8 Things Every Responsible Dog Owner Must Know

XX Things Every Responsible Dog Owners Knows (AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Month)

Having a dog in your life is one of the biggest joys you can have. The love of a dog is one of life’s greatest things ever and therefore we should give serious consideration to about the commitment that being a responsible dog owner entails.

Commit for the Long Haul – getting a dog is a commitment. You have to be sure you want a dog and can provide for him/her.

Make Time for Your Dog – dogs will love you no matter what. But they need and deserve that time and attention. Ensure to give it every day.

Provide Proper Identification – get your dog a collar with a name tag with your contact information. Consider micro-chipping your dog as well.

Spay and Neuter – If you do not have your dog spayed or neutered you may be contributing to the problem of millions of unwanted stray or pound dogs.

Don’t Be a Backyard Breeder – If you choose to breed your dog, be sure to follow the proper protocols and don’t just let the dogs birth in the backyard so you can make some money.

Keep Your Dog Healthy – regular vet visits and checkups. Stay off the foods that the vet says to keep them away from. Always provide plenty of fresh drinking water and an appropriate amount of quality nutrition for your dog. A place of shelter and comfort is also important for your dog’s physical and mental wellness, and exercise is a must.

Train Your Dog – some training is always good. Canine etiquette is not just for our benefit.  well-trained dogs are more content because they have been given a sense of structure. A well-behaved and properly socialized dog is less likely to upset people and pets in public places and will be more welcome at gatherings.

Respect Others – don’t let your dog bar throughout the day or worse at night. Pick up after your dog when you take him/her for a walk. Keep your dog on a leash or in a fenced-in yard when outdoors.

Prompt from 100+ Writing Prompts & Blog Post Ideas for September at Pretty Opinionated

The Family Nickname That Is My Cross To Bear

Do you have a nickname? How did you get it and who gave it to you?

My family has always been into giving nicknames to each other. I was no exception in that I have had a couple that has stuck around for a while. When I was 11 years old, my family including uncles, aunts and cousins took a month long trip through parts of South India on a sight seeing trip. When we made it to Kanyakumari, right at the end of India, we had to take a ferry to see the island on which there is a statue of Swami Vivekananda. Now everyone needed help to climb aboard the ferry and there were two men who were assisting people to get on board. But little roly poly, 11 year old me jumped on board and when we came back I did the same. So one of the guys said “Master chaddiyello!” meaning master – as in a young boy – has jumped!

My eldest cousin brother heard that and he started calling me “Master” and the name stuck. Pretty soon all my cousins were calling me that with a few “Masterjis” from the younger ones for added pleasure. Most of my aunts & uncles also acknowledged the nickname. As I became a teenager the guys would joke that “Master” was short for “Master of Masturbation” and the teasing would continue for ages. Till this day, 27 years later the name has not died and I am still Master for a few of my cousins. I doubt if it will ever get die out and I’m pretty sure that when I am like 90 years old I will still hear plenty of calls of “Master”. That will find itself into my obituary as well; lucky I won’t have a headstone!

I also was called “Sunny” for sometime but that never lasted for too long. I like Sunny as a nickname as it’s bright, airy and sunshiny(?). But it is way too late for me to change my cousins’ preferred nickname from me from “Master” to “Sunny”. Sigh! If only.

Prompt from 31 Days Of Writing Prompts For August at The SitsGirls

Special Traditions That You Have Shared With Your Kids

What special tradition from your childhood have you recreated with your own children?

I don’t have any kids of my own…..that I know of. But, a few things that I have asked my sister to share with her kids – my two nephews and niece – is mainly things that my sis and I enjoyed as kids. Like the cartoons that we watched and loved as kids. Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Droopy etc – those and more were the awesome cartoons of our childhood and which we still stop to watch when we see some on tv. I’ve even searched for them on Youtube so I could watch them and laugh for a few minutes.

I would have wanted to share my love for other things but I don’t see them all the time or spend too much time with them. Like music – hard rock & heavy metal -, horror movies, science fiction but I just haven’t been able to. One exception is my sister had once asked me to get her the episodes for the 90s scifi show V, which was a big favourite of ours when we were kids. My sister and I love the show and she wanted to show her kids the episodes. It was a big hit.

Other than that I don’t think I have managed to share any traditions. Once in a while we do gather at my home and order dinner just like what we used to when sis and I were kids. And especially when we order either fried chicken like KFC or shawarma, it reminds me of my childhood. I do like that.

Prompt from 31 Days Of Writing Prompts For August at The SitsGirls

Eight Tips For People Who Are Getting A Puppy

1. Make sure you have some toys for your new puppy. Puppies are a lot like small children and playing with a new toy both excites and stimulates their brain.

2.  Let your puppy sleep in your bedroom, at least for the first few nights. This whole experience is pretty scary for a pup, so it’s best not to make him sleep in the laundry room just yet. Put the crate next to your bed so you can reassure him.

3. Supervise! If you cannot watch him like a hawk, he needs to be in his crate or in his “room,” see below.  Set up a puppy room for when you can’t supervise. Pick a small area like the bathroom or kitchen, block it off with baby gates. Add a bed in one corner. And if you need to leave him home alone longer than he can hold it, put pee pads or a dog “toilet” in another.

4. Reward good behavior, don’t wait for bad behavior. Reward the puppy when you see him doing something you like. Don’t wait until he’s misbehaving to give him attention.

5. Start training early. The phrase, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” exists for a reason. While it’s possible to train dogs as they age, it’s more difficult. Just like humans, the more we are used to certain ways of doing things, the harder it is for us to change. Reinforcing good habits, positive interactions and socialization at the youngest possible age will help your puppy thrive in his new environment and foster a strong and trusting relationship with you.

6. Buy a crate in advance and crate train your pup. A puppy needs a crate where they can rest, learn the house rules, and practice potty training (dogs don’t like to soil their sleeping space). Your puppy should sleep in their crate at night and be placed there when you’re not at home or able to supervise them. Dog toys are a necessary part of any new puppy checklist. Many young pets like to sleep with a plush toy when they curl up in bed, because it reminds them of their littermates. Other types of dog toys, such as chew toys, squeaky toys or rope toys, can keep your puppy mentally stimulated, which will prevent boredom, whining, barking and digging.

7. Check out puppy socialization classes in your area. Your pup will learn some basic obedience, but the real benefit of well-run puppy classes is socialization with other puppies and people.

8. Socialize, don’t traumatize. Introduce new experiences slowly and never let your puppy get overwhelmed. Other people slowly day by day and other puppies and dogs gradually.

Staying In Touch

How Do You Stay In touch with far-away friends?

You know it’s funny how despite us living in the best time to keep in touch with people who live far away from you. You have emails, Facebook – posts, messages text & face chat, cell phones, SMS, Whatsapp and other texting apps, FaceTime, Zoom calls, Webex and other conference options etc etc! But it is found that people still do not find the time to keep in touch with friends and/or family members.

I have many friends on Facebook who are from my childhood and later on – how often do you think we actually chat or speak to each other? Zero. Well there are a couple of them who I do chat with but even that is a very rare case. But I do have a couple of friends who I am in regular contact with. But just two out of all those hundreds. Well if your friends are like that, imagine your cousins and relatives?

I have some cousins who live abroad and who don’t seem to have the time for the rest of us. In the US & UK and I get the time difference but that is no excuse. I work nights as do a couple of the others in India but it does seem like they do not have the inclination to keep in touch. Even on a group chat in Whatsapp. They aren’t that busy and also you would think that during a pandemic where most people were inside their homes for the most part, they would reach out more. Nah!

I guess they still didn’t have the time. Or felt it was necessary.

Prompt from 31 Days Of July Writing Prompts at The SitsGirls

Treats We Enjoyed As Kids

Share your kid’s favourite summer treats.

Since I don’t have any kids of my own, I’m gonna share the summer treats that I enjoyed as a kid along with my sister and our cousins and what I am sure my cousins’ kids also do. One that is a rarity and I think is only really available in parts of India is the ice cream soda. Not the one that you are thinking of, but this is actually vanilla ice cream flavoured soda that you get in bottles. After a day of playing football or cricket with my cousins and sweating up a storm, going and get a few cold ice cream sodas to quench our thirsts was great.

We had these things called sip-ups – semi-frozen flavoured drink or cola in these plastic tubes that you buy from a street vendor or store and then proceed to suck up the juicy cold deliciousness. It was so popular at one time that they even sold it at my school’s cafeteria. Oh man, it’s so funny but I haven’t though about them in ages and this prompt suddenly brought back memories.

Ice cream floats. There was this one cafe at a hotel in Chullikal (near Mattancherry) that served them and I can’t think of any other place that’ve had it. It was basically a large scoop of vanilla ice cream placed inside a glass of Pepsi or Coca-Cola. I think mostly Pepsi as we had a problem with Coke until the late 90s. Those were the bomb and it was a huge treat for us.

Also near my grandmother’s house we had this small little joint called Cool Of Cools. It was an ice cream shop that specialized in these awesome sundaes and faloodas. Faloodas are basically a South Asian ice cream sundae or dish a South Asian with vermicelli noodles at the bottom along with rose syrup and sweet basil seeds with milk. When served cold ofcourse it is amazingly delicious, if you don’t mind the chewing of the basil seeds and vermicelli. Sure to cool you down.

Blog prompt from 30 Blog Post Ideas for June at The Frangipani Creative

What Is One Thing You Always Splurge On?

I don’t if you can call this an actual splurge but every Saturday I look at what is available on the delivery apps and then I order food for my parents and myself. On Saturday I do not usually bother to look for deals or different restaurants/cafes with  reduced prices for the same food item. That’s what I do on the weekdays if we want to buy meals or just some nice fish fry (like karimeen) or something like that. I look for coupons and/or discounts that either the restaurant or the delivery app provides.

But on Saturday night I don’t care! I look for something really good. It is usually a bucket of fried chicken or burgers or pizza or maybe I might shawarma or grilled chicken/al fahm or Indian food a la tandoori chicken or butter chicken with naan and the odd biryani. Maybe some Coke or 7up/Sprite with vodka or rum on the side to wash it down. I go all out and do not worry about the coupons or discounts. If it is there, I’ll take it but I usually look at the restaurant and or the dish that I feel like getting. I check with my parents to see if they want something in particular.

That is the one thing that I don’t really mind spending money on. It is food and it is good for you to go all out once a week. I can afford that. Also I like to do that for my folks. Seeing my dad happy with his drink in hand and good food on his plate and my mom not worrying about what to make for the night or get the maid to cook it before she leaves is all worth it.

Prompt from 30 Days Of Writing Prompts For June at The SitsGirls

The Boys & Girls Of Summer

My favorite childhood summer-time past-time was…

Just hanging out with my cousins in general. We used to spend our summers together at our grandmother’s place, which was pretty big. We played football & cricket during the day time in the front yard and, post showers and outfit changes, in the evening we would get snacks and cold drinks from nearby shops and spend our evenings listening to music. 80s & 90s pop and hard rock music.

We also watched a lot of music videos on tv and selected a couple of movies each night to watch as a group. We read books and played quizzes, Monopoly, Scrabble and card games. At night the boys all slept in sleeping bags on the floor and a couple of beds in one big room on the upper floor. The girls, who were lesser in number, slept in a smaller room on a couple of big beds.

That is what summer was all about and I miss those days.

Prompt from JUNE BLOG PROMPTS {12 MONTHS OF WRITING IDEAS} #BLOGPROMPTS at Fun Food Family

Can Your Dog Sleep In An AC Room?

Summertime pet safety is an important issue during the dog days of summer. When the temperature outside reaches 100 degrees it can have a real effect on your beloved cat or dog.

A dog or cat can’t take off their shirt and wear boxer shorts around the house to cool off like dad. Some dogs and cats have a big shaggy coat that keeps them warm in the winter but come summertime, that fur coat can’t be shed. The furrier the dog or cat, the hotter they’re gonna get.

So, should you leave the air conditioner on for your pet when you’re gone or at work? Most pet owners and veterinarians say “yes” you should leave your air conditioner on for your pet. It gives your dog or cat a sense of relief. Can Air Conditioners Make Your Cat or Dog Sick? Unfortunately, there is no magic number for an AC setting that will provide the ideal temperature for your cat or dog. If your air conditioning settings are too cold for your pet than yes, it can make them sick.

Can a puppy sleep in the ac room? Yes, puppies can and sometimes should sleep in AC room. Just as puppies have a harder time with very cold or very hot temperatures, little breed dogs like rat terries, Chihuahuas, and Shih Tzus need extra kindness when it comes to the temperature of their habitat. Make sure your puppy has a nice and cosy place to sleep. If you find your pup is shivering or curled tightly around herself, try providing a blanket for her. Try to keep her bed away from the direction of the air flow so it’s not blowing right on her.

Ways To Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Ways to keep your pet hydrated during summer.
I did not know that dogs and cats can get sunburned or that short-nosed dog breeds have more trouble cooling down through panting. And I recently found out that shaving your dog’s fur coat may be more harmful than not. However summer heat and sunshine is a serious issue for our dogs and cats, which depend on us to keep them protected.

Here are some recommended ways to keep your pooch cool and less troubled during the hot summer months in whichever place your live in.
How to keep dogs cool
  1. Encourage them to stay in shaded areas and away from direct sunlight.
  2. Put down damp towels for them to lie on.
  3. Fill a hot water bottle with cold water.
  4. Put the garden sprinkler on.
  5. Keep a paddling pool in the shade for them to splash about in.

Blog prompt from 30 Blog Post Ideas for June at The Frangipani Creative

Favourite Childhood Memories

What is your favorite childhood memory?

I don’t think I have one favourite childhood memory. There are a few. One of the things I like most about my childhood in Kuwait is going on a long drive with my dad, mom, sister, uncle, aunt in my uncle’s car. Going shopping in a couple of large stores that we usually never got to shop at. Another one is the two separate visits to Entertainment city that my family went to. I think once with a family friend, his wife & two daughters – the younger one was still a baby at the time.

Entertainment City is a fun theme park with rides, roller coasters, bumper cars etc etc. I really loved going to that place and I associate good, innocent, fun times with my memories of those two visits. It really was fun. Other than that my biggest favourite memories are summer holidays & Onam holiday vacations in my maternal grandmother’s home with all of my cousins. We played cricket & football, board games, card games and quizzes.

Evenings after a shower we would listen to lots of lots of 70s, 80s & 90s music on tapes and watched a lot of good movies together. That was fun. We shared books that we recommended to each other. Those were some awesome times.

Prompt from 31 Blog Post Ideas for May at A Grande Life

What Every Dog Should Have

Share a list of things that every dog should have.

As part of pet appreciation month, here is my take on what every dog should have. And I wish I could give it to a dog or two. Or 5.

Every dog should have a home to stay in with a human or a couple or a family to love them and feed them. Nice comfortable home, with a small bed – but big enough for doggie – for them to sleep on. Cozy blanket for cold rainy or winter nights. Maybe next to a fireplace if you have one.

Toys! Every dog has a puppy in them until they pass away so give them plenty of toys to play with. Good food and plenty of water or whatever liquid is good for dogs to drink. Treats a plenty. Playing, running, going for walks and the occasional zoomies takes a lot of energy. Hence we need to give them treats that they will love and go crazy for. A nice backyard for them to hang out in and play in the grass is also essential. Medicine to help them battle health concerns.

But mostly what they want and need is lots of love and attention. That we should give as much as we can. Long rides, beach games, dog parks and picnics in the country side is all great. But what the dogs really want is love from their human(s).

Prompt from 90+ Unique April Blog Post Ideas | Blog Inspiration @ Bloggingandliving.com

4 Legged Gardener

I don’t remember the exact years but I am pretty sure it was around 1990 or so that my cousins in Mattancherry got a dog named Snoopy. Snoopy was a pointer and perhaps the only Pointer I have ever seen in my life and they are kind of a rare breed to have where I live.

Pointers are used to find game for hunters, and are considered by gundog enthusiasts to be one of the finest breeds of its type; however, unlike most other pointing breeds, its purpose is to point, not retrieve game.

Funny thing about Snoopy is she was a yard dog, meaning she had a kennel at one end of the property. next to the gate and in the late evenings, just before dinner, my cousins or uncle would let her free to roam the yard. And we don’t know when but she developed a strange hobby – she would dig up some plants in the yard and then dig a hole elsewhere and then replant plant them! It was crude and messy but she always did it. We couldn’t stop laughing at this 4 legged gardener that has blossomed in the nights where she was probably bored by herself.

I will never forget that and how happy she was when her humans found her handiwork the next day. She had that proud look on her face. As if saying “I did that”!

Prompt from 30 Days of April Writing Prompts at The SitsGirls

Family 5 : Movies

What are your five favorite movies for a family movie night?

I don’t have a wife or kid/kids. I wish I found the love of my life and were married. And though I haven’t wanted to have kids for the longest time, at times I also find myself wishing that I had a wife and a child. A daughter. Call me crazy.

Anyways, if I did have my own family I would have family movie nights with them? And if I had to pick a few movies for that, depending on the age of my kid, I would probably pick:

  • Gremlins
  • ET
  • My Cousin Vinny
  • School Of Rock
  • Mrs. Doubtfire

So I purposefully skipped a lot of movies that I could easily add here for several reasons – I avoided mostly sequels, action oriented and major science fiction movies and movies that had more dark subjects. Because there is a kid involved. LOL, no kid but yeah!

Prompt from 31 Days Of Writing Prompts For December at The SitsGirls

Family Meals From My Childhood

Kentucky fried chicken is another reminder of the days gone by. We used to order the buckets for family dinners during the weekends in Kuwait and we still do as a family now. That with Coke or Pepsi and French fries. Dad, mom, sister and me with my mom’s brother, his wife and daughter (my cousin). We’d get buns and coleslaw among with them as well. Although it’s either KFC or an Indian owned alternative like Chick King or Chicken Chicago in India. Why we just had some Chick King on Saturday night, 2 piece each with a bun, some fries and while my mom drank some 7up, dad had a brandy while I had some Old Monk rum with Coke. Hmm rum & Coke.

If it wasn’t KFC then it was shawarmas. Hmmm delicious shawarma from the middle east that hasn’t been recreated in India yet. Or if they are, it’s only in a couple of places. But in Kuwait (and other places) they serve the best kind. Excellent and exquisite cuts of meat (either beef or chicken) with Tahini sauce, chopped vegetables wrapped inside of a soft pita bread. My aunt, who has always been a vegetarian would pitas and falafel. Pepsi or Coke to drink. I do not remember any chain restaurant that we would buy them from but we always seemed to get some really good stuff. It was the best of times when we had these family meals together.

Whenever I dream about my science fiction universe (the one I created and wrote a few chapters about but have still to flesh it out completely) our family meals are usually these kinds of food with maybe some fried rice or something along with it.

Great Gift Ideas for Loved Ones

We all celebrate different occasions. Whether that’s birthdays, religious holidays, cultural holidays or anything else. Often, these celebrations revolve around spending time with loved ones. But they can also often incorporate gifts, given as a token of love and appreciation. Sometimes, we just want to give gifts without any particular occasion. Regardless of why you’re giving a gift, there are plenty of different options out there. At the end of the day, only you will know the best gift for your loved ones – after all, you’re the one who knows their preferences and interests. But hopefully, some of the ideas listed below can get your imagination going and can help you to find the perfect gift that will really bring a smile to the recipient’s face!

Speakers and Headphones

If your loved one is techy and into their music, you could consider getting them some speakers or headphones. This can improve the sound they get when they listen to their favourite songs – inside and outside of their home. Price can vary depending on branding and quality, but generally speaking, there’s something to suit every budget. From home speakers like the fluance ai60 to wireless earphones or headphones for travelling and the gym. Browse different options out there and settle on what will best suit them and their lifestyle!

Subscription Boxes

If you’re looking for a gift that keeps on giving, you might want to consider subscription boxes. These come in all shapes and sizes with all sorts of different content, so will give your loved one something to look forward to each month. Take a look out there for what’s available. You could get a beauty subscription box, a flower subscription box, a magazine, a book box, a snack box, a pet box… the list goes on and on!

Sentimental Gifts

Sentimental gifts tend to be the best. They come from the heart and show that you’ve really thought this purchase out. Finding their favourite song on vinyl. Finding a first edition of their favourite book. Having a pet portrait made. One of those images that shows the constellation of the stars on the first night you met, the day they were born, or another special date. These tend to be some of the most heartwarming gifts.

Pamper Packages

Everyone likes to pamper themselves every once in a while. So why not pack up a little pamper package? Bath bombs, moisturisers, hair masks, face masks, foot masks, lip balms… the opportunities are endless and you can sculpt to box you make to match whatever they like – specific scents, specific brands, you name it!

Toys

If you’re buying for a kid, head straight to toys. Little ones love playing with everything from spaceships to cowboys to race sets and dolls. If you’re unsure what they might like, it’s easy to ask their parents for some suggestions. They’ve probably been circling things they like in a catalogue or jump about when they see certain adverts on the television.

Flowers

If you don’t know someone too well, but want to get them something to show appreciation – perhaps a relative stranger who has helped you, a partner’s parents, or someone else, flowers tend to almost always go down well. Select a nice bouquet and have it gift wrapped and delivered! You may also want to consider an option that comes with a vase, so the person receiving the flowers definitely has a way of arranging and presenting them nicely.

Chocolates

Like flowers, chocolates also tend to be a simple staple gift. Boxes, arrangements, bars, dark, milk, white, plain, filled, topped – there are so many different options out there! You can even get chocolate for people with special dietary requirements and preferences. For example, you could buy vegan chocolate for people who are vegan or lactose intolerant.

Edible Arrangements

If you want to combine something like a flower arrangement and a sweet treat, consider edible arrangements. These are pretty arrangements made from fruit. The fruit is carved and arranged to look like flowers. This is great and a real novelty! Just make sure to use a reliable supplier who has an extensive portfolio and can definitely deliver on time. You need to ensure the person is home to receive their delivery too – you don’t want the arrangement to go bad before they get it.

These are just a few different gift ideas to get the ball rolling. Your loved one may have more niche interests that you can cater to. They might not like any of the things above. But generally speaking, one of these options should be able to bring a smile to most people’s faces.

To My Cousin Before She Gets Wed

Dear Roshni,

On this last day before your wedding, I look upon the life, the joy & the pleasure that is your life. As the youngest amongst us cousins, you are special to us. As the innocent one, you are special. As the funny one, you are special. Your childhood exploits and gags were always the highlight of our evenings.

I remember how talkative you were – from a very young age. My then joke was that you started talking and saying ancient hymns at the tender age of 3 days old. An exaggeration no doubt but you could recite some play at the age of 3 or 4. The songs that you liked as a kid and sung to us are always gonna be special for us.Your comical dialogues, you wanting to change your name to Susan, you saying about “no daddys or mummies here”, you writing a sorry letter to your dad for your naughtiness (claiming that it is not something that you can control )your announcement about a certain E.T., etc etc etc too many funny things to state here, are all memory points for me and the rest.

But memories are what defines us. Like a great lyricist & drummer stated in a song from 1987

“I’m not looking back
But I want to look around me now
Time stands still
See more of the people
And the places that surround me now
Time stands still
Freeze this moment
A little bit longer
Make each sensation
A little bit stronger
Summer’s going fast
Nights growing colder
Children growing up
Old friends growing older”

I saw that last night while your cousins, uncles and aunts celebrated your upcoming wedding. They danced and sang and we drank and ate but I wanted to go back in time and freeze you as a little girl who was so precious, precocious, intelligent, smart & hilarious who was the center of attention for all of us. But you have grown up and become a young, successful woman who is ready to start her own family life. Life just isn’t fair 

All the best for the wedding and for a wonderful & happy life ahead. Your cousins – Kannan, Arun, Rakesh, Raakhee, Sherine, Shalini, Subin, Suraj, Manoj, Sandy, Navin, Priya, Balakrishnan, Jayakrishnan, Shekhar, Shankar & myself – will be proudly watching you and feeling nostalgic – a little sad but mostly happy for you!

Love
Roshan

Celebrating My Baby Cousin’s Final Single Days

So it’s my baby cousin Roshni’s wedding this Sunday. Tonight we had a family gettogether at her parents house. I was the last to arrive since I wanted to buy her a gift and had left it till the last moment. So I went to Oberon mall and bought her a nice watch. I then quickly hightailed it out of there as my cousins were calling me.

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I gave Roshni the watch and hugged and kissed her and joined my cousins, her dad and other uncles plus my dad in eating some beef and drinking. I had some vodka and we tried to all sit in the small bedroom with an ac that was the “bar” for the night.

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After a couple of hours of this we were getting hungry for dinner and we ate some fried rice, porota, fried cauliflaur and chilly chicken. Then we had a lot of ice cream. By 11 am I booked an Ola for my dad, mom and me to come home.

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