Friday, September 15, 2017

Thiru Kazhu Kundram - Temple Town



Recently I had a chance to visit Thiru Kazhu Kundram, serene scenic city near Mahabalipuram with my Aunt known for its temples. The steps were very steep to climb up to the top and my aunt did a great job in climbing those steps to visit the temple. One gets a panoramic view of the city of Thiru Kazhu Kundram from the hill stop and it was simply breathtaking on a sunny day. Before a decade, two eagles come exactly during the lunch time and the prasadam from the deity is presented to these eagles. On the foot hills, one gets a chance to see Thirupura Sundari temple which is really vast and huge. Definitely a place to visit on a weekend.

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Half Marathon and 10 Km runs



Recently I completed half marathon (21.1) kms in 3 hours and 2 minutes in Chennai. It was a long dream to complete this half marathon once and thanks to the motivation and training plan given by my friend Rajesh who has completed two full marathons. Prior to this half marathon, I did 10 Km run with my good friend Kalai and with my periappa in Anna University. It was certainly a great motivation to see 65 year old periappa taking part in these outings. After this half marathon, we did one more 10 Km run with my colleagues Balu and Kalai.



What’s good about these 10 Km and half marathons are the fitness awareness and the type of diet we take before couple of weeks and the most important aspect of it is the money goes to the charity for various cancer patients, handicapped children etc and the awareness it creates among the public. The timing chip, the medal, the certificate, the hot breakfast and the T shirts are definitely worth for the money we pay for. Good thing about these events are not about winning but be part of the social gatherings and awareness.

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S


Hamburg, Lueneburg, Germany


Recently I had a chance to visit my second home town Hamburg, Germany during my business trip to UK. It was so nostalgic to meet all good old friends and to catch up with them after really a long time. I was very skeptical about speaking in German again but honestly it was really nice to speak the language with full intent and interest. Michael and Sina had a great birthday party in the ship on the Elbe river and we partied throughout the whole night and reminded me of the student days in Europe. Thanks to my good friend Prabu for organizing the grill party in Lueneburg with all my old friends. Thanks to each and everybody who made this travel to Hamburg and Lueneburg the most memorable and lovely.

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

London, UK


Recently I had a chance to visit London on a long weekend during my business trip to UK. The train journey from Liverpool to London was a great experience and it was nice to catch up with my good friends Ramesh and Kaja after a long time and had a great time with them. There was a ICC champions trophy warm up match between India and New Zealand in Oval, London and it was fun to catch up accidentally in the great Oval ground with a beer. Also went to the famous places of London Bridge, The Big Ben, London Eye etc. As usual it was drizzling all along and it was a typical British summer. What really amazes me is the public transportation, the tubes and the metros. It’s always fun to be in this lovely and bubbling city of London.


Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Liverpool, UK



Recently I had a chance to travel on a Business trip to Liverpool, UK for couple of weeks. Liverpool is a city in North West England situated across the Mersey river and a hour drive from the city of Manchester. Had a chance to visit Eigburth Cricket Ground, the home of Liverpool Cricket Club and belongs to Lancashire County. The great Jimmy Anderson comes from this county and plays often in Eigburth. Locals are so much interested only in football with various football clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Everton etc nearby and Cricket is the second sport. It was definitely interesting to hear and speak the Liverpool accent and sometimes one wonder whether they speak English or other language. I thoroughly enjoyed the stay in Liverpool. Mathew Street is one of many tourist attractions related to The Beatles and the location of Europe’s largest annual free music festival. It was a great trip with lot of fond memories. 

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Pichavaram, Mangrove Forest



Recently we had a chance to go to Pichavaram, Man Grove forest near Chidambaram - the world’s third largest mangrove forest. It was a great experience to do boating in the backwaters - the mangrove forest trees are permanently rooted in a few feet of water and this place offers abundant scope for water sports such as rowing, kayaking and canoeing. Anish, Shruti enjoyed the boating to a great extent and there were lot of mosquitoes which made us to dance in the boat. After the boating in Pichavaram, we went to historic Chidambaram Natarajar temple where Lord Shiva is captured in pose as Nataraja performing the ‘Ananda Tandava. It was a day to remember with good family outing.


Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Chennai Marathon 2016 - 10 KM



Recently I had a chance to participate in Chennai Marathon 2016 10KM stretch along with my friends Praveen and Sridhar. The event was supposed to happen in December but postponed because of CM’s death, Varadha strom and finally happened on January 8th. The race began from the Napier Bridge, went along the Marina Beach, Light House, San Thome, RK Puram, Adyar and finally reaching CPT Grounds, Taramani. I gained lot of weight once I returned back to India and it was very difficult in the beginning to start the running even for 1 or 2 Kms in the tread mill. I practiced for around 2 months 3 to 4 times a week and gained confidence over a period of time. It was a great experience to run this short stretch of the Marathon in my home town which was pending for really long time. I finished 10 Km in 1hr and 22 minutes at a rate of 7.5Kms/hr. Thanks especially to Praveen who motivated me to take part in this event. It’s a distant dream for me to complete half Marathon at least once in a lifetime , let’s see how the eating habits goes :P

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Munnar, Kerala




During Christmas holidays, we had a chance to go to Munnar, the hill station situated at around 550 Kms from Chennai, at around 1,600 meters above mean sea level in the Western Ghats range of mountains. It was a road trip from Chennai, halted in Villupuram in our relative’s house, then proceeded from Villupuram via Trichy, Dindigul, Periyakulam, Theni, Bodi and finally the hairpin bends drive to Munnar. It’s indeed a scenic hill station with picturesque tea plantations everywhere and we stopped at various spots to take pictures amidst the tea leaves.  



Mattupetty Dam is must see place in Munnar which is a confluence of the mountain streams of Muthirappuzha, Chanduvarai and Kundale river. The speed boat ride was a fantastic experience for all of us especially for Anish. Munnar Tea Museum, Top station are notable places to see in Munnar. We had a chance to make an elephant ride for the first time and it was truly rewarding experience for Anish.

The stay was fantastic with a panoramic view of the tea estates. We had a chance to celebrate New Year’s Eve in this scenic, picturesque, wonderful hill station and it was a much needed break between New Year and Christmas. Thanks to my wife who took bulk of the driving and certainly one of the best road trips to remember for.


Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

India vs England, Chennai



Before Christmas, I had a chance to go to a test match in M A Chidambaram stadium, Chepauk between India and England. The match was heading towards to a tame draw and nobody expected a result on fifth day’s play with England needing around 300 odd runs and 10 wickets in hand and India’s 4th innings to follow. Even till lunch time, there was not even a single English wicket fell and I was mourning with my friend Praveen why did we come to stadium to watch this stupid match in the middle of the week by taking an off from office.

 It all changed after the lunch time with 3 wickets between lunch and tea with strong solid defense from England. Ravindra Jadeja took quick wickets in succession after tea and there was definite sense of victory for the Indians and it looked like English players were in a hurry to catch the flight for their Christmas celebrations. With just 30 minutes of play left for the day and India needed 2 wickets to wrap up the series, Jadeja finished the things off in style in one over. It was nice to see POMS getting thrashed in a bilateral test series after nearly 8 years. A day to remember to watch a perfect 5th day’s play with a result in the middle of the week and an off from office. 

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Swindon, Bath, UK




In December, I had a chance to go to Business trip to Swindon, UK which is about 70 miles from London. It was a great experience to conduct the workshop with native speaking English folks and it turned out to be reasonably good show in the end. The Client took us to the dinner and Christmas Market in a city called Bath, hours’ drive from Swindon. Bath was architecturally superb with picturesque buildings, churches, antique shops etc. We drank a glass of Gluewein and kept ourselves warm in the biting cold. Travel from Heathrow, London to Chennai was pleasant and all in all a great experience to remember.

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Indian Super League 2016 Edition


In November, I had a chance to go to a football match (Indian Super League-ISL) between Chennai and North East United in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai with my colleague cum friend Nats. Chennai being the defending Champions didn’t perform well in the 2016 edition with most of the key players injured, marque players suspended for this edition. Chennai took the lead and dominated the match right from the beginning but North East United gave a tough fight till the last minute by scoring a goal in the extra minute of the second half and equalizing the match by 3-3. Chennai finished at 7th position, Atletico de Kolkata were crowned champions for the second time in three editions of ISL. This League is definitely the one to watch out for in the next decade.

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Friday, November 18, 2016

Honda City Automatic


Recently we had a chance to buy a new car ‘Honda City’ with automatic gear shifting. Thanks to my wife who taught me first time the art of driving and executing the first gear on the road. Honestly I learned driving very late in my life almost close to 30 and I am glad that I can drive now in all three continents Europe, America and Asia with driving licenses from three countries. Initially I thought owning a car is a luxury but once you experience of driving it, I realize how it can improve the quality of living on a day to day basis. Driving in Indian traffic is no doubt the biggest challenge when compared to other countries and I hope this automatic gear shifting will ease the driving. Hyundai Santro happens to be the first car which I gifted to my parents, Skoda Fabia Combi in Germany, Volkswagen Passat in US, VW Jetta for Anita in US and we finally ended up in ‘Honda City’in Chennai. 

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Tiger Caves, Mahabalipuram



Recently we had a chance to visit Tiger Caves which is situated before 5 KMs from Mahabalipuram. Honestly I never expected this place to be so nice and charming when I was bypassing it many times. It has got lush Green Park where one can have family picnic and most importantly great clean crowd less beach nearby. The intensity of the waves and the high tides from these beaches (Bay of Bengal) is simply stupendous and can never be compared with the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Atlantics where the tides don't even supersede your legs and most importantly one can drench in these waters throughout the year. Anish thoroughly enjoys building castles with the beach mud and for people who wants to avoid city traffic and want to go to the beach from Tambaram area, Tiger Caves is a place for the weekend. 

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Mesmerize - Music Concert


Recently I had a chance to attend the music outdoor event ‘Mesmerize’ conducted by our firm in Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium along with my wife. Various celebrities like Sid Sriram, Karthick, RJ Balaji made the event glamourous and it was real fun attending this event. Not to forget the awesome dinner hosted in this event from a five star hotel Royal Meridian. I saw many events conducted in this indoor stadium in television and it was a great experience to visit this stadium for the first time. 

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Team Outing in Esthell Village Resort


Recently we had a chance to go to team outing in Esthell Village Resorts situated in the outskirts of the city. We performed a team building exercise with real fun outdoor activities for an hour.  Had a chance to experience Zorbing for the first time and honest it didn’t impress me that much. We played Cricket with the tennis ball in the real pitch and it was a nice picturesque ground in the resort. The lunch buffet was really delicious with wide varieties. Then we drenched ourselves in the swimming pool in the hot weather and we played virtual beach volley ball in the waters. We also had a chance to watch a movie ‘Fast and Furious 5’ in the home theatre inside the resort. All in all it was a day to remember and a good outing with the team members.

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Mom's first death anniversary


It has been already one year since my mom passed away, time really flies away. It was one of the turbulent, disappointing, depressive year of my life without any doubt. You wake up in the middle of the night and you realize you don’t have your mom anymore. On the first anniversary day on October 2nd, Appa and I did blood donation. Appa in spite of being 60 plus still accepted my offer to do the blood donation. Then we went to Sivananda Gurukulam, an orphanage situated in Kattankulathur, outskirts of the city to offer a small donation. Had a chance to meet the young children and old age people. I was totally disturbed after the visit and realized how blessed we are with whatever God has given to us. Thanks to my family, friends, relatives, colleagues who helped me to come out of this phase. For sure, time is the best heal for many things. Miss you Amma! May your soul rest in peace.

Sathish Kumar S

Home Sweet Home :)




Recently we had a chance to buy a new home in Selaiyur, Chennai near Bharath University. I liked this home for three reasons. Firstly, it’s close to our office. Secondly, it’s near to Anish School. Thirdly, it’s near to Anita’s parents’ home. It would have been so lovely if mom would have lived along with us in this house but life takes its twists and turns. It was always mom’s wish that I should return back to Chennai and that’s what finally happened. Thanks to Swastic Homes for the good modern architecture and hearty thanks to each and everybody who helped me in the path of my life to be at this home.

Swastic Homes URL

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Yercaud Hills, TN


Recently we had a chance to conduct the ear boring ceremony of Anish in our family Deities in Anumanpalli, Erode. Normally this ceremony is conducted along with the tonsuring ceremony during the 11 month of the baby. Unfortunately, we missed this ceremony during that time and it was a long pending event on our end to complete it. There was a yearly celebration in the temple where people from different corners visit the temple for this procession. 


We had a chance to go to Yercaud hills, located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats. It was nostalgic to remember the trip in 2001 when our school friends joined together and had a great time visiting Yercaud from Chennai and it has been nearly 15 years, time really flies away. Ladies seat, Gents seat, Pakoda point, Kiliyur falls are the important spots one shouldn’t miss out in Yercaud. We had a boating in Yercaud Lake and it was a pleasant experience. Driving from Salem to Yercaud with numerous hair pin bends is a good driving experience. We stayed in Grand Estancia, Salem and I would truly recommend this place to stay in Salem with great amenities. 


There was alumni function from 1991 pass outs of Government College of Engineering, Salem in Grand Estancia and could see everywhere the group pictures with family, friends, children. Must be really truly rewarding experience when one meets their fellow friends from Engineering and having a get together after 25 years. I need to return from Erode to Chennai to catch the flight to Korea at 1 AM in Chennai. We started at 2 PM from Anumanpalli, Erode and we reached our home at 8 PM in Chennai. Had to hurry blurrily pack all the things and left the house by 10 PM and checked in the last minute. The highways from the Southern Districts to Chennai have improved a lot in the last 10 years. All in all, a great experience in Yercaud, nice ear boring ceremony of Anish clubbed with yearly temple procession.


Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Seoul, South Korea




Recently I got a chance to travel to South Korea on a business trip. I was no way involved in that project and the project team members didn’t get visa on time, I was asked to travel as stop gap option since I had German passport and I don’t need a visa to travel to South Korea. Had a chance to fly in Cathay Pacific for the first time and had a transit flight in Hong Kong to a city called Incheon in South Korea which is around 100 KMs from Seoul. Hong Kong airport is in classical location with mountain ranges and seashore nearby which is indeed a rare sight. 



It was indeed a great experience of interacting with the clients, gathering their requirements, visiting the site in Daejeon. We all had a great socializing event of BBQ and drinks with various stake holders in the evening. Had a chance to visit Seoul during the weekend and definitely one of the picturesque cities in the world. N Seoul Tower was a thrilling experience to go to the top and one gets a panoramic view of the city of Seoul. Kyung bok gung is a huge palace showcasing the cultural and architectural aspects of Koreans. Language might be an issue in Korea where only few of them can speak English but the sign boards and symbols are very informative that one doesn’t need to ask anybody. 

The food in Korea was really awesome with wide variety of Noodles, Sea Food, Rice and Soups. I thoroughly enjoyed their cuisine since I don’t have any restrictions on the food. South Koreas is definitely a developed nation in Asia with grand infrastructure, sky scrapers, transportation etc. When it comes to Electronics and Automobile, they definitely lead the way with LG, Samsung, Hyundai etc. Their denomination is very high and around 1000 Korean Won is 1$. Thanks to my colleague Varadha who did a great job in organizing each and every aspect of this trip since it was a last minute plan. Definitely this Business trip will linger in my mind for long time and it was an awesome experience. 

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Bad Saeckingen, Germany




Recently I had a chance to visit good old Germany on a Business trip to a city called Bad Saeckingen which is located in the very south west of Germany next to the Swiss border on the river Rhine. The city lies on the southern edge of the Black Forest area. There are two bridges which connects Bad Saeckingen in Germany with Stein in Switzerland: one vehicular (Fridolinsbruecke) and the other, the Holzbruecke pedestrian bridge and it’s definitely one of the picturesque view with river Rhine dividing the two countries.

It’s really hassle free to cross this bridge without any border checks from Germany to Switzerland and imagining if India Pakistan border could be like this and how both the countries could flourish to a greater extent. I stayed in a hotel called Goldener Knopf on German side and it simply offers fascinating views of the river Rhine from the balconies. Bad Saeckingen’s architecture and buildings were similar to Lueneburg and it brought some reminiscent of good old memories. All in all it was a great experience to remember.

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Greenfields Resort, Avadi



Recently we had a chance to go to Greenfields resort situated at around 3 kms from Avadi. It has got an excellent Swimming pool well maintained by the resort. Anish loves swimming and we had a chance to drench out from the hot sunny weather of Chennai. They also have a good Chinese restaurant in the resort and a good way to appetize after a good work out of swimming. Definitely a place to be during the weekends. Whether it’s a stay over the weekend or simply an evening filled with activities, Greenfields has options for all.   

Thirumala Tirupati Worship



Recently we had a chance to go to Tirumala with the family located in Sapthagiri hills to worship Lord Venkateswara. It’s always been so special to visit this temple especially by driving a car in the hair pin bends with climbing up/down the mountain. After nearly a decade, I tonsured my head along with Appa and Anish and we all had a nice Darshan. The laddus from this temple is known for its quality and awesome tastiness. The temple is located on the seventh peak of the Tirupati Hills and is also known as the ‘Temple of Seven Hills’ and is one of the famous and richest temple in India. 

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S

Anish real 1st Birthday - Leap year kid :)



Anish celebrated his first actual birthday on 29 Feb 2016 even though he is four years old since he happens to be a leap year kid. Time really flies away and it happened like yesterday that I cut the umbilical cord and hold him with both my hands. Taking in to consideration of the tough pregnancy Anita had, I am so glad that Anish is healthy, happy baby now and wishing him the best in the years to come. Thanks to German medical and insurance system which gave us the biggest gift of our life. He is presently enjoying his Upper Kinder Garden (UKG) in Chennai. Anish will be exactly 20 years old if he virtually completes 80 years old :) God Bless Him. 

Cheers,
Sathish Kumar S