Last 2 days – In Chennai on a training

—– Written at 4:30 PM on Sep, 11 —–

They say, Life is made up of good and bad experiences

So far, our stay in Chennai had been quite good. But just on the second last day, the power went off in one of the phases at about 11:50 pm. So only a few of the rooms in the guest house had no electricity – our room being one of them. We tried to sleep for some time, after trying all possible avenues to make the room airy. But with mosquitoes buzzing around, sleep was a remote thought. We then asked the guest house attendants to shift mattresses from our bed to our friends’ room, which had electricity, thus utilizing all the possible floor space in their room. But after a lot of this action, we got a really great sleep.

Many times, there are such small unsettling incidents in our life, which we often complain of. But don’t you think that a boring and mundane routine does need some fun like this??

Why do we have tests?

There was one last test left in the training, for which I started studying intensely. I somehow have this strange thing, that even for a completely useless test, I just cannot stop myself from preparing well. I am not saying that then I perform extremely well. Only that I get really tense before any test. In this test I got 85%, and was quite happy with that.

Shopping time

The training ended by 3 pm, giving us a couple of free hours, before the cab pickup for airport. I did some shopping at Shri Krishna Sweets (purchased chutney powder and pickles) and Nuts and Spices.

Last filter coffee

I could not have left Chennai before having a last filter coffee. I went to Shri Balaji Bhavan at Pondy Bazaar, and had a really strong filter coffee, savoring its taste for quite some time.


So now I was ready to bid adieu. This is the street where our guest house is located. And there’s an old model BMW car parked on this street that we used to see everyday…

—– Written at 8 AM on Sep, 12 —–

They say, God listens to what you speak

But God also reads what you blog. After I wrote the first point about upheavals being fun, things started that way. Our airport pickup vehicle was just a non AC Qualis for 6 persons with 6-week-planned luggage. Our bags had to be loaded on the roof of the car. Even though we complained about it to the admin, the next vehicle took a lot of time to arrive. Hence, we decided to proceed, else we would miss the flight. Traffic in Chennai had never posed a problem to us, because of the area where stayed and the hours when we traveled. But there was a very heavy traffic till the airport. We heaved a sigh of relief only when we reached the airport.

Back to 24°C

The weather seemed great when we landed at Pune.

No Water

When I reached home at 11:45 pm, there was no water stored, as i had emptied all the water bottles before leaving for the training. There was no water in the taps, even though the society water supply was generally available till 12. I was also hesitant to wake up neighbors at this late hour. I should have remembered to purchase a mineral water bottle at the airport. I was remembering Geet’s dialogue in Jab we met movie – “Please babaji, Ab is raat me koi aur excitement mat dena, boring banado is raat ko please”

Paani ka mol pehchaniye

Do you remember this Doordarshan ad? I was able to collect one glass of water from 3 different taps. I boiled it on gas stove and allowed it to cool under the fan. Then I put it in freezer and then had a glass of cool water. Should be enough till the morning when the water supply starts and the aqua-guard would work.

Day 15 – In Chennai on a training

They say, “Think before you wish”
After a hectic training schedule in the previous week, we wished that the training this week be a bit relaxed. But if wishes come true, they come true in extremes. Out of 9 hours we spent in the training room, the effective training was only 2 hours. In the morning, we were asked to shift to another room for an hour so that another team can take some test. A series of time wastage incidents continued further. Sometimes, getting so much free time also creates lot of boredom.

Training skills
I have attended much training and have even taken a few trainings. Hence, I guess I have a slight amount of knowledge to be able to comment on this subject. Irrespective of the training subject, a trainer is never successful unless he/she is able to be friendly with the audience. This is one basic basic thing, which a trainer cannot ignore, even if he/she is extremely well qualified in the subject. Moreover, it is very important for a trainer to be natural and not show pseudo-professionalism. No, I am not criticizing any trainer or trainers, but am just collating my experiences so far.

Day 11 – At Chennai on a training

Weather report

Weather in Chennai has become quite unpredictable. It was sunny and hot till the afternoon – but rained quite a bit in the evening.

Co-curricular activities during the training

Tried some photography skills during the training session. Below is one such snap of sunlight passing through water bottle.

Reflection for the day:

Do not see your achievements in the way other people perceive them. First think what you are landing yourself into.

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 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.