Discoveries in my Neighbourhood – Books and Malls


CrosswordsThis weekend has been spent in discoveries around my neighbourhood. I have located my favourite place around my home – Crosswords bookstore right behind my home 🙂 I haven’t set foot inside and I already know that it is going to be my favourite place. In addition, I saw them advertising an 80% off sale. Yum Yum:-)

Then, I discovered Total Mall – at 8 minutes’ walking distance from my home. It a cool place if you don’t mind traversing across all the 4 floors just to buy a kilo of green beans. Total MallAll essentials (namely, staple foods, veggies and meat) have been placed at the topmost floors and at the farthest corners, so that you have to wade through all the other stuff before getting to the things you really need (Yes, I am referring to the things you have jotted down in that list and not the things you feel you will need).

You have to start your journey at the Ground floor, take the escalator up to each floor (I looked for the lift but it was broken down), then walk across the floor (in the meantime covering all items on the floor), and continue the process till you reach the floor you actually want (which in my case is usually the top-most floor where they carry the veggies). Shopping CartFor instance, at the floor where they have the greens, the moment you step out of the escalator (they call them ‘Travelators’), you are greeted with the sight and scent of all kinds of baked goods and savouries, and unless you have real good self-control, it is a tad difficult to escape the clutches of the sugar monster. So, they tempt you with lots of the non-essential things and only then do they let you get to the actual things you need.

Actually, the store strategy is excellent – something all marketing guys ought to copy. Using the kind of floor layout described above, they make sure that customers breeze past all the wares at any visit, thus guaranteeing that shopping carts are filled with things that are not in the sacred List.

I know, because it happened to me too. I ended up buying a wall hook, a pack of pens, a writing pad and a memo pad, all because I went past that floor, and felt that I really really needed them.

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A Bit of Chinese @ Office


Now that I am into the 4th week ( can you believe that? 4 weeks have passed since I arrived at the Garden City), maybe I can tell you a bit about the Office.

The office is located in a prime area dotted with restaurants, colleges, shopping malls – all at walking distance. The famed Forum Mall is just a stone’s throw from here, though I haven’t visited it yet.

ReceptionNow let us go inside the office – the reception is manned by three – 2 security guards and one receptionist. The Receptionist is an all-in-all – he takes care of the office switchboard, connecting calls, stationery requests, finding accommodation for newcomers and is a veritable directory for the best eateries in the area.

The ground floor has the HR, Finance and Systems people together. I guess they have been banded together being the Support functions of the organisation.

Then comes the Mezzanine floor, where the Center Head and head of various departments are seated. It also holds a huge Conference Room.

Levels 1-3 house the different projects and its members. Yours truly is seated at the 3rd floor. And the pantry covers all of the 4th floor, with some part allocated  to a Gym and a library.

The Lift is an abominable thing – tiny and cramped and always 3 floors away from where I am stationed. So, I usually use the stairs to walk down and the lift to go up.

Since there are just 320 people here in office, everyone is very helpful and friendly. That does not mean that in places where there are more that 320, everyone is very frigid. But, the smaller group makes for more closeness among the employees.

There are 8 people in the room where I am seated – all techies – along with their Project Manager. The PM keeps them on their toes with frequent admonishment, and she reminds me of how a Mother keeps an eye on her kids:-)A2B

Right in front of the office, there is an Adyar Ananda Bhavan which serves piping hot dosas, idlis and vadas, as well as a good variety of sweets.

At Home, the mornings and nights are chilly and we cuddle up in a great big blanket to keep warm at night. However, Baby is an extraordinary creature – he seems to thrive in the cold. The moment one places a blanket on him, he has arms and legs shooting out to get it off him (even in his sleep :-))

Chinese RestaurantLast Friday I got a taste of authentic Chinese food at a nearby restaurant, where I stuffed myself so much with the starters, that I had no space left for the main course!! In retrospect, maybe I should have been a bit more discreet about my gastronomic tendencies, especially since I was out with my new colleagues.

More on my food adventures in upcoming posts…..signing off for now.