Saturday, February 22, 2014

Chocolat : Book Review

I bought this book from Blossoms based on TGND's recommendation. When I started to read this one a couple of months back, it did not hold my interest after a few pages and at that point, I wasn't sure if I would pick it up later at all. Little did I know that I would pick it up again in just a few months down the line and would actually find it to be a simple chocolaty read and also realize that nosy/gossipy people do exist in western communities too.

This book by Joanne Harris is about a single mother and her daughter who decide to set up a chocolate bakery/cafe in a small town in France. Apparently, they land up in the town and start their business during the Lent period (during the Easter season). This  irks the church and the believers,especially the pastor. So, the town kind of gets divided into supporters of the bakery and non-supporters. During this time, the protagonist arranges for a chocolate festival on the Easter Sunday and the book takes you through the different kinds of people that the protagonist comes across, how they go through their life, how she faces trials and resistance with  courage and builds her inner strength and more importantly how she makes it a point to make her customers feel at home at her cafe and tries to become one among them.The reader is treated to good amount of chocolaty treats that makes one drool and you will grab a chocolate near you for sure as you read the book. Overall, a good chocolaty simple read.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Gift : 55-er

He hesitated to be seen by his extended family with  the bouquet she gifted him. Few years on, she was greeted to V-day wishes by him over long distance call and mentioned that he retained the T-shirt she gave her long ago just so that he can release it today and feel her presence .

Happy Valentine's Day , everyone! May Love spread in our hearts and homes :)

Notes from hospital

  • The hospital gives out a neutral fragrance and thanks to that, for "the hospital smell" itself will make one feel sick
  • The ambiance makes one feel as if you are entering in a mall or a general lounge where plush sofas, resting areas along with cafe and good food is available.
  • Now to some rant, the administration is not seamless and makes the patient run from pillar to post to get admitted
  • Information on the availability of rooms is not centralized and every floor gives us a different status.Add to that the slow lit service, patients' attender will have a nice exercise before we get allotted a room
  • Wondering how such a posh hospital can have a general ward which has NO place for patient's attenders to sleep over for the night.
  • Hospital canteen serves awesome lip smacking food, just that you will have to take in the sights and smell while people who have come along with you relish different varieties of food over there as if it were a proper restaurant
  • From my previous encounter with hospitals, I've come across nurses who seem to know all 4 south Indian languages, if not fluent, atleast to some extent. But, this one had nurses who conversed only in one local language and if the patient says something in her anesthesia induced state , it went unheard. While only mother tongue seemed to come out of my mouth to  ask for help, one nurse boldly says, you either talk in kannada or there is no nurse who understands Tamil!!
  • When you ask the nurse to be slow and not apply force (be it while injecting, or while dressing up or while inspecting the stitches), they just stop their task and dial in a number and call the head nurse and complain" the patient is not allowing me to do anything"...Bah!! Does requesting to be gentle translate to not allowing, uh? Need to find in which dictionary they learn this
  • Luxury rooms have a sofa for the patients helper to sleep in.If they charge a bomb for the rent, why not provide a decent small bed for the helper. Infact., the helper is the one who needs good rest so that he/she can help the patient.
  • Rooms are AC and no windows. So, if you want fresh air and no A/C, you dont have an option.
  • While the restrooms have dental kit, shower cap, shower gel, 2 different kinds of soaps, there is a definite need for basic bucket and mug (instead a hand shower is present) . We try to go the western way, but having Indian stuff in certain places will definitely help
  • Needless to mention about insurance, the moment they know we are under insurance, costs triple. And on top of it, the hospital expects the patient to intermediate and solve the issues between the hospital and insurance company!! and what he heard was: if insurance is paying, we'll charge for 2 days, if you are paying on the spot, then, we will charge for a day and a half's room charge. 
  • All magic "paybale/non-payables" list is made and the patient is made to pay amount after a long delay and wait. Finally, after the patient is home and has time to look at the bills, finds that extra amount is charged and when we enquire the hospital they say "dont worry Mam, your money will not go anywhere ,Its safe with us." No mention of returning, if asked, as usual, a long story follows