Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mantri Synergy 2 Debut

Wow! This is my first Blog. Thanks to GVK & the Rest of the Gang of OMR Resident, I think I too could do my bit to alleviate, someof the issues faced by the community in a small way.
For my first entry, I would want to put up the issues faced by me over the last few days as I moved into Synergy-2 & their possible solutions. Hopefully, it would help others be forewarned and avoid the minor pitfalls.Feel free to provide your inputs to the issues as well as the tricks of the trade to get around it.
Checklist for the new Residents (Some of the specifications are for B-Block X08 series Flats only)
Part 1 :- Before Shifting
0. Contact List.
Approach Propcare. The office on the ground floor of Club-House and obtain a copy of the Whos-Who for Mantri Synergy available with Balaji.
1. Keys.
Settle the accounts with the Customer care(Jeyakannan/Saranya) and obtain the Inter-Office Memo (IOM) from them.Carry along your and your's spouse PAN-card for this.
1 Set of IOM to be provided to Prop-Care (Sivaram/Balaji). They will provide 3 sets of Keys(For a 2 BHK:- Main door (4x), Master Bedroom(3x), Bedroom(3x)). Also have a look @ the EB meter and your postal box@ the basement of the Block
2nd Set of IOM to be provided to Padmanabhan, and select your parking space
2. Electrical
a) Check all the Plugpoints have power and they are not loose. Carry your mobile charger to try it out yourself. Specifically check the 15Amp plug-points.
b) Before calling up the Split AC Installation guys, check if the existing conduit provided for the Copper tubesis @ the correct location and of the correct size. If not get the Prop-care/Engineering Team to get the core drilling done.
c) For all electrical fitting eg Heater/AC check the corresponding accessories are available with you egfor the Heater, you need 2 tubes (inlet/outlet), for the AC/Heater you need the corresponding 16 Amp 3-pin Top-Plugsd) For B-Block, The specification for the Exhaust fans used for the Bathrooms is 250mm PVC per the Engineering team. The corresponding specification to buy it from the Electrical shop is 10 inch Diameter, around 350 mm outside length/width, around 290 mm insidelength/width. This will fit into the square 300 mm gap provided for the same in the Bathroom window.
3. Plumbing.
Check all the pipes/flush works and there are no leakages especially from the commode/gun
4. Civil
a) Check the levelling in the Bathrooms/Balcony is proper by pouring water and checking if there is water stagnation anywhere.If so, get it rectified with the help of Prop-care/Engineering team.
b) Check for gaps in kitchen tiles which come above the granite table top. //This will be a nuisance with insects in the kitchenlater on
c) Check all the doors of the flat for gaps, especially @ the bottom & the sides

Part 2 :- During Shifting
5. Packing v/s Moving
If you are very particular about your stuff, if possible take the effort to do the packing on your own.If you are unable to do so, know the difference between the 2 types of service providers available in the market
Movers:- They will simply take your stuff from Location A, dump it on their vehicle and shift it to Location B.
Packers:- They will come to Location A. Pack all your belongings in boxes, use packing boards for glasses, table tops & otherdelicate items. Also after the Items are placed at Location B, They shall help you unpack it as well.Of the 2, Packers and movers are costlier then the movers (roughly double the charge of the later say for a distance of around 25 Km)Try and if possible move during the day time, since @ night, power failures is a double whammy
a) no power to the lift
b) no light to move around the corridor

Part 3: - After Shifting
6. Gas connection.
Refer to Mr. GVK's blog @
7. Toll on OMR.
Refer to Mr. GVK's blog @
8. Milk/Water.
Linganathan is the Boss for these. However, Its a challenge, if you need the milk to be delivered to your door before 7:00 am.
9. School Bus.
All the school Bus stops in front of the Mantri Gate. We can get them to come inside the gate, however, it has to be discussed afterthe Association is formed in the near future. Meanwhile, start atleast 10 minutes earlier, to account for the Lift not working/walking down the stairs and the long walk till the main gate by dragging the sleepy toddlers.
10. Television.
IPTV connection is provided. However it may take a couple of weeks before the service gets activated. If you are a SUN TV fan, then you maywant to get Airtel (Samy)
11. Last But Not the Least. WELCOME HOME :-)

Mantri grocery stores

The Mantri management,they say, has firmed up an agreement with a local shop-owner, and the grocery stores at the Clubhouse is expected to open in four to six weeks from now (mid-October). By which time the occupancy at our complex is expected to increase to 100, from the current strength of 40 plus resident families. Gas Ramu says he has received till now 67 applications for gas connection.
Besides groceries the Clubhouse stores is expected to retail fruits and vegetables procured from Koembedu. Meanwhile, we discovered , a website through which we can order vegetables/fruits on phone and online for home delivery. Mr Raghavan of the online angaadi says they cater to residents on the OMR stretch from Sholinganallur to Padur.Items ordered online/phone are delivered the subsequent evening between 6 and 9 pm.The 24-hour gap, they say, is needed for the Angaadi to procure fruits and vegetables from Koembedu and elsewhere, fresh, on a daily basis, and in quantities ordered by customers. Vegetables so procured are packed properly before delivery, says Mr Raghavan.
Contact details: Landline 044 27435743 ; cell - 8015419876.
Mr Raghavan is alvailable on 9941903084 ;

Monday, August 29, 2011

Vermicomposting kitchen waste

An earlier post in the blog - Talking trash, vermicomposting - done some two months back hasn't evoked any response from PropCare. And, it must be admitted, there was no further effort on our part,as residents,to push the waste disposal agenda. This post is prompted by an article in The Hindu - Segregating waste can generate income - that refers to vermicomposting taken up by residents in Alwarpet.
At Venus Colony, Alwarpet, with 175 apartments they have a vermicompost shed, from which they generate adequate manure to fertilize plants and the green patch in their 2.25 acre residential complex.The Venus Colony residents association built a composting shed with four compartments for collection of kitchen and garden waste. The association,which has been vermicomposting kitchen waste for the last five years,is engaged, at the same time, in creating public awareness and educating residents on the need for segregating household waste to enable their disposal in a meaningful,and also productive, way.
Wouldn't it be worth our while to visit Venus Colony and meet with the residents association ? Contact person - Mr K V Ananthakrishna Iyer, manager, Asiana Flat Owners Association in Venus Colony, Alwarpet.

'Dunston Checks in' the Clubhouse

First of our Mantri community film shows for children(Aug.27) was a moderate success, with a turnout of seven children and at least as many adults.The two-hour show featured Dunston Checks In a full length feature, and Baby Einstein, a 30-minute episode in a Walt Disney series made for children up to the age of three.
It wasn't however such a hit with elder children who go for action and a storyline. Baby Einstein is all images, music and rich colours that appeal to infants and toddlers. Three-month old Aadit watched with eye-popping delight, according to grandpa Mr Ardhendu Chakraborti.
At Clubhouse I could see Mr Ram Kumar's three-year old daughter parked on her mother's lap, getting excited about the colours and swift changing images in Baby Einstein.I can't say the same for the elder children.Their thrill was in watching Dunston in action.But then there were moments when even the monkey antics couldn't hold the children's attention. That was when Mr Saurav Mukherjee, conducting the proceedings, stepped in with packets of chips, so thoughtfully provided by Mr Sivaram of PropCare.
It was a promising start, of what we believe, can be made a regular weekend feature. The August 27 children show could have done with more publicity. Besides, poor approach to the clubhouse could have been a reason that held back some residents.Lack of proper lighting made movement to the clubhouse a challenge. We made our way back home after show (9.15 p m) with the help of Mr Ram Kumar who followed us in his car,with its headlights guiding us through the mud and slush on the Clubhouse road.
The clubhouse could do with a proper notice board. The scribbled show announcement scotch-taped to a wall at the clubhouse lobby, was put up only on the morning of the show. With increased readership of OMR Resident and better social networking we hope to have a wider reach among the Mantri residents community in the coming weeks.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

STP pipe burst

There has been a breakdown in the sewage treatment plant. And Mantri maintenance has been at work since Saturday afternoon trying to fix a pipe burst. As an upshot, we haven't had water in the master bed-room toilet in our D block flat since yesterday afternoon. Our toilet was still dry when we checked, this morning (Sunday). Mercifully, we have water supply in the other two bathrooms.
We are having to put up with a temperamental toilet in the master bedroom, because water supply to the flush comes from STP. And the sewage treatment plant has not been behaving properly ever since they set it up. There is no knowing when our bedroom toilet would go dry. I am all for water recycling conservation,only if, and this is a big IF, we can make it work reasonably well. STP at Mantri's often runs out of water or otherwise gets out of order every now and then. Our issue is not with water recycling, but the unreliability of the functioning of our toilet.It's time, isn't it, we thought of a backup pipeline (from regular source) to the bedroom toilet. For STP breaks down every other day.
Another point: Why can't PropCare staff answer the phone at times such as this ? You call 'help' phone with little success ; Maintenance supervisor's mobile goes 'out of reach' (Couldn't PropCare,with Airtel support, do something to ensure that cell phone signal covers all parts of Mantri complex, including the basement ?)
I got someone to answer the phone , on my 5th attempt, and that was how I came to know of the STP pipe burst. Had PropCare been proactive, and informed, on their own, residents ( it means making 40 internal calls) of the STP pipe burst, they could have spared us such unpleasant surprise, and saved me a few cell call charges.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Children's movie show

Saturday, August 27
7 p m
Club House

A few us at Mantri's reckon it may not be a bad idea to bring together children in our complex for film viewing at the Clubhouse. We plan to share our individual collections of the DVDs that our children grew up watching. On a recent US trip my wife and I collected a few DVDs from our grandchildren - Sidharth,6, and Nikhil, 3 plus - for sharing them with their peer group Mantri Synergy. Mr Sriraj of D-1202 has DVDs that NASA Srinivas, his school-going son, has grown out of.
The first of the children's movie show is scheduled on Saturday,August 27, at 7 p m. We have at Mantri's children, aged three-months upward. And we happen to have a few 30-minute DVDs in 'Baby Einstein' series that Walt Disney produce for 0-3 age-group. I would like to watch how the three-month old Aadit responds to Baby Einstein.
Among other DVDs in my collection are:
Fisher-Price - Musical Baby (for 3 months plus)
Elmo's World : The Great Outdoors
PBS Happy Holidays
Man's Best Friend - Dog Adventures (a 5-movie DVD)
Eddie Murphy's Dr.Dolittle
Dunston Checks In
Mr Sriraj says his son Srinivas, in Ooty boarding school, has left behind a wide-ranging DVD collection, including Harry Potter, Lion King, Sherk and Michael Palin's Himalayan Journey.
If we make a go of children's movie viewing, weekly or twice a month, we could think of tapping the children's film society, the British Council and USIS for loaning us children's movie.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bathroom fittings at Mantri's

I don't know if others have this issue. The granite slab fitted in our bathroom (D-901) by Mantri's doesn't have a granite finish or shine, although we have it washed and mopped daily. Far from acquiring a shine with daily washing, our bathroom granite looks shabby, as if it hasn't been cleaned for a while.
Would anyone know of a cure - a solution or polish - that brings a shiny finish to granite surface ?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Common Floor photo contest

Common Floor, a website that hosts interactive web-page of Mantri Synergy flat-owners, has announced a photo contest that invites you to "take photos of the Independence Day celebrations held in your community; submit entries(unlimited) on the CommonFloor Facebook page from 15 Aug to 25 Aug 2011.
Prizes include Winning photos engraved on wooden plaques;T-Shirts; and Photo Collages.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Movie evenings at Mantri Clubhouse

Meera,our daughter-in-law, brought home from the grocery shop Singum Puli the other day. Movie cassettes are handed out to customers whose purchases exceed $20 at desi stores in California. And we have, at our son’s place in San Ramon CA quite a collection - Payanam, Eeram, Endiran, Peepli Live, Paa, Break Ke Baad,and wake Up Sid.

My wife and I, now on a US visit, plan to take back to Chennai a bunch of these CDs to be able to organize community film viewings on weekends at our clubhouse in Mantri Synergy apartments complex on OMR.

From Curry-leaf plant for $59.99

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Basketball, anyone ?

We could do with a practice net and board for basketball enthusiasts among children in Mantri Synergy. And we don't want Mr Manoj/Mr Sivaram of PropCare to tell us they can't find space for it.

These contraptions do not take up space; they are easy to install and they can easily be moved about.We find the basketball net fitted on a back wall ,in public park, at the front yard of houses, and even on the sidewalk at a gated community. We have it in our backyard at San Ramon CA, for our grandchidren, aged 3 and 6.
The basketball court we have at the Mantri's is for the big boys who play regular games. The make-shift net we are talking about is for learners.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Talking of trash cans

In San Ramon CA Wednesday is the garbage day; that is when the garbage truck makes weekly visits to empty trash carts placed in front of every house. The plastic garbage bins, of which Ms Anuradha Nair (D-1201) wrote in Common Floor, are compact, easy to move, and they withstand the battering by the disposal staff.
Ms Nair, in her CommonFloor post, said:
Mantri could invest in heavy-duty plastic receptacles used for the purpose of garbage collection, and put one (or two) on each floor so that the residents themselves can go and deposit their garbage into these bins neatly. Such bins come with a fitted lid so as to ensure that rodents etc do not get in, and smells do not get out.
These bins could be emptied into larger collection bins which are on wheels, which the cleaners could easily maneuver from floor to floor.
Being made of heavy duty plastic material, these receptacles could be cleaned easily
The larger bins on rollers are also fitted with lids so that they can be rolled into the lifts without the problem of smells/leakages arising
We could also think of placing such trash cans at strategic spots in the common space to discourage people from throwing trash in public.