Tuesday, May 31, 2011

First born at Mantri Synergy

Smitha and Arya Chakraborty of F-904 have a baby boy, their first; born May 30 at Chettinad Hospital. The baby has yet to be named. His grandpa Ardhendu,who has a couple of names in mind,asked if I had any suggestion. Mr Chakraborty and I meet on a daily basis. I started going to the gym only after I met Mr Charaborty; he initiated me into the Clubhouse.

Grandpa Chakraborty at the Clubhouse

Whatever name the family gives,in my reckoning the child's middle name ought to be 'Mantri'. For he the first-born in our residential complex.It calls for celebration. And the eco-friendly Mantri's,in consultation with the Chakraborthys, should celebrate the occasion by planting a sapling in the complex to mark the first child-birth in the Mantri Synergy family. The child growing with the tree, would develop an affinity with it when he grows up.
Wouldn't it be nice, if PropCare mark out planting spaces around the complex or designate a corner for planting sampling to celebrate future events in the Mantri community.
Those who wish to congratulate Smitha/Arya can dial 044 29856054

Organic fruit/vegs.: How about a Sunday stall ?

My friend at Intel in Bangalore says his company has arranged with a vendor of organic fruits/vegetables to set up shop on their parking lot every Friday afternoon. Employees find it convenient to do their weekend shopping of fruits and vegetables right at their office parking lot.
PropCare at Mantri Synergy could explore the possibility of a tie-up with an organic fruits/vegetables vendor for Sunday sales at our apartment complex. I know of someone familiar with the organic scene in the city - Mr V Haridasan. He appears as expert at a farming talk show every Sat. (2 p m) at Makkal TV.
Mr Haridasan can suggest candidates we could approach for setting up a Sunday market at Mantri's. His contact number - 94441 46807/94442 83129

Monday, May 30, 2011

Unmetered autowallahs

Three-wheeler drivers who offer to go by the meter are an exception. Mr K Radhakrishnan of Dignity Foundation is quoted in The Hindu as saying,"if only autorikshaw went by the fare meter, many senior citizens would find it convenient'.
Speaking of which, my wife and I who had work at ICICI Bank the other day took a bus from Mantri's to Sholinganallur, and then a three-wheeler to the bank from the bus stop, paying Rs.30 for a km ride. ICICI Bank is located midway between two bus stops at Sholinganallur.
Our AC bus driver went by the book,ignoring a request to drop us (aged 68 and 72) at the Aavin milk dairy.ICICI Bank is right across the road on OMR. On our way back home the bank manager said we could wave down an AC bus in front of Infosys. The security guard at Infosys said it was a 'request stop' for AC buses. But then our request, nay, our pleading, went unanswered by three AC buses that followed one another, all half-empty.
On another occasion we waited at the Hindustan University stop to take a bus to Kelambakkam. A couple of buses went by ignoring our request. The conductor of the third one said they usually halted in front of the university gate, instead of the designated halt some metre further down.
MTC should rename 'request stop' as 'discretion stop' (driver's).

Work in progress

I can't help thinking about their safety whenever I watch the men at Mantri's working at heights with no protective gear.

Fix this one,anyone ?

This fuddy-duddy piece of furniture (we have two of these), dating back to my wife's father's days in Dehradun, has gone places with us - New Delhi, Bhopal, Chandigarh,Chennai, Coonoor, Mysore,and back in Chennai.Exchanging them for new at a furniture show or trading them for date fruit (parichampazham) is not an option.
Would anyone know of someone who can fix this piece (my favorite seat) ? My number - 29856055

Neibourhood highrise

Rosedale,Padur, is coming up right across the street from Mantri Synergy. Landmark - Hindustan University.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Painter at work

Was reminded of the Alfred Hitchcock movie - Rear Window - as I took these photos from my mother's bedroom in our 9th floor 'D' block apartment. The view from our window wasn't all that exciting as James Stewart's in the movie. All that I witnessed was a painter at work on the sewage pipe at Block 'C'. Which, I reckon, is due for hand-over to apartment owners by August end.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Shifting base to OMR

This image scanned from The Hindu (Property Plus) is that of the Hiranandani housing project under construction at Egattur OMR.The photo by M Karunakaran was taken from the Navalur Coromandal Plaza.The article by Prince Frederick that goes with the photo speaks of Chennai residents moving to OMR, selling their houses in the city.
Mr Mohan Bangera who has moved from Valmiki Nagar to Anantya, Navalur, says OMR community housing has lifestyle features such as the gym, the pool and a clubhouse. The place would become 'more inviting in 7 to 8 months', when OMR would have lots more retail stores and entertainment centres.
Mr R Parthasarathy at Adora in Padur speaks of the convenience store in his complex. Besides, Adora offers comforts that was not so easily accessible in his earlier residences at Anna nagar and R A Puram. By moving to to OMR, he says, quality of life 'has improved by leaps and bounds'.
Mr Gopal Ayyakutty at Kalipattur says OMR is 'haven for retired folk'.
Contrary to the general perception those from non-IT sectors have moved in to housing colonies at Navalur and Padur. Akshaya Homes chairman Mr T Chitty Babu is quoted as saying, " software professionals constitute only 25 percent of those who have bought apartments on OMR".
Source: 'South Bound', article in The Hindu Property Plus

Graveyard for bees

As we set out on our morning walk my wife and I saw a litter of dead bees on the 9th floor corridor at 'D' Block. The beehive on 'C' floor was gone. We heard from the security staff that they had destroyed 10 beehives in our complex, including the one behind the Mantri Synergy signboard at 'D' tower.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cab service from Mantri's

Mr Linganathan whose agency - MTS - takes care of house-keeping, delivery of newspaper, milk, water can and things at Mantri's runs a travel and taxi service as well. He is looking for suitable garage space to park the fleet at or close to Mantri Synergy.
Meanwhile MTS would arrange to send vehicles from their Kottur office near Adyar.I hired their vehicle this morning for 5 hours,on condition that their meter starts ticking from Mantri's. I guess he would extend this facility to others who contact Mr Linganathan at 8825389400.
Tariff sheet Click on image for a readable version.

Bella Tuscany

Fontana , an 80-unit block, in my neighbourhood completed about an year ago is fully occupied. A couple of residential blocks are coming up in the Bella Tuscany residential complex.
Mantri Synergy, viewed from the Fontana lawns.
As someone who has been on OMR several months before we moved in there is much we could learn from Fontana residents. Wouldn't we, at Mantri Synergy, like to connect with them and with other communities emerging in the vicinity ?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bamboo curtain

Though we fixed them as protection from rain I find these bamboo curtains effective against mid-day sun and glare. Mr Babu (9940277794) who fitted venetian blinds did the bamboo curtains for our balcony.

Coromandel Plaza

The first mall on OMR - Coromandal Plaza - would be up and running by the year-end, according to its promoters. Their spokesman says the mall would have top designer brands, hypermarket and food court... Look up The Hindu for details

Beehive in Block 'C'

These flats, they say, wouldn't be ready for occupation till August-end. But bees have already moved in on Floor 11 of 'C' Block.
I took this shot from my mother's bed-room window at D-901. We first became aware of the beehive a few days back when we started having some unwelcome visitors droning into our apartment after lights-on. That is when my wife would get into the act with a folded copy of The Hindu . It takes some unsuccessful swipes with The Hindu and swift footwork to get at him. After the bee is done to death we shut the windows or switch-off unneeded lights. Such is our daily evening routine at Mantri Synergy nowadays.
We had a bees issue in our Mysore apartment, from where we moved to Mantri's in mid-April.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


My friend Vincent D'Souza who edits Adyar Times and a couple of other local community newspapers suggests we create in this blog folders pertaining to shopping/services, civic, community and govt. agencies for the benefit of OMR residents.
"More than story-telling and pics", he says,"short takes of info.and alerts are the stuff the community looks for". Vincent should know,for he has been among the founders of locality-specific newspapers in Chennai.

Need a ramp to shop entrance

Mantri Synergy builders who have provided ramps at the entrance to residential blocks haven't done it for the departmental store in the Clubhouse. I can't see my mother (90 plus and using a walker) doing shopping at Mantris.
A ramp at the shop entrance would also be needed for movement of shopping carts. Whoever sets up shop at the Clubhouse should arrange for shopping carts to facilitate resident-shoppers to carry their buys right up to the lift-bay of their residential block. Shop-owner or PropCare can deploy a person to wheel back to the Clubhouse the shopping carts left by residents at various blocks.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rental value

Influx of working professionals and new residential projects are not driving rentals in a locality. Social infrastructure is a major drawback why rentals on Rajiv Gandhi Salai, GST Road and in Sriperumbudur have not gone up to the level of expectation, say real estate consultants.
On Rajiv Gandhi Salai, demand for residential space is less compared to supply. A two-bedroom flat ranges from Rs.8,000 to Rs.10,000 in pockets of Perungudi and Thoraipakkam, says a spokesperson of Hanu Reddy Realty. GST seems to be better off than OMR as it is has better infrastructure....Read more in The Hindu.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Doorstep service

There is no knowing when Mantri Synergy would have an in-house departmental stores. No retail chain appears enthusiastic. Besides, they would want to see the numbers (of cocupants) before talking terms. As of now, only 20 flats are occupied. It would be four to six weeks before we see a critical mass of residents that would persuade a retail chain to think of setting up shop at Mantri Synergy.
Meanwhile we have Murugan, a bright young lad on two-wheeler who delivers newspapers/milk (at my 'D' flat around 7 a m). Mr Murugan who belongs to MTS, a service agency retained by PropCare brings us drinking water can. We occasionally request Mr Murguan to get us fresh wheat bread from Adyar (from where he brings other items) Occasionally, we rely on him to get us fruits from Kelambakkam. To contact Murugan you leave a word with his boss Mr Linganathan (8825389400)
Mr Sriraj who plans to move in to my block this month-end has raised a query regarding vegs and grocery. He could tap Mr Ranganathan (9092725791), a resourceful 'pumpkin man' from Padur. He offers to bring vegetables on daily basis, and grocery whenever we require. He bills us Rs.10 (bus fare, he claims) for every trip to Kelampakkam/Padur he makes for us. I see him on a bicycle, but then we don't grudge him the bus fare. Incidentally, AC bus ride to Kelambakkam costs Rs.10 one way.
Mr Nambiar in 'F' block, who,I reckon, was the first to move in, gave us a reference to a Kelambakkam store - KVR Shoppe - to which you can phone in your grocery list. Home delivery is free, if your bill exceeds Rs.500. Contact - 9884997814. Mr Sriraj asked about 'iron man'. The issue has yet to be addressed. Maybe Mr Linganathan (MTS) and Mr Sivaram (PropCare) can put in place some arrangement.

A hit-n-run on OMR

Found this cow gasping for breath as my wife and I stepped out of Mantri Synergy for a morning walk. OMR, with high traffic right through the day, gets narrow on our stretch near Padur. It is also a stretch that has stray cows parking themselves in the middle of the road, posing a traffic hazard to passing vehicles.
Cattle owners let their cows roam about on OMR freely. The road along Padur has no sidewalk (not that the roaming cattle follow road rules). And the narrow muddy patch by the roadside is un-walkable because it is littered with trash. Watching us returning from our walk the other day a helpful security guard advised we ought to be extra careful whenever we venture out of the Mantri gate. The stretch in front our complex comes under 'accident prone' zone.
On way back from the walk we ran into a group of Padur municipal sweepers squatting by the side of the dying cow. They said they were waiting for the cow owner to turn up to claim the animal. As for the dying animal, they pleaded helplessness. There was nothing they could do, they said, other than wait for the death. The dying animal was pregnant.
I must admit my wife and I couldn't think of any thing that we could have done to help. Blue Cross, pinjrapole, and Vet. hospital appeared remote from our location. And I didn't try to locate their whereabouts or contact numbers. Maybe, we ought to have their numbers readily available at our main gate security office.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

3in1 connectivity

Mantri Synergy is wired to receive BSNL fiber optic connection.It is the first residential project where BSNL has in place a three-in-one modem that wires the phone, the TV and the broadband. They also provide a wireless router, enabling the use of laptop anywhere in your flat.
BSNL's IPTV has package of channels that doesn't quite meet my preferences. For instance, foreign movie channels we used to get on Hathway package in Mysore are not available here. Nor do we get my mother's favoured Sun TV or my wife's Shankara channel. BBC, CNN, Raj TV attract monthly tariff (of Rs.3 to 5) Poor choice of Tamil channels in MyWay package is attributed to the fact that decisions on choice of channels are taken by company executives located in Gurgaon, and they are unlikely to be all that familiar with the Tamil channels available in Tamilnadu.
Airtel DTH is a cable option that, presumably, offers better choices in this regard. They show Sun TV.
The thing about BSNL IPTV is that you can watch, on demand, selected movies at a price; some old TV shows such as Ramayana, Laughter Challenge and Yeh Jo Hai Jindagi are also on offer on demand. Besides, we have option to watch on demand (for free) what they call lifestyle shows such as Ramdev's yoga demos.
For installation and other details contact : BSNL (phone/internet): Ashik - 9790122995; IPTV (My Way): Rajesh - 8939989106 ; Airtel DTH : Samy - 9840403028 , Ashwin - 9600068900.

Tax planning with home loan

A house is one of the biggest investments and most of us might already know that our home loans are eligible for tax benefits under the Income Tax Act. Today, Housing loans have become an attractive proposition to save taxes. For salaried individuals Public Provident Fund, Life Insurance Premium, Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS) etc are eligible for Section 80C deductions....More at Common Floor site.

Morning after Sat. night's shower (photo story)

Took a walk to nearby Padur village this morning, after last night's rain in my part of OMR.
Floor-level Mantri car park that was cemented a couple of days back.

The driveway at Mantri Synergy
Waterlogged highway in front of Mantri Syergy.

Padur, after a shower, is not particularly pedestrian-friendly.
Bengali mess that caters to a sizeable migrant construction labour force that stays in Padur.

Friday, May 20, 2011

OMR Toll Gate Monthly Pass

If you are already residing along the OMR & paying a toll fees, here is a suggestion for those who do not know. You can apply for a Monthly pass that costs only Rs.200 (car) & ply any number of times. The contact number of the Supervisor of OMR Toll Gate is 09600001051. An application needs to be filled-in with a proof copy that you are a resident of OMR & after a mandatory inspection of your apartement/villa/house, they issue the pass.
Sriraj - Mantri Synergy Resident


Rosedale, a residential project that is coming up right across the street from Mantri Synergy. We are located close to Hindustan University on OMR.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Our apartment complex

A massive signboard has come up on top end of the 12-floor 'D' block. As a resident, and a minor stakeholder in the betterment of Mantri Synergy,I do not endorse Mantri's idea of promoting their brand. My post in another photo blog evoked this comment: "The sign and the building together are not a good example of synergy".
Anyway, my friend and Mantri neighbour Mr Sriraj has raised a point that Mantri's cannot ignore; it pertains to the safety and stability of putting up such mega signage without air-holes, at a height where wind velocity at times assumes gale force. The point is Mr Sriraj, I understand, brought this to the notice of the supervising staff while they were putting up the signage.
We are among the first movers at Mantri Synergy. Work on six of the nine blocks is still in progress. The developers, who had earlier offered to complete the project in mid-2010 have since had to review the target date repeatedly. Their current target for project completion is early September, when Mantri Synergy would, hopefully, have 700 odd families.


Sun rises over Muthukkadu Lake, seen from our 'D' Floor 9 Balcony at Mantri Synergy.