I visited Chennai for the conference Technology for education (T4E). This was a memorable trip in more than one way! The trip had many interesting experiences: Stay at my student’s house, conducting a workshop, shooting for my new documentary, and many more!
My homestay: First and the foremost was my stay at one of my student’s home: Romey Christo’s house in Adambakkam. From the moment I finalised my plan for this visit, Romey had suggested that I stay at his home, and I agreed instantly! The house is cozy, nestled in a typical residential area. I went straight to his house from the airport, however I had to leave almost immediately, in order to get at the conference. Romey’s parents were rather disappointed that I did not have breakfast and was also not coming home for the dinner!
Next day morning made me realise, what I missed the earlier day..! Romey’s mom prepared a elaborate breakfast having multiple varieties! We had soft puffed idlis with authentic sambhar and cocunut chutney, crisp dosai, rawa kesari (sheera), and even the pongal! The food was coming out from the kitchen one after another, that I actually forgot to click a snap of this awesome menu!
Romey’s dad (BTech Mech, IITM), is a tech geek, and one can see interesting examples of his installations all through the house! He has even installed a motion sensor tap to regulate the waterflow!
By the time I was leaving, my bag was full of sweets and other goodies, and my mind full of loving memories of the two days I spent with them!
T4E Conference at IITMadras: The conference venue was IITMadras, which is one of the largest and the most scenic IITs that I have seen. With frequent sightings of the black buck and monkeys, it actually a jungle out there! The place had many culture shocks (as compared to IITBombay), but nevertheless, the scenic beauty and long walks in the greens made it memorable.
The conference was also good for me personally, since I had participation everyday! I offered a workshop on the Day 0 (pre-conference day), followed by a poster presentation on Day 1 (co-authored with Romey). I was not present for Day 3 and 4, where I had two research papers to be presented. The highlight for me was the paper on the Learner-Centric MOOC model, which has co-authors such as: Prof. Sridhar, Prof. Sahana, and Dr. Jayakrishnan! This is the very first ‘idea’ paper about this model, which is becoming increasingly popular!
The food: The Chennai stay is incomplete without a visit to the famous ‘Murugan Idli’. The ET alum (JK, YP and SS) came together and literally ‘raided’ the outlet, and tasted almost ALL the possible varieties that they had to offer! The finale was the equally famous ‘Jigardhandaa’ from Madurai! This overeating required a nice walk which was enjoyable since we had a beach nearby!
All in all, it was a memorable Trip 002! The next one coming up is T003: Hyderabad!