Monday, October 11, 2010

Dhayavittu nivvu DIAL maadina NUMBER parikshittu…

It’s time again for my next post. This one is about my interview at ABB, Bangalore. Unmaiya sollanuma, “Thirumalai” padatthula Vivek thedi pona ABC private limited-a vida comedya pona interview experience. Anyway, fading other details, I’ll get straight down to business. But before that, I wish to inform you that I’ve already applied for an anticipatory bail, just in case Swetha or Ashwinya try to sue me. [Sorry girls…]

The Test:

It’s a written test. Actually, it’s an online test. But technically, it’s not even online- it’s just a computer-based test. We were instructed to be presented at Reliance Web world [Gandhipuram] at 8 o clock [I think]. Since it’s 2 hours early for a Sunday routine, I just got up at 7.45 and we sacrificed the holy water-bath and reached the destination. Anga pona, surprise… PPT for 2 hours… Thookkam pochu, buuvaa pochu [maanam pogappovudhu]…

We went out to eat. As usual, Ananth ate half-an-idly and said, “Stomach Full” [It should be noted here that Ananth’s tummy is only a couple of mm3 in volume], Grub had a dosa and Nair and I had more than what Ananth could eat in a year [and still felt hungry]. Came back into the video conferencing room. The baldie, who started to speak about ABB was still talking. Then they played a video called “The boy and the bucket”. I just wished the boy kicked the bucket [on the face of the baldie, that is!!].

Question time- Students at all centres put forth question, some silly, some stupid and some, even more stupid… Venkatraman who was squishing his brain for a long time, came up with a question, which a guy of Manipal University asked out… [Question paper leak aayiducchu]. Before Venkatraman could think of another question to ask, came our turn. I covered his mouth. Ashok, a classmate of mine, famous for his punch-lines since school, said, “We don’t have any doubts. We are very clear, sir”. And then it went on…

Test time- I hoped I’ll get some good questions. Answer therinja ezhudhittu seekkirama kelambalam; theriyalenna seekkirama ezhudhittu kelambalam => Epdi paatthaalum enakku laabam dhan. Came the questions- What is the Fermi level of electrons in a semiconductor material? I was wondering “What is Fermi level in the first place?” Again Inkey-Pinkey-Ponkey … Completed the test in 28 minutes and came out. The only correct answer I know is RELUCTANCE MOTOR.

The Interview

The interview was in Bangalore. And for that, a bunch of 11 morons from EEE and 2 students each from ECE and Mech were selected. We had to sacrifice our 2nd UT for that, and we decided to take our chances.

Chapter 1: The hasty departure
It was a Wednesday [just like Nasirudeen Shah’s “A Wednesday”]. We woke up, devoid of UT troubles. Sent off both the Ananths to write the test wishing “Vettriyudan thirumbi vaa magane…”. They, in turn, threatened to kill me, if I came back empty-handed [what they meant was a job. But I decided to buy them some 50 p candies on my way back]. Packed my bag with a hell lot of clothes, my interview outfit [which looks more like a clown’s] and my portfolio. At about 11, came the idea of hiring a CALL TAXI service.
                         [Here comes the kicker…]
Karthikeyan       : Dey, Swetha Cabs-ku phone pannuda…
Shanmuganathan: Poda dey… Hello, City Call taxi? GCT-ku 2 taxi anuppa mudiyuma? 11.45-ku?? Ennadhu? Taxi illaya?? Yov phone-a veyya…
Karthikeyan       : Dey, Swetha Cabs-ku phone pannuda…
Shanmuganathan: Summa ukkaarda… Hello Capital Call taxi? GCT-ku rendu… Ennadhu taxiye illaya? Appuram edhukkuda agency nadatthureenga??
Karthikeyan       : Dey, Swetha Cabs-ku phone pannuda…
Shanmuganathan: Gammunu iruda… Hello? Kovai Call taxiya? Ennadhu 4 mani varaikkum full booked-a? Adeengo! @#!@$#%@%$^$%^&%&^(*^&*$%^$@!%~
[Shanmuganathan starts crying…]
Karthikeyan       : Hello? Swetha Cabs? Aamanga, GCT-lerundhu pesarom. Oru 12 manikku 2 Omni vandi  anuppa mudiyuma?? Railway station poganum…  Aamanga… 4th year hostel… Ok saar… Thank you saar…
                    Naan dhaan sonnenla Swetha Cabs-ku phone panna solli… Onnu solren kettukko- Swetha eppavum kaivida maatta…

We all started off from our college. Taxi kelambumbodhu ellarum avanavan kula dheiyvatthukku oru kumbidu pottom. Apdiye Swethavukkum saetthu oru kumbidu… Anga sutthi, inga sutthi kadaiseela Railway station-ku vandhu serndhom.

Karthikeyan :Evlo aacchu?
Cab driver   :150…
Karthikeyan :[Taking out the money] Enna na? Eppovum 100 dhan kudukkaradhu. Neenga enna 150 kekkareenga?
Cab driver   :Luggage boss…
Karthikeyan :Sari pudinga…
[We move a little away from the cab, after taking all our belongings]
Cab driver   :Enna kelambureenga?
Karthikeyan :Verenna??
Cab driver   :150 oru taxikku… Mottham 300 rooba aachu…
Karthikeyan:[Dumeel!!!]Ennadhu 300 roobaaiya? Enna velaiyadreengala? Unga office-ku phone panren…
[Karthikeyan called the agency and bargained with them, while Shanmu, Venkat and I were ogling the girls who were passing by… After a couple of minutes, he returned with a long face…]
Karthikeyan  :Evlovo try pannen konjam dhan koraicchan… 110 per cab…
Me       :Machi, Swetha kai vida maatta-nu sonne, ok… Ivlo selavu veippa-nu sollave illa??? Kelambungada platform 3-kku…

I went to the ATM, fetched some money and came back. There he was- Venkatraman’s dad. Greeted him and went to platform 3. Anga orutthanaiyum kaanom… After arguing with them about Arabic numerals, I brought them to platform 3 which is where the train was supposed to land.

The train came after a long wait. With students galore, we started off to Bangalore… We started to revise Electric Machines in the train. But more importantly, Venkat and I accomplished the prime responsibility of day-time train travel à Munching everything that comes in our way… Tea? Vaangu… Vada? Vaangu… Coffee? Vaangu… Soup? Vaangu… Omelette? Enakku vendam, irundhalum vaangu!

Sari Bangalore-ku poi enga thangradhu? With the help of PSG guys, i hooked up [on mobile] with Sheena, who was in-charge of the organizing. We were directed to a hotel Chevron.

Chapter 2: Into the Den
Came Bangalore at about 8. The Majestic bus stand was not that majestic, but it’s fit to be called one. Everyone started to speak.
Me         :Ini enga poganumnalum KamalRaj-a koottittu dhan da poganum…
Kishore  :Enna venna pannunga, “Display” veccha bus-la mattum eradheenga. Minimum 20 rooba theettiduvaan…
Venkat    :Inga engada toilet irukku?? Vayattha muttradhu!!!
Karthi     :Enga anna-ku phone pannanum…
Shunt      :Saar, indha bus Indian express poguma?
Me          :Yenda, innum thooya thamizhla kelu… Nalla puriyum!!!

After a small hullabaloo, we got a bus that promised to take us to Indian Express stop. Also, we found that Kamal’s kannada was totally invalid in Bangalore.

Venkat :Yeh bus Indian Express jaayega, saab?
Anon    :Hå ji… [We got into the bus. And so did the stranger]
Venkat :Indian Express aane par hamko batha dhoonga, saab…
Anon    :ok…

We got out of the bus and walked towards Chevron [actually we didn’t know where it was]… At last, there it was. On seeing it, we all jerked!

Shunt    :Dey! Immaamperiya hotel-a? Naan varala… Oru naalaikke 1000, 2000-nu moi
Kamal    :Varaama enga thoonga pora? Road-liya?? Potthittu vaada…

We went into the hotel and confronted a Mr. Sachin, who offered to help us. He got all our names and let out that our interview was not the next day, but we had to wait a day more.

Venkat : Appo Vinayaka Chathurthi-ku veettukku poga mudiyadha??
Sachin  : Ennku konjam tamil varum… Ungalki pooja mukyama, job mukyama?
Venkat : Right vidu…

We informed the matter to Ashwinya, had dinner [dinner here means DINNER- a grand one]. We were transported to a smaller hotel named AMSHI INN where we were supposed to wait for one more day. I called my uncle and informed of my arrival. We were all shuffled with PSG-ians and then allotted rooms. But as usual, we rearranged ourselves and took rooms- 5 in each room. I got to sleep with Subbuni [what I meant was “sleep alongside Subbuni”]. I got to tell you this when asleep, Subbuni occupies only 20 cm x 180 cm… So the rest of the 70 cm x 180 cm of the bed for me…

Karthik and Karthikeyan took out the books and started with machines again.
Venkat :Naalaikku leave dhane? Appo padicchukkalaam.
Me       :[Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu Kamal style] Thambi book-a moodra… *tha book-a moodra…
Karthik :Unakku venumna nee thoongu. Naanga padikkanum.
Venkat :Apdiyellam unna vida mudiyadhu. Ozhunga thoongu, illa enna madhiri TV paaru…
                [The Karthi brothers chose the second option]
Barath :Naan Cartoon paakka porene!!! Hai Naruto…
Subuni :Aaramicchuttanda! Ivana thaalaattu paadi thoonga vaingada. Dey, ini cartoon-nu nee sonna unna konne potruven… Avanterundhu remote-a pudungungada…
                 [Mech machans devised a pledge meanwhile]

Bangalore is my country. All ABB-ians are my brothers and none, my sister. I love ABB and I am proud of its rich and pretty womenfolk. I shall always strive to be worthy of it. I shall give my managers, trainers and all ladies, kisses and treat everyone with courtesy. To my ABB and my Bangalore, I pledge my devotion. In my own well-being and prosperity alone, lies their happiness…

Pattikkaattaan mittaaikkadaiya paattha madhiri hotel toilet shower-oda vilaiyaadittu ellarum padutthu thoonginom.

Chapter 3: The Death blow
It was 7 in the morning and the students of other colleges have started departing. I woke up, to find everyone else asleep. I was brushing my teeth when the phone rang. Venkatraman answered it. Yes, sir… Yes, sir… Ok sir… Bye! He answered and went back to bed. I washed my mouth and went to ask him who it was. He replied in sleepy delirium that the interview was today. ALAS!!! Dey endhiringada!!! Innikku dhan interview-am. Everyone got up. The next possibility is that everyone would head straight to the bathroom. Before that could happen, I took my towel and soap, and plunged into the bathroom. Everyone else was waiting outside… Saavungada!

After a kaakkaa-kuliyal, I came out and everyone took their turns in washing their faces [and their asses]. We went down vacating the room. We went back to Chevron and had breakfast. Before we could enter the bus, it took off.

Me       :Ashwinya-ku mattera sollitteengala??
Shunt   : Oh… Modhalliye sollittom.
Raghu   :Idhellam correcta panniduveengale??

We used the Nada-raja service and reached ABB interview premises- ABB HR Center, Khanija Bhavan [I would have been happier if it were Saravana Bhavan]. I was totally lost and Ashwinya guided me via phone [who said Nokia 1203 doesn’t have a GPS system??].

At the spot, we were made to walk 6 floors up to a barren terrace where we had to fill up some forms. Met Ashwinya’s dad, greeted him and went to the registration desk [CRIME SCENE to be more appropriate]. With some thought in my mind, I copied whatever Ashwinya wrote in her form- including the initials for the name! Barath rectified me.

Interview time… They called my name. I went to where they guided me. There was this room, where a 12 of us were waiting. ECE-ians had only about 10 minutes of interview.
My turn! I went into the interview room. The guy’s first words- “Tell me about yourself.” I started bluffing out the same stuff everyone would say [thinking in Sivaji style-“Etthana paer da idhe kelviya kaeppeenga?”]. Now here is something different. He started asking about my locality and the world-famous “Anchaneyar temple” of Nanganallur. Again I bluffed something out. One question I remember from the interview was- Where would the lightning arrestor be placed in a substation? When I said I didn’t know, he said, “Use your common sense, man!!”.

Anyways, we had tasteless interview, and a still more tasteless lunch. Then, the results of the first session of the interview were announced. Among other names, there was mine and then Barath’s… But it was only after that they told us that it was the list of students who ATTENDED the interview. And there came Ashwinya’s name. Finally, they announced the finalists- Me and Barath.

Ashwinya :Congrats ya…
Me          :Sorry to see you go. I’m totally shocked and disappointed...
Ashwinya :Why? You should be happy illa?
Me         :Ovvoru manushanukum ovvoru feeling… Try staying with Barath for a day. You’ll know.
Ashwinya :Ayyayyo! No thanks… I know what it feels like…J Anyway, congrats.

We did what we went there for- taking photographs. Ashwinya left the place… Venkatraman’s position was the worst. It was like “Waiting List” for him… Finally in the evening, we had 3 from GCT- Me, Barath and Karthik. We had a huge “villa”-like apartment to stay that night… We took tens of photographs with Red-Bull drinks n all… The other guys planned to go to Mysore the next day. I wished I had never been selected, so that I may also have joined them in their tour. I phoned my uncle and told him that I’d meet him the next day. We slept at half-past 12…

Chapter 4: The Idle Mind
One more day to the interview and we had nothing to do… We woke up at 8 in the morning, cleaned ourselves up [and washed our clothes. Since it was very damp there in Bangalore, I used the on-board hair-dryer to dry my clothes]. We went down for breakfast and hunted the city for Net-cafes. At last, we found one. We went in, surfed a little, had some tips from generous websites and went back to the hotel for [what else?] lunch… Throughout the afternoon, instead of preparing for the interview, we watched the TV show “Friends” which starred Jennifer Anniston [This, my friends, is the perfect example of what is called dicky kozhuppu]… In the evening, we went out- to buy a ticket for our Kovai-ward journey the next day… It was then that I found out that Karnataka is the only state in the nation to have a “Department of Co-operation”. After purchasing tickets, I bought a box of sweets to head towards my uncle’s house at Krishnarajapuram.

The bus that took me to the place took 1.5 hours just to cover a distance of about 15 kms. Conclusions drawn from the roads of Bengaluru-

  • As soon as the back pair of wheels say ‘bye-bye’ to a speed-breaker, the front pair say ‘hello’ to another one.
  • If you don’t meet speed-breakers such frequently, it can only mean that your vehicle is in a stand-still position in front of a signal which will show RED for the next half-an-hour.
  • If both the above factors don’t deter you, you will throw up at least two times during your journey [depending on the distance].
  • If none of the factors seem true, you’re either using a bicycle to travel, or worse, you’ve travelled so long that you’re out of Bangalore city limits.
Anyway, when I reached KR Puram, it started raining, and I took shelter under a small tree and ringed up my uncle [It should also be noted that, not even once in my 4-day stay @ Bangalore did my phone’s signal level dip. Call rate kammiya irukkara oorla, signal illa… Signal irukkara oorla, call rate jaasthi- Enna koduma saravanan?] My uncle came to the bus stop on a bike and being unable to recognize me, he gave me a set of directions to follow in order to reach him. Found him, at last…

Me     :Mr. Manivannan??
Uncle :Achudhana nee?
Me     :Aamam mama. Namaskaram.
Uncle :Yappa! 3½ adi oyaram irundhappo paatthadhu… Ippo 6 adi iruppiya? Enna Complan boy-a?
Me  :Ungalakkooda dhan mudiyellam karuppa irundhappo paatthadhu. Ippo dye adicchu oru maasam aayirukkuma? Enna Godrej hair dye-a?
Uncle  :Indha vaai irukkara varaikkum enga ponalum pozhacchuppeda nee…
Me      :Adhellam irukkattum mama… Mazha peyyaradhu. Vandiya edungo!

I went to his place, had supper there and returned to my hotel at half-past 11. Barath and Karthick were in deep sleep. I called them through my throat. They didn’t open the door. I called them through my cell. They opened the door and let me in. They went back to sleep. I couldn’t. I just lay on my bed, wide awake.

Chapter 5: The Ungrand finale
Got up at 6 in the morning, got ready for the interview physically. At about 7, we went down for breakfast. Not realizing the dreadful situation that awaited us at the interview premises, Barath gobbled down chunks of food, and was planning to taste everything in the buffet. Karthick and I pulled him out of the restaurant and we went to the same place for the rounds to follow- a personal interview, a case presentation and a Group discussion. I did well in the personal interview- spun tales in front of the interviewer [Spinning stories seems to be my in-born talent]. And the presentation session, I was the first candidate. So I had to arrange the presentation equipment before I started mine. That made me a little nervous. I completed the 10-minute presentation in less than 5 minutes.

The most important part of the day was the GD. I’ve never seen a more disorganized GS in my life [My friends say the GD of MuSigma was far better]. When the person-in-charge was distributing the topic papers, every one was anxious. He was about to say “Sta…”, and immediately a guy started with “Hello gentlemen…”. That’s it… Everyone started to shout. There was not even a single instance when less than 4 persons were talking at the same time. Every time someone started to speak, he/she looked like a dog to me, barking loud until the next canine took hold of the conversation. In the 45-minute expanse, I spoke 4 times. I could see failure right in front of my eyes!

After everything was over, we came out, walked to Chevron, changed to Tees [Barath changed to a yellow Gujarathi kurtha, which the dogs of Bangalore seemed to like very much]. We went to the Cubbon Park and after all the observation [there was not even a single bench in the park that didn’t seat a couple] there we could infer only one thing- it’s not a place for 3 men [without their girlfriends]. We went to Vidhan Soudha and took a couple of pictures. We stayed there upto 7 and started off to Majestic. It was only then that I learnt that most people in Bangalore understand Tamil… 3 naal kashtappattadhu veenappocchu…

Anyways, we had a dosa at Majestic and caught a bus to Shanti Nagar [This time, I asked for directions in plain Tamil, and it worked!]. We got down at Shanti Nagar, took a piss, and went to the bus that was supposed to take us to Coimbatore. We had trouble finding the right bus and at last, got into the correct bus. It was then the bus driver had a word-fight with a bus driver next to him. One of them seemed to have broken the rear-view mirror of the bus of the other and the latter was threatening to break the bones of the former [and by the swear-words used by them, I can tell you that the infamously irreverent Madras-bashai was far more clean].

The bus started off at about 10.30 and it was bound to reach Kovai by 7, the next morning. As usual, Barath was laughing is stomach off with his own baby-jokes. Intolerable! The bus reached CBE and Barath said his dad would come and pick him up. I made the following conclusions on my way to GCT.
  • Do NOT go to Bangalore for an interview, if the number of students is less than 20
  • Do NOT go to Bangalore for an interview, if the process involves GDs with PSG-ians
  • Do NOT go ANYWHERE for an interview, if Barath is gonna accompany you… [You are too young to be acting like a parent!]

The Aftermath

This completes my edition of interview experiences, for I’ve got placed in Ashok Leyland now. ABB offered to bear our travel expenses for both the onward and offward journeys. With this belief, we bundled up our travel tickets and sent it to their HR Center after a week of our journey. But even after weeks of waiting, they did not care to reimburse the amount, or even reply to our request. So, Shanmuganathan and I went up to their site, and in the Contact Us forum, sent a message that reads:
Neenga ticket fund reimburse panrennu sonneenga. Adha nimbi enga ticket ellam badhrama anuppi vecchom. Neenga ticket amountayum kudukkala, replyum pannala. Idhukku mela neenga refund pannuveenga-ngara nambikkai illai. So, neenga ticket anuppcha courier kaasaiyavadhu anuppunga.
P.S: Courier charge- Rs. 30, Bank transaction amount- Rs. 25

         Bank account number- We’ve already sent you that along with the tickets

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The red letter day after the Madras day

Soon after the 371st Madras day was officially celebrated [on 22nd August 2010, which I was able to spend in Madras with my family], I got the opportunity to watch Madarasapattinam the movie in my hostel [on 31st August]. A friend of mine had been persuading me to watch the movie and write a note of appraisal. After a loooong time, i was able to accomplish the task.

It was in 2008 that the movie was officially conceived. The “Shooting in Progress” ads had Arya in the foreground wearing an oversized white brief in the mood for a 'kusthi', in the background of the prestigious MADRAS CENTRAL. Enthralled and inspired, I waited a long time for the movie's release. I had no clue as to a fair “Madame” style damsel would be playing the part of the female lead in the movie. And I must admit, Amy had redefined the word pretty, but more importantly, she seems to have put strenuous effort into pronouncing tamil words with the cut and cadence of a Brit. Since I've been working with accents for about a semester, I can very well tell you that it's quite difficult for an American to speak British, let alone tamil [unlike Udit Narayan who brutally assassinates tamil whenever he holds a mic in Chennai]. Kudos!!

I wish to exclude myself from the regular reviews on this movie, as many of us are already bored with those of Malathi Rangarajan and Madhan. So, I'm gonna take things into what the movie tried to do, besides piling up its first-week collections.

I've been a Madrasian for about a hundred years [but I'm just 20 years old] and the movie clearly depicts what I remember as my grandpa's words about his city.

Even before Delhi and Mumbai took their share in India's politics, Madras has been a silent, yet influential city to the country's growth via trade, culture and education.

As early as time can remember, India had 3 major universities in which almost every Indian scholar wished to preserve his name as an alumnus- Nalanda, Takshila and the modest Kaanchi university. The south being the land of untouched culture and minimum disputes between kings, has been the prime target of anyone who came to the country as tourists, traders or plunderers. After the Mughal invasion came Islam, and Christianity followed with the Portuguese missionaries. But even in times of hardship and poverty, the south has had its share of luck, by which I mean there was some kind of saviour. The south being flanked by water was also the best means of trade apart from that with Arabs [across the Hindukush ranges]. This mix of education-culture-trade has had pronounced impact on all known traditions of the world [Try to give me six differences between THE PANCHATANTRA TALES, AESOP'S FABLES and 1001 TALES OF ARABIAN NIGHTS if you get my drift...]

The land was roughly divided into the Marata, Kalinga, Carnatica and the Dravida. After the Brit invasion, they turned into Bombay state, Northern Circars, Mysore state, Sultan's and Madras province. Today, they are Maharashtra, Orissa, Karnataka, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and TamilNadu. The name TamilNadu is one that gives creeps to the listener. It means “The country of the Tamils”, when it's not a country in the first place. It was supposed to be named “Madras State”, but owing to heated politics with claims of “Tamizh inam” by our beloved last-gen politicians and the ties they had with the centre, it's TamilNadu now.

Not only the state, but many cities, towns and villages of south India had logic behind their names- Chennai, Kaancheepuram [city of gems], Coimbatore [Koniyamman Pudur என்பதன் மரூஉ], Thirucchiraappalli, Srirangam, Kumbakonam, Kanyakumari [the parody to VIRGINIA of the US], and a million others.

Coming to Madras, Madras is not Madras any more, but one of the firmly believed origins to the name of the city is

Chinnappa Nayakkan pattinam => Chinnappattinam => Chennappattinam => Chennai

After the Brits placed their leather strapped feet on our land, they felt something was missing in the city- the first one being a sexy name. Voila! Came Madras... So after Chennappattinam and Chennai, the city was founded on 22nd August 1639 as Madraspatnam [And not Madarasappattinam, as shown in the movie].

Madraspatnam => Madras => Chennai

The first thing that comes to our mind [and to Tamil movies] when the word Madras is introduced, is Central station. To make transport of men and material between Madras and Trichy, Mysore, Bombay and Delhi, the station was constructed with 4 humble platforms and only a handful of trains that use those platforms. The intra-city transport was by trams, hand-carts, horse-carts [jhatkas/tongas] and obviously by foot. Today, the same station has 12 platforms and hundreds of trains using them. The intra-city transport?? MTC has replaced the traditional PALLAVAN buses and now we have air-conditioned VOLVO ones doing the rounds. Electric trains have replaced trams and even with that we have 3 individual services running through the veins of the city- the suburban, the MRTS and the Metro which is gonna see daylight soon.

One of the most common sights of the city is the dhobi, who, even though unable to clean what's interior, cleans what covers the exterior- the clothes. Dhobis from the centre of the city are known to travel, sometimes upto 50 kilometres by foot, carrying his bag of cotton clothes. Adayaru and Koovum, which now attract the attention of the world because of their offensive stench, were actually very clean in the recent past and it is those rivers which served the drinking, cooking and washing needs. The dhobis [and their donkeys] were the hard-working clan of the society. Dhobis in Madras had quite a good time until the rivers turned unfit [or until Philips invented the steam-iron]. It is with special respect that we have separate hamlets in the city for them.

Even in Chennai, most of the names of places are logical- Egmore/Ezhumbur [Ezhumoor nagaram], Vannarappetai [Washermanpet], Sowcarpet [Savukkarappettai- 'savukkaram' meaning detergent], Chrompet [due to the leather factory], Nangainallur [THE LAND OF GOOD GIRLS- please don't ask me why...], AVADI [Armed Vehicles and Ammunition Depot of India], et al...

Some slices of history
1639         Madras founded .
                  The English get Madras Patnam  from Ayyapa Naicker.
1640         Francis Day and Cogan landed with 25 Europeans.
                  Foundation laid for Fort St.George.

       Triplicane annexed to the city.
1678         Foundation laid for St. Mary’s Church in Fort St. George.
1679         St.Mary’s Church Completed.
1688        Madras City Municipal Corporation inaugurated.
1693         Egmore, Purasawalkam and Tondiarpet annexed to the City.
1708        Thiruvottiyur, Nungambakkam, Vyasarpady,
                 Kottivakkam and Sathangadu  -
                 Five neighbouring Villages annexed;
                 wall built around Black Town.
1711         First Printing Press erected in Madras.
1735         Chintadripet was formed.
1742         Veperi, Perimet, Perambur and Pudupakkam annexed to the city.
1746         The French return Madras to the English;
                  Santhome and Mylapore annexed to the City.
1758         French Commander Lawly siege Madras.
1759         French siege ended.
1767         Hyder Ali’s first invasion.
1768         Chepauk palace built by Nawab of Arcot.
1769         Hyder Ali’s Second invasion.
1777         Veerappillai appointed as First Kotthawal-
                  Hence the name Kotthawal Chavadi.
1783         Fort St. George repaired and attains the present shape.
1784         The First Newspaper –Madras Courier.
1785         First Post Office.
1795         Triplicane Big Mosque-Walajah Mosque built.
1817         Madras Literary Society founded.
1826         Board of Public Instructions founded.
1831         First Commercial Bank –Madras Bank.
                  First Census in the City Population
         Madras Club founded.
1834         First Survey School inaugurated –
                   Later developed as Engineering College.
1835         First Medical College –
                   Later became Madras Christian College.
1841         Ice House was built –
                  Ice brought from America through ships was stored here;
                  Later named as Vivekananda House.
1842         First Light House.
1846         Pachaiappan School; Later Pachaiappa’s College.
1851         Museum formed
1853         Zoo formed.
1855         University Board formed.
1856         First Railway –Royapuram to Arcot.
1857         Madras University founded.
1864-65   Presidency College built.
1868         Attempt to protected water supply.
1873         First Birth Registered.
                   Madras Mail Newspaper founded.
                  Cosmopolitan Club founded.
1874         University Senate house built.
1876-78   Great Famine – Buckingham Canal dug.
1878         The Hindu Newspaper founded.
1882         First Telephone.
1885         Marina Beach Road formed.
1886         Indian National Congress Meet at Madras.
                  Connemera Public Library founded.
1889         High Court Building foundation laid.
1894         First Car –  Mr. A.J. Boag, Director of Parry&Co,
                  drove the Car on City Roads.
1895         First Tram Car.
1899         First Tamil Newspaper-Swadesamitran.
1905         Port Trust formed.
1906         Indian Bank founded.
                  King Institute, Guindy founded.
1914         Water mains and drainage formed.
                  Street lights introduced.
                  Kilpauk water works inaugurated.
                  Endon bombardment-
                  Endon German fighter Vessel bombarded the sea shore
                  disappeared - First World War.
1917         First Aeroplane;
                  Simpson & Co., arranged for the trial flight.
1924         School of Indian Medicine.
1925         Loyola College
                  First Bus Transport.
1930         First Broadcasting Station founded at Ripon Buildings Complex.
1934         First Mayor - Raja Sir. Muthiah Chettiyar
1938         All India Radio formed and
                  broadcasting from Ripon Buildings ceased.
1942         Second World War - Evacuation of Madras.
1943         Japanese Fighter Plane dropped bombs on City and disappeared.
1946         Mambalam, Saidapet, Govt. Farm, Puliyur, Kodambakkam,
                  Saligramam, Adayar and Alandur Villages which formed part of
                  Saidapet Municipality were annexed to the city.
                  Sembiyam, Siruvallur, Peravallur, Small   Sembarambakkam
                  and  Ayanavaram which formed part of Sembium Panchayat
                  Board  were annexed to the city.
                  Aminjikarai, Periyakudal, Maduvankarai Villages which formed
                  part of  Aminjikarai  Panchayat Board were annexed.
                  Part of Velacheri Village belonging to Velacheri Panchayat Board
                  was also annexed to the city.
1947         Indian National Flag Hoisted over Fort. St. George.
1952         Nehru Stadium.
1956         Gandhi Mandap.
1959         Guindy Children’s Park.
1969         World Tamil Congress.
1971         Snake Park.
1972         Madras Metropolitan Development Authority.
1973         Madras Corporation Superceded.
1974         Rajaji Mandap.
                  Madras Television Centre.
1975         Kamaraj Mandap.
                  Valluvar Kottam.
           1976         New Light House.
           1977         Madras Metropolitan Water supply and Sewage Board
                             Kanagam, Taramani, Thiruvanmiyur, Velacheri, Kodambakkam, 
                             Virugambakkam, Saligramam, Koyambedu, Thirumangalam,
                             Villivakkam, Errukancheri, Kolathur, Kodungaiyur
                             Panchayat areas annexed to the City
                             Madras reaches the present stage.
           1983         Zoo shifted to Vandalur.
           1988         Periyar Science Park
                              Birla Planetarium.
                              Madras Corporation’s Tri-centenary.
                              Decentralisation of Administration.
                              10 Circles formed.

So, in a city which now has more flyovers [the completed ones less in number than the half-finished ones] than roads, the love story of a guy working in an IT major may sound appropriate. But, in a time when IT is nothing but a pronoun used to denote animals [for some reason, in capital letters], nothing can seem more significant or sensible than the love story of a common, down-to-earth dhobi. But, here again, if Arya were to love a girl in his community, the movie wouldn't have made it to the racks. Longing for the exotic, working for the impossible and finally, loving the one, whom, you know, may never be yours has led both Arya and the movie to its destined length.

The movie may win a filmfare for story or art or anything else, or it may not... What matters most is that it made a few desperate Chennai-ites hit the brakes and turn back at history, at their own city. The movie has a lot of flaws. After all, it's another movie, not an epic. But it feels heartening to know that someone apart from your own self cares about your city...

Every semester, something is added to Chennai that makes it more beautiful. This semester has added one more beauty to Chennai, or should I say, Madarasappattinam..?

I am Venugopal from Tidel Park...

Hi guys. At this very moment, I tell you that this post is not mine [So, நீங்க தைரியமா படிக்கலாம்!]. It's what a friend of mine told me. The stuff is, however, pretty interesting. It is the situation, my friend [who is currently employed with an IT major in Chennai], faced recently. Those who have jobs in the software sector in front of their eyes [or at the back of their heads], please take a look...

The text contains a conversation between my friend and his dad.

ஏம்பா இந்த கம்ப்யூட்டர் படிச்சவங்க எல்லாம் நிறைய சம்பளம் வாங்கிட்டுபந்தா பண்ணிட்டு ஒரு தினுசாவே அலையுறீங்களே? அப்படி என்னதான் வேலை பார்ப்பீங்க?" –

நியாயமான ஒரு கேள்வியை கேட்டார் எனது அப்பா.

நானும் விவரிக்க ஆரம்பிதேன்.

"வெள்ளைகாரனுக்கு எல்லா வேலையும் சீக்கிரமா முடியணும். அதே மாதிரி எல்லா வேலையும் அவனோட வீட்டுல இருந்தே செய்யணும்இதுக்காக எவ்வளவு பணம் வேணுமானாலும் செலவு செய்யத் தயாரா இருக்கான்."

"அது சரி பல்லு இருக்குறவன் பக்கோடா சாப்பிடுறான்".

"இந்த மாதிரி அமெரிக்கா-, இங்கிலாந்து-இருக்குற Bank, இல்ல எதாவது கம்பெனி, "நான் செலவு செய்ய தயாரா இருக்கேன்எனக்கு இத செய்து கொடுங்க"ன்னு கேப்பாங்க. இவங்கள நாங்க "Client"னு சொல்லுவோம்.


இந்த மாதிரி Client-மோப்பம் பிடிக்குறதுக்காகவே எங்க பங்காளிக கொஞ்ச பேர அந்த அந்த ஊருல உக்கார வச்சி இருப்போம். இவங்க பேரு "Sales Consultants, Pre-Sales Consultants...". இவங்க போய் Client கிட்ட பேச்சுவார்த்தை நடத்துவாங்க.

காசு கொடுகுறவன் சும்மாவா கொடுப்பான்ஆயிரத்தெட்டு கேள்வி கேப்பான். "உங்களால இதப்பண்ண முடியுமாஅதப்பண்ண முடியுமா"ன்னு அவங்க கேக்குற கேள்விக்கு எல்லாம் ,"முடியும்"னு பதில் சொல்றது இவங்க வேலை.

"இவங்க எல்லாம் என்னப்பா படிச்சுருபாங்க?"

"MBA, MSனு பெரிய பெரிய படிபெல்லாம் படிச்சிருப்பாங்க."

"முடியும்னு ஒரே வார்த்தைய திரும்ப திரும்ப சொல்றதுக்கு எதுக்கு MBA படிக்கணும்?" –

அப்பாவின் கேள்வியில் நியாயம் இருந்தது.

"சரி இவங்க போய் பேசின உடனே client, project கொடுத்துடுவானா?"

"அது எப்படி? இந்த மாதிரி பங்காளிக எல்லா கம்பெனிளையும் இருப்பாங்க. 500 நாள்ல முடிக்க வேண்டிய வேலைய 60 நாள்ல முடிச்சு தரோம், 50 நாள்ல முடிச்சு தரோம்னு பேரம் பேசுவாங்கஇதுல யாரு குறைஞ்ச நாள சொல்றாங்களோ அவங்களுக்கு ப்ராஜெக்ட் கிடைக்கும்"

"500 நாள்ல முடிக்க வேண்டிய வேலைய 50 நாள்ல எப்படி முடிக்க முடியும்? ராத்திரி பகலா வேலை பார்த்தாலும் முடிக்க முடியாதே?"

"இங்க தான் நம்ம புத்திசாலித்தனத்த நீங்க புரிஞ்சுக்கணும். 50 நாள்னு சொன்ன உடனே client சரின்னு சொல்லிடுவான்ஆனா அந்த 50 நாள்ல அவனுக்கு என்ன வேணும்னு அவனுக்கும் தெரியாது, என்ன செய்யணும்னு நமக்கும் தெரியாதுஇருந்தாலும் 50 நாள் முடிஞ்ச பிறகு ப்ரோஜெக்ட்னு ஒண்ண நாங்க deliver பண்ணுவோம்அதப்பாத்துட்டு "ஐய்யோ நாங்க கேட்டது இதுல்லஎங்களுக்கு இது வேணும், அது வேணும்"னு புலம்ப ஆரம்பிப்பான்."

"அப்புறம்?"- அப்பா ஆர்வமானார்.

"இப்போ தான் நாங்க நம்பியார் மாதிரி கைய பிசஞ்சிகிட்டே "இதுக்கு நாங்க CR raise பண்ணுவோம்"னு சொல்லுவோம்.


"Change Request. இது வரைக்கும் நீ கொடுத்த பணத்துக்கு நாங்க வேலை பார்த்துட்டோம்இனிமேல் எதாவது பண்ணனும்னா எக்ஸ்ட்ரா பணம் கொடுக்கணும்"னு சொல்லுவோம்இப்படியே 50 நாள் வேலைய 500 நாள் ஆக்கிடுவோம்."

அப்பாவின் முகத்தில் லேசான பயம் தெரிந்தது.

"இதுக்கு அவன் ஒத்துபானா?"

"ஒத்துகிட்டு தான் ஆகணும். முடி வெட்ட போய்ட்டு, பாதி வெட்டிட்டு வர முடியுமா?"

"சரி ப்ராஜெக்ட் உங்க கைல வந்த உடனே என்ன பண்ணுவீங்க?"

"முதல்ல ஒரு டீம் உருவாக்குவோம்இதுல ப்ராஜக்ட் மேனேஜர்னு ஒருத்தர் இருப்பாரு. இவரது தான் பெரிய தலைப்ராஜெக்ட் சக்சஸ் ஆனாலும்ஃபெயிலியர் ஆனாலும் இவரு தான் பொறுப்பு."

"அப்போ இவருக்கு நீங்க எல்லாரும் பண்ற வேலை எல்லாம் தெரியும்னு சொல்லு."

 "அதான் கிடையாதுஇவருக்கு நாங்க பண்ற எதுவுமே தெரியாது."

"அப்போ இவருக்கு என்னதான் வேலை?"–

அப்பா குழம்பினார்.

"நாங்க என்ன தப்பு பண்ணினாலும் இவர பார்த்து கைய நீட்டுவோம்எப்போ எவன் குழி பறிப்பான்னு "டென்ஷன் ஆகி டயர்ட் ஆகி டென்ஷன் ஆகுறது" தான் இவரு வேலை."


"ஆனா இவரு ரொம்ப நல்லவருஎங்களுக்கு எந்த பிரச்னை வந்தாலும் இவரு கிட்ட போய் நாங்க சொல்லலாம்."

"எல்லா பிரச்னையும் தீர்த்து வச்சிடுவாரா?"

"ஒரு பிரச்சனைய கூட தீர்க்க மாட்டாருநாங்க என்ன சொன்னாலும் தலையாட்டிகிட்டே உன்னோட பிரச்னை எனக்கு புரியுதுன்னு சொல்றது மட்டும் தான் இவரோட வேலை."

"நான் உன்னோட அம்மா கிட்ட பண்றத மாதிரி?!"

"இவருக்கு கீழ டெக் லீட், மோடுல் லீட், டெவலப்பர்டெஸ்டர்னு நிறைய அடி பொடிங்க இருப்பாங்க."

"இத்தனை பேரு இருந்து, எல்லாரும் ஒழுங்கா வேலை செஞ்சா வேலை ஈஸியா முடிஞ்சிடுமே?"

"வேலை செஞ்சா தானேநான் கடைசியா சொன்னேன் பாருங்க... டெவலப்பர்டெஸ்டர்னு, அவங்க மட்டும் தான் எல்லா வேலையும் செய்வாங்கஅதுலையும் இந்த டெவலப்பர்வேலைக்கு சேரும் போதே ,"இந்த குடும்பத்தோட மானம், மரியாதை எல்லாம் உன்கிட்ட தான் இருக்கு"னு சொல்லிநெத்தில திருநீறு பூசி அனுப்பி வச்ச என்னைய மாதிரி தமிழ்ப் பசங்க தான் அதிகம் இருப்பாங்க."

"அந்த டெஸ்டர்னு எதோ சொன்னியேஅவங்களுக்கு என்னப்பா வேலை?"

"இந்த டெவலப்பர் பண்ற வேலைல குறை கண்டு பிடிக்கறது இவனோட வேலை."

"புடிக்காத மருமக கை பட்டா குத்தம்கால் பட்டா குத்தம்"-ங்குறது மாதிரி, ஒருத்தன் பண்ற வேலைல குறை கண்டு பிடிகுறதுக்கு சம்பளமாபுதுசா தான் இருக்குசரி இவங்களாவது வேலை செய்யுராங்களா? சொன்ன தேதிக்கு வேலைய முடிச்சு கொடுத்துடுவீங்கள்ள?"

"அது எப்படி..? சொன்ன தேதிக்கு ப்ராஜக்டை முடிச்சி கொடுத்தாஅந்தக் குற்ற உணர்ச்சி எங்க வாழ்க்கை முழுவதும் உறுத்திக்கிட்டு இருக்கும்நிறைய பேரு அந்த அவமானத்துக்கு பதிலா தற்கொலை செய்துக்கலாம்னு சொல்லுவாங்க"

"Client சும்மாவா விடுவான்ஏன் லேட்னு கேள்வி கேக்க மாட்டான்?"

"கேக்கத்தான் செய்வான். இது வரைக்கும் டீமுக்குள்ளையே காலை வாரி விட்டுக்கிட்டு இருந்த நாங்க எல்லாரும் சேர்ந்து அவன் காலை வார ஆரம்பிப்போம்."


"நீ கொடுத்த கம்ப்யூட்டர்-ல ஒரே தூசியா இருந்துச்சு. அன்னைக்கு டீம் மீட்டிங்ல வச்சி நீ இருமின, உன்னோட ஹேர் ஸ்டைல் எனக்கு புடிக்கலை." இப்படி எதாவது சொல்லி அவன குழப்புவோம். அவனும் 'சரி... சனியன எடுத்து தோள்ல போட்டாச்சு, இன்னும் கொஞ்ச நாள் தூங்கிட்டு போகட்டும்'னு விட்டுருவான்".

"சரி முன்ன பின்ன ஆனாலும் முடிச்சி கொடுத்துட்டு கைய கழுவிட்டு வந்துடுவீங்க, அப்படித்தான?"

"அப்படி பண்ணினா, நம்ம நாட்டுல பாதி பேரு வேலை இல்லாம தான் இருக்கணும்."


"ப்ராஜெக்ட் முடிய போற சமயத்துல நாங்க எதோ பயங்கரமான ஒண்ண பண்ணி இருக்குற மாதிரியும், அவனால அத புரிஞ்சிக்கக் கூட முடியாதுங்கற மாதிரியும் நடிக்க ஆரம்பிப்போம்."


"அவனே பயந்து போய், "எங்கள தனியா விட்டுடாதீங்க. உங்க டீம்-ஒரு ஒண்ணு, ரெண்டு பேர உங்க ப்ரொஜெக்ட பார்த்துக்க சொல்லுங்க"ன்னு புதுப்பொண்ணு மாதிரி புலம்ப ஆரம்பிச்சிடுவான். இதுக்கு பேரு "Maintenance and Support". இந்த வேலை வருஷ கணக்கா போகும். "ப்ராஜக்ட் அப்படிங்கறது ஒரு பொண்ண கல்யாணம் பண்ணி வீட்டுக்கு கூட்டிட்டு வர்றது மாதிரி.

தாலி கட்டினா மட்டும் போதாது, வருஷ கணக்கா நிறைய செலவு செஞ்சு பராமரிக்க வேண்டிய விஷயம்னு இப்போதான் Client-கு புரிய ஆரம்பிக்கும்.

"எனக்கும் எல்லாம் புரிஞ்சிடுச்சுப்பா."

All the best for your placements, guys...