Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Pet

Sunday, 30th May 2010 - 11:15AM at Anna Salai, Chennai.

Chennai heat was sucking all our energy and water from our bodies. We were in the streets of Chennai on a mid-day inspite of knowing the intensity of summer, all just for one reason.

I was thinking about it for quite a long time, it got intensified after meeting Deepak at Yahoo!. It got more intensified when we decided to go for a photo-trip to Ooty sometime during August. Maybe it is a coincidence, last week Vijesh bought the same camera I was planning to buy and after feeling the cam I couldn't really resist it. Based on my study and few good suggestions from Deepak and Vijesh, I decided to go ahead with these two :$

1. Nikon D90

2. Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II Lens

I had to postpone my purchase till sunday for the sake of 16-85mm lens and in the meantime I found a great read called "Complete Guide to the Nikon D90 - by Thom Hogan" via Deepak again. I spent my whole saturday reading this book and believe me it is a great resource for anyone buying a DSLR. It is not just a D90 guide, it gives you in-depth information on DSLRs, how each and every feature of the camera is designed and engineered. If you are planning to buy a DSLR sometime, do read Thom Hogan before jumping into the store.

Unlike a saree purchase, our purchase was quick and I had my D90 with the lens in my hand. Vijesh after getting approvals from his supervisor :-P, had the permission to buy a 50mm prime lens which is yet another great gadget for a photo-enthu.

With all the stuff loaded in our bags we roamed in Mount road for few hours simply waiting for a NRI to join for lunch. NRI Vijayaragavan enjoyed his weekend in Mahabalipuram and was happily returning in a AC car to meet us who were already like "Half-Grilled Chickens". Before we were fully grilled Vijay reached Spencers and we had a refreshing time there. Our cameras got a little work there and soon we were on our way back to home.

Note: I am still wondering why all US-returns prefer 3/4th pants and hawaii slippers. ;) Explanations appreciated.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Flashback and Updates

2nd May 2010 - "Good evening passengers, this is your flight captain. We will be landing in Chennai shortly, please fasten your seat beats", an announcement was made while I just opened the potato sandwich pack and was wondering about all the happy moments, friends and fun that I left back at Bangalore.

Just after landing I was very reluctant to come out of the aircraft, of course Kingfisher air-hostesses being one reason for it :-), the main reason is simple - I was afraid of jumping into a furnace. With no other choice, I came out as the last passenger out of the flight and minutes later I was out of airport waiting for my guest house cab all wet.

New employee orientation, team intro, project intro, blah-blah-blah.. all started well right from the 1st day at Amazon and things are so good, so far. It is a real geeky place, where ever you go you will find ex-Trilogy, IITians and ex-Yahoos. Technically my transition into Amazon went on smooth and I am getting used to the environment and people around me.

Non-technically, I had quite a lot of tasks to-do. Rent a flat, buy an AC and get it installed, move my things from Bangalore, get internet connection, get cable connection, get a new mobile connection, update bank records with your new address, etc. All these things kept me very busy for the last few weeks. The most adventurous from the above list was to rent a flat, after doing that I felt Bangalore was a easy place to rent for the rupees that you spell.

Being a newbie at Chennai, I had to go through a real-estate broker. Initially I started with a budget of 10K, my first agent Mr. A showed me few 1BHKs in slum areas and I started demanding for better locality, after few more houses Mr. A finally took me to a furnished house for 12,000 which he claimed to be the best house that he had. After getting into that small 1BHK I realized the definition of the word "furnished" that day - "house with a 3 legged broken chair, a 4th or some Nth hand washing machine and a completely rusted stove". I asked the agent a simple question,

"Do you think this house is worth 12000?"

the answer he gave was also very simple,

"Pakathula Actor Sarath Kumar veedu iruku sir." (Actor Sarath kumar's house is nearby).

Why the hell do people increase the rent just because some popular personality is nearby? The only advantage one can have by taking this house is they can directly go and talk to actress Radika about her oscar winning mega serials and get updates of her roles. I am no where near to serials so I had to say good-bye to Mr. A and went in search of Mr. B.

Mr. B was worse than Mr. A, so I had to go for Mr. C, Mr. D, Mr. E and Mr. F. The number of houses I rejected was steadily increasing. While I dealt with Mr. E, he recommended a very active real-estate agent with great houses in-hand and he took me to meet him. I just laughed after seeing him because he is none other than Mr. A again :-) and I just assumed that I exhausted all the real-estate agents. It was true in one sense, people started showing me the houses which I already rejected and I was quite frustrated. Finally, Mr. F came to my rescue and showed me the one I was looking for.

Thats a heads up for people who are planning to rent a house in areas close to IT parks in Chennai. Other things went on pretty smooth and I am getting used to this new place. Chennai is a very big city, traveling to city bus terminus takes more than an hour even without any traffic. The traffic sense here is just awesome, you can easily learn how not to drive in a city road easily here.

I am all alone at home, so I might start blogging frequently from now on.