Friday, 8 May 2015

Tata Nano GenX Drive - A Drive To Remember

A week back Indiblogger announced this amazing event sponsored by Tata Motors where 24 bloggers from Mumbai and Pune would be selected to take the GenX Nano easy shift AMT around Pune city to complete challenges. Needless to say I was darn excited. Firstly because it was a drive and secondly because this drive was in Pune. I have spent some beautiful years of my life in Pune. Undoubtedly this city holds a special place in my heart.



Without further ado I registered and keeping my fingers crossed awaited their reply. A day later I got a call that I was selected. There was nothing communicated about the event except that it would be a lot of fun! It surely was..


Although I was enthusiastic about this drive it took me a helluva self motivation to turn up for this event that required me to sacrifice my precious Sunday sleep. The drive en route Pune was a nostalgic one; it brought back memories of college times.

Tata Nano's lined up for flag off
Mumbai Bloggers


When we reached Pune it was 10.15 am. Our stop was this huge property of Tata Motors called 'Tata Lake House'. After a hearty breakfast we had Mr Sachin Singh giving us a walk through of the all new yet to be launched Tata GenX Nano. Following which we were given a brief description about the drive and were divided into 8 teams. Each team was given a Nano and challenges were thrown at us by people from all over the world. The aim was to complete maximum number of such challenges.

Tata Lake House


I , Divsi, Srinidhi and Magali were clubbed in one team named 'F'. Srinidhi and I took turns driving the Nano. We were given a trial round where a Nano expert explained us the operations of this AMT(Automated Manual Transmission) car.  As soon as all teams got familiarized with GenX Nano the drive was flagged off!

Team F ( From Left to Right->Srini, Divsi, Me and Magali)


Ten minutes of driving and I had fallen in love with this cute thing! It was very easy to drive and maneuver. I didn't have to bother about changing the gears every now and then. After so many years, I was truly enjoying the drive. To add to this enjoyment, there were interesting challenges thrown at us. One such challenge was to break into a flash mob in middle of a road.  Another hilarious one was to record a video where all team members chanted Jai Mata Di. :P

Me in awe with the GenX Nano

 Before I proceed further, here is my summarized feedback of Tata Nano GenX after the drive.

Pros :
1. The design is cute , vibrant. It is available in plethora of colors.
2. At a price like this getting an Automatic Gear is undoubtedly a great deal.
3. There is comparatively better leg room, head room and elbow room than the previous Nano
4. This Nano has a special mode for heavy traffic called the 'Creep Mode'. It lets the car crawl when break  and accelerator both are kept released.
5. It has a  provision to switch to Manual mode as well.
6. The boot space is increased.
7. The fuel tank is increased to 24 litres in Gen X Nano.

Cons:
1. The battery is placed just beneath the driver seat. Its so out of the place!
2. The start sound of car was similar to a bike's kick start. This sound was very irritating.
3. The speedometer is at the center. It becomes inconvenient and so unnatural to turn your head to left each time you need to check your speed.

Lunch was arranged at Mezza 9, Hinjewadi. After the scrumptious lunch we headed back to the Lake House where there was an interesting line up of events!

A special track was designed where each team enjoyed a couple of laps testing the claims made by product design team during the presentation. One of the claims was Nano GenX has the smallest turning radius of 4m for easy maneuverability. Indeed it has! Also the steering proved to have an active return function as declared in the presentation.

Here is the picture of the track:

Track


We were now back to the morning venue where Varun the founder of Taal Inc was waiting to treat us to his enthralling drumming performance. After which, we participated in a drum circle where we all played the djembe.

Varun performing


Oh what a lovely evening it was. Sunset by the lake, Music and Cupcakes!


The event concluded by a group selfie and numerous goodies being distributed to the bloggers. How I wish we were given a Tata Nano GenX to drive back home. ..... :P

 Seems like the Tata Nano GenX  has bewitched me completely!  Go Test Drive it on its launch date i.e. 19th May, I am sure you will like it too!



Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Photo Walk: Juhu Beach


I spent this Sunday evening on the overly crowded Juhu Beach, capturing beautiful moments in my lens.

Presenting some clicks from the photo walk........


Boy watching Kabbadi
A young boy watching a group of men playing Kabbadi

Kulfi Seller
Portrait of a Kulfi Seller
 

Hawker selling paper articles
Hawker

Hawker

Bubbles
Bubbles


The portrait of this kid is my personal favorite. This cute boy was baffled and amused as a hawker in vicinity blew bubbles with the colorful soap water.....

The innocence and curiosity in his eyes just melted my heart!








Siblings playing in sand





A father building sand castle with his daughter. Reminded me of my childhood!


Father Daughter Love

Sky was equally fascinating.... Hundreds of colorful balloons bedecked the sky.


Finally the evening came to a beautiful end as the sun set leaving the sky crimson.....

Sunset


Monday, 13 April 2015

The beautiful world of Dream Catchers...

There are beautiful concepts and beliefs that exist in different parts of the world. Travelling and technology have shrunk the world so much that many such traditions are now known to us. One such tradition which originates from the Native Americans is Dream Catcher.

It is a handmade object made using a willow hoop, on which a loose web is woven. The dream catcher is then decorated with sacred items such as feathers and beads.

These dream catchers are said to emit positive vibes. It is believed that dream catchers have the ability to catch all of a person’s dreams. The bad ones get tangled in the dream catcher and perish with the first streak of dawn. However, the good dreams gently slip through the outer holes, sliding down the soft feathers to the person sleeping below.

In olden days, they were woven by the grandparents for newborn children and hung above their beds to give infants peaceful, beautiful dreams.

Fascinated by this concept, I browsed the internet for hand wooven dream catchers in Mumbai. After a little research, I came across an amazing e-shop called 'dreamcatchers_india' on Instagram. I loved their designs and instantly placed an order for two dream catchers.  A bigger one for my bedroom and a relatively smaller one for my office cubicle.

The Dream Catchers arrived within a week. Also, they were more beautiful than I expected. The colors were just perfectly complimenting each other. I could strongly feel the love and compassion with which they were weaved.

Sharing the pictures below:

DreamCatcher
Dream Catcher for my bedroom


DreamCatcher
Dream Catcher for my cubicle

Chromatic, Vibrant and Ravishing!

Didn't you fall in love with them ?

Aren't you excited to buy one for yourself or your loved ones?

I am sure you are!

To order or view more of their designs, check their Facebook page here. Their Instagram Id is dreamcatchers_india

So Dream on guys ........ Coz everything starts with a Dream!


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Postcards from Mahabalipuram: Krishna's Butter Ball


Mahabalipuram, situated around 60kms from Chennai was a major seaport during the time of Pallava dynasty. Ancient traders sailed to various countries of South East Asia from this seaport.

Mahabalipuram is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its brilliant rock-cut monolithic rathas and temples built during by the Pallava's.

One such highlight is Krishna's Butterball.

It is a giant natural rock perched on a hillside. The structure is recalcitrant to the laws of physics.

This is one of my favorite clicks from Mahabalipuram. What do you have to say?


Krishna's Butter Ball

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Beaches Of Kutch


Mandvi Beach:

Mandvi City which was once a major port and summer capital of Kutch is well known for its beach and beautiful Vijay Vilas Palace. The grandeur of the palace left me speechless. At some distance from the palace is the Mandvi Beach which is buzzing with tourists all time of the year. It's a lively beach with numerous food stalls, hawkers and entertainers. You could enjoy a camel ride or simply take a stroll on the beach. The only drawback of the beach is its very unclean.

Vijay Vilas Palace

View from the terrace of palace

I love Camel rides and never leave a chance to enjoy one. 


Camel ride @Mandvi Beach


Sunset

Nonfunctional wind mills on the beach



Pingleshwar Beach:

Hidden in a corner of Kutch lies a beautiful Shiv temple called the Pingleshwar Temple. Just a few kilometers from here is a quaint and serene beach called Pingleshwar. Relatively less popular than Mandvi Beach it has a low tourist footfall. It's not that commercialized. There aren't many hawkers or food stalls around. It's is a place where you could sit an enjoy a beautiful sunset with a loved one.







Pingleshwar is evenloped by these huge wind mills. These windmills make the drive to Pingleshwar even more enchanting.

Sky Watch............Kanpur


Captured this beautiful sky of Kanpur when the sun was ready to set.........





Saturday, 7 March 2015

Rishikesh- A Tryst with Nature


Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers


It was 7pm when we reached Rishikesh. Our camp site - Silver Sands, was still about 23kms upstream from Lakshman Jhula.  Albeit it being a Sunday getting out of Delhi had taken us almost 3 hours. The only halt we took was for Lunch at Khatauli. A damn tiring journey it had been and all I wanted was a bed to crash on.

When we finally reached our camp site it was pitch dark and the only sound I could hear was that of gushing Ganges. We followed our guides as they brisk walked on a path downhill with solar lamps in their hands. 'So they weren't joking, it's seriously a no electricity camp !', I told myself in self pity... I quickly glanced at my phone, about 30% of charging remained. I immediately switched it off.

After walking half a kilometer downhill, we reached the camp site. It was lightly lit with a few solar lamps.  There were 3 big tents in the centre and about a handful of tents on the right. "Those 3 tents are the dining tents", declared our river guide.

We were asked to assemble in the Dining tent where a brief description was given about the place. Jitu one of the River guides introduced himself and his team. He stated that this camp was an Eco friendly camp and hence very different from the myriad adventure camps in Rishikesh. Although there was no electricity in the camp, there were various indoor and outdoor games for entertainment.

Post the briefing dinner was served. The food was healthy , hygienic yet tasty. Sleeping tents were on one side of the camp. The tents were pitched adjacent to the river Ganga. They were just big enough to accommodate 2 comfortable, clean beds and a side table.

White sand glittered in moon light and the sky was full of stars. Just besides the camp site, Ganga flowed softly and silently. The sight looked so serene so tranquil so placid that the romantic in me could have asked for nothing more. The beauty of the place had just began to sink in when my body started succumbing to the falling temperature and I decided to call it a day. Who said Rishikesh was pleasant in November? Gosh!I was literally Freezing.


That night as I squeezed inside my cozy blanket, I could hear the Ganga flowing softly. It felt as if she was singing lullaby and putting me off to sleep. I had always dreamt of getting away from the hustle bustle of Mumbai city;  Living an unadulterated life, in the lap of mother nature. Here I was finally living my dream.

It was 6.30 am when I heard the birds chirping. I excitedly unzipped the tent's door to see  how beautiful Rishikesh looked in natural light. It was more mesmerizing than I ever imagined it to be. It was a huge campsite enveloped with mountains on all sides. Apart from the 6 tents on our side there were 30 more tents on the other side. There was also an old man made foot bridge at a walkable distance from there.


Sleeping Tents


Beautiful Stone Lining on the river side
Dining Tents

The next two days we had exciting rafting sessions (23kms in total), covering all possible major rapids like Three Blind Mice, Crossfire, Return to Centre, Roller Coaster, Tee Off, Golf Course and Club House.

At the end of second rafting session we were taught to body surf i.e. float in water. I am a water phobic and  I still can't imagine how I managed doing that!

Rafting Group (Image Courtesy- Archana)


In the evening we crossed the famous Lakshman Jhula and visited the Parmarth Ashram to enjoy the evening ganga aarti.

Lakshman Jhula

On the way back to camp I decided to savor my taste buds to the tangy sweet potato chaat.

Chaat Stall


Rishikesh, the holy town of India has something to offer to everyone. To me it gave a few days where I could disconnect with the world and reconnect with myself. To me it reminded that sometimes you need to pause life just to set it moving.....


~~~There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more ~~~Lord Byron

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Pondy Diary - Promenade Beach


There are some places where you feel like spending a lifetime. Pondicherry is that place to me!


I had taken this picture one beautiful morning while cycling on the Promenade Beach.


 Promenade Beach, Pondicherry 

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