Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chennai... The story so far... (Contd.)

As the year 2007 ended, we were all amazed that we have spent one full year in Chennai. But by then our bunch of friends from Manipal had come very close. We were almost always together cooperating with each other, celebrating together, and ofcourse working together in office. I had moved to a different project by then and none of my friends from my group were there. Weekends used to be quite relieving coz of holiday at office.


Birthdays used to be special for all of us. We celebrated all birthdays in style, the same way as we did in Manipal. After all we are all Manipalites :) And Birthday celebrations were strictly at 12:00 am and the celebration had to be a surprise for the person whose b'day we're celebrating. This was followed for a long time. Things are different now.

And the B'day treats!!! We always waited for clubbing two bday treats into one. Sometimes we had to wait long but then it was always fun. Being with collegemates always gave us a feeling that we were still in college. I know this was really the best time and all of us would miss it wherever they are.

My Onsite Dream

Ha ha. Dream word is funny!
Towards the end of 2007, one of my onsite counterparts decided to come back to India. As per the normal trend in TCS I had to replace that guy by Jan 2008. My manager called me one day asked me to start my visa processing. I was taken aback. I had a dream about onsite like every other software guy. I knew a day would come when I would travel abroad. But the day was here and I wasn't even ready for that. I agreed for onsite and informed my parents about it. I had to decide on this as I was also preparing for MBA and wished to join a college by May 2008. My parents were very happy to know this and started advising me how to stay abroad. My friends were also surprised because this was the first news of onsite among our bunch of friends. They congratulated me and I acknowledged.

I prepared my visa documents and sent it to Manager for review. He had to review and send his approval to the concerned department. He delayed. I grew anxious. He delayed further. Towards the end of Dec 2007 I came to know that the position at onsite was being scrapped. But nothing was told to me officially. I had little hope by then. When I came back after New Year holidays, I was officially told that the Management has decided not to sent anybody to occupy the vacant onsite position. I was really sad but my Manager gave hope to me by approving me for H1B visa. I wasn't happy but hopeful. I came to know that H1B visa is a lottery thing and you have to be lucky to be selected for that. I decided to leave the project if I was not selected for the lottery. Lottery results was supposed to be out by April. I decided to wait.

Meanwhile two of our friends also got a similar opportunity and were in the process of preparing their visa docs. I had hope that I would join them after my H1B visa is made. Also the results of my MBA entrace exams were out and I could not find any decent college which accepted my score. I had no other option but to wait for my visa. The lottery results for the visa were out and I was among the lucky ones. This made me happy as well as hopeful coz the visa would come by Oct 2008. I had to wait again.

Out of the other two people who started their visa process, only one got her visa. The other person (Rohit, my roommate) had bad luck as his application was rejected. Arpita, who got her visa was supposed to travel now. This was the first time somebody from our group was going onsite. It was very exciting for all of us. She finally left for US on 9th June, 2008. We all went to the Airport to bid her goodbye. I was assumed to be the person leaving from the Airport the next! But nobody knew what was in store for me. :P

Friday, August 21, 2009


Chennai.... The Story so far....

I know.. I know... You all must be wondering that I am crazy coz I am writing about Chennai!!! One of the most hated cities.. Bad weather, unfriendly culture, language problem, etc. etc. But what if you are given your first job here.. You tried to escape but couldn't. You started thinking that the Chennai chapter would close soon right from day 1. But you had to spend 3 years of your life here. Well guys. This is me!!! I almost broke down when I heard my allocation place right after my training program in Hyderabad. The place NOT being among my 3 options!!! I was destined to be here and destined to be here for long..

Well it wasn't that I didn't try to get out of here but nothing worked out coz I guess I was destined to be here :) I still remember my Day 1 in Chennai when my friends had put up at a hotel near Chennai Central:

Chennai Central is very important in the lives of Chennaites coz of obvious reasons. You can never find it less crowded. Another special feature of the railway station can be experienced outside the railway station :P The autowallas or the taxiwallas who will always ask you for a fare almost 5 times the original one :D

Our Hotel was a cozy one (in Chennai) and I never wanted to step out of it. Infact I didn't but for the recharges.

Ah.. I would have loved to stay there for longer but we're shelling out around 1k per day together :( We had to move out.

I met the person with whom I was supposed to stay. Sanket. The guy was from my college. We studied in the same branch for 4 years but never had a chance to interact. In short we belonged to different groups in college. :)

There was one more person whom I had just heard of in college. Rohit Mathur.

The reason for we staying together was that we all were allocated to the same office. The Great Tata Consultancy Services Office at No. 1 JNR, Vadapalani, Chennai. The office was big enough for us at that time.

Our next big task was finding a house. Finding a house in Chennai is next to impossible if you are a north indian and a bachelor. Your called will be dropped the moment they come to know that you are both. But Finally by God's grace we got a house. The house wasnt great enough but then we had to compromise. First job and Chennai!!!

My roommates were in a different project at office. I was with other friends in our first project at office "Nationwide - On your side" . We were all in Insurance Domain as JNR (our office name) was an Insurance Solution Centre of TCS. Our first two months were spent in asking for work every now and then from our manager. We were bunch of friends from college and had a gala time together. Work was really a team work!!! :)

Apart from office we guys started settling down. Food is a problem in Chennai. But we started discovering new places for eating out as well as hanging out. (haha) One of the best discoveries was the Skinny Chef of Chennai. This is an awesome American food joint of Chennai which is run by real Americans. So.. "Never Trust a Skinny Chef" :)

Also our experiments with cooking had started by then. Sanket being our Master Chef. Mathur (Rohit) was our Paratha/Roti maker, Sanket our chicken/fish/ mutton specialist, and I could cook Rice, Dal very fast. :)