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30 June 2015

Mistress of Honour – Bhaavna Arora – A Book Review

MISTRESS OF HONOURA haughty child Rihana asking to buy her a brother out of desperation, an Indo British mother Pansy and an Army man for father, Major Potnis. The story revolves around the lives of three generations of Army WaGs. Spanning across two generations in detail, the story weaves intricately in and out of what the wives and girlfriends of Defence personnel live through - desperation, separation and anxiety. The story starts with Rihana d emanding her parents to buy her a brother from the market just because her friend told her so. She goes to the extent of threatening to run away from home if she did not get one. An evening of cat and mouse play followed by a night of passion, Pansy soon discovers that she is pregnant and can’t contain her happiness. Six months later, all this changes for the worse with Potnis being deputed to Sri Lanka and bad news coming by. The family faces their worst and emerges stronger.

Feeling the need to maintain a constant schooling for her daughter Rihana, Pansy soon enrolls her in one of the best schools in Pune leaving her to the love and care of her mother in law. Pansy later joins Potnis in his various transfers across India to live the life out of a suitcase. Time flies fast and Rihana is soon enrolled to Army Public School for her 10th boards. A few days later during a visit to a famous graveyard, she meets a wayward boy who she earlier saw in a compromising position, Advik. Advik has parents who are in a troubled relationship and finds his solace in sex. Rihana and Advik share a common friend Kabir whose godfather was the best friend of Potnis, Shamsher. Kabir warns Advik to stay away from Rihana and not cause any ripples in the calm. Advik being a very close friend of Kabir promises him not to mess around with Rihana. Few months later, the boys who were in their 12th attempt the NDA and clear it with flying colours.

Life changes for better or worse when one starts being a part of the NDA. Broken and bruised in the process of turning a boy to a man, Advik runs away from the academy one fine day unable to take it anymore. A pep talk by Rihana and his dad, Rajan, Advik is back at NDA the next day to continue his studies. Advik and Kabir are soon a part of the Air Force and continue with their training. Advik proposes Rihana and with lot of deliberation her father agrees. Read on the book to know what happens next.

28 June 2015

Renault Lodgy – A Review

We test drove the Renault Lodgy at Goa over the previous weekend courtesy BlogAdda and Renault India. A little about the car first.

  1. The car is available in 6 colors, Royal Orchid, Absolute Steel, Planet Grey, Pearl White, Moonlight Silver, and Indigo Breeze.
  2. The car is available in 2 engine variants, 5 Speed Gearbox mated with a 85 PS engine and 6 speed gearbox mated with a 110 PS engine.
  3. The car is available as 7 and 8 seater versions with the base model being priced at INR 8,32,000 ex showroom Bangalore and the top end model being priced at INR 11,92,000 ex showroom Bangalore.
  4. The car comes with ErgoDrive that ensures that the drive is ergonomic as well as powerful.

We test drove both the 110 PS as well as 85 PS versions and found that the car definitely has some meat to it.

The car comes with ample legroom and space for all kinds of knick knacks. The car also features a nifty feature where the standard boot space of 207 liters can be expanded to be up to 1861 liters by removing the 3rd Row completely as well a folding the second row flat against the front row seats. The other nifty set of features that the car comes with are:

  1. Premium Leather/Fabric seat upholstery.
  2. Cruise Control and Speed Limiter.
  3. 12 Volt Charging Socket for all the 3 rows.
  4. Intuitive Audio and Phone Controls
  5. 8 way adjustable Driver seats with Armrest.
  6. Medianav system with Rear view camera display
  7. Dual AC with roof mounted vents for the 2nd and 3rd Rows.
  8. Dual Front Airbags with ABS and EBD with Brake Assist.
The car performed extremely well in various conditions including Rain and Sand and managed to handle the corners very well at high speeds with reduced body roll.

All in all this offering from Renault is meant as a complete package for the upper middle class Urban user who would manage to sneak in a trip or two to the countryside every now and then.

Image Courtesy Renault India.

I was a part of the #Livelodgycal experience with BlogAdda in association with Renault India.

Renault Lodgy – A Lodgycal Drive

We were at The Leela Kempinsky over the last weekend to experience the newly launched Renault Lodgy, an MPV from their stables. We arrived at Goa from Bangalore in the relatively young airline, Air Asia’s flight on Friday afternoon. The weather was amazing right from Bangalore and the light rains kept it at an even more romantic level. When we landed at Goa, it was a different story altogether. The rains were incessantly on and there was a light nip in the air. This also meant that the visibility was also fairly reduced making it a risky drive. An hour and half later, we were at The Leela. Post a warm welcome and freshening up, we were back for a round of debriefing about the car itself and its features which fast ended with a scrumptious dinner and being back to bed. Day 1 was just about it!

Day 2 started fairly early at about 6AM. A quick look outside brought in further fears about the kind of drive that we were going to have. The rains hadn’t stopped over night and it continued to pour even at this early an hour. An hour later, we as a team discussed our strategy and who would drive. Our team, consisting of Aditi, Ragini, Prateek (yes, my brother) and me, had only two drivers, Aditi and me. Of the other two, Ragini was totally a non Driver and Prateek had very less experience leaving the baton on our able shoulders. We finally hit the road at about 9AM with the Sun still playing hide and seek while the rains played the havoc. We had a planned route of 71.6 KM to cover, 35.8 KM each side. Our initial plan had been that Aditi would drive on our way back and I would drive on our way up towards The Lalit Ashok at the other end of Goa. In order to make our drive fun, each team (a total of 10 teams participated, we being the 10th) was given a set of 10 tasks alike that had to be completed before we reached The Lalit Ashok. We had great fun accomplishing those tasks and even managed to film a video of threatening BlogAdda team into giving all of us a Renault Lodgy each. We started back from The Lalit Ashok to a relatively breezy Goa and nearly no rains thankfully. At this point of time, we could finally keep the windows open and take in some fresh breeze. We drove in a very casual and relaxed manner on the way back leading to us almost forgetting our way back. Thankfully, we had the BlogAdda team coming right behind us. Post the drive, we relaxed for a while before being back for an amazing experience of a Live Band and Dance. Neha managed to hijack the band and had the dance floor crooning to her voice. I must say, she is one hell of an amazingly talented lady! The night was really long on Day 2 and found it difficult to let go of us. We managed to finally catch up with some much needed rest only by around 3AM in the morning.

Day 3 started off really late and it was soon time to check out. Our flight to Bangalore got delayed by around 2 hours which meant we were almost the last ones to leave the hotel. A turbulent one hour long flight later we were finally back in Bangalore. The drive back home felt even longer because I missed the girls badly over the last 3 days!

I was a part of the #Livelodgycal experience with BlogAdda in association with Renault India.

Route Map

25 June 2015

Ambi Pur Air Effects Room Freshener

Ambi Pur Air EffectsI recently received another parcel from Blogadda that had nothing to do with body odor but all kinds of odors in general. It was Ambi Pur Air Effects’ Blossom and Breeze fragrance of room freshener. While Ambi Pur is no new name in the crowded market of room fresheners or car deodorants, it is certainly a niche product.
I tried this on my daughter who had just come back from school. There is a corner of the house that we stay in which smells of humidity from the wall. Now every body is aware about how much a humid wall smells and causes the house to smell. I had sprayed some Ambi Pur blossom and breeze in the room just before she came back from school. Like me, she has a very sensitive nose and can identify offensive smells from a mile away. I covered her eyes and carried her into the humid room and asked her what she smelt. She just loved the fragrance and never once realized that she was in the room with the humid corner.
In another instance, I had a friend who had visited me when my wife was not at home. A little about my wife needs to be told here. While she is ok with my drinking or socializing, she really hates the smell of cigarettes in the house; it’s another thing to tell that I don’t smoke but several of my friends do. Now this friend happens to be a really close one and was visiting me after long. He tends to have the habit of lighting up a ciggie every few minutes and tends to feel very uneasy when he can’t get a smoke. I did not have the heart to stop him from smoking in the house since there was a lot to talk and catch up between us. He must have been at home for quite a few hours and during that duration he had smoked up at least half a packet. Now, we are all aware of how a house would smell when one would smoke just one cigeratte. Here, we had had at least five to six being smoked. My wife, as usual, gave me a call enquiring if the dear friend of mine had left and that she would be getting home in probably half an hour’s time. This time, I had to request him to stop from lighting up so that I continue to stay in the house. A few minutes before the dear wife of mine arrived, I sprayed Ambi Pur Blossom and Breeze in every corner of the house just to be doubly sure. Not only was the smell very well gotten rid of, I was not thrown out of the house either!
Now, both my wife and daughters have become so very fond of the fragrance that they now want\ to spray it all around the house and don't like it when it fades away. BTW, the fragrance lasts a good half an hour before eventually being taken over due to the constant air circulation. If it were to be left in a window less room, it would have definitely lasted a lot more longer. So that’s the Ambi Pur room freshener from the latest range of Ambi Pur products.

I am blogging for #SmellyToSmiley at BlogAdda in association with Ambi Pur.

Steelbird AIR- Helmet with Ventilation System

A exotic range of AIR helmet with ventilation effect

Steelbird Helmets a leading name in helmet industry and already a big hit for its innovative designs, curves, and sturdiness. The very first time in India has come up has launched helmet with ventilation system under the brand “Steelbird Air”. Steelbird Air is perfect for summer and keep you head cool while you are on ride.

The Steelbird AIR designed by an expert team in Italy with ventilation system that is REALLY made for Indian summers. It has 3 Air-Ventilations for inflow of AIR and one Exhaust for hot AIR to flow out. There are well defined air channels provided in the EPS for inflow and out flow of the air.

The most unique feature of the Steelbird AIR is its revolutionary ventilation system. Cool AIR goes in through these three ducts and the EPS rigs ensure that the AIR does not get trapped, but circulates, cooling the head. Using the special exhaust vents at the back, the warm air is let out - leaving behind a fresh cool ambience for an ultra comfortable ride.

Steelbird AIR offers remarkable options in 14 brilliant colors and trendy designs. The Quick release Visor Mechanism can be dislodged easily by the rider. Giving riders a option to change the visor easily a darker visor for a bright daytime riding and transparent visor to enjoy the city at night. Both will be at the fingertips of the rider.

The watertight visor will keep you feeling dry and comfortable. The rubber lining secures the visor firmly, making it ideal for riding even in the rain. Normally Lower Ratchets in other helmets are permanently fixed and these need replacing, it’s inconvenient. Steelbird AIR provides Screw Free Ratchets which is user friendly and can be changed easily – extending the life of the helmet.

Mr. Shailendra Jain, Group Head – Sales & Marketing, Steelbird Hi-tech India Ltd. said, Priced at Rs. 1199/- onwards Steelbird AIR Helmet is Produced with :- High Impact ABS Material Shell, Multi Density EPS - High Density and low density for more Safety, European Standard Micro-Metric Buckle, Hygienic interior with Multipore Breathable Pedding, Neck Protector For Extra Comfort, Extra Comfort Pedding, Replaceable Interiors & with Polycarbonate Anti Scratch Coated Visor.

 

16 June 2015

Nivea Men – Body Deodorizer

I'm using my investigative skills to uncover the mystery of #SniffSniff at BlogAdda. The fourth parcel arrived today at my house. After making me run around half the city like a detective, the mystery has finally revealed itself. It is a new deo. A scintillating new deodorizer from Nivea. This was launched by Arjun Rampal recently in Mumbai and has become an instant hit. Finally a respite to the odor that all us men sport no matter how we travel; bus, train car with the AC in full blast mode or a bike. The new deo comes in a new and advanced avatar that makes sure that the body odors that we suffer from are bid a good bye to.
While the debate of gas wala cans and no gas deodorants continues to rage like a forest fire which shows no signs of dying down; the new deo from Nivea comes in the gasless avatar making sure it lasts many sprays and does not harm the environment either. The deo features a non alcoholic base making it absolutely safe for the skin and does not cause irritations in case of sensitive skin. I tried it on myself and it sure seemed to have appealed to my audience, my daughters.
The deo comes in two cool masculine variants – Ice Cool and Energy. Use it to #BanBodyOdour right away.


14 June 2015

3 Mysterious parcels and Odors. What is the connection after all?

I recently received 3 mysterious parcels that spoke of nothing but smells. Some good, some offensive; mostly offensive. the first was a card. It showcased a picture of a man on both the sides with a poem in it.

Clothes Clips are for the clothes line, not your nose, as for body odor, tweet/blog about how you control it using #SniffSniff in your prose!

If I were to talk about it, I have actually been through these problems myself. Back when I was in college I used to end up on the other side of the fence often just because of the body odor. It was so bad that when my washed clothes would be ironed, instead of the smell of the detergent or even the perfumes that I doused myself with, they would smell of my sweat. This was followed by several suggestions by several people. One asked me to apply kattha (One applied to Paan) in my underarms. Another asked me to soak Beetle Leaves over night in warm water and drink that water the first thing in the morning. The third was even more outrageous. It asked me to drink my own first, early morning urine. Finally a visit to an Ayruvedic Doctor helped me get relieved of the problem. One week of treatment and some churans later, I was cured, albeit temporarily. I was asked to repeat this treatment every year else I would be back to square one. It’s another story that I did not go back for it. Once was more than enough.

The second parcel was even more interesting. A pouch of coffee beans. Amazing smell if I must say. Nothing more with it. If I have to draw parallels, I have always smelt coffee beans when I have tried perfumes on testing papers. It has left me wondering what is really going on.

The third parcel was even more interesting. It was a mask. This was getting on my nerves now really, While on one side, the parcels stumped me, on the other, it made me feel like Detective Byomkesh Bakshy who had to investigate and uncover the secret behind these mysterious parcels at any cost. I'm using my investigative skills to uncover the mystery of #SniffSniff at BlogAdda. Let us now wait and watch what this ends up with. While I am sure it has to do something with the olfactory senses, I am really excited now.

05 June 2015

Top 5 famous Restaurants in Delhi

New Delhi is the capital of India and it surely deserves to be occupied with best of the restaurants and hotels. Delhi is no short of most alluring and spectacular bistros where you can dine in with your family. For all those that are moving to Delhi for a vacation, here are some of the recommendations of best restaurants where you can find most scrumptious food with perfect ambience, take a look below:
1. Ricos: For anyone who possesses a special thing for great ambience and likes to relish Italian, American or Mexican cuisine, Ricos is just the right place for you to visit. You don’t have to worry for the affordability, given the modish ambience and multiple cuisine offerings as you will find Ricos quite reasonable and pocket friendly. This place is beautifully decked with photogenic décor, making you fall in love with its pleasurable environment. It is among the most occupied bistros in Delhi.
2. Café Delhi Heights: Café Delhi Heights is not exactly situated in Delhi; it is actually a part of Gurgaon. People who like to spend some time with their loved ones in peace and at the same time relishing their taste buds with most amazing food come here at this bistro. It is actually a luxury restaurant given the price of the food here. Here you can find most amazing Continental, American, Thai, Italian food etc. You can preserve this one for special occasions if you are a routine diner.
3. Khan Chacha: People from north love to relish Mughlai and ever so spicy North Indian food. Delhi is a city of people with mixed races and thus it is essential to house all kind of cuisines. You can visit Khan Chacha for most authentic and delightful Mughlai meals. It is an affordable place to visit where you can find good quality food for two in just Rs 650. It is situated in Khan Market at Delhi and serving luscious Mughlai taste to many individuals residing there.
4. Nazeer Foods: Nazeer Foods is another treat for lovers of Mughlai cuisine. This place is also renowned for serving best North Indian food in Delhi. You don’t have to carry huge amount along-with while planning a visit at Nazeer Foods. It is also named under the category of most affordable places to visit at Delhi for best food. Other than North Indian and Mughlai, you can also find best of Chinese food here at the bistro. It is the finest place for all the Punjabi families living in Delhi.
5. Zu Tisch: New Delhi is no short of most delectable cuisines and one of the biggest examples is Zu Tisch. This bistro is one of a kind where you can find rarely found German and European cuisine. There are not much restaurants in Delhi that serves German and European food so it makes this bistro different from others. It is situated at Greater Kailash and rated among the expensive bistros in Delhi.