Life is interesting

It’s 9:00 Pm now. I am sitting in my hostel room, with this stupid laptop that I have been carrying all day. The following paragraphs were written during day time, when I was sitting in a site office on the outskirts of Chennai. Read them, if you don’t mind getting bored.


The AC office has been replaced by a FRP-on-steel-frame site office, where only a fan runs. It is one of those typical site offices erected at construction sites, where few office furniture and few site engineers and supervisors keep talking to themselves. I have this laptop here which I need to carry with me, each time I return.

Wow! The power went off just now. The poor fan can no more rotate. And that means I will soon start sweating. It’s hot and it’s humid. The battery of this laptop shall last for another one and a half hour and I shall continue writing till then. But wait a sec, I am not supposed to use this machine for writing all this. I am supposed to extract quantities from BOQ, and also work more on the quality management plan.

A BOQ what? Okay a BOQ (Bill of Quantities) is nothing but a set of few pages (I have a soft copy) which lists the overall quantities of materials to be used, the rate per unit for each quantity and hence the total cost of quantities. What do I need to extract? Well, let me try explaining that.

Talk about concrete. The BOQ will talk about the quantity of a certain grade of concrete to be used, its rate and its cost. But then, concrete has to be made here, on site. And for that, you need what? You need cement, sand, 20 mm and 40 mm aggregates, water, mixer, and of course labour. So what I got to do is find out these sub-quantities from a given quantity of a material like concrete.

I hope I was successful in explaining my work for today (and may be tomorrow) to you.

What am I doing at site, when all I gotta do is “extract quantities” from a soft copy of BOQ? Well, I am here at site doing all this, just to get the feel of the construction that shall begin in few days. 🙂

Some guys are working to restore power. I am not sweating too much, thanks to the flow of the natural air through the not so wisely placed windows of this single room site office. I can hear a JCB in operation, lifting things from here and there. Don’t ask me now what a JCB is. If I have to keep explaining about the things I encounter here so often, I will die. I will put a pic of the vehicle when I get back to room. That will surely tell you what it is.

So am I at the site, extracting various sub quantities from something called BOQ, just to have a feel of heat and humidity and the sound of a JCB running on the site? Exactly. 🙂 Well, I said that already, didn’t I? The construction work shall take off from Sunday. Not that I will be coming on Sunday, but the work will anyways begin. Some guys postponed the work, all because this Sunday is an Amavasya, and hence a lucky day to begin construction. This is India!

We will start with earth work excavation first, which will go on for a two three days. And after that I will have only two more weeks and some more days left for this internship. I guess that the piling work will still be on by the time I leave Chennai.

Did I tell you, what we are building here at this site, where I have been sitting all day? It’s an industrial building for Turbo Engineering Ltd. Once the job is done, they will begin manufacturing Turbo Engines here. This project is worth nearly 5 crores, and a big thing about this building is that, a part of it is being aimed to be a platinum rated Green Building. A Platinum rated what? A good thing is that I don’t have to explain this here since I already talked about it in an earlier post. Here is this link.

Well, I have started sweating finally. The guys working on electricity have given up. The battery says 1:10 minutes remaining. Enough time for me to keep typing for some more time.

I never told you about my Ladakh trip, did I? When did I go to Ladakh?? No, I haven’t ever been to that place. But I will be going to. Yeah as soon as this intern’s over, I will be flying to Ladakh with my sweet family. We will drop in at some more places after that, which should include Manali and Haridwar as per the current plans. But you never know when Dad changes plan! So there’s no point in my writing any more about the yet-to-be-made trip. I would surely update you on that. Wait for a month!

Great! Power has finally come! Talking about trip, I should tell you how I reached the site today. It’s close to forty kilometers from IIT, on the way to Mahabalipuram. Yesterday was the first time that I had visited this site, and it had been a comfortable journey in A’s AC car. To repeat the fact for those who missed previous posts, A is the project director of this company in which I am doing my internship and he is the one guiding me throughout. (More on A in this post).

And then later yesterday, I was told that a bus no: one one nine would bring me to this place, and would also take me back to IIT. I was also told that the bus stop was supposed to be outside IIT.

I realized today morning that there was no bus stop near IIT that I could find, where one one nine stops. Walking in the sun, carrying this heavy laptop was quite painful. I did spot a one one nine, but then it just passed by. It was anyways all too crowded inside. I had spotted the bus, but the stop was nowhere to be seen. So I thought that I would better go to my old Ac cabin in the head office itself, because anyways there was no work at site as such. In fact I was going to the site, all because of my own enthu. A had asked me the day before where would I like to work since the work at site would begin only on the coming Sunday. And I had told him that I would prefer going to the site!

But here I was, unable to find even the bus stop! I thought no more, and after walking for some more time, got into a shared-auto which took me to the head office.

A is smart. He found out the location of the right bus stop after making a few phone calls and then asked one of his drivers to drop me there, at the bus stop. The driver did so and waited till a one one nine came and I waved him a bye as I boarded the bus. Finally I was in the bus and after a slow journey of a little more than an hour, I reached this site. It was already 12:45 by then.

The guys working at this site where going to the nearby college canteen to have their food, in a Sumo. I met them in the way to the site, and joined them. So the first thing I did at the site today, was to have food! Funny!

Enough for a post. Rather more than enough. You read it all? Amazing ya…

Okay, so now that I am back, and have full time access to net in my hostel room, let me put this pic of a JCB in place.

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