To the dear and finite souls that continue to read my blog...due to shortage of time and unavailability of net connection, I havent been doing much in the name of writing except for the official emails that start with "Hi" and end with "let me know if you have any questions". So, here is an account of what's been happening since I left Appleton soil (covered by snow for the most part).
Landed in India expecting some kind of vibration, theme music, nostalgia etc...then realised that they happen only in movies. Chennai gave me a "very warm" welcome soaking me with sweat, the moment I stepped out of the airport - at 2am in September. Well..Chennai can't change itself just because one of its Returning Indian is used to sub-zero degrees. Let us cut here and open at Coimbatore airport where my dad and mom were waiting to receive their proud son. As I came out of the luggage area my mother snapped a photo with our old Canon film-roll camera.
Soon I was back on Indian roads, the car being driven on the left. Reached home to a hearty reception by my aunts, uncles, cousins, nephew, niece, neighbours, friends, (no Romans) and country men. The next couple of days went in distributing the gifts and chocolates, and giving accounts to the eager minds, about the food, transport, weather, rent, price of cabbage, pin code format etc in US ("What(surprise version)? No mosquitos in Appleton!!"...."Yes, but we had bed bugs"..."What(shock version)?).
Fast forwarding to the early morning arrival at Chennai - I was received by the taxi and auto drivers whose only objective that early morning was to serve me with pleasure. At Triplicane(according to my friend)/Chepauk(according to the auto driver), I got down and paid 70 Indian Rupess applying Duckworth Lewis formula for distance between Triplicane and Chepauk.
My friend took me to the mansion where he was staying with 3 other guys in a room. Being the guest, I was given one of the beds. I woke up late (excuse - "let others get ready and go to office"). I was going to report only on next Monday, but had come to Chennai earlier to follow up on some pending activities like checking my investment returns (hey, doesnt that sound big), changing the communication address in my bank account, applying for a new debit card ("Sir, there is an annual fee for the card, whether you are in IT field or in the Bermuda's magnetic field"). Visited Seshu at his home. Met some college friends and friends at work ("why did you come back? Recession"..."No I came back for the love of my motherland, to serve this nation and its poor people and to be served by the costly Chennai restaurants").
On the very first day, Seral and Suren took me across the lengths of Chennai, from TNagar to Mount Road to Besant Nagar to Marina.
Finally, went to office to the looks of "who is this phony guys?".."here is the scoundrel who moved my cheese". My seat and task1 was already waiting for me. I had a big list of to-do, the most important of them being to choose, form and train a team that will support from Coimbatore, the applications, for which I was one of the SMEs. Yes you read it right - COIMBATORE - shortly, CBE.
Choosing the team was more like choosing players for Lagan team ("Can I ask you a DB2 question?"..."No Dont"). The first few resumes were very disappointing. As days went by, I had to change my expectations and was happy to have finally found the "chosen few". Let us cut it short with some quick hints..."Srividhya leaves the team - Baskar leaves the team - Ravee leaves the team - BID project construction starts - TPM rewrite project work starts - Still recovering from the aftermath of OTC project - Weekend jobs run late - KT continues - Triplicane is one of the best places to live in Chennai,at least from food perspective, if you leave late every night from office.
Suresh returned from Hyderabad, Macho came to Chennai on vacation, Vinayak got married, Seral was getting ready for marriage, Suren shifted to Coimbatore and got married, Srikk came for vacation and got engaged, Kamesh got married - that was winter of 2009.
Ok, before we move on to Coimbatore (at this point, I decide to add "Part - I" to the title), a short note about my friends at the Triplicane mansion:
Thoughy my stay at the mansion was for a very short time (3 months) and within the 3 months I was in the room only to sleep, the folks around were very nice to me and very friendly. If I had fever(quite a few times), they took me to the doctor, arranged for "rasam sadham", hot water - things that I have not done to my best friends. If I returned early from office, they were more happy than me. The weekend before I travelled to report at CBE, they arranged for a trip to Pazhaverkaadu. We went on a boat to an island which reminded my SFO trip which was the last in US. I missed my Appleton friends, but these guys made up for it.
2 years ago