Thursday, October 13, 2005

Rain !

Reading Aruns post on his drive back yesterday made me remember my drive back from work last night and the coming in to work this morning.

Yesterday was a Holiday for our company. Most sensible people took Monday off and made the most of a five day weekend since Tuesday was a holiday as well. Since I dont belong tp the sensible crowd and due to the way our project is going we had to come in and play the game of catch-up. This game is very difficult to play especially when the weather was what it was yesterday -cold, gloomy and raining non stop. I came in to work around 10.20 in the morning and worked till around 6.30 PM. Heard the rain hit my office window and heard lightling as well and decided to wait for a bit and catch up on some blog reading. Finally headed out at 7.30 PM. The first 5 km was okay with not much water on the roads. But as I headed towards the city I started noticing a lot of standing water on OMR & ECR which had to be navigated slowly like a boat going over rocks. Only thing was I was in a car and didnt have to worry about getting wet but of course had to worry about stalling in the middle of the road in water. No issues till the road connecting the Thiruvanmiyur signal to the Canal bank road. This road had disappeared under water and there were stalled cars and buses there. The road has a central divider which makes sure one cannot turn right and head back. The left half of the road was dug up so one couldnt turn left and head back either. So had to grit my teeth, get the car into first gear and gingerly drive through water that seemed atleast knee deep. Luckily it wasnt that deep, just the dirt and vehicle oil had turned it black. Plus it was dark with no street lights. Made it out in one piece with just problems with the brakes as they were now fully waterlogged. Pumped them till some semblance of brake functionality returned. Another really bad patch was on the Koturpuram road near the planetarium. The last and final and the worst stretch was on the main road just outside of my home.

This morning heading out was crazy. I wanted to turn around and head back to bed but forced myself to stay on the road. Drove (seemed more like boating) through muck starting from just outside the house through to Gemini. I was dreading the two spots where there was a lot of water yesterday but surprisingly they were not waterlogged. Patches of Canal Bank road were submerged and a good distance along ECR as well. The connector between ECR and OMR with water filled, vacant land on both sides of the road . Another foot of water and the road would be covered. The distant skyline was a dark brooding menacing mass of rain filled thunderclouds and the whole horizon as far as I could see was just grey and miserable. I wished I had my camera with me. The view was both beautiful and worrying at the same time.

The worst was yet to come. OMR with all the construction was a pitiful mess with only water and no road. It took close to 40 minutes to cover the distance usually done in 10 minutes. The rain had by now become really heavy and the wipers of not much help. Put on the headlights and just followed a caravan of vehicles slowly making their way down OMR. Office buses decided to be adventurous and drive through the water on the left side of the road totally covering the slow moving vehicles in the center of the road with water. More soggy brakes.
It seemed to take forever driving at around 10 kmph (the car speedo starts at 20kmph - but it felt really slow) till I finally made it in to the office. I reach the covered car park and then realize I dont have an umbrella to go to the next building where I work. So managed to get soaking wet walking to the building in the rain !

Though the rain has not been all that much but still made me stop and think that I am grateful it was not as severe as the ones in the US due to the hurricanes and tornados this year. Really love the cool weather in Chennai due to the rains. Also realize the city needs the rains but wish the heavvy rain part would fall over the catchment areas :-) ...and not mess up ECR and OMR and screw up the commutes of the poor IT sad sacks like me who have to drive/ride/swim to get to work each day.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Busy Me

Things have been pretty hectic at work with long hours, stress and more stress and juggling innumerable things in the past couple of weeks (work, training,conducting training). The outlook till the end of the year looks pretty bleak with more of the same workload. If I survive that then I think I will have been through yet another PFH (Project From Hell). So far I have already spent 2 yrs on PFH # 1, 3 yrs on PFH#2 , 6 months on PFH #3 and now the latest and current PFH #4. Looking back the first two years of my working career were the best. We were so relaxed at work that we played multiplayer games in the afternoon on the office LAN. Life was just great back then.

Now I spend all day on work and hardly even get to read the news let alone the various blogs I have grown to love. Lets not even mention the non existent personal life. Am glad my folks remember what I look like considering they see me for at most half hour in total each day. Off and on I keep thinking of a line from the new Tata Safari Dicor ad with pictures of people doing what they love ... but of all the images displayed I like the audio background where a guy is standing in a railway station "I always wanted to quit on a Monday morning". Was so tempted to try that. But alas I dont own a Tata Safari so cant do the rest of things displayed in the ad. I also think the Safari's used in the ads would need very expensive servicing/repairs to recover from the brutal treatment given to them.

Anyways I wanted to go in to work this past weekend but was too exhausted to drive the 1 hour to get to work so ended up helping my sister on a photo assignment. We spent all of Saturday morning on it. Since she didnt have a camera we used my digital camera and I managed to get around 50 shots while she took specific ones requried for her assignment. I loved every minute I spent doing that and managed to totally unwind from the stress of work from the prior week. For the first time I had digital pictures printed on photo paper at a friendly neighbourhood Konica and they came out really amazing. Want to get more pictures printed out soon. Hope to do so this wekend.

On Saturday evening I went to see a play, "The Good Person of Mondova" directed by Magic Lantern and performed by WCC students. Was a pretty decent performance and I found it really funny that during one serious court scene, the actors (actresses really) got into a fit of giggles which was becoming contagious. Somehow they managed to restrain themselves and continue with the scene.

Sunday went by with Church in the morning and a nice long nap before lunch. I managed to go to Church wearing a Mundu/a.ka.Veshti/a.ka. Dhoti for the first time ever. I had been gifted a golden creamy coloured Mally style Dhoti with gold thread in it and for some strange reason felt like wearing it. Though I am comfortable wearing the "Color Mundu"(Lungi) at home this was the first ever time I went out wearing a formal Dhoti. My father almost fell out of his chair while having breakfast as he couldnt believe it was me.

Watched Parineeta on VCD in the afternoon. Killed the evening by going to Spencers and wandering through Landmark. Had to of course pig out at Arun Ice creams on the way out.