Displaying flag from Window

15th August of every year is a special day for every Indian. Religion, region, language nothing matters. Everyone come together and stands for one; the Indian Nation Flag; head held high, singing the national anthem loud and clear.

This year am not in my country but in a different country, does it mean I cannot put up my country flag on this very special day. I did displayed my country flag by the window but not before checking if there are any implications.
1. Am not causing any hurt to local citizens
2. Am not trying to insult anyone
3. Am not instigating anyone

I checked with lot more people for any country law. Having made sure am not a threat and neither it is going to be a problem I added a pole to flag and put it up on window.
I felt nice and happy and feeling of warmth.

My neighbors inquired and they were happy to know what flag it is and why it is there. Yes, I was not intending to keep it up for entire year.

For anyone living in different country and if you want to put your country flag on special day, do check with many and your neighbors. If nobody has a problem do wear it!



Life is tough – 60 (Toaleta)

s = ch
s = o(h)
Distance is proportional or is of the order of height!
Before you get imaginations wild, it is about the light sensor system.
In toilets and many other places, lights are switched on/off using sensors. This does save a lot of power. Apparently the place where it is positioned matters. If for example the sensor is placed at on the wall. Higher it is placed the darker would be the toilet room when a person of shorter height enters till he/she covers a distance in the dark.

For previous post on “life is tough” click here or click the corresponding tab on the webpage.


Pet Registration – Pes/Fena Registrace

In Czech Republic when you bring your pet dog from different country or bring a new one home, he or she has to be registered with 15days. It is a very simple process which I was not aware how to initially. Thanks some who gave useful information on Facebook.
Brno city is split into different municipalities. Knowing under which division your house is located in, you have to find the municipality office (úrad městské části). To access their website click here.

When you go to the location look for department Odbor rozpočtu a financování. I walked in little bit knowledge of Czech language is useful. Not because they would respond if you speak in English, their knowledge of English is limited. Thanks to my classes over the months, I was able to convey to the lady what I wanted. She took the papers for photocopy along with my resident card. She gave a form to fill and helped in translating the text.

The fees is taken from the month the pet is living with you and it is an annual fees! The fees is different if you live in flat or individual house. Once you pay the fees and collect the receipt they also give you a pendant for the collar which has a number printed. This number is stored in the record for all future reference.
My house is under Zidenice district and the address of the office is:

Úřad městské části Brno-Židenice
Gajdošova 4392/7, 615 00 Brno-Židenice

(3.patro, místnost č.314)
Po, st 8:00 h-11:00 h
Po, st 11:30 h-17:00 h

3rd floor, room number 314.
Working hours:
Monday & Wednesday – 8:00am – 11:00am, 11:30am – 5:00pm.

The total time for registration is 10mins. The annual fee is 1000CZK.

Few Czech words which could help:
Dobry Den (Good Day)
Pes Registrace (Pet registration)
Jmeno (Name)
Pes/Fena (Male/Female Dog)
Od Kdy (From When)
Datum (Date)
Podpis (Signature)
Byt/Dum (Apartment/Individual house)
Psi Plemeno (Dog Breed)

Travelling with pet – Day of Travel

All formalities completed, all legal papers ready. Now for the big day, the day of travel. Shadow gets excited, curious, stressed, apprehensive of what is happening in the house with all movement of packing and stuff. He has lost his sleep the entire day, he does not want to leave our legs, he follows us where ever we walk inside the house.
Finally the time has come to say bye to the house. We make a booking for airport drop via Ola. Normally cabs do not transport pets. We make a request with the driver and he agrees, surprisingly! We book a bigger vehicle to include in the transport also our luggage and shadow crate.
We reach the airport and we have a problem. One of the strays at airport spots shadow and wants to come in! After the first level security, part of their rules we assemble the crate and make Shadow go inside. The security were very cooperative. They helped my wife in assembling the crate and tried to keep us cool by chatting with us while I was holding shadow. Then we moved to check-in counter of Lufthansa. Once our boarding passes were taken, few other staff of Lufthansa got the other formalities completed. Fixing his food and water to crate, getting a declaration form signed by us, getting a sheet to be put inside the crate.
Then they took me to their ticketing service counter where I paid 400$+tax for the shipment. After payment they did a confirmation internally. Then the Lufthansa staff kept the crate on to a trolley and we went to the security area where the crate is scanned and say bye to Shadow. The crate is to be scanned without him inside.
The staff helped in putting the sheet inside the crate and also we had kept a blanket and pillow for his familiar smell and something which he can (and eventually did) tear up when stressed during the travel. He did his usual sounds of “dont leave me”.
Then we got through our formalities and the flight left Bengaluru. Yes we had some tension, fear about how he would be doing in the cargo section. Once we landed at Frankfurt, he was moved to animal section for feeding, walking and test. Frankfurt was our transit point. We checked with cabin crew, ground staff and others but it is part of the process and we are not allowed to see him or be with him till the final destination.
Few hours later when we landed at Prague airport we got out of flight immediately. Then we stood watching through the glass window as Shadow crate was brought out and the ground staff communicating with him! What a sight of relief.
We picked him up at the excess baggage counter and his whining did not stop till we took him out of the crate. We stopped at the customs for completed the next set of formalities. This took us two minutes. They checked the papers, scanned the micro chip. While we were told it would take 30mins at customs, all it took was just 2mins! Thanks again to Global Cargo Services for getting the paperwork in order.
We spent quite a long time outside the airport for his walk and to get him out of the stress before we travelled by road to Brno.

Thank you Lufthansa!
Finally we are at our new home together! 🙂

Travelling with pet – Formalities

In 2016 when I got the confirmation to move out of Bangalore to Czech Republic, the biggest decision we made was not to abandon our boy Shadow. By that time he was with from late-mid 2012 and it did not seem ethical nor moral to leave him out. Abandoning him at any kennel or on the road or leaving him with some other people was not in discussion at any point of time. Which meant we would take up any obstacles that come on the way to ensure that he is in new place with us.

Who is Shadow? We did not buy him from any breeder nor from any other person. We actually do not know his exact breed. October 2012, late in the night when we returned from one of our long trips and parked the vehicle, he came as a small puppy and stood in front of the vehicle. We took him inside the house and next day enquired all around close to where we lived. Nobody had a clue where he came from. The security of hostel of reputed institute were taking care of him for last 15days. They had their own difficulties to keep him beyond certain period. They were happy if we were to keep him and they could see him everyday. It was first big decision we made when we decided to bring him and be a part of our journey.

First I travelled out of India late-mid 2017. Am not sure if any other person moved out with their pet to Czech Republic. We read through lot of material on websites like pettravel, understood government rules and based on that made a list of things to do and complete.
Firstly, a microchip (international standards) needs to be implanted into his body behind the neck. Secondly, for his dimensions a crate is to be bought. We got the micro chipping and a Petmate crate grade 4 from Cessna, Domlur.
Then we had to get the blood test done. There is 90 day wait period post extraction of blood for rabies testing. This is required because we come from “high rabies countries”. Before this he had to be given a rabies vaccination. Post vaccination the blood test can be performed after minimum waiting period of 21days. During the blood test while we were contemplating where to send the blood sample (whether to Dubai or London) is when we contacted Global Cargo Services via our doctor Nanjundappa. The representative from Global Cargo took the blood sample from Nanjundappa and sent it to London lab. Thankfully Shadow cleared the test. After which we were to wait for 90 days. This was a big delay for us. We had planned a New Year 2018 re-union and had to shift it to end of March 2018.

In the meantime my wife got him through training like making him first get used to the crate, then locking the crate and doing work inside the house and later locking him inside the crate and going out for few hours. To this she added additional training and also to go out for walk with muzzle aka mouth cap, because over here one can travel in tram, bus and train with pets.
Beginning 2018, his blood test result arrived and he was declared fit to travel by end of March. When you decide to travel you would have to mark special services during booking of ticket. Whether emirates or lufthansa, we zeroed in on Lufthansa due to less travel time from Frankfurt. After booking my ticket I called up their customer care and gave complete details, they confirmed the services and added to my ticket “Transporting Animals”.
The next and last important part was to get the paperwork completed. The representatives at Global Cargo assured us of getting it done. April 2018 when I was there in Bangalore there is one formality to be completed. This is to take Shadow to Animal Quarantine Center at Bengaluru Airport. Along with representative from Global Cargo we went for inspection. The inspection also includes scanning the microchip. He cleared the inspection. And finally his papers were ready along with clearance certificate.
Lastly 4 days before travel he had to be given deworing tablet. Recommended, Slayworm Merial.
Shadow was ready to travel with us! 🙂
Thanks to all those who had been part of his life during the last approximately 6yrs in Bengaluru
1. His doctor Nanjundappa from the time he came to us.
2. Cartman, Koramangala where we used to drop him for boarding some times.
3. Global Cargo Services for getting the paperwork completed on time and to perfection.
4. Cessna, Domlur

Prague International Half Marathon

7 months after moving to Brno on 7th April I ran my first international marathon outside my country (India), the 20th edition of Prague International Half Marathon.


I liked their tag line!

And on the bib “Today we Run”.
The weather was a mix with wind freezing me up mixed with hot sun and humid conditions. Except for chillness, heat and humidity is not to be scared of having run in Mumbai Marathon and Chennai Marathon!
During the run when I looked up front or behind there like hundreds of people. It was exciting and also I was amazed by the numbers. All the public cheering all through the route, musicians playing instruments, support stations (contains water, aerated water, gatorade, bananas, oranges, salt, sugar and sponge in water).
The run started on time and my goal was to just run. 2 weeks of training after a month of illness I was not in good shape. Few days prior to falling sick I was getting in shape with training and was looking for sub 1hr45mins finish.
A week before the run at a realistic estimate I knew I could finish at 2hrs +/- few minutes. I kept a steady pace through the run, hydrated myself sufficiently and enjoyed the route. The route was mix of up, down, up, down, flat and along the river just reminded me of running along Marine Drive in Mumbai! I followed few tips from Gladson Johnson:
1. Swing arm
2. Breathe from nose
3. Stay hydrated
In the end I had a comfortable finish.

The run was important and special since it was to welcome my family who would be moving in with me this month!
Thanks to my employer SAP.
Personally irrespective of time, the excitement was similar to after I finished my first marathon in 2005!

PS: I don’t know who, there was a girl in bride’s dress with her man who finished the run! That’s a nice moment.

Chicken curry – Recipe

This dish is a mix of different flavours to get an acceptable appropriate taste.

1. Chicken boneless cut pieces
2. Potato – 2
3. Madras curry powder – 1 spoon
4. Tamarind paste – 1 spoon
5. Garam Masala – 1 spoon
6. Turmeric powder – 1/4 spoon
7. Coconut milk paste – 2 spoons
8. Onion – 2
9. Tomato – 2
10. Salt for taste
11. Garlic – 1
12. Ginger (if required)

Marinate the chicken in madras curry powder, turmeric, garam masala and little salt overnight.

Cut onions and tomatoes into mid size pieces. In a pan fry them both in little bit oil. Keep it aside to cool down. In the meantime in the pan with little oil fry marinated chicken and potatoes cut into small pieces.
Once the onion and tomatoes have cooled down, grind it into a paste. In the same pan, fry the grounded paste along with garlic and ginger. After couple of minutes add the fried chicken and potatoes.
Fry for additional minute and add a glass of water. Along with water add a spoon of tamarind paste. Allow it boil and add required salt.
Boil it for 5-10 minutes and make sure all spices are mixed well. Also make sure the chicken is boiled.
At this point add coconut milk paste (2 spoons). You could add a spoon or two more for better taste. Allow it boil once and remove from the cooktop.
To garnish add coriander leaves. Mint leaves could be added taste.

Note: Tamarind is added to reduce the spice level and give sugar & sour taste.