The Grand Mall, Chennai

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The list of mall included in Chennai city seems to increase day by day. Till about last year, Chennai had Citi center, Ampa mall, Abirami Mega mall and Express Avenue. All these came into existence post year 2008.

Now, after Pheonix at Velachery, Forum Vijay at Vadapalani which opened early part of this year, the latest addition to Chennai is Grand Mall at Velachery. This is located on Velachery - Tambaram main road very near the Velachery metro rail station.

As of now, Croma, Shopper stop and food court is open. Many others are expected to open in due course of time.


Compared to Pheonix mall, this is comparatively a smaller mall. Its said to be about 3.5 lacs sq feet. Its just about 2KM from Pheonix mall.

One of the attraction seems to be 'food street' as advertised. But, it is yet to be completely open or occupied.

With online shopping site like flipkart, Jubang, Snapdeal,ebay and many others now being increasingly used by technology savvy people of India primarily due to convenience and better discount offered, one needs to see as how these malls keep up its attraction with buyers and thereby break-even, considering quantum of capital investment and recurring investments.

Anyways,consumer would have multiple choices to have a real time look at products. By this consumer can also compare the prices with online web store, when they really decide to buy.

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Reasons to pray

Hinduism is one amongst the oldest region in earth. None is able to say when and how the religion started.

As per Hindu mythology there are four yugas' namely Satyayuga (golden age), Tretha yuga(silver age), Dwapura Yuga(bronze age) and currently we are in Kaliyuga(Iron age).Each of these yuga are said be millions of years each. This is an indication, as who old is the religion. I had earlier written a post on Hinduism.

In previous yuga, Rishis performed meditation or tapas for very long time to get their prayers answered. However in this Kaliyuga due to various distractions, it is stated, if one is true, pious  and perform even short prayer or thinks about god sincerely, they are bound to get blessing from god.

This universe is millions of years old, whereas of our life span is so very short. In this yuga, we as human being run behind materialistic comfort, we at times feel having materialistic comfort and achieving what we think can bring us happiness. This may not be really so, if focus is only on getting materialistic comfort then, I believe we could complicate our life and thereby become unhappy, as focus is towards materialistic acquisition. In this uncertain world it’s difficult to predict what would happen the next moment.

Here, I would like to bring forward the famous Bhagavat Gita quote,

(The above, Bhagavat Gita quotes, the reality of life in this earth, I keep getting reminded about this, when things do not go as I wish)

The mind is source of one's action. Once deed will be based on what is sowed in mind over a period of time. However, some time, unpredictable events do happen. When unpredictable happens and if its negative there is always a question of 'why me’? . Many times, we do not have answer for many questions in life. We could have some solace in prayers and spirituality. Even, when things happens as per expectation, I would not like to forget that life is journey and attribute success to blessing of god or having my prayers been answered.

I read an article in newpaper on spiritual health., sharing the same in this blog post

Well, is prayer meant only for asking something always?. I believe not, it is for expressing my gratitude to god, also to guide me in this life and even beyond it, 

  • Expressing my gratitude for what I am today and what I have accomplished till now in life.
  • For being born to right parents, whom I have not asked or cannot ask.
  • Guiding and providing right family. Also being in contact with right people at right point of time.
  • There are millions of homeless people, but being provided with a home.
  • There are millions of people go without food on daily basis. While thankful for the meal, I receive every day.
  • Finally, having guided so far, I am thankful to almighty and believe they would guide me for rest of life.

We are made up of body and soul, while body is temporary the soul is said to be permanent and hence pray to him, so that I am guided all through this life journey and beyond this life as well.

Being a festive season, I wish everyone a happy and prosperous Deepavali. On Deepavali day, we do perform Kedareshwarar vrata which is prayer towards lord Shiva, Parvati and Lakshmi to provide us with good health, wealth and overcome all our sorrow. The prayer starts with Ganesh pooja. This time planning to get 'Sampoorna Lakshmi poja kit.' This pooja pack is said to contain  all basic materials required for the pooja as mentioned in the Skanda Purana. There is also CD with  Shree Vinayak Ashtottarashata Naamaavali.

To know more about ‘Sompoorna Lakshmi pooja kit’ click here.

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House, eligibility of marriage for male!!??!!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Surprised to find a front page advertisement in a leading English daily which states “He wants to marry my daughter and doesn’t even own a house?".

That too, this advertisement was issued by government funded housing finance corporation.

This seems to be the height of commercialization. Is it to bring necessary pressure on public so that they purchase a house?. 

One cannot say ‘OWN’ a house as advertisement claim,  the reason being in majority case, the house would have been purchased through debt  and which mean one does not own the house till the time the debt is completely serviced. Debt servicing could normally take about 5~30 years depending on once repayment capability.  Further, most likely these days in India it’s a private sector job, which mean once job is always at stake and what if a person looses the job and what if the hypothecated property is sold on auction due to non - servicing of debt?

The advertisement goes further to say “without tension of unpredictable rental accommodation”. The irony is that with no security in job these days, one is not sure whether the buyer would be in same place from young age till retirement. In fact, for some reason after purchase of house, one wish to rent it, there is equal tension of getting good prospective tenants without any issues year after year.

Again for argument sake what would happened if the advertisement would had been like “She wants to marry my son and doesn’t even own a house”, will the advertiser not be booked under dowry acts or a PIL filed in court?.

The Indian culture of humanness, belief, character, and family background seems to be fading under materialism. I can only hope, such advertisement may be stopped in the future.

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Customer Experience: Trip Advisor - A review.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Social media and Web is playing critical role in growth of the company. Unlike is 80's and 90's were the company focus was on advertisement through celebrities, these days advertisement alone may not sell. 

Social media and customer experience website are becoming more powerful, the primary reason being those writing on specific product or service offered are based on their actual experience of the product and not just based on payment a celebrity might receive for an advertisement. 

On a product or service, will the rating or write up always be positive, if it good?. I don't think thats possible, there are certain aspects of the experience that cannot be fully controlled. Individual perceptions, emotions and behaviors of people expectation vary. A product might have both positive and negative remarks. It is just for the potential buyer to understand about people making remarks before taking decision and another yard stick, I normally use is to look what’s the majority remark. 

Called, 'Customer experience' is growing and company has started focusing on getting better reviews. This naturally makes the company to work towards customer satisfaction. These days, there are software application and tools are available, which helps the companies to analyze customer experience posted on the web and use the same intelligently to grow business. Thinking, to write of the application / tools used towards analyzing customer experience shortly.

I believe this is one area, which is yet to be tapped and still at a very nascent stage, bound to grow over years. 

In travel customer experience sector, trip advisor has grown over the years. As far as my vacation travel is concerned, I normally look at trip advisor towards narrowing done on accommodation, places to visit based on the review comment provided. Have been using trip advisor in the last 3 year, the trip advisor review comments had enabled me to make informed decision. Post my visit, I do post my experience on trip advisor.

    (a recent magnetic sticker received from trip advisor for my contributions ).

Looking forward to actively participate in trip advisor venture through reviews!

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Thekkady - A Forest stay to relish

Saturday, October 5, 2013

After trips to Kodai and Munnar in last few year. It was time to explore other locations and we decided for Thekkady. This place is in amidst of Periyar tiger reserve forest.

How to reach this place: The best way to reach would be from Madurai by road, its about 130 kms, the drive would be through the plains expect for last 15kms which would be on ghat road. Compared to Kodai or Munnar the ghat road part is  comparatively less.

Accommodation and getting around: In the last few years, number of resorts and hotels have opened in and around Thekkady and Kumili. Did some research on web and found some of them to charge exorbitant amount, which was more, if not equal to five star accommodation in metros. September end, being off-season time  as usual narrow down on list of few hotels and resorts . It took about 30 minutes up on Ghat road to reach Thekkady, we did visit couple of hotel and finally decided to venture into the Periyar Tiger reserve, which does have accommodation like Aranya Nivas - a Kerala government undertaking (KTDC). 

After making entry pass in the tiger reserve, as we drove inside the reserve we could clearly feel the forest. Its was greenery all around, after about couple of kms drive we found a board to Periyar house (a hotel maintained by KTDC). 

With lush green all around, we checked the tariff and facilities at accommodation. The rate was nominal and felt good for 2 days stay just to relax and roam around.

Since, Periyar house is right inside the reserve forest the gate closes at 6:00 PM in the evening and hence you need to be inside the gate before that time. I found food to be OK, but does not have much option and personally, I felt it to be OK. The more critical one for me , was to relish the time in forest with nature.

Periyar house is situated right inside Periyar tiger reserve and you really feel you are right inside the forest. Having stayed for 2 night (3 days) we had ample time to roam around by foot and by car. The experience at Periyar house is so very unique with lush green all around. In our 2 days stay at the place, were able to spot deers, giant squirrel, rabbit and wild boars.

The lake and boat ride is famous in Thekkady and ought not be missed. Apart from lake, there are other options like trekking and elephant ride. However, for us two days stay inside a jungle was enough to spend time, relax and relish the greenery all around.

In all stay inside Periyar reserve, Thekkady was unique and refreshing, plan to visit once in few years!!

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