Chennai Day Out

Finally.. I cleared my US Visa US interview today. Gosh, I was so stressed in the whole of November, lots of office work and there was this tension on whether I would get my Visa or not. And I’m so glad its all finally over. Its like as if I’ve cleared my most toughest exams.

My Visa interview was at 10 AM today; and it took not more than a minute. I was asked about my work experience and the company to which I work for. And that s it, my Visa was approved.
I was like ‘Is that all!!’ . I walked out of the Visa cell and took a while till I got back to my senses.
I suddenly felt like I should go to see my old house (where I had stayed for almost an year back in 2007). I caught an auto rickshaw and went straight to Besant Nagar. I walked along the roads on which I’ve had lots of fun during my days in Chennai. Nothing much had changed except that I knew no one around now. I just kept remembering my old nostalgic days and walked alone. And then I visited Ashtalakshmi Temple and spent some time on Besant Nagar beach all alone. I had my lunch at Murugan Idli shop, ohhh.. cant forget those Dosas, Idli Vada, Sweet Pongal…
And then I came back to my hotel.
I’m currently in my hotel updating my blog, and in a while I’l be heading back to Bangalore and then to the United States of America in a couple of weeks. 🙂

Being a Wooly at Chennai

After I bid adeau to Trivandrum, fate drove me to Chennai. I tried very hard to get a transfer to Bangalore in vain 😦 .. nothin worked out for me….I had no other go but to go to Chennai.
It was a scary start, I almost missed my bus to Chennai. Reached Chennai at 3.30 in the morning, I knew no one and dint know what to do, where to go :-0.. Autowala charged me 200 bucks and took me to a remote and scary hotel. I booed an AC room, watched TV for sometime and slept till 9. Morning I took a bus to my reporting office.
Right on my first day, I joined my first project called ‘Woolworths’. Its a retail chain supermarket in Australia. And I joined the team as a Mainframes developer.

Now all I needed was, an accomodation..As if like in a movie, I found my old schoolmate in the office canteen during lunch break, he had joined TCS-Chennai recently. We had a nice chat and I asked him whether I could stay with him. He agreed, but the only problem was the house was already overcrowded. Finally everyone agreed and let me stay . So we were 8 (all from Bangalore) of us stayed in a 2 BR house.

Gosh.. my tuff times had started, it was April then, the temperatures in Chennai would sore up till 45 degrees. Hot humid.. 5 of us in a small room which had an old fan throttling at full speed making hell lot of noise..

As days passed by, I gel’ed nicely with my new roomies. We used to have dinner together, we bought a new TV to our house, heheh and all of us used to dance to songs, pulling each others legs, fighting, shouting.I enjoyed my stay with my new pals. We used to go out on weekends to movies, visit places around.. 

——-Me and my friends, at Besant Nagar Beach Chennai——-

I almost forgot to mention, our house was right next to Besant Nagar close that we could hear water splashing all night. At mid-night, we used to go out on a beachside walk, trying to play with crabs on the beach hehheh.

And at my office, I had a nice team to work with. I worked on JCL-Datamining in my 1st project (Houston BR2-Bonus Stock). Since development projects wind up quickly, I completed 3 projects in 8 months. My other projects ‘PEL Finance’ and ‘SOM-Fresh Food’ were more interesting and challenging. I worked on CICS and complex COBOL batch programs in these projects. Work was not easy though, sometimes I ended up working almost 24 hours a day and worked on weekends as well.

About 5-6 of us used to stay awake coding the whole night,we used to take coffee breaks at 2 and 4 midnight; crack few PJs in between and get back to our PCs. In no time, it would be dawn and we would feel dead tired, we then used to book cabs and head back home..I would see COBOL codes dancing around in my dreams and they would’nt let me sleep…This tuff it was..But inspite of all these, I felt proud to be working with some of the great coding brains of our project (Prashanth, Dasarathan, Sanjivi, Praveen Bhat, Sudhir, EK..).

Well my days at Woolworths dindnt last long as the project team had a ramp down and I asked my PL to release me from the project and get me a transfer to Bangalore. After arguments with the MATC (remember? MATC?) and help from my PL, finally I got a transfer to Bangalore almost an year after I joined TCS.