Thursday, September 09, 2010

Trip to Madurai:

It’s been 2 years since Cogzidel was born. Hence, I planned a trip to my Madurai Branch for three days from 8th to 10th of September 2010. Since my JP miles were about to expire, I redeemed the available points for the airline tickets to and fro Madurai (but was charged the airport taxes).


Many interesting incidents / surprises / tensional stuff happened.

Normally, I don’t blog these kinds of experiences, mainly for lack of interest and time. But today something made to feel blogging my travel experience (may be, the impact of my good friend Anand Nataraj who is a regular blogger).

Please do not ask me whether my travel experience will be useful to you (I’m just sharing it as I thought of doing so). If you really think you learnt something from this, I would be happy.

Here it goes:

- Yesterday, I booked a car with Fastrack Call Taxi service for the airport drop (pick up time 5:15 am) today. To my surprise, Fastrack guy came an hour in advance, but irritated me saying he would switch on the Meter. After blasting and explaining him that it was he who came early and hence, charging me for the same is unfair, it was resolved.

- When I came down from my apartment, I noticed that they had sent me an Innova (instead of Indica I asked for). Also, was told that I’d be charged Innova rates only, while it was their mistake. They simply quote that they don’t have any other vehicle and hence had sent this vehicle. I appreciate that they have arranged some other vehicle, but insisting for Innova rates for a single-person-travel is a non-sense. Again shouted and got it resolved.

- Driver drove rashly and was about to hit a motor-cyclist, but escaped narrowly.

- Reached Airport about an hour before departure, but thrilled to see the passenger crowd there.

- Took 15 minutes for baggage screening, 15 minutes on the queue for Boarding pass

- Heard some Jet Airways Airport officer telling some passenger that the departure gate would be closed in a short while for Madurai passengers

- With a little tension, approached him and told that I’m a Jet Privilege Member and whether he can help to get the boarding pass quickly. He acted really fast, took me to a counter, insisted the counter staff to issue me a Boarding pass immediately

- Then came another shock, the queue for the Security Check was very long and thought that I would definitely be late as it was just 20 minutes before departure

- Airport personnel suggested me to have the security check done at the first floor (as there won’t be much crowd like Ground floor) and asked me to come down after the check

- I went and stood up in the queue in First Floor. Then realised that if there was a calling (by the airport managers who orally call the passengers for boarding) for the Madurai passengers to board the flight, I might miss it as I was in the first floor.

- Hence, came down and stood in the queue on Ground Floor

- Noticed that celebrities like GK Vasan, Karthik Chidambaram, T. Rajender and Vairamuthu were given permission for special entrance to Security Check as the flight was about to depart

- I insisted the security personnel that I should also be permitted as my flight was about to be take off

- Notably, the special permission queue is also long and it took about 10 minutes there.

- Finally, boarded the flight at about 5 minutes before the departure

- I don’t normally get tensed for these kinds of matters as I have travelled a lot and have faced many situations like this before. Since I wanted to stick to my travel plan, I was a little nervous.

Inside the aircraft:

Normally flight attendants used to check whether seat belts are fastened and seats are set straight by the passengers. Today, it didn’t happen. No idea, why.

No free meal on board, hence ordered a sandwich and bottle of water, the hostess charged me 170 bucks. Expensive. Hardly very few on the aircraft ordered something to eat.

All passengers were given a scratch card which contained an array of products like Music System, watch, camera, sunglass etc. with pricing. We were informed that we can scratch the card and claim the product mentioned in it for free. Only the handling charges of Rs. 599 would be collected. Since each product was rated above Rs. 2,000, passengers felt like it is a nice offer. Like many others, I scratched the card, and found that I was the lucky winner of Sunglasses.

After landing at Madurai Airport, went to the AVA counter and saw all products being displayed. Without showing him the scratch card, I pointed at the Sunglass and asked him how much that costs, he said “Just 600 rupees, Sir”. Then I realised that all the products listed over there cost 600 rupees each, but as a matter of marketing tactic, they made such trick of quoting the high price on the scratch card and offering it the passengers as free but collecting the sale money in the name of handling charges. Wah, what a brilliant idea ?

Behaviour of people inside the aircraft:

a) Mobile usage: People (especially businessmen) keep on talking over phone loudly (in spite of the fact that the hostess repeatedly requesting them to switch off their mobile)

b) Handling hand baggages: Many passengers (who want to keep their hand baggage in to the loft) handle the baggage already kept inside in a bad manner in order to create space for keeping their bags. I have seen many who keep their heavy bags over the laptop bags of other passengers, without knowing that it might cause damage.

c) Fastening the seat belt: Many people feel that fastening the seat belt is for a formality. They don’t understand the need. The moment flight lands in to the airport, we can hear the sounds of all people unfastening their seat belts.

d) Likewise, immediately after landing, you can see almost everyone switching on the mobile as if they can’t wait for few more minutes

e) Also, many have the habit of standing up immediately after the plane lands as if the doors will be opened specially for them. They all should understand that the crowd should move out in the same order of their row seating. This avoids dashing with each other indecently.

Madurai Airport:

Madurai Airport is a funny one. You won’t feel it like an Airport at all. Tiny and not crowded. You can see the aerodrome from the entry gate itself.

In about 10 minutes after we all landed, the airport was empty. When I was waiting for my colleague to pick me up, I noticed that after morning flight, the next flight is in the after noon. The Airport was completely empty except few staff who where chit-chatting and playing. A guy was switching off the fans and lights. The security person asked me when could I leave and when I asked why, said “We will have to lock the Airport till the noon, Sir” – first time for me to hear like that. But he was generous to let me wait till my colleague arrived.

Headed straight to my Madurai Branch and continued my usual swimming in the work pool.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Friend's Resort in Yercaud

One of my good-old friends has set up a resort in his home town - Yercaud.

Happened to talk to him after a long time (thanks to facebook) and came to know about his new business.

Brochure is attached, herewith. Those who are interested can contact the numbers mentioned and refer my name (arnoldbala).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Offering thanks to true hearts who wished me for birthday

It is common for people to wish others for important occasions like birthdays, wedding anniversary, promotions etc. Though it is usual & normal, when looked at from the perspective of the recipient, it gives a kind of nice feelings.

Being my birthday yesterday (28th July), I got wishes from people through telephone calls, mails, social networking messages, IM wishes etc. My entrepreneurial life has been very busy and has become mechanical. But this day really made me to feel a bit relaxed and joyful as I happened to talk to many old buddies who showered me their wishes.

I feel that these wishes should be registered on record and also wanted to express my thanks through this way back to my well-wishers. Hence, this blog just lists down the wishes that I received from all those people.


"Happy b'day dear!!!:)"

Sathya Priya



Many more happy returns of the day.

Anand Nataraj


Dear Sir,

Wishing you a very happy birthday to you!! May all your dreams come true J.

Thank you,

With Best Regards



Dear Bala,





Hi Bala,

Wish all your (our) dreams come true !!! Many More happy returns of the day.




Dear Bala,
Many more happy returns of the day.

With regards,

M.Major Karthik


Dear Sir,

Wish you many more happy returns of the day.

Best Regards,



Hello Sir!!!
Today is your day, and you're wished the best,
I hope you celebrate it, with a lot of zest.
For today though you are a year older,
Store away your many wishes, until you feel bolder.
So let the drums roll and horns toot,
Now make a wish for a lot of loot.
Happy Birthday

Cogzidel HR Team


Dear Bala,


With Regards,



Hello Sir,

Many more happy returns. All your dream come true this year.

Patrick Rayon


Dear Sir,

Wish You Many More Happy Returns of The Day.

With Best Regards,

Nagaraja W


Dear Bala,

Wish you many more happy returns of the day!!!

Best Regards



"hi bala,

Happy birthday"

Mahesh Ranka


"Hi Wish U Many More Happy Returns Of The Day."

Deva Santhanam


"hey dude... wish ur happy B'day....."

Manoj Ridimahaliyadda


"hey mate...

wishin u a very hapy bday ...

all the very best for the yr ahead...

wishes from everyone @ Cricinfo Lanka"

Pradeep Balaji


"Happy Birthday Bala!"

Premdeep Gangadharan


"Balaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!"



"Hi Bala,

as per section 31, sub-section 3(c) of India friendship act, wishing you a very happy birthday! :-)"

Partha Sarathi Banerjee


"Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!"

Vimal George


"Dey! Have a blast Bala sir! Many happy returns of the day!"

Ganesh Virudhagiri


"Happy Birthday Bala... have a great day!"

Srijata Bhatnagar


"Many more happy returns of the day Bala"

Shukdev Lahiri


"Happy Birthday Bala.."



"wish you many more happy returns of the day bala."

Sriram Manoharan


Many more happy returns of the day .. Bala

Thiaghu Radhakrishnan


Happy bday BALA...have a wonderful n CHEERSful day..

Manish Kulshresth


I wish you many more happy returns of the day.



Wish you a happy birthday.



May your special day be filled with memories, flowers, friendship and happy hours.

Happy Birthday !!

Sayantan Dasgupta


Many happy returns of the day.



"Happy Birth Day"

Vamaraju Anantha Surya


"Happy Birthday Dear"

Rajdeep Pawar


"Happy Birthday Dude"

Manikandan Parthasarathy


"Happy Birthday to u Dear"



"Happy Birthday!"

CMA. Prabhakar BV


Many more happy returns of the day, Bala ji !!



Happiest Birthday to you, Bala.



Hello arnoldbala,

We at CiteHR Human Resource Management would like to wish you a happy birthday today!



Dear Bala Murugan V,

A Very Happy Birthday!!

On this special day, DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund wishes you a year full of joy and happiness. May you enjoy every moment of it.

Have a great and wonderful year ahead.

DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund.


Hi Bala,

Here's wishing you a very Happy Birthday from all of us at BIGFlix.

We wish you a happy cinematic birthday having a great day ahead with lots of surprises.

Happy Viewing!

The BIGFlix Team


Hello Mr. Bala Murugan,

Birthday Greetings from Vodafone ! Have a great year ahead.



Have a wonderful birthday, Mr. Bala.

Royal Bank of Scotland


Wishing you a very Happy Birthday and a wonderful year ahead.



Dear Mr. Bala Murugan,

Birla Sun Life Insurance Wishes you a very happy birthday and hope you have a safe and secure year ahead.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tour with family to Tanjore:

It is common in many Hindu families that they promise the God to offer a special pooja if the marriage is fixed for the boy/girl in the family. For my marriage, my Parents & Parents-in-law had (still have) many such promises and have been carrying out one after another.

Priya’s parents had one such due which was to the famous Anjaneya Temple in Thittai (in Tanjore/Thanjavur). It looks, after they visited this temple last year, the marriage got fixed and hence, they wanted to thank the God by a special pooja.

After confirming my availability they booked the tickets in Rockfort Express for the onward journey on 14th July 2010 and for the return on 16th July 2010.

We were supposed to board the train at 10.30 p.m. We scheduled to be at in-law house for dinner at 6.30 p.m. But it was difficult for both me and Priya to get off the busy work schedule. She picked me up at my office at 7 pm. We went home and got the luggage packed in a hurry-burry and headed to in-law house at 8.30.

Had a quick dinner and were waiting for the Fastrack Call Taxi, but found out at the last minute that they don’t have a Van and hence could not serve us. With a little tension, we walked down to the main road and to our surprise, couldn’t find any auto. After waiting for a while, got the auto and reached the railway station at 10:00 p.m.

I never get sleep during night travel and this time it was the case. Reached Tanjore and booked a room in Hotel Oriental Towers near the station road. The rooms are neat and clean, but food was horrible.

Booked a car for local travel there. After bath and breakfast, went to Thittai Anjaneya Temple which is about 15 kilo metres from the city. The age of the temple goes beyond 300 years and it was good to visit such ancient temple. After the pooja, we then visited the famous Guru Temple in the same locality. It was well crowded but fast moving.

Then we proceeded to Garbarakshambigai temple which is located at about 20 Kilometres South-West of Kumbakonam and took about 30 minutes to reach. This temple is also one of the ancient temples.

After having dharshan, we headed back to Tanjore for lunch at Hotel Gnanam. The food was sumptuous. Back to room for rest till evening.

In the evening, we went to the famous Pragadeeswarar Temple. I have been to this temple many times earlier, and every time I see this temple, I fall for its wonderful architectural workmanship. Proud to have such temples in Tamil Nadu.

Return journey, again, was a tension mounting one as our tickets were not confirmed and also the fact that the boarding station was Kumbakonam but we wanted to board at Tanjore as all dharshans were over in the evening itself and we didn’t want to travel about 75 kms just to board the train at Kumbokonam.

We reached the station well in advance, met the TTR when the train arrived and explained our situation. We got birth seats allotted for all of us. You can easily guess how we made it and hence, I leave it to your assumption J

Again a sleepless journey for me. Once I reach home in the morning, I was very much tired and slept for long hours.

In all, it was quite a pleasant journey and the memories will be constant for sure.

Note: We didn’t take any snap during our journey as none of us are interested. Perhaps, from next time onwards, should concentrate on photographing the same.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

An evening-out with wife:

It’s a general complaint of women that men always concentrate on work and do not spend time with family. I’m no exception. I can’t always use the excuse that I’m an entrepreneur who needs to spend more time on business.

Yesterday being Saturday, my wife wanted to go out somewhere with me. I’m a home-bird and not much interested in roaming unless needed. But when it comes to family, I will have to change myself sometimes. Their expectations are different.

Though initially I was hesitant to go out, I was not against the plan. So, we decided to go to the beach (which is just about 15 minutes drive from my home).

This is my first visit after the re-modelling done by Corporation of Chennai at the entrance of the beach. I should appreciate the way it is designed as it is spacious and comfortable for people to sit and spend time.

We didn’t eat anything as all eatables sold there are fatty. After my marriage, we have been out of control on our food habits. So, these days we have been on diet whenever possible.

The beach was so airy and wonderful to see all sorts of people – families, lovers, friends, cute kids and so on.

While we were enjoying the situation, we noticed that some girl (who was sitting with her friends aside us) left her wallet. It was left open near us. Since we didn’t want it to land at wrong hands and also the fact that we wanted to help her, we grabbed it and looked for some contact number in it. It contained many things like photo, driving license, credit card, some cash etc, but no contact number.

I had the confidence that we could find her out in orkut, facebook or something. Also thought that we could wait for some more time, so that the girl might turn back looking for her wallet.

As expected, she came back in about 20 minutes and collected the wallet by offering many thanks to us.

Another incident, while crossing the road near the Gandhi statue, I was stopped by the traffic police on duty. He asked me “Are you Bala?”. I was surprised and said “Yes”. Then he reminded me that he was my school mate whom I’m seeing after 16 years. I couldn’t realise him but he noticed me in just a fraction of second while he was on duty. Couldn’t spend much time as it was a heavy crowd who were about to cross the road and he needed to operate the signalling device. He then said he got my number through some other friend and would call me sometime. Good to be in touch with old friends.

Then we headed to New Woodlands Restaurant in R.K. Salai. It was too huge in size, but was full. We waited for 20 minutes and then got a table for us. Food was good. But,

- Service was poor and too slow (thought the order-taker was very active and seems to be busy)

- They used a dirty cloth to wipe off the table which was stinking till we finished our dinner

- The sugar bowl contained couple of hairs

- There were no supervisor and hence, we couldn’t complain to anyone

End of everything, my wife was happy that she could spend some time with me.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

My new Hyundai i10:

Soon after I joined Cricinfo (which was my first employment), I wanted to buy a car and it happened to be Santro. I bought it in 2002 using my savings as down payment and the balance on loan.

I didn’t even check about the range of vehicles in the market then. Attracted to the looks of Santro, I was desperate to own it. I think of my immature behaviour that I didn’t even check up its features, mileage, dealer discounts etc. I went to the showroom with my family, paid the down-payment and booked the car.

Only after I bought it, all questions came in my mind about the comfort, mileage, maintenance etc. To my surprise, it proved that it was the best choice.

Though the mileage was about 10 kmpl (when compared with Maruti / Tata vehicles which give more than 15 kmpl), I enjoyed using my Santro as the journey was always pleasant and comfortable.

Believe me, I used the car for 8 years. Only during the later stages, it made me to shell out lots of money towards replacement of parts and maintenance (I always used to service it with the Hyundai Service Centre as I don’t trust the service quality of outside mechanics).

One fine day, the car was almost seized and it alerted me to spend more than 65k. But I thought it would be senseless to spend so much for an aged car and hence planned to sell my car after discussing with family. It was a hard decision though.

Couldn’t believe that I sold the car in few days for a better price. The moment after I gave the keys to the buyer, the car disappears from my sight. To be honest, it was not easy for me to admit it, as the car was is so close to my heart and was with me for 8 years.

Then comes the problem of choosing my new car. Let me tell you, it is one of the toughest tasks to choose a car which suits your preference, comfort, features and importantly budget.

I did a survey among friends and relatives and was suggested to go for Maruti (considering the mileage, maintenance, availability of spare parts etc). I went to the show room and checked up the range of vehicles. I liked Wagon R (‘Blue boy’ with new K series engine). But the room size is not comfortable (seriously saying, all in my family have to put off our weight). Still I was willing to buy it convincing myself that my family members don’t travel together always.

Somehow I was not willing to check other small segment cars like Ford Figo, Chevrolet Spark etc.

Suddenly, it sparkled an idea to check Hyundai product and I was attracted to Hyundai i10. It fits all my requirements like looks, colour, price, mileage, room size etc. Hence, there was a sudden change in my plan and I decided to go for i10.

Unlike last time, I wanted to do a detailed comparison study. I did the same and found that my decision is reasonably ok to go for i10. I negotiated with the Hyundai dealer for a better price and offer.

Here’s what I got as the offer:

- Insurance charges of Rs. 15,000 waived

- 3rd year extended warranty charges of Rs. 2,500 waived

- Sun-control film

- Sony Mp3 player with 4 speakers

- Car seat cover

- Car Cover

- Steering Grip

- Perfume

- Reverse horn

- Remote lock

- Mat kit (floor mat, mudguard flap)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Do you ever know that LPG gas cylinder has an expiry date....?

Expired Cylinders are not safe for use and may cause accidents. In this regard, please be cautious at the time of accepting any LPG cylinder from the vendor.

Here is how we can check the expiry of LPG cylinders:

On one of three side stems of the cylinder, the expiry date is coded alpha numerically as follows A or B or C or D and some two digit number following this e.g. D06.

The alphabets stand for quarters -
1. A for March (First Qtr),
2. B for June (Second Qtr),
3. C for Sept (Third Qtr),
4. D for December (Fourth Qtr).

The digits stand for the year till it is valid. Hence D06 would mean December qtr of 2006.

Please Return Back the Cylinder that you get with a Expiry Date, they are prone to Leak and other Hazardous accidents ...

Kindly pass this to every one
and create awareness !!