Day 8 – At Chennai on a training

Start of the week

Week started well. The training was quite interesting, as it related to credit operations of a bank. I guess, it is a common tendency to feel comfortable in ‘known territory’.

We had an interesting Role-playing exercise in the training. Trainings are great when they have such interactive activities and games inbuilt.

No specific updates on food exploration today, as we went to Balaji Bhavan again.

A visit to temple

In the evening, we went to a Tirupati Balaji temple near Pondy Bazaar. The temple was wonderful, and the atmosphere was really spiritual.

Day 6 and 7 – At Chennai on a training

A badly needed weekend
Nothing new in that though. Generally all weekends are badly needed. After an intense training for five days, it was a great relief.

In the morning, we had decided to go for a ‘brunch’ at Murugan Idli shop (at GM Chetty Road). We reached there at about 11:30 – really hungry having had no breakfast. Even though the shop is a bit small, the food here is really great. Moreover, the food is served in a traditional way on a banana leaf. They also have an innovative way of serving water – disposable plastic glass put in a smaller steel glass. We tried a lot of different dishes there, including sweet pongal, which was really great. Other customers around were quite friendly and also showed us how first we needed to sprinkle some water to clean the banana leaf. However, people became a bit alarmed when we told them that we had come from Pune (i.e. due to H1N1 flu). The filter coffee was a bit mild here, but tasted great. After a really heavy meal, an afternoon siesta was badly needed.

In the evening, we went to Spencer Plaza. It is a huge shopping complex with almost all the varieties of shops and brands. When I checked its history in Wikipedia, it is supposed to be originally built in 1863. Later, when it was destroyed by fire in 1985, it was rebuilt.

Sunday morning starts at 5:15 am
We went to Marina beach today morning. Our plan was to reach there before sunrise, so that we see the scenic view of the horizon. Even though we reached on time, we could not see sunrise because of the clouds. However, the atmosphere on the beach was amazing. I have seldom felt so fresh on a Sunday morning.

Back to exam days
Our ‘badly needed weekend’ was eclipsed by the fact that there was supposed to be an online test in the Training on Monday morning. Hence, spent most of the Sunday reading and revising.

Day 5 – At Chennai on a training

Auto-rickshaw chronicle continues

We have discovered a new model for hiring auto-rickshaws. That is, bulk booking of auto rickshaws. As we have a large group, we negotiate a combined price for 3-4 auto-rickshaws e.g. 100Rs. for 3 auto rickshaws instead of 40 each. One more thing we noticed was that irrespective of the actual practice, the minimum fare displayed on the autos was just Rs. 14.

For a change

We went for north indian food today for a change. Went to Dhaba express. It had a good veg buffet at a very reasonable price.

… and that was a group photo (I am missing though).

Day 4 – At Chennai on a training

At the outset, I would want to clarify that I spend only about 2 hours having food and at least 8 hours attending training. Looking at the past few posts, it seems more like a Food-guide blog. It is just that there is nothing specific about the training to be posted.

So, keeping up the practice, I would start my food reviews. We went to ‘Hot Chips’ for lunch. ‘Hot Chips’ is a chain of restaurants in Chennai, unlike the chips shop of the same name you find in Mumbai and Pune (at least I have seen them only in these two cities).

The food was good here, but many items were not available during afternoon.

Our evening plans were more interesting. We went to Sathyam Cinemas for watching the movie Kaminey. As the movie halls were closed in Pune, I was not able to watch this movie. Hence, it was a good chance to watch it here. The movie hall was amazing. Great seats, great projector quality, great ambience. I could not take pictures inside the building, as photography was not allowed.

About the movie: I love the movie. Performances were great. More about the movie later..

Day 3 – At Chennai on a training

Not much of updates today. The training was ok. We went to Shri Balaajee Bhavan for lunch. Food was great and the prices too were very  reasonable.

I had curd rice and filter coffee. Filter coffee is now a part of my staple diet 🙂

One more realization today: Not to make assumptions too fast… Initially on the basis of first day, we assumed that the entire training would go really slow. But now, it is going on very fast. I am not saying we should not make assumptions. All I am saying is that we should not base important decisions or actions on premature assumptions or logic that is not thought through well.

Day 2 – At Chennai on a training

Great breakfast + Nice lunch + Not extraordinarily boring training = Not so bad day

If you get nice piping hot aloo parathas in breakfast, there’s not much that can make your day go bad. We had a nice filling breakfast at the guest house.

Training was Ok types. Not so much boring. And there was some new stuff to learn.

For lunch, we went to the much-hyped Sarvana Bhavan. The food was good, but the prices seemed quite high, and the options seemed quite limited. I guess, the high prices were partly attributable to the silver plates in which they served the food. The Shiv-Sagar restaurant at Aundh, Pune has much more choices in South Indian menu.

Moreover, got myself a nice filter coffee at the end of the meal.

One more thing I discovered about Chennai. The minimum auto-fare is Rs. 30. Even if we wanted to go quite nearby, we always ended up paying at least 30 bucks.

And one more thing that I felt – deciphering Marathi in Pune seems a cake-walk compared to communicating in Chennai with auto-walas, shop keepers, etc.

Day 1 – At Chennai on a training

I am at Chennai for 6-week office training. I thought I would try blogging something about it everyday. I am not sure whether this spirit would last even for a day more, but still, at least for Day 1, I am all motivated to pen down things.

Start of the day
Day started at an unearthly hour of 03:00 AM, which is just three hours after the scientific start of the day. Had to get up because we needed to catch the 5:55 flight. There are very few times when you can actually see your clock showing 3:00 am.

About the flight
If that wasn’t enough, we got the last row seat in the flight. The space available was even less than that in a BEST bus in Mumbai. Any way, we reached Chennai on time.

Skipping breakfast
Then, we had to rush to our Guest house to put our bags. Even though breakfast was available at the guest house, we thought it prudent to go for the training first, and then have breakfast there. However, nothing was available around. We finally found out a fruit vendor, and some of us had to do with fruits. I didn’t like the fruits, so dragged my survival further on chips and snack bar which I had in the flight.

Boredom + Exhaustion + Sleep deficit + Bad lunch = A really tiresome day
The training was boring. I know you would say that all trainings are usually boring. But then this one was even more boring from the rest. We ran short of a name placard, and hence I was the one who had to do without it. So used a bit of ‘innovation’ and made a placard out of the notepad page. Went out for lunch, but the only place we could find was not at all good. They just had Veg Pulav and Dal Fry as vegetarian options, and which we had to go with.

Finally back to my room
Had a nice hot shower and am penning down this blog…