Some people consider me as an ideal example of a person who lives to eat. I love hogging out every now and then and my bank balance will tell you the story.
Way back in College, Way back when we started watching Highway on My Plate.. i had this dream of having a job of travelling and reviewing food. Man vs Food introduced us to food challenges. What a life i thought, even though it had its own pitfalls health wise. But nevertheless everyone has a dream job and this is one of mine.
I’ve been in Chennai for the past one year and i’ve been loving the food here. When me and my friends initially got placed in TCS and booked our tickets to Chennai, our friends and relatives were apprehensive about the food in Chennai. They talked about stereotyped food everywhere and this scared us a bit. But surprise, surprise..our gastronomical journey so far has been awesome. True there have been ups and downs but generally i’ve had some really good food. It helped that i have a group of friends who love to eat as well. In the past one year, i’ve eaten at more than 60 restaurants in Chennai and my Burrp! profile is proof of that 😀 We also had this little side project titles ‘ Experiments and Food ‘ going for sometime until it became too tough to gather pictures and upload them to one place.
Now the fun part came when Burrp! emailed me and asked me if i was interested in reviewing Azulia, where a Greek food festival was taking place. THIS was BIG! I was so surprised!! The email said that i could take a friend so i called up @Nievu as she’s accompanied me to most of the restaurants and also because she could offer a vegetarian perspective to the food.
So the date was set, 11th November was the night and boy was it fun. Except for the part where we paid 400 for the cab to drop us back, the night was epic! Wish i could take part in more such free food… erm Food Reviews.
9 months, our gestation period, we spent at F14. Easily they are some of the best days of my life. Had the best room mates i could ask for. In February i was glad that we moved to a more spacious place than our erstwhile S2. F14 was a big upgrade from our previous place; a fully furnished 2 BHK. It was part of the trio of flats that the 12 of us had bought. Life was good.
Then the transfers started. The first flat was left within a month as the rent was unaffordable for 2 people to handle. The girls left F12.
Fast forward to October 2011. Karthik and Raison left the company for greener pastures and Rathan got transfered to Bangalore. That left me as the last man standing at F14. With Girish gone, Ive now moved to F16; the last flat of the three we had.
There are bands you always wish that you get a chance to listen to live in concert, but being in India that doesnt often become a reality. Big Band concerts are few and far between and often limited to the same set of bands. Now the indian rock scene is an interesting one. There are more bands than you realise and they are all trying to fight for the top positions in india and believe me its not a easy thing to do.
Junkyard Groove is one such band. I first heard of them through Rajat. They had appeared on Channel V’s Launchpad and they apparently played an epic version of ‘Dont Cha’ by PCD. That piqued my interest and after a little bit of digging around i found out that they gave their music away for free download, actually they would get paid if people downloaded their music. So i got all their tracks downloaded and i was hooked. I got people hooked as well. I keep doing that. I am a self-confessed music explorer ever on the lookout for good alternative music. My latest find was ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ and before that was ‘Newton Faulkner‘. I would like to mention more but i digress.
So when i came to know i was going to work in Chennai, i was hoping to get a piece of the music i had heard so much about. But 7 months passed by and with no luck. I sincerely feel that finding out events in big cities(or small) is not easy. I know there is Burrp but that isnt always so helpful. For eg., i finally came to know about the JYG gig via a friend and more info via a Facebook event. I had to be there for the concert. I was not going to miss this opportunity and i started rounding up people to go along with.
Junkyard Groove had all of a sudden undergone a breakup barely a couple of months back. It happened on their Facebook page where 3 of the quartet decided to call it quits while Ameeth was left in the dark about the whole thing. Sad stuff. When i heard that they had called it a day, i was sad. I thought i should somehow finish a tribute post to them but soon i came to know that the line-up was reformed by Ameeth.
This was good news, but even better was the fact that they would be playing their first gig at nearby EC41.
So 17th July was the d-day and we made it in time. Bassin Bridge was headlining for them. Sajith played the Bass for them as well. So the show began and that was one awesome night. I missed the fact that i didnt have a camera to capture those wonderful moments. I had to make do with Nievu‘s android phone. So not much could be salvaged from that. Hardly anything is clear but then i could not be choosy either. The venue was wild, underneath the moonlight sky they played with the bay in the background. After the first few songs, me and Reddy made our way downstairs and we spend the rest of the night there. In front of the band, enjoying the music we swayed, barely a meter from the band. I didnt want it to end and i screamed the songs and headbanged through the night so much so that i had to take the Tuesday off ;P but i still say it was totally worth it. That was my #1 concert till date and i had the most fun. Even now as i write this post , i am happy that i was able to attend it.
I really have kept this post pending for quite sometime and some one had to poke me out of my stupor. So UXnext was the UX Conference held in Chennai on 16th July 2011 at IIT Madras Research Park. This was being organised by the RIA-RUI community. Now just a couple of months back i had heard about HCI(Human Computer Interaction) courses for M.S. and when this event came along i thought it would be the best thing to get a perspective about user experience and a career in it.
Believe me, i came back presently surprised and inspired from the event. Apart from the fact that i won a Antetype License worth $289, it was the realization of how much interesting the job would be. I learnt what designing is all about, how the industry works, what are the various jobs available and also found out about courses worth considering for higher studies.
UX is an essential thing in today’s world. Everything you look around you has a reason behind its design. Take the mineral water bottle for instance., there is a reason its like that. Innovation is the key to market a product. The little things you add to a product like the way Apple does, adds value to it and a happy customer is what companies should look at. The way a product looks is key to it being popular, Ideas are powerful and dictate whether the product will survive or not. People are fickle and they need to be shown that they are given more value for money and that is exactly why UX is important. Attending this conference did help me a lot in understanding UX and consolidating my decision of higher studies in the field.