Friday, March 24, 2006


I had the chance to go to this new place in Chennai called Ascendas. Interesting place. Decently done up place. Looked straight out of the sets of a Shankar movie.. It probably will figure in the next Manirathnam/Shankar movie. Very urbanistic interiors.
I noticed a "Dollar Store" inside it. Yes, the concept is the same as the Dollar Store chain in the US. Except that everything here is Rs. 99 (max). The store mostly carried the same stuff that a US Dollar store carried. I wonder if its part of the same chain.
I also noticed a fancy gym inside Ascendas called Fitness One. Flashily done interiors. Not gaudy by any standards. I stepped in to enquire about the montly fees. Rs.3000 per month!! Lol. I stepped out immediately and asked my sis how much a normal gym membership costs. Rs. 1000! At the risk of sounding archaic, I'll say that things have definitely changed in the 5 years I've not been in India. I remember that I used to go to a gym which charged me Rs. 300 per month back in 2001. And it was probably the most expensive gym there was at that time. Fitness One seemed to have quite a few members too. So, it also looks like affordability has increased quite a bit too. People in general seem to be a lot more fitness conscious now than they were 5 years ago. Good stuff!
The upper floors of this complex were leased out to software companies. I didn't get a chance to go up and take a look around. They had those "click spokes" across the section leading to the elevators. These click spokes (like the ones across the train stations in the US) counted the number of people going in and out of those sections I guess. A lot of the people eating in the food courts (pictures above) were working professional. Good working ambience I guess. I'd have loved to be working in one of these complexes and probably have my family over for dinner at the foodcourt below. Another thing I noticed was that all the working professional were dressed in business casuals. It can be a pain I know, but it looks cool too. I know for a fact that some people just dress plain BAD back in the US. There's definitely better dressing sense in working professionals here in India.

Edit : I just heard that the building is actually called Ascendas' International Tech Park.


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