Thursday, October 13, 2011

My visit to NEW LIFE HOME

Three weeks back (24-Sep-2011), we had a chance to visit a home for aged people in my hometown Vallioor. The home named "New Life Home For Aged Destitutes" is being managed by Mr. I.D.Samuel, the secretary of the home.

We were there for lunch offered by us for the aged people at the home. We used to visit this home once or twice a year. But this time I wished to share you all about the home.

We also took some of our family friends with us. First, we were taken all around the home. The aged people over there are provided rooms with proper facilities. The rooms over there currently accommodates around 60 aged people.

Each building block was built on sponsorship provided by some good hearts. And you can see the sponsor's name on each building.

The aged people are provided with the facility for watching TV. And below is the place where all the aged people gathers after 6:30 PM for watching TV.

Below is the prayer hall. The aged people gather here for prayers. And the prayer hall is not specific to any religion. This prayer hall has Bhagavat Gita, Quran and Bible. Also this room has a library with it

Below is the medical block which is used for aged people who are very critical in condition. And doctors in my hometown Vallioor are providing free treatments for these aged people.

I would like to share you few interesting stories on how the home got certain facilities. One fine evening, there was a visitor to the aged home. When he was looking around the home, there was a power cut. Seeing the struggle of the aged people, he immediately sponsored a generator for the home. You can see the generator room below.

The other story, hearing that the people at home struggles to go hospital from there, one guy who bought a new car donated his old car to the home.

And there were many people who has done such big contributions. Also there are many people who makes a monthly contribution to the home. Apart from this, many people volunteers to sponsor the daily food (breakfast/lunch/dinner).

Below is the hall where we had the lunch.

Personally, I was very happy to see how well the aged people are being treated here. They are given their due respect.

And the good news is they are expanding the home. They are raising somemore buildings which would accommodate another 30 aged people.

If you think you could help them in any way you can contact Mr. I.D.Samuel, the secretary. Phone- 04637-241493, Mobile-9894256474, Email-

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Team outing @ SISO

Four weeks back (14 Sep 2011), we had a team outing at SISO (Samsung India Software Operations). We went Eagle Ridge resort.

It was around 13:00 Hrs IST when we reached the resort. We were provided the welcome drink. And then we had our lunch

The lunch was good. We were served with a non-veg starter, a veg starter, a non-veg curry, a veg curry, roti, ghee rice, and ice cream. Though the items were less, the quality of the food served is good.

After lunch we had a walk around the resort.

We played volleyball for an hour. We had more fun and we enjoyed a lot.

We also enjoyed some quality time at swimming pool.

At the end we were provided tea with snacks. And we started from there by around 17:00 Hrs.

Click here for the album.

About Eagle Ridge resort:
It has many indoor games (table tennis, carrom, chess), outdoor games (cricket, volleyball). And the quality of the food is good. It has also many cottages for rent. We were charged Rs 500 per person for the fun we had there.

Monday, September 26, 2011

திங்களன்று என் குமுறல் ;-)

திங்கள் முதல் வெள்ளி வரை
சோம்பேறியாய் திரியும் நீ...
சனி ஞாயிறுகளில் மட்டும்
சுறு சுறுப்பாவது ஏனோ? 

சந்தோஷம் எல்லோர்க்கும்

சந்தோஷ தருணம்
எல்லோர்க்கும் வரணும்
என்றுனக்கு பாடுகிறேன் சரணம்

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

After a Break...

It's a long time, I am away from blogging. I was busy with the relieving formalities with AMI India, shifting my home, joining the new concern and getting accommodated with the same.

I got relieved from AMI India by July 2011. It was both pain and gain for me. Pain to leave those AMI friends who are very close to my heart. Gain to get into a new challenge.

I gave a farewell party to my AMI friends three days before I left AMI India. The party was at The Farmhouse, ECR, Chennai-119.

Click on the photo to view the album on the farewell party.

I joined Samsung India Software Operations (SISO), Bangalore by July 2011. And things are going fine so far.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Gold coins from post offices

Buy gold coins of 10 grams and get 0.5 gram gold coin free! - the ad that rushed me to the post office.

After checking the market rate of gold, myself and one of my colleagues went to Adayar post office. It surprised us to see no one there to capitalize on this offer.

We were informed that the price for 1 gram of 24 carat gold was Rs. 2640. By then the market price was Rs. 2295 for 1 gram of 24 carat gold. The price at post office was almost Rs. 350 more than that of the market price. So for 10 grams, we had to pay Rs. 3500 more than that of the market price. Also the other downside, we cannot sell back the gold coins to the post office. So if you are to sell gold the moment you bought it from post office, then you are to lose around Rs. 350 per gram.

Considering all these, we dropped the plan of buying gold coins from post office. Also we were eager to know the price from local dealers. We went to T Nagar and enquired the gold price at Saravanas, GRT and few more shops. We found the price to be around Rs. 2340 for 1 gram of 24 carat gold (Rs. 2108 for 1 gram of 24 carat gold), slightly higher (Rs 45) than the market price.

So we were happy on our decision to drop the plan of buying gold coins from post office.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A tour on Yercaud from Chennai

It was around 5:30 Hrs IST morning on 22-Jan-2011. We started off to Yercaud from Chennai on our Ford Figo. Myself, my brother Anand and my colleague Senthilraj had already planned for this trip a week before 22-Jan-2011.

Actually it started after one of my collegemate called me over mobile to invite me for his brother's marriage. The reception and the marriage are at Salem on 23-Jan-2011 and 24-Jan-2011 respectively. I decided to attend the reception since the reception fell on sunday. Since Yercaud is just few kilometers (~ 26 Kms) from Salem, I decided to have this opportunity to visit Yercaud. So I made a plan such that I shall start to Yercaud a day (22-Jan-2011, a saturday) before the reception. Tour Yercaud till 23-Jan-2011 afternoon. Get down to Salem. Attend the reception in the evening. Start back to Chennai. When I conveyed this plan to my brother and my colleague, they happily joined me for this tour without a second thought.

We took the route of Villupuram, Ulundurpet, Kallakkurichi, Attur and Salem to Yercaud. After a drive of two hours and thirty minutes, we took breakfast at the hotel Annamalai which is on the bypass of Villupuram.

We were happy to find this hotel as the food was good. And I would recommend this hotel.

When we reached Ulundurpet, we had to get down from NH45 (Chennai - Tiruchi four lane road) towards right. This turn is at around 184 Kms from Tambaram. This stretch of road was very good (four lane road).

From Ulundurpet its a straight road to Salem via Kallakkurichi and Attur. Since the construction work for laying the four lane road is under progress, we had to make many diversions. One should be very carefull while driving this stretch, as careless drive could damage your car/vehicle. This stretch of road between Ulunderpet and Salem is 136 Kms in distance. We took more than 4 hours because of the bad condition of the road. It is around 12:30 Hrs when we reached Salem.

Yercaud is around 26 Kms from Salem. Out of which 21 Kms is on the hill. We were thrilled as this was the first time we drive ourselves a car on hill. We stopped the car inbetween to take some snaps.

It was around 13:30 Hrs IST, when we reached Yercaud. By that time, it was lunch time. We decided to have the lunch before booking room for our stay that day. After a brief search, we settled at Hotel Selvam. The food was ok. But the cleanliness was at its worst.

Actually we got into this hotel only after the recommendation of a guy on road while we were searching for a hotel. I won't recommend this hotel to anyone.

We decided to book the room for our stay. Since we don't know about lodges at Yercaud and don't want to waste time in finding rooms, we decided Hotel Tamil Nadu (Undertaken by Govt. of Tamil Nadu) as the safe bet.

Hotel Tamil Nadu is near the lake and it can be found as you enter into Yercaud. We took a deluxe room with an extra bed. The total cost for the deluxe room was Rs. 935 per day. The cost included the charge for the extra bed. And this is the offseason rate.

The rooms were offered on 24 Hrs basis. That is for example, for us the check-in date and time was 22-Jan-2011 and 14:30 Hrs IST. And the check-out date and time was 23-Jan-2011 and 14:30 Hrs IST. Also we were offered free breakfast for two persons for that amount.

After spending some time in the room, we started to visit places in-and-around Yaercaud. The first place was the world's biggest Shri Chakra Maha Meru Temple.

This temple is around 8 Kms from the Tamil Nadu Hotel.

From there, we started to Shervaroyan temple. On the way to Shervaroyan Temple, there is a view point (~4 Kms). You could get a good view of the nature.

We reached the Shervaroyan temple after a ~4 Kms drive from the view point.

We got into the temple where no photographs are allowed. The temple is a cave as one has to bend himself to get into the cave. You can see the statues representing god Shervaroyan and goddess Cauvery. There was a lady priest explaining that the goddess was responsible for the water on this mountain as there was no water on this mountain before that. Also she said that the cave stretches upto the origin of river cauvery.

It was around 17:30 Hrs evening. We decided to go finish off the boating by that day itself. So we started back to Hotel Tamil Nadu. The Hotel Tamil Nadu is around 7 Kms from Shervaroyan Temple. We parked our car at Hotel Tamil Nadu. And we started walking to the boat house which is few steps away from the hotel.

We were charged Rs 100 for a 30 minutes peddle boating. It was around 18:30 Hrs by the time we finished boating. We had a nice walk around the lake. It should be around 3 Kms. After that walk, we decided to take rest and we were back to the hotel. Had a good dinner and a sound sleep.

The next day (23-Jan-2011), we started off our tour by 9:30 Hrs IST. We started from Anna Park. Anna park is located few steps away from the Hotel Tamil Nadu. We were charged Rs. 40 as entry fee. Rs. 10 per person and Rs 10 for camera.

After spending some brief time over Anna park we went to the lake view garden.

Lake view garden is a part of Anna park which is opposite to it. The entry ticket we bought for Anna park covered the entry to Lake view garden also. So no extra bucks for the entry to Lake view garden.

From Lake view garden we started to Pagoda point. Pagoda point is a view point from which you get to see the beauty of the nature.

Pagoda point is around 8 Kms from the Hotel Tamil Nadu. No entry fee for pagoda point.

After pagoda point, we covered ladies seat, gents seat and childrens seat which are all view points. We travelled around 8 Kms from Pagoda point to reach these view points. All these three points are very near to each other such that one can cover all these three points by walk.

At ladies seat we can enjoy the nature using the telescope and binoculars.

We were charged Rs. 5 per person for using the same. From ladies seat, you can see the hairpin bends on the road to yercaud from salem.

Nothing much to add on Gents seat and Childrens seat. Both are also view points.

At Childrens seat we were charged Rs 10 per person and Rs 10 per camera. No entry fee for ladies seat and gents seat.

Rose garden is also located there. But we weren't interested to get into it as that was not the season time for it. So we bypassed the same.

From the view points (ladies seat, gents seat and childrens seat), we started towards Yercaud Fish Exhibition. We travelled ~4 Kms for the same. Also the fish exhibition is located very near (only few steps) to Hotel Tamil Nadu. And the entry fee for fish exhibition was Rs 5 per person.

Inside the fish exhibition, we saw fish varities such as white shark, black shark, tiger oscar, prana, and many other varities.

Opposite to the fish exhibition is the deer park.

The entry fee for the deer park was Rs 10 per person and Rs 10 per camera.

At deer park we saw deers, rabbits, and some few birds. Nothing that special. It was around 13:00 Hrs IST. We decided to pack-off ourselves to start our journey towards Chennai.

We went back to the hotel, settled things and started our journey towards Chennai by 13:30 Hrs IST. It was around 14:30 Hrs IST when we were in Salem. We had our lunch at a hotel named Rasikas.

The lunch was ok.

As decided earlier, we made a short presence at the reception of my friend's brother's marriage at Salem. And started towards Chennai.

We were on the same track - Salem, Attur, Kallakkurichi, Ulundurpet and Villupuram to Chennai. It was around 20:00 Hrs when we were on bypass road of Villupuram. We had dinner at the same hotel Annamalai (in which we had our breakfast on the day before). We reached Chennai around 10:00 Hrs IST.

The total distance our ford figo travelled for this tour is 792 Kms. Mileage was around 18 Kms per litre. We had filled the diesel tank when we started our tour from Chennai. And that was very much sufficient for the whole trip.

Distance metrics

The distance metrics mentioned below are based on my car's (ford figo) odometer.
  • Chennai (Tambaram) to Salem = 320 Kms
  • Salem to Yercaud       = 26 Kms
Note: The exact hill travel is 21 Kms.

For distance metrics on places to visit in and around Yercaud check the picture below:

The above distance is metric is from the hotel Tamil Nadu which is at the entrance of Yercaud.

  • From Chennai (Tambaram) get on the NH45 road towards Trichi. After ~184 Kms travel, take right at Ulundurpet. It is the Ulundurpet-Salem NH68 road. The distance between Ulundurpet and Salem is ~136 Kms.
  • From Salem get on the Yercaud road. (for this you can get directions from locals).
  • The directions to visit places in-and-around Yercaud check below map.

Note: The distance in Kms I have mentioned are based on the odometer of my car (ford figo). Actual figure may vary.

Points to take care
  1. The NH68 road for Ulundurpet to Salem is under construction. Four-lane road construction is under progress. So drive with extra car as you expect unexpected diversions. And the road that diverts from one lane to other lane is worst. If not proper care is taken, the car may get damaged. Though this stretch is ~136 Kms, it took 4 Hrs for us to travel. Whereas we took only 2 Hrs for the Chennai (Tambaram) to ulundurpet stretch which is ~184 Kms.
  2. There is other route from Chennai to Salem which is via Sriperumbudur, Vellore, Ambur, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri. This route add extra 35 to 40 Kms. But worth taking this route as the road is very good (four-lane road). For now (till the four-lane road construction on Ulundurpet to Salem route gets over), I would recommend this route.
  3. The hill road to Yercaud is very good. But follow the principles for a hill drive. No need to panic about the hair-pin bends. You will get ample space at hair-pin bends.

  1. Toll for the NH45 road in-between Chennai (Tambaram) to Ulundurpet. There were four tolls at distance 32 Km, 84 Km, 133 Km and 173 Km from Chennai towards Ulundurpet. The toll fees were Rs. 20, Rs. 20, Rs. 56 and Rs. 35 respectively for our ford figo.
  2. We were charged Rs. 15 as entry fee at Yercaud.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Know how blessed you are!

Do you want to know how blessed you are? Just sit an hour at the reception of a hospital!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Donated Platelets

Two days back (on 01-March-2011), I was in Apollo speciality hospital donating platelets. Father of one of my colleagues was affected with blood cancer. And he was in need of platelets for his treatment. Myself along with two other colleagues volunteered to donate the platelets.

Till then I was not aware of this platelet donation. The thing I knew was, platelets are something in blood that prevents us from bleeding by making the blood to clot. Also I haven't done blood donation before. And this was my first time. So little bit nervous on to know how things are going to happen.

So what are platelets?

Platelets are tiny cells found in our blood. Our blood is made up of the following:
  1. Red blood cells (RBC)
    •  helps to transport oxygen to various parts of our body
  2. White blood cells (WBC)
    •  helps to fight against infections
  3. Platelets
    •  helps blood to clot which prevents bleeding
  4. Plasma
    •  a yellow liquid that contains proteins and coagulation factors

Who needs platelets?

Patients who's platelet count is below 20,000/ of blood with clinical evidence of bleeding needs platelets.

How platelet is collected from a donor?

I shall say how platelets were collected from my blood. This may give a clear picture.

I was connected to a machine. It was just by a pin-prick into one of my forearm veins. This machine took my blood, separated and collected platelets from my blood, and finally sent back the blood (blood minus platelets, i.e. RBC+WBC+plasma) into my body.

I experienced that the entire procedure is safe. There is no risk at all. This is because they use a sterile, plastic, disposable, single use set for each donor. The blood travels only through the disposable tubing set and it never touches the machine at any time. So that it is sure that the blood would never come into contact with the previous donor's blood.

The entire procedure took around 78 minutes for me to donate the platelets of 200 ml. Before collecting the platelets from me, the hospital conducted the tests on my blood for the following:
  1. Hepatitis B
  2. Hepatitis C
  3. HIV
  4. VDRL

The tests for above were conducted on a day (28-Feb-2011) before I donated the blood. On clearing these tests, I was asked to come for donating the blood on the next day morning. I was asked by them to have a good breakfast before I come to hospital for donating the platelets.

After the donation of platelets, I felt happy about me for I could help someone on need.

If you wish to donate platelets you can contact - 24347288 - Apollo Speciality Hospital Blood Bank, No. 320, Anna Salai, Nandanam, Chennai - 600 0035.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Know your bills

Last Sunday we were to Sathyam Cinemas, Chennai for PAYANAM movie. During the interval of the movie, we bought some snacks from the snack bar inside the Sathyam Cinemas.

There it is odd to see people not asking for the bill for the snacks they purchased. The people order for the snacks, the staff over there says some amount for the snacks ordered and the people didn't mind to lash out the currency from their wallet.

When my turn came, I asked for the bill. The staff over there replied that the machine that provides bills is out of order. I couldn't leave that point for this reason and asked for the handwritten bill. By the time, the people standing behind me in the queue were not comfortable with what I am doing. I understand them but I didn't want to give away my rights. Yes, I am the boss of the money I spend. I should know the reason and I have the rights for the same.

If everyone asks for the bill, will the machine be out of order for a long time? But people never mind about that.

The other scenario on the same day. That evening we went to the food court at Ascendas IT park, Taramani, Chennai. By the time when I parked the car in the parking lot, a man with a bag approached me for the parking charge. He asked me Rs. 10 as parking charge. And now again I asked for the bill. He said it will take time as he has to get the token from a machine that is located few steps away. I said him that I shall pay when I return back from the food court and I asked him to collect the token by then.

When I returned he gave me a bill for Rs 10. I could clearly see a banner in the parking area explaining that the parking charge is Rs 5 per hour. I returned well within an hour. But the bill said that I was charged for 2 hours. I asked for the reason. And now he started bluffing. I said him that it's not a matter of Rs 5 or Rs 1000. It's the matter of knowing the reason I spend my money.

I could see other people parking the car paying the amount this guy asked for. My brother who was with me by the time said to me that people may fear, for this guy could damage the car if the asked amount is not given. And my brother was right. When I was walking back to my car, this guy whispers to the other guy (who assist him in collecting the parking charge) that what if we put a scratch on the car (for which I have to spend more money than Rs. 10).

But my concern how long we will pay for our fear. We easily educate people like these guys that they can cash-in the fear of other fellow people. We start from here - bribe for our well-being. Here Rs 10 won't matter for most. But we will start crying blaming the government for not policing such things when it grows big. Who should be blamed? (Or) Who is the culprit?

Bottom-line: Purchasing goods without bills is equivalent to having black money.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Srinivas bid adieu!

Two weeks back (21-Jan-2011), I attended the farewell treat by one of my beloved colleagues Srinivas. The treat was arranged by him at Sabari Classic, OMR, Chennai- 603 103.

He had invited around ten people who are very close to him. We all gathered at the hotel by 19:00 Hrs evening. After having some chat, we had the dinner. Srinivas had arranged for buffet dinner.

After the dinner we took some group photographs. We presented Srinivas a gift and a greeting card with our signature on it.

Some words on the dinner at Sabari Classic:

Even the menu card given for the buffet dinner was very shocking! And here it is for your view:

And when I asked Srinivas about the cost per person, I even felt bad. The cost is around Rs. 550 per person. For this cost, I knew there are other star hotels that offer good deals. For example, Green Park, Chennai. At Green Park, the cost is even less than this. The varieties they offer is huge. And the items are sure to raise your taste buds.

From soups to starters to main course to desserts, everything was a disappointment. I wish to have a special mention on the service. The service was very very very worst. And I won't even think to compare this with Green Park. For example, no-one was there to monitor the availability of food on the serving table. At one time, we were in need of a fork. We asked a server over there and the time we had to wait for the fork... hmmm.. no words!

No! No!... I won't recommend Sabari Classic to anyone anymore...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kaanum Pongal - Kodumudiyaru Dam

We made a short trip to Kodumudiyaru Dam on 'Kaanum Pongal' day (17-Jan-2010). Kodumudyaru dam is around 15 Kms from our home at Vallioor. My father, my mother, my wife and myself took our Santro while some of my relatives who accompanied us took their Swift Dzire.

Its around 5'O clock when we reached there. And we made use of the ample space before the dam for parking our cars.

We spent some time on the dam for the sceneries, photographs and some chats on the operations of the dam.

As already planned, myself, my father and two of my relatives took bath in the dam water as rest spent the time by watching us playing in the water. It was a very pleasant evening we enjoyed as there was no other humans over there to disturb the scene.

After having enough bath, we started to our home by around 6:30 PM.