My first visit to Bangkok was in May, 1996. I was made the Project Manager of a Project to develop a MRP II system. I went to Bangkok for conducting the system study. As out project was picked up at extremely low price (we got the project at USD 40,000 while we initially quoted USD 210,000), we had to look for all measure for saving money, So, on my first visit, instead of booking a separate Hotel Room for myself, I stayed in the Hotel Room of one of our colleagues who was on a Time & Material project. So, I stayed at Hotel New Peninsula on Thanon Surawong.
After conducting the system study, I returned to India. Then we started the development at our Royd Street office in Kolkata. After 3 months, when we were ready for partial delivery, it was decided that I would work out of Bangkok while the rest of the team works from Kolkata. This time I stayed at New Peninsula Hotel. However, I took a room for myself. Deepshree and Riya joined me a month later. However, as the room was too small for 3 of us, we shifted to another Hotel after about 10 days. After completing the CIMCO project, I was assigned to coordinate the project at IBM for automation of Tax System for Royal Government of Thailand. IBM office was at Thanon Phahonyothin. So, we moved to Hotel Kularb near Thanon Phahonyothin.
After about 4 months, I was assigned to develop a Customer Care and Billing System for Total Access Communication (TAC). As TAC office was in the center of Bangkok City, we decided to stay in Hotel Kularb itself. However, the stay was not very comfortable. Once I realised that the project at TAC would take more than 2 years, we looked for a place to place in a proper Residential area. We found P&P Grand Residence on Inthamara Soi 4 close to Kularb which we liked at the first visit. We were shown P&P Grand Residence by our neighbour in Hotel Kularb – Dr. Janardhan and his wife Sirisha. Both our families moved to P&P Grand Residences and we took apartments next to each other. We were in Room 102 on the first floor and Dr. Janardhan’s family were in Room 103.
We agreed to pay a rent of 12,000 Bahts per month for Room 102. We had a make a deposit of 24,000 Bahts, which was returned to us when we returned to India in 1999.
For the rest of our stay in Thailand till November, 1999, we stayed in P&P Grand Residence.
The apartment was fully furnished. It had a living room and a bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom with a bath tub and a store room. We had a lovely sofa, a lovely bed, TV, Gas, Washing Machine, all Crockery, all Cleaning Equipments, etc. As we were 3 of us and Riya was just 1 years old, this was more than sufficient for us at that time.
The apartment had a lovely Swimming Pool. Deepshree learnt to swim in this pool.
Our lifeline was a 7Eleven store. As I generally left for work at 8 AM and returned back only at around 8 PM, I did most of the purchase of our daily needs from this 7Eleven store. The 7Eleven store was open for 24 hours on every day of the week.
Opposite the 7Eleven store was the Krung Thai Bank. I used to use their ATM for all cash requirement.
About 2 LM from P&P Grand Residence was Merry King Departmental Store. When we visited in 2018, we found that it had been demolished. We purchased most of our groceries from Merry King. We used to take a Tuk Tuk to reach Merry King.
All regular needs like Vegetable/Fruit Market, Chicken/Mutton/Fish market, Saloon, Studio, Petrol Pump, Gold Shop, Hotels, KFC, McDonald, Pizza Hut, etc. was within 1.5 KM from P&P Grand Residence.
When our Project Team in TAC started to grow, I got new team members from India. For each of them, I found a room in P&P Grand Residence. After some time, apart from our Project Team Members, there were 3 families from Indian Airlines (The Country Manager, The Security Manager and the Chief Accountant). There were another 2-3 families living in P&P Grand Residence at that time who were not part of our Project Team.
The owner of P&P Grand Residence was a Minister in the Royal Thai Government. After his demise, his wife was the owner. Their son used to stay in the apartment. He owned 3 Mercedes Cars at that time. The owners also owned some orchid in the country side. So, there was lots of wooden furniture in P&P Grand Residence.
Riya started going to Pre-School while we stayed in P&P Grand Residence. A School bus used to come and pick her up at 8:00 AM. The same bus would drop her back at around 1:00 PM.
In 1998, when we were expecting Ranoo, we needed a bigger house. So, we moved to Room 404, which was a 2 bedroom apartment. Room 404 was 154 square meter in size and had lots of amenities. We paid 16,000 Bahts per month for Room 404. We did not have to pay any deposit while shifting to this apartment.
Before Ranoo’s birth, Baba and Ma came to live with us in Bangkok. Ma stayed for about 2 months. Baba stayed for 2 weeks. Room 404 was big enough so that all of us were very comfortable.
The most wonderful aspect of Room 404 was that the there was a mini terrace adjoining the room. The terrace had a garden and furniture to sit and enjoy.
About 1 KM from P&P Grand Residence was Paolo Memorial Hospital. Deepshree delivered Ranoo in this hospital.
On the ground floor of P&P Grand Residence, they had a office. Next to the office was a apartment, where the owner lady used to come and stay sometimes. On the other side, there was Gym. The Gym also had a Table Tennis table. All the area in front of the office and around the Swimming pool was used as the Parking Area.
Khun Nok is the Manager at P&P Grand Residence. She was the manager when we moved in here in the 1990s. When we visited P&P Grand Residence in 2018, she was still managing the apartment. She recognised us instantly. She looks the same as she looked about 20 years ago. She offered us fruits and Green Tea.