Archive for April, 2007

For a greener Chennai!!

Plant trees, water the existing ones (no, I don’t mean unzip), enforce stricter emission norms for vehicles… Just a few ideas that most of us are familiar with, but do little about.
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CET abolished, confusion prevails

The high court recently upheld the validity of the state government’s policy to abolish the Common Entrance Test for professional courses. This would mean that this year students passing their class 12 examinations need not appear for yet another exam before entering government and self-financing engineering or medical colleges. The merit of the students will be decided solely on the basis of their performance in their class 12 exams.
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A lot can happen over coffee

A lot can happen over coffee
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You know you are in Chennai when…

… 90% of the billboards advertise saree or jewellery brands (the rest advertise politicians)
… you hear ‘let’s go to the beach’ a lot more than ‘let’s go home’
… the auto drivers treat you like a millionaire
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Opening ceremony

A round of greetings to everyone. Thank you for having me here.

I moved to Chennai in July 2006, much in contradiction with the opinions of the voices that whispered in my ear. And guess what, I’m having a blast.
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தாழ் தள சொகுசுப் பேருந்து !

அவசரமாக இல்லம் திரும்பவேண்டும் என்ற கட்டாயத்தில் பழைய மகாபல்லிபுரம் சாலையோரம் வந்து நின்றேன். கம்பெனி பஸ்ஸில் மட்டும் சென்று தான் பழக்கம். நேற்று சூழ்நிலை காரணமாக பப்ளிக் ட்ரான்ஸ்போர்ட்டைப் பயன்படுத்தினேன். ஆட்டோக்ராப் சேரன் போல மூன்று வருடங்களுக்கு முந்தய ஞாபகங்கள் கண்முன் விரிந்தன.

கூட்டத்தில் சிக்கி நசநச என்று வியர்வையில் நனைந்து, அசட்டுத்தனமான ப்ரேக்குக்கெல்லம் முன்னல் நிற்பவரின் வழுக்கையில் முட்டி, அரைமணி நேரம் நின்றபின் திடீர் என கிடைக்த ஸீட்டில் ஓடிப்போய் அமர்ந்தவுடன் “லாஸ்ட் ஸ்டாப்.. எல்லாம் எறங்கு…” என்றார் கண்டக்டர். தொரைப்பாக்கத்தில் இருந்து சைதாப்பேட்டை வந்தடைந்தேன்.

27-04-07_1728வில்லிவாக்கம் செல்லவேண்டும். அயனாவாரம் செல்லும் 23C, பஸ் ஸ்டாப்பில் இருந்து கிளம்பிக் கொண்டிருந்தது. எனக்கு வடிவேலு “காதல் தேசம்” படத்தில் செய்வது போல ஓடிப்போய் பஸ்ஸில் ஏறுவது கைவந்த (கால்வந்த) கலை. அந்த வித்தை இன்னும் என்னிடம் இருக்கிறதா என்றறிய, பஸ்ஸ்டாப்பில் இருந்து கிளம்பிய 23Cஐ துரத்தினேன்.

பல்ப் !

அட. கதவெல்லாம் வைத்து மூடியிருக்கிறார்கள். தட தட வென தட்டினேன். மடார் என்று திறந்தது. இது என்ன சிஸ்டம் ? உள்ளே ஏறினேன். கண்டக்டர் முறைத்துக் கொண்டிருந்தார். முன்னே டிரைவரிடமிருந்து “பேமானி !” என்ற குரல் மட்டும் வந்தது. மறுபடி கதவு தானாக மூடிக் கொண்டது. அப்போது தான் உணர்ந்தேன்.
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Indian Airlines Chennai Airport: How bad can it get?

I left this morning on the 8.10 AM flight to Hyderabad for an event, so I reached the airport at 7.30 AM to check in. As I sent my baggage through the security x-ray machine and reclaimed my bag, I was confronted by the site of a long, long queue for the check in for Indian. For they had ONE check in counter open for TWO flights. Now I knew why the board outside informed me as I arrived that the flight was delayed to 8.45 AM! Mind you, Indian has FIFTEEN check in counters. Jet has about eight or ten, Kingfisher two and Spice two. None of the private airlines had any queue in front of their counters, despite Jet having multiple flights taking off within a short span of time. But Indian? Long queue with the person at the counter taking a long time over every single check in (as usual!) The crowd stood there, including me, wistfully looking at the private airline’s check in counters. How I wish I’d taken the 6.20 AM Jet to Hyderabad like some of my colleagues!
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Do you have a Chennai plan?

It is said that when someone starts a business in Silicon Valley these days and hits the circuit on Sand Hill Road (a.k.a. the abode of the VCs), the first question the entrepreneurial team is asked is “Do you have an India plan?”, to find out if they have really thought thru their business strategy thoroughly, factoring India in their grand scheme of things. It is possible that increasingly the question may get refined to “Do you have a Chennai plan?” and why not? Forget the TCSes and CTSes of the world, who established their bases in Chennai, but obviously due to being Indian companies who just made sensible decisions long back, taking into account the nature of their businesses and the place where they would get the best talent. Instead, ask Joseph Sigelman of Office Tiger why he chose Chennai and he would sum it up with “if OfficeTiger had to start all over again, the choice would be Chennai“.
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Chennai’s Master Development Plan: Have your say!

The Hindu said today the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) will organise meetings in and around the city to gather public opinion and suggestions regarding the draft second master plan. The schedule of meetings is: April 28 at Egmore; Raja Annamalaipuram on May 5; Tondiarpet on May 19; Kodambakkam on May 26; Anna Nagar on June 2; Tambaram on May 5; Avadi and Minjur on May 12; Sholinganallur on May 19; St. Thomas Mount on May 26; Ambattur on June 2; Kunrathur and Poonamallee on June 9, and Tiruvottiyur on June 16.
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Here’s why the autos have kissed the meters goodbye

Two weeks ago, my ever-reliable bike broke down for the first time since it was bought in May 2004. The bike’s gear shaft was malfunctioning and only the fourth gear would function. I pushed the bike every time I had to get it started. Yesterday on the way to the office from the workshop, where I left my bike for repair, I hired an auto. This is a distance of about 9-10 km from Alwarpet to Ekkaduthangal. The autowallah charged me Rs 90. I paid him without a murmur. I thought it was exorbitant, but today another autowallah charged me Rs 60 to go from Triplicane to Alwarpet.
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