Hyderabad’s best cab services

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Most of the time, when I need to travel within the city, I take a cab. Although I work from home most of the time, any work related meetings, client meetings, events to attend as a blogger all happen on the other end of the city as opposed to where I live. Moving around the city in some of the best cab services in Hyderabad is the only way I get to any place on time without getting tired of driving around in traffic.

The first time I learnt to drive a car was when I was in the ninth grade. Of course I didn’t have a license and I couldn’t drive myself around, but I still did practice with my dad in an empty ground for a while. I did drive once in a while when we went on a family outing, on the highways or empty stretches of road before I finally got my license and started driving around properly! Since then I have almost completely stopped relying on public transport for going anywhere. As much as I love driving, as much as I enjoy the freedom that it gives me, I still do crib about the roads, the traffic, the maniacs on the road who have no clue how to drive, because, well this is India after all, where each person follows their own driving rules, resulting in utter chaos.

With traffic just increasing day by day in every city, and parking being the biggest headache of all, booking a cab seems like the easiest option. Especially on occasions where I know it’s going to be a late night, or if I am already stressed for a meeting, or if I just want to relax with music in my ears or by reading a book instead of inching through traffic.

Ola
Ola cabs have become my go-to service each time I need a ride. They services are open round the clock, whether it’s a short trip, an airport drop or a taxi for holidaying. The booking process is simple, the app is easy to use, the response time is very quick and you can expect a cab to be there within two to ten minutes. You get to pay by the meter and it’s a hassle free payment process. Also, they have a GPS tracking system where a family or friend can keep track of your route as well while you are traveling.
And lately they have introduced Ola Autos as well, which are just as convenient!

Meru
Meru in Hyderabad is always my first option specifically when am traveling from the airport. It’s just so convenient and such a smooth ride that there’s no second thought before choosing this option.

Uber
Uber was one of the first on-demand cab services and it still remains a popular choice. It uses a dispatch service to send the nearest driver to your location, and its easy no-cash payment that charges the ride directly to your card is one the most convenient solutions when you are in a hurry!

With easy booking options, and GPS tracking, hiring cabs has become very easy. Whether it’s a late night or early morning, most services offer instant pick-ups and drop-offs. Avoid the stress of traffic, the time taken for searching for a parking spot and the worry that you might have a drink or two in the evening and would have to drive back home alone. Book a cab, ask a friend to tag along and be safe wherever you go!

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The Red Jeans

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Every time I sit down to “think” – you know, one of those introspective, philosophical moods that you sometimes get into, I just can’t believe how much I have changed in such a short span of time. And by change I mean, change in my attitude, the way I deal with people, situations and pressure (the rest of me is pretty much the same :))

For one thing I am yet to throw out the dead spider lying by my door. Can you imagine me and a spider (dead or alive) in the same room for more than a second? I know this might seem insignificant but for me this is HUGE. I’ve been dealing with all kind of insects and lizards thanks to the “green” campus that I live in.
Second, I am literally living in a pressure cooker ever single day. 24hours is never enough for the amount of work we have here. There is such a drastic difference between the way I dealt with pressure before and now. Its become second nature to me. When I find myself relatively free now, I feel flustered, confused and I cannot focus. I’ve become so used to being busy that now I constantly need ten things to do at once.
Third, one of things that I learnt here (which of course is something that I already knew, but nonetheless got ingrained in my brain further) is that there is no one that you can trust completely. You  have to look out for yourself. You have to be selfish and you need to be focussed. And the most important, have minimum expectations from others.
Do what makes you happy. Then do it more. And more.
Red jeans – different ways:
Previously – Grey jeans

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Where all wishes come true…

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Often I find myself escaping into another world, one that exists only in my mind where every tentative rule can be broken and re-built. And then I resurface back into reality, albeit refreshed.

Sometimes its also possible to escape physically… And that was exactly what i was doing when the pictures were clicked. Riding off into the sunset where all your wishes come true? Doesn’t hurt to dream you know. Twilight is my most favourite time of the day(And not because of the movies.. Not really a fan of them)

Its almost impossible for me to watch a sunset and not dream.

Inhumane abuse

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Lavinia is 20 years old. She loves to laugh and listen to music. She enjoys gardening and she loves to talk about blackbirds and flowers. Simone is 18 years old. She is exuberant and strong-willed. Her favourite occupation is jumping on a trampoline, playing hula-hoop and cleaning. But whenever she tends to feel upset, she would lie on the floor and refuse to move and even try to tear up the carpet. 
When she talked Lavinia’s vioce is slightly slurred because she has a personality disorder and learning disabilities. And Simone has a genetic disorder similar to Down’s Syndrome. They were patients at Winterbourne View Hospital, in Hambrook, Bristol which offered assessment and intervention and support for people with learning disabilities and autism. 
And this is the story, an undercover report, of the horrors that actually went on in that place. 
Four people were arrested after secret filming, showed vulnerable adults at Winterbourne View, in Bristol, being slapped, dragged across the floor and taunted by the people who were supposed to be caring for them.
Reporter Joe Casey who went undercover as a care home assistant had a secret camera hidden in his button hole, which recorded all the barbaric activities of the “care givers” over there. He reveals his first-hand experiences of the suffering inflicted in the care home which led to the arrest of 3 men and one women.

“Just a few feet in front of me, Simone cowered in the corner of the shower, her arms over her head to protect herself from the care workers who had dragged her, fully clothed, beneath the jets of water. They took my silence for acquiescence, occasionally leering in my direction as they tossed shower gel at the 18-year-old, who has learning difficulties, and threw mouthwash into her eyes. I was torn between my instinct to protect the whimpering young woman in front of me and my desire, as an investigative journalist, to ensure I had enough evidence on film to bring her tormentors to justice.”

Several months earlier, Panorama’s producers were approached by a whistle-blower (who was a former nurse in the care house) alleging terrible malpractice at the £3,500-a-week hospital for adults with learning disabilities and autism. With that information, reporter Joe Casey went undercover in order to uncover the truth. Within 2 weeks, he said, he had witnessed chaos and abuse worse that anything he’d expected.

On the hospital’s top floor, there was even a locked corridor with bedrooms down either side and a security system at both ends, with no CCTV and no guests allowed — no one, in fact, who might witness the suffering of the patients.

Wayne — the self-appointed leader of the gang of care workers, was a tall, heavy-set man, his neck, shoulders and arms covered by a giant tattoo of a woman with a tear on her cheek. He went on to “teach” Joe Casey the everyday tasks. Lavina had had a tendency to get quite aggressive — something that was rumoured to be related to a history of abuse. Wayne’s plan was to get her out of bed in such a noisy, unpleasant way that she would turn into a screaming banshee. By exhausting all her anger, he said, she’d be easily manageable for the rest of the day. He began prodding her in the ribs, which then turned into a push and then a vigorous shake and within minutes she was screaming and enraged. After more jeering and prodding Lavinia was so distressed that she had torn off her clothes and was lying naked in the corridor, beating her head on the floor and kicking the walls. Later she tried to jump out the window but was luckily stopped

Joe says “That’s when I found her on her knees behind the sofa, sobbing. Wayne was talking to her. ‘I like watching you lot try to jump,’ he was saying. ‘When you hit the floor do you think you would have made a thud or a splat?’” . Wayne took Joe’s silence as acceptance, and it was easy to convince him and the others that he was on their side by just remaining silent.  
“Wayne thought I was a blank canvas, a potential disciple. He enjoyed explaining his methods of controlling patients, not realising how sick they sounded. The violence in some of the care workers’ language was grotesque.‘Do you want me to get out a cheese grater and grate your face off?’ I once heard Wayne say to Simone, the teenager he liked to torment. ‘Do you want me to turn you into a giant pepperoni? Shall I get a razor and cut you up?’

But it  was Simone who seemed to bear the brunt of Wayne’s cruelty. On that one terrible day that Joe claims “will haunt me forever”, three of the worst bullies were present and the first attack on Simone came at 9:20.
9:20 am – She was lying in the corridor with Graham(another “Care giver”) kneeling on her knees. She was screaming and nobody responded.

2:00pm – Simone was hunched in a corner of the shower with all her clothes on, and crying for her mother. ‘I warned you,’ a female care worker said, as she spurted shower gel into Simone’s face.

4:30pm – It was March and the temperature was hovering at around freezing point. She was sitting on the concrete with just a shirt and trousers on. Wayne had thrown a jug of cold water over her.
She screamed and pleaded with Wayne.

He pushed her to the floor again.

B*****d!’ she yelled. ‘I’m going to get the police on you.’

‘The police don’t care,’ he said.

Time passed and she lay on the floor shivering. Finally wayne dragged her in.

8:30 pm – Simone was lying in the corridor refusing to go to bed. To teach her a lesson, Graham and the female colleague who had attacked her in the shower decided to throw jugs of cold water in her face before turning on a cold electric fan to freeze her into complying.
Simone’s day finally ended in her bedroom, where four care workers pinned her to the floor — just to feed her a painkiller. When they’d finished, one of the workers picked up a vase of flowers left by Simone’s mother. Graham emptied the water over Simone’s head while his female colleague shoved the flowers into her face. Simone was too tired to cry.

“I’m not the crying type. But that day I walked away from work with my hands shaking and tears in my eyes. The closest I ever got to intervening — and possibly blowing my cover — was on Simone’s behalf.”

This was not the end…

Wayne trapped Simone under a chair and sat on it for more than 30 minutes while he watched tv. If she cried, he would stamp on her hands. Another time he did the same thing, but rested the chairs legs, along with all his weight, on Simone’s bare flesh.

After five weeks of filming, they alerted the social service and the family members of patients. Also, they contacted Castlebeck, the private healthcare provider which owns Winterbourne View Hospital. Ironically, it was winner of the 2010 Healthcare 100 Best Employers Award. “When he was confronted with our damning evidence, the chief executive of Castlebeck, Lee Reed, told Panorama that he was ‘ashamed’ of what had gone on”. But the appalling truth is that, before the investigation, whistle-blower Terry Bryan — a former nurse at the hospital — had written twice to Castlebeck management complaining about the attitude of support workers, saying that they appeared to enjoy restraining techniques. Nothing was done. 
Thankfully, Simone is now safe. Her parents, with the help of Social Services, removed her from Winterbourne View and found a new hospital.She is now settling in, seemingly unaware of the crucial role she played in bringing her tormentors to justice.This comes as little comfort to Simone’s devoted parents. Their daughter had told them she was being hit and kicked. Simone’s mother, not believing that anyone could be capable of harming her kind, loving daughter, had told her: ‘No Simone. That would not have happened. It would not be allowed.’
Read the original and full article with pictures here.
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They are not ‘Mentally Retarded’. They are just differently abled. That does not mean they can not be as loving and caring and intelligent as we are. Autistic people are even more sensitive to their surroundings that we are. They perceive things better than us. They just need a  helping hand, a comforting voice and some one to lean upon when times are tough and frustrating. They need to be taught and guided. They need to be shown the the right way of doing things, just like how you would teach a child. That does not mean they are helpless or that they are not capable. If dealt with in the right way, they can have as good a life as us. They are not wild animals that need to be beaten and screamed at to make them understand. They are mere human beings with abilities a little different than the rest of us. That does not make us extraordinary and them less-than ordinary. Stop using the word retarded. What was once used to describe a medical condition has now turned into mockery. They are just ‘DIFFERENTLY ABLED’ and much better at adapting to situations than most of us.

‘The Girl’ has arrivied… and in style ;)

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Its finally here! You don’t know what am talking about. Right. Forgot.

I’ve been meaning to change my blog name since forever. I loved the old name, but it just dint fit somehow.
Right from when i thought of starting a blog, i had no idea what to write or what to name it. Most normal people think of a name and start the first post as an introduction of sorts. Me being ME, i just started off… with no other thought in my head. Coffee And Madness happened by pure chance (after trying like a zillion web addresses, which were all taken) I stuck to it, thinking i would change it as and when i came up with ‘something proper’.

Knowing me, i find it hard to let go of things (Blog name would very much come under this category). Whatever name i came up with, i would find some excuse to not use that for the simple reason that i was too attached to let go of the old name (lame i know). That’s just how i am. I find it hard to let go. I still have the torn up pieces of a lottery ticket from 8th grade which i lost. I still have chocolate wrappers of my 20th birthday. I still have my favourite red frock from third grade. Basically i do lame, embarassing things which is not the point here!

So back to what i was saying… Something proper chose to happen now… so, here is my very late introduction to my very brand new blog…. *drum rolls*
The Girl At First Avenue

The story behind –
First Avenue – Is where i live.My home. The girl – Is Me. Too simple? Lets spice it up!

I wanted something different, something better, something apt to describe me. ( Lets face it, coffee and madness are two over used words in blogosphere!)

My home is where i’ve spent my entire childhood, 90% of my life, grown up, been a mess, got my heart broken, bonded with my family, got my first job, met fantastic people, a place where i ‘belonged’ in every sense.What better way to describe myself? 🙂
And then my blog. Its a spread sheet of my mind. I don’t blog about any one particular thing.
Because it would be a shame not to highlight all the things am good at 😉 .

Also this title has a more dreamy, serious touch to it (or is it just my imagination?) whereas the previous one was completely whacky and light-hearted. In sync with the ‘serious’ touch, i want to add a few more new features to my blog. So just wait and watch!

The tribute –My darling cup of coffee and my everlasting spark of madness! What would i have done without you two. I still have both of you in excess! Yet you’ll be missed. A corner of this space is dedicated as a tribute to you 🙂

p.s – Thoughts about the name, the template?

p.p.s – please do update your blog lists, bloglovin or wherever it is you are following me. Or not!
           

These are a few of my favourite things……

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……..When the dog bites..
When the bee stings…
When am feeling sad..
I simply remember my favoutite things…
And then i dont feel….
Soooo bad!!!!!

Sounds familiar? If its something that you’ll recognize the moment you listen to it, even in deep deep deep sleep, then welcome to my club 🙂
Its one of my all time favourite movies – ‘The Sound Of Music’. Not just mine, but my entire familiy’s! In fact when we went on our Europe tour a few months back, we made sure that we stopped in Salzburg, Austria (where this film was shot) and visited the place. It was already getting late and we had to get back to the hotel. On top of that we had just missed the last round of ‘Sound of Music tour’, where they take you to all the places the film was shot. So we were on our own, had to go by foot… and managed to see only one of the places. But you should have seen our excitement!!!

Anyway, inspired by the song here is a compilation of a few of my current favourite things –

*Sydney at night. A stroll along the harbour. Lovely Lights! *
*Neither sunny, nor too cloudy. And a perfect breeze!*
*My new hat! Perfect to catch a few winks after hours of walking and shopping 😉 *
*Two of the many latest buys in Sydney.
New clothes + excitement = weird expressions that need to be cropped *
*A beach that stretches upto seven miles and no one in sight except us *
(Thats the beauty of 7-mile beach. Makes everyone feel that way!)
*Latest painting for my sister’s house. A little something to brighten their walls 🙂 *
This should cheer me up! If it doesn’t, hey, i can always shop again right? ;)

Fun on Friday…..

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Am typing this post while trying to ignore my sister’s constant chatter in my ear. Sometimes she just doesn’t stop!

Am loving Sydney more and more with each passing day. I have so many pictures to upload! We have been going out every single day over the past week. Been coming home at 11 or 12 everyday..

On Friday our day started with a yummy English breakfast of Pancakes with honey and mixed berries jam and fruits. Thanks to my sister’s husband who is a great cook (and an amazing photographer).
Later we went for a walk (yet again) along Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Botanic Garden and ended up at Mrs. Macquarie’s chair and point. Of all the places i have mentioned till now this is a must visit in Sydney. Its a long walkway running parallel to the water. All along your walk you keep hearing the gentle sound of the waves splashing on your left and on your right you have the whole botanic garden, with trees, and all kinds of birds. Picture perfect!
Mrs. Macquarie’s chair is a point from where you can see both the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and is an amazing spot for taking photos. We waited there until sunset to get this lovely shot.
Finnaly ended the day with a picturisque view of the entire city from the top of the Sydney Tower.
Ahhh… Do i love Sydney at night or what? 🙂

Rahamania….

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Even when am in my most frustrationg, depressed and confused moods… rahman manages to make me smile 🙂

Rote kaayko hum, hey, rote kaayko hum
Hona hai jo ho, sad hote kaayko hum

Cry cry, itna cry
Karte hain kaayko
Itna darte hain kaayko
Pal pal marte kaayko

Why why, aisa why
Waisa kyun hota
Yun hota to kya hota
Jo hota hai woh hota

Fly fly, baby fly
Dekhen aa ud ke
Dekhen baadal se jud ke
Dekhen phir na mud mud ke

Amazing.. i still cant stop smiling 🙂