Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Household stuff for Chennai

A lame heading.. I know. But in case you have moved to Chennai recently, here are some websites and telephone numbers that you may find useful

PCI - Pest Control of India

Website: www.pcilindia.com
Telephone: 044 - 4301 2434

Personal Experience: We had a contract with PCI in Gurgaon (for 3 services a year). We had 2 services done in Gurgaon and before we could take the final one, we moved to Chennai. Upon calling them here, they were quite prompt in their service and completed the third one in the new house in Chennai.

LG Service Center

Telephone: 044 - 39 01 0909

Personal Experience
: Again, very prompt service. But make sure to get the service fee clarified while calling them up for installation request. We were told it would cost about Rs.250 to install the AC. And in case there is a need for manual labour (like buying wood, sawing it for required length, fixing etc) then we have to pay Rs.600. We had all the wooden panels and other miscellaneous items (like the nuts, screws etc) ready. All he had to do was fix two small pieces of wood on either side and the A/C fitted in perfectly. But still the guy demanded Rs.600! Not sure why.. as he didn't have to buy wood or do any kind of heavy work. Since I was in office and hubby was away travelling, my parents were taking care of it.. and I didn't want to argue with him on phone. My dad, who was watching him do the work said that the next time onwards we can do this stuff ourselves. It apparently is that simple. Anyway, I was just glad it got done pronto!

Insect Screens (Netlon)

Telephone: 044-24726687

: Seems very professional. They quoted Rs.25/sq.ft for Saint Gobain screens. They have other screens for lesser rates, but the quality too deteriorates with the price. Expecting to get it fixed tomorrow. Will post an update on how it goes.


Telephone: 044 - 39 88 3333
Head office: 044 - 65517566

Experience: Worst of the lot. Have called up 18 times so far! No response. We have a complaint number and everytime we call them, we are assured of service the same day. This has been the case for the last 2 weeks! No one has bothered to call us even! We are planning to speak to the head office today. If we don't get a response from them as well, we are seriously thinking of going to their office and dump the machine with them and demand our money back. If they don't budge, we won't hesitate to take them to the Consumer court!! Believe me, their service (if at all we can call that) IS really THAT bad.

We are also in the process of getting our car re-registered.. will do a post on that separately.

Okie, let me get on the phone and see if I can catch those Aquaguard guys!

UPDATE: (on 26th Sept)

After another 5 or 6 calls, managed to get hold of a guy who does the installation/plumbing work. SO, finally we have got the Reverse osmosis system installed. Phew! Try googling Chennai, Aquaguard, Eureka and you can see the number of complaints people have filed. Am sooo tempted to give the mobile number of the guy who came and installed it for us.. he did a good job. But am not sure if it's ethical to do that. So, in case you are in Chennai and need to install any Aquaguard product, please leave a comment and I can email you the phone number.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend Notes I

One of the things that make us happy with Chennai is the beach and sea.

We woke up early Saturday and decided impromptu to drive down to the beach. Isn't there something quite marvellous with the vast expanse of water? The best thing about visiting the ocean in the morning, I realised, is the absence of large, unmanageable crowds! It was not deserted, far from it. But it had just the right amount of crowd... people on their morning walks, exercise and the like.. a bunch of kids playing with the sand, a group of guys playing volleyball... a family of three playing tennicoit (what we call 'Ring'). It was such a pleasant sight. And not to forget the swooshing sound from the waves.. it was just so relaxing.

On Sunday, we decided to take parents along. We got ready even earlier, by 5.45 or so. But it was still a little dark and the clouds were looming large and soon it started raining. As Dad had a meeting to attend by 8, we resigned back thinking how valiant our efforts to get up that early went!

But by 6.30 or so, the rain stopped and we decided we 'have' to venture out, given all our efforts thus far. (Getting up at 5.30 on a Sunday IS a major effort!!) Dad and brother decided to stay back, so Hubby and I, bro-in-law and mom set out on two bikes. And true to the saying, more the merrier, this time the fun was doubled! Stepped on the water and had lot of fun clicking photos and laughing around. We had taken along a tennis ball and soon we started playing with it... generally challenging each other to throw it the highest, farthest and the like... After almost an hour or so, we rode back home.

After a light (or was it heavy?) breakfast of pasta that mom prepared lightning fast, we lounged around to watch some TV, around 10 or so. But soon, dozed off till noon.

We decided to go out for lunch and visited Osteria (in Deccan Plaza, Royapettah High Road). This one is a very nice Italian restaurant that serves only vegetarian cuisine! It was such a pleasant change to eat without constantly having to worry about suspicious looking ingredients! The restaurant was having a promotional offer going and we had a five course meal for Rs.250 each. It started with a Zuppa (soup, they had tomato for the day), Brushcetta, Insalata (Salad, Lettuce, Apples and Pears), Main course(Lasagne, Spirelli Pasta) and Desert (Fruit Tart).

The portions were large and it was great value for money. The main course alone costs Rs.360. We enquired with the chef and he told us that, they were specifically having this offer to promote Italian fare and to get people to try out the delicacy.

Do try out this place for a leisurely lunch or dinner. The service was prompt and the food was great as was the ambience.

That, was how our weekend was spent. A visit to the beach, a fun lunch, a even more fulfilling family get together in the evening.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sweet memories

Just a quick note to cherish this memory forever

I am working from home today with a sore throat and cold. Mom got some smoldering coal and empty coconut shells in a vessel (called Kumti aduppu in Tamil - not sure if it has a name in English!) and made me inhale some turmeric-coffee powder-ajwain preparation and I felt such instant relief!

Then she went on to put some 'sambrani powder' and took it around and now the entire house is so fragrant.

There are times I get mad at my parents... but I hope I will also remember these sweet little things that they do.. without any kind of expectation...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thogai Ilamayil... (The beautiful feathered peacock)

We arrived in Chennai last week of August and we are yet to 'settle' down completely. What with the hubby having to travel immediately. The packers arrived with all our stuff and it was a bit like christmas rediscovering all sorts of stuff that you already have :-) Anyway, haven't found any major damage so far and all looks good. There is still so much to do - like fixing the A/C, getting a pest control done, installing the water purifier and such. It has been such a hectic day today.. I had spoken to the Airtel guys to come and set up the Landline/DSL connection today and after 20 or more calls.. it still hasn't been done! It is just so frustrating at times like these... what is it that keeps them from doing it? I came into office early yesterday so that I could go home relatively sooner as they were supposed to come at 7PM. I am home and they are not. After 4-5 calls they assure me that they will get things done today (before noon.) As of now, it is still not done. With the husband away to a conference, I was feeling just so exhausted with all these!

Right from morning I was in such an irritable mood that I was ashamed of myself! Chatted with hubby on GG talk for a while and the level-headed wise one, made me feel much better. As the day progressed I felt calmer and relaxed. Post lunch I was suddenly feeling miserable again. This time the reasons were different though. I was reminded of those painful memories that happened almost 5 months back. That is when I decided to listen to some songs... I had to take my mind off those thoughts...

As I checked my music folder I came across this classic piece that I had not listened to till today and from them on it is on continuous loop!! SPB's voice together with that heart warming music.. it is just bliss!

Here are the lyrics...

thoagai ilamayil aadi varugudhu vaanil mazhai varumoa
koadhai ival vizhi nooru kavidhaigal naalum ezhudhidumoa
thaen sindhum naeram naan paadum raagam
kaatroadu kalyaanam seyginradhoa


koalam poadum naanangal kaanaadha jaalam
idhazhgalilae pournami velichcham
kannil thullum thalangal aanandha meaelam
imaip paravai siragugal asaikkum
vizhigalilae kaadhal vizhaa nadaththugiraal saakunthalaa
annamum ivalidam nadai pazhagum
ival nadai asaivinil sangeetham undaagum


bhoomi engum poondhoattam naan kaana vaendum
pudhuth thenralum pookkalil vasikkum
aagaaya maegangal neerootra vaendum
andha mazhaiyil malargalum kulikkum
aruvigaloa raagam tharum adhil nanaindhaaldhraagam varum
dhaevadhai vizhiyilae amudha alai
kanavugal valarththidum kalloorum un paarvai

Where was I all these years? Why hadn't I heard it before? Well, I see that this movie (Payangal Mudivathilai) released in 1982!! OK! That explains it. I was just 2 then. But why hadn't I heard it on radio/tv?? Am soo glad I got to hear this atleast now.