CLA-404: The Ultimate Bachelors Crib

If you are on the way to Panjagutta via Begumpet, and you have time  spare, take a left at the Kirtilal Jewelers take a left and then a right.. If it was not for the leaking man holes you would normally see a dry lane that leads you to a off white apartment named ‘Chabbras Lakeview Apartments’ (CLA). Catch the lift to the top floor, down the stairs and up the stairs to your left you see apartment number 404.


It’s the end of 2004, training days in Satyam is over; batch mates are all allocated to projects across different locations in India. What’s left is Hid in that once, full of fun and frolic hostel is a few from the entire floor of friends. When life started to get boring in the hostel, 5 friends decide to move to an apartment. To the end of that month of May 2005, Chabbras Lakeview Apartments became the new home to Ashwin, Bijou, Mahesh, Ranjith and Shamz



The fellowship

Let me introduce you to members of this fellowship of 404.

Ashwin Bala aka Ash, he hails from Thrissur, Kerala. Did his studies in Kerala, an engineer by profession, now engineering the IT infrastructure for GSK with Satyam. He’s an amazingly good singer, sings a lot of the Kishore Kumar and Rafi. Brushes his teeth twice everyday and spends a decent amount of time and attention in doing the same. He’s into movies, the Satyajit Ray and Akira Kurosawa types. He prefers rotis to rice, an amazing fan of any type of mix veg curry. Tall dude, still single… (We have our doubts about that… he keeps having these long hour session on the phone)

Mahesh aka Mash, he was with CLA till the time he left for Mumbai to be with his folks, was previously employed at Satyam, was my colleague for the CRM Implementation for Satyam... Now working for Oracle testing out their Oracle E-Biz suite of products. He’s now crashing at Begumpet with his friend soon to be ex-roomy Jojee (Jojee is getting married). He’s an ardent reader, talks a lot, good with numbers. Where is he from? He’s from all over India, did his schooling from, Kerala. He’s a Mallu by schooling, Tam by birth, and his folks were settled in Mumbai.


Ranjith the most versatile personality in the fellowship, a perfectly abnormal dude, adores the simple things in life. Speaks English when the spirit levels in his body is high, crazy in the sense he believes in the Matrix, a ardent follower of the Trilogy, favorite avatar being ‘Agent Smith’. What are his interests? well at this moment we have no idea… he’s being sent on an On-site assignment for ML for Satyam.. He’s still doing time in the US. He like a reformed vegetarian likes to play Badminton and is real good at it. To the outside CLA he is still single, but we have doubts on the same… led a pretty mysterious few months prior to his on-site engagement, we will keep you posted as the story unfolds. He’s into percussion, you listens to Safri Duo or some Traditional Percussion tracks looping in his Creative Muvo. First in our batch to get a Digi Cam, first to invest in MFs and Stocks. This super freak of nature hails from Muthuvara, Thrissur


Shamzeer aka Shamz, well the initiator the famous crusades. Shamz is forfeiting his bachelor’s title and upgrading himself with a better half in a few days, the remaining members of CLA have judiciously allocated their resources to be present as the event takes place. A really good PeopleSoft Artist and a really good investor. Been the luckiest in my batch to have gone on-site in every company he worked. This most eligible bachelor (soon to be ex-bachelor) of Sreekrishnapuram, Palakad, is an Engineer by profession now working for TCS. Shamz said goodbye to CLA October last year and is now settled in B’lore.




These are a few souls that we gathered in this wonderful journey for 3 years that we had in CLA 404.

Sreejith, Ranjith’s relative, an MBA now working in Mahindra InfoTech in Bangalore. He was with us for a short term of Two months; this is after Shamz left for B’lore. He cam to Hyd to complete a course in PeopleSoft HRMS and was seeking a career in become a PeopleSoft HRMS functional consultant.

Bonny, Ash’s friend from college, joined our fellowship for a short while, when he was the only one left in his posh crib in Hi-Tech. A self declared audiophile, heavily into Pinky Floyd, Metallica, Dire Straits, Mark Knolffer, Electronics, Audio Systems and Audio File formats. He’s works for Qualcomm working the latest in Mobile Technology. A very passionate guy, passionate about the things he loves. A very tall fair and handsome guy, and no he’s not single…well he’s the first of the ones who’s like publicly broke… the jinx of CLA… we’ll he seems to be romantically involved in a relationship with a dame in Satyam. He moved out to a posh apartment in Hi-tech


Most Welcome Guests


The Honorable guests that we shared our humble home with 

Aravind, my school mate from St Thomas Residential School. An MBA working as a BA helping Satyam come up with a sturdy DKM infrastructure. Did his MBA from Goa Institute of Management, located in Chennai. He often crashes at our place whenever he has to attend conferences and meetings in Hyd.


The Crib

It’s a two BHK apartment, top floor, overlooking the densely apartment-ed B.S Maktha gully. We have a temple right at the gates of the apartment. As you enter the living room, you see my bed close by the TV. There is a small poster of His Royal Highness Roger Federer; we have a Cupboard built into the wall where we place our Books. There is a center section reserved for the Ganapathy Idol along with the Bible and the Koran. A small kitchen, equipped for some emergency cooking. The bedrooms pretty huge, one of them has our bathroom attached. The other one has a small balcony type of thing, we wash ad hang our clothes there.


We have registered our address with the nearest Pizza hut, Hyderabad House and Dominos, so when cash isn’t the problem we call up food. This is a routine every weekend wake up at 11:00 no breakfast, just a call and a heavy lunch/brunch, this is the same for dinner.


We have a 21 inch assembled TV, yes we have Cable. We have a fully equipped DVD player, which provides the ‘when the TV gets boring’ entertainment... A new poster of Mohammed Ali that adorns the wall opposite to Fedex. A print out, soon to be a Poster of the smiling ‘bambi eyes’ Deepika Padukone beside my bed. A guitar that hasn’t been touched for a year (Another short fling of mine to join the likes of Slash, John Mayor and Eric Clapton). We have Ranjith’s neatly packed computer on which our DVD rests


The Replacement

Well with Ranjith leaving for the US, and with Shamz leaving for B’lore, we found a new member to make up for the void these fellow CLA-mates left. Meet Neslin, the latest addition to of our family. An ABAP-er lending his talents to Thomson Financial, Hyderabad. Previously working for SAP Labs B’lore he hails from Kottayam, Kerala.



The Legacy

It’s been two years now, we started out with 5, we 3 now at CLA-404 the rest of the fellowship dispersed all over the India and with a unique presence in U.S. No matter where we are in our life, CLA would always be a part of our life. It’s been a great time sharing our home with you, please do drop by our place when you have the time. Once again a heart felt thanks from the all the guys of CLA-404.