do not settle for anything else. This way there is minimum pain and faster recovery. The slit is tiny, insist on solvable stitches. The procedure takes about half an hour if all goes well. Speak to your vet about possible complications for your specific pet and the general ones.

3. Proper check up and Anesthesia : While spaying is considered a “routine” procedure by vets. Do not neglect the pre-blood work and tests. Anesthesia can have life-threatening consequences for your pet in case of certain underlying problems. Read the consent forms carefully and have your vet walk you through anything you need to be prepared for , both mentally and financially. To give you an example, Zoe (my dog) had a severe reaction post surgery and her face started swelling , her eyes were swollen and she was hypoglycemic. We had to administer immediate injections and keep her under watch until the swelling went down. It gave me a big scare!

4. Pre- op care : Do not feed your pet 10 hours before the surgery no food no water, they tend to vomit when they are sedated. Ensure they are in good health the week of the surgery, if not , it’s always wiser to move it. especially if they have an upset stomach. Bath them a day or two before so that the chances of catching an infection are lower.

5. Post op care: The incision will be covered post surgery, if the dressing wears off do not try to put it back on. Take pictures of the incision daily for the next 10 days. Any swelling or discharge need immediate medical attention. Buy and Elizabeth collar, this will make sure they don’t chew the stitches, it’s absolutely necessary.

The first day will be HORRIBLE, Zoe was in agony, she was moaning and groaning and wasn’t able to sit in one place for more than a few seconds. She was evidently in pain and the meds were making her vomit. Prepare accordingly, ensure they have space to lie down, they will be very uncomfortable. Spread newspaper as they will vomit, it is common post op. Most dogs will have no appetite to eat for the next few days (2 at max). Do not force feed, ensure they provide IV fluids during surgery to meet their energy needs for the day.

Nausea will persist for the first 3 days, beyond you must seek medical attention for risk of de-hydration. Provide plenty of water. Zoe drank a lot of water but refused to eat for 2 days. Within 3 days they should be back on their feet and in mild discomfort. Do not provide any forceful physical exercise as this may rupture the stitches. They will also be on a course of antibiotics.

It is common for dogs not to pass stools for the next 3 days as well, since they may be in pain and unable to do so. Do not force feed them or use a laxative at this point yet. It is imperative that you do not change their diet and provide their regular food. This will ensure they have a normal stool on the 4th day, if not see a vet on day 4. Follow up with the vet for a check up and ultra sound on day 4 and day 10.  Do not bathe them for 14 days post surgery. They bounce back after a week, this is just to let the incision heal properly.

Sometimes, in-case of thyroid issues, weight gain is a concern after spaying. So monitor their diet and you should be good.

5. Ask for help: While transporting your dog to the surgery will be easy, post surgery, you may need help. They will sedated so you will have to carry them if needed in a comfortable position. When the sedation starts wearing off, they will be in pain and squirm so to make sure they don’t move around too much and rip their stitches, you will have to be around to keep them calm. Which means someone will have to run around clearing bills and buying meds for you. If side effects kick in, you may need to rush back to the vet or need someone to act calmly while you panic.

6. Finances : All thing veterinary are expensive as you already know. In Bangalore, Cupa (the clinic not the college) in RT Nagar does it for a decent cost of Rs 3500. I prefer this clinic as they have very experienced vets and keep clear documentation of treatments. They are also open 24×7 which is a blessing for these kinds of situations. Meds, post op injections (if any), E-collar and the AD diet should all make a small Rs 5500 worth hole in your pocket. A small price to pay for a better quality of life for your pet companion. 🙂

Please note, spaying is not a quick fix for aggressive behaviour!

Reasons to spay and common concerns—>https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/how-will-spaying-change-my-dog

http://www.cesarsway.com/dog-rescue/spay-and-neuter/best-age-to-neuter-or-spay

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Sunny’s – Off the leash! ;-)

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As a dog owner and animal lover, weekends are hard. You have to make the choice between spending time with your precious pooch or socializing with fellow humans.
But don’t let the lack of options where you can take your dog along get you down. There are plenty of pet friendly places in Bangalore for those who care to look!
As and when I personally try most of the places I will post them up 🙂
Sunny’s – Lavelle Road
So when a restaurant is named after the owner’s dog, there’s no room for a second thought. I visited with my best friend and my Zoe! It’s the pretentious kind of place obviously so do not expect everyone to be nice.  Sunday lunch , the place was crowded and we had made a reservation. At a first glance we were quite uncomfortable, dozens of judging eyes looked at us like we were aliens.
It all changed when the  polite staff and escorted us to our table without any fuss. They didn’t insist that I tie her up or anything. In fact when Zoe was being her usual self and jumped to greet the waiter, he smiled and greeted her right back.
The table could have been less closer to the kitchen but it worked out since not many people had to cross that area giving Zoe a chance to calm down.
Lets start with decor, the outside is pretty with a lawn setting and perfect for Bangalore weather! The inside is cozy and for a more intimate group.
Food: The crab cakes were recommended by my friend and she was right! They were tiny portions of heaven!
Sunny’s golden fried prawn are a must have! Yakitori Chicken skewers were just okay.
For main course we had Fettuccine with chicken breast and sun-dried tomatoes and the sea food pasta, both were fantastic! The portion sizes were a bit too large and we ended up having to take it home but not complaining at all!
Zoe tried some grilled chicken and of course since she thinks left over cheese is yummy, so  she was overjoyed.
The experience: Making sure your dog is well-behaved is your responsibility at least in terms of ensuring they don’t soil the place.
Zoe is  extremely hyper and hardly understands social conduct so getting her to sit was an achievement in the middle of a crowd.
There was a family with 2 adorable little girls who spent their entire lunch at our table to the embarrassment of their mother. But it was wonderful watching them. Zoe was at her best given she loves kids and more than happy to give high fives and sit when asked. She’s an attention seeker this one. Overall it was a great Sunday afternoon and we got to meet Sunny on the way out .
Definitely going back! If you are looking to mix your friends and your pets, perfect place for lunch.

Fatty Bao – despite my love for Mickey Ninja -Bèi gāo gū

baoSo you’ve google translated the title and either agree or disagree. Either way, its time to burst the bubble. Fatty Bao is an Asian gastro pub on Indiranagar, 12th main which has increasingly become popular over the last few months. Reservation on a weekend or any holiday is recommended. The seating area is small hence you may end up waiting almost an hour. After 3 visits to convince myself that all the hoopla could not have been for nothing, I’m still drawing a blank.

Since they charge exorbitantly for small portions, the expectations are higher  and so here’s saying it as it is

Drinks – Great

The Mickey Ninja makes you think of spas and the beach, the blast of cucumber and the balance of flavors is fantastic, it tastes like vacation and has generous amounts of vodka. Definitely a star for the bartender. The Bora Bora is also quite pleasant, the flavor of tender coconut makes it absolutely delicious especially if you’re a sucker for fruit flavored cocktails.

Food – Inconsistent flavor ,terribly small portions and few good options

Before you think I’m bitter, I do think that there are few items on the menu that are fantastic (Charsui, shaking beef, beef ramen) but unless you know what those are, you are bound to be disappointed. If you are a vegetarian, stop here and don’t bother visiting unless you like tofu or cabbage, although to be fair, it is an Asian restaurant so that’s expected.

The things that I would eat again would be the California roll and the Steak Bao. I definitely recommend the shaking beef and duck pizza. The PB&J was great the first time I tried it, the second time however, it tasted completely different which was a let down. I prefer consistency across multiple preparations of the same dish since that’s the reason most customers come back to the same restaurant.

Chilli basil fried rice, veg fried rice, both are okay but definitely not a deciding factor when picking a dinner place. I’ve heard the ramen is great from many of my friends who have visited before, I tried the sea food ramen and my opinion is I’m never shelling out that much for a bowl of water and noodles and 3 prawns with no flavor other than a hint of pepper and salt ever again.

The grilled lamp chops were more bone than lamb, we had to actually chew on the bone to find any meat at all so that’s a never order again too. Slow coked lamb, another lamb dish gone wrong. I personally did not care much for the patty bao, The dumplings were a hit and miss, sticky outer coats, prawn and sesame could use some flavor, spicy chicken and celery , beef and jalapenos and anything with steamed pork tasted overlay raw or confused flavors.

Ambience – average

The staff is very friendly and the service is great. The bottom floor is cute with the red and green theme but looks almost like every other tiny street corner Chinese place, nothing innovative. The top floor is nicely done, the slim bar counter, wooden floors and the paper lanterns give you a feel good vibe but don’t expect to be overly impressed for the price you are about to pay

Must confess I haven’t tried their deserts so nothing to share on that front. I do love their mascot and the minimalistic menu designs. Overall I’d say for a first visit you might like it if you order your food carefully since the drinks are all great. On the second visit, the urge to try other options on the menu will leave you both unsatisfied and un happy.