Monthly Archives: December 2015

A trip to Yosemite Valley

Towering trees, bumbling bees;Azure skies, peaks old and wise;
Snowy pebbles, brooks that babble;Mystic mountains, springs and fountains;
Plains some mossy, still lakes all glossy;Icy cloaks, pines and oaks
Skulking bears, prancing reindeers;Scampering squirrels furry, coyotes in a hurry.
Rains and thunder, Nature’s wonder; Glistening snow, eyes that glow
Hills and vales, Treacherous trails; Winding roads, Glaciers once flowed
Myriad hues, beauty so true; Blue and Golden, resplendence beholden
White and green, a splendid scene; Pristine white, shimmering moonlight
Sculpted boulders, fire that smolders; Zephyrs trance, a verdant dance
Pindrop silence, sweeter than violins; A trickle of water, frozen in winter
Glorious clouds, Beauty endowed; The Great Half dome, God’s own home?

 

Mother Nature has drawn one of her priceless canvases in Yosemite National park with an elegance that makes her splendor even more beautiful. Big is beautiful at this national park known for its old wise sequoia trees that are the biggest in the world, the tallest waterfalls and the most challenging of peaks protecting themselves from nosy humans by the sheer force of nature again.

I fortunately was permitted to see this priceless picture on a sunny day while it was splashed with a pristine whiteness on the myriad hues of greens and yellows. I hated to sully the whiteness of it with my footprints. While I could not stop Aahing and Wowing and taking pictures, I realized that it was one of those places where a mere camera lens could not capture even a 50th of the beauty that the live canvas possessed.
Someone rightly said, when nature has a project, she is a genius at work. From the bare leafeless tree to the ice laden pine, she ensures each season has something wonderful to look at. I fall short of words here, to describe the endless vales of snow covered pines and cones that I saw and went past, the winding valleys covered with mist and sheer drops below overlooking unbelievable vistas making us want to stop at every twist and turn where there was space to stop and gaze.

 

Despite all the human advancement, nature still makes man feel miniscule on just seeing the vastness of what She can create. The United States has certainly preserved the park well, and I am pretty thankful and privileged to see such beauty in this world where almost every piece of habitable land has been captured by humans.

 

 

 

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Categories: Americas, United States | Tags: , | 14 Comments

Top six reasons why the Tata Zica Car is a winner

..Continued from my previous blog on the MadeofGreat trip here

A car isn’t just another product that you buy. It is an emotion and a way of life! It represents who you are and you take on a wee bit of the personality of the car.  The Tata Zica is a car that can be liked by all. Abbreviated for a Zippy Car, it is not just fun to drive, but is also very comfortable and feels so young!

On the evening of our first day at Goa, the Tata team had taken us through the Zica journey. Right from how they started designing it with global design inputs from Pune, UK and Italy studios to how they integrated all the little things that go a long way in making the drive more convenient, smoother and happy!

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The day to drive the Tata Zica had finally arrived and we were all excited to be finally doing the drive. When I bought my car, I had a chance to test drive several cars before I made a choice. The test drive lasted for a maximum of 20 minutes! And here was a chance to drive a car not yet launched for a good 2-3 hours on some of the most picturesque lanes in the country!

I was the driver for my team of three with Alex and Jaspreet that was chosen on the prior day and was only too happy to be the sole driver!

Now you will find a host of reviews out there already, but here are the few things that made this car truly fantastico –

  1. Looks do matter – yeah!

The design is sharp, elegant and bold. I loved the contours of the car whichever way I looked at it. Not for this one, an ugly back view or a jutting front. This one was suede, confident and dapper however you looked at it! Available in about 6 colors, the one I liked the best was the Sunburst orange which I drove the next day.

And it’s not just the big picture, but the small things that make it even more svelte – like the door handle ensconsed in a speedy arrow design. The hexagonal grill is one of the most elegant grills I have seen and just seamlessly flows into the design of the car.

2. Beauty has to be inside out!

A lot of thinking has gone into the interiors of this car. 22 utility spaces have been carved out to store knick knacks, water, tablets, coffee etc. A cooled glove-box is also provided. I can’t tell you how useful this cooled glove box is when on a long road trip..especially with a baby!

A dash of color of the body of the car embellishes the airvents and certain areas of the front of the car interiors making it feel livelier.

Little things but felt good that I as a driver didn’t have to keep elbowing the person sitting next to me with all the elbow room there is!

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3. We can pack half our house inside

Space is important in the car. Especially while travelling with extended family on a road trip that includes babies. The boot space is spacious, but there is plenty of space left inside the car as well..enough to pack half the kid’s toys and the mom’s food baskets inside in addition to all the other suitcases packed for a month for a week’s trips.

The back and the front are quite spacious despite having a pretty good boot space and three to four people can be easily accommodated at the back seat.

4. No more wars over music

An excellent audio system developed by HARMAN has been integrated in the top end model of the car with 8 speakers. Media control buttons on the steering are an added advantage and provide much needed sanity to the driver. An innovative infotainment system with a Juke-Car app ensures that everyone in the car gets to music they want to averting many a war! “This Juke-Car app utilizes a mobile hotspot to create a virtual network and host a service for sharing list of available songs in the device. All the connected devices can view the song list on the hotspot device and place their requested song queing!”

5. I finally don’t have to be buried into google maps to find the way

The Turn by turn navigation app makes the drive to all those unknown places in the middle of nowhere far easier with audio prompts. The app also provides ETA and next steps.

6. It felt good

Now you may think I am gushing, but the drive was really really good. After 3 hours of non-stop driving, I was as fresh as I was when I left early morning. We literally glided over Speed bumps, potholes, bad roads, mudroads and no roads contributing to that easy drive experience. The eco mode and city modes of driving provide the luxury of delivering fuel economy in the horrendous city traffic to a peppy drive on good roads.

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The whole experience was truly memorable and the care that had been taken in all the little things showed. The passion and the energy of the team – the engineers, the marketing team and all the teams who spent the last three years in creating something entirely new, free of all the baggage of Tata’s previous cars, just showed. And the outcome is truly fantastic! This car is certainly not made for mediocrity! It is a fighter, and the extra mile gone into taking care of the little things that bother, will go a long mile in making this car a winner.

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Categories: Other Travel Blah | Tags: , | 14 Comments

The Tata Zica Goa Experience – Part 1

On a dreary late Thursday

I sat mulling at Excel at my bay

Looking forward to a morose weekend ahead

Of changing diapers and partying in my head

 

Until I got a call…

That changed my plans all

Ting Ting went my phone

A telemarketer I thought, not someone of my own

 

Hi there..I am calling from Indiblogger

Would you like to come to Goa on an all expenses paid tour?

I jumped out of my seat

My mind agog, all upbeat

 

Tata Motors beckoned me

Come to Goa and see

The new Tata Zica

Come and ride it Chica!

 

Saturday dawned and I was on my way

Sadly I reached a little late due to some delay

Excellent Tata hospitality awaited me

Where everything was generous and all free!

 

The Alila Diwa Goa so serene and calm

A breeze, a flutter, the salty mist, such a balm

Set amidst green plantations and many a tree

I never felt so alive, so free

 

And now for the best part

The closest to my heart

I finally met the bloggers out there

Did I meet them earlier. Not really but who cares!

 

A new bunch of people I thought I knew

Only because of their blogs and twitter. It’s true.

Friendships were forged in the twinkling of seconds

At the end of the 2 days many were friends for life I reckon

 

Beauty, Lifestyle, Fashion, Travel,

Personal, Technology, Food all unraveled

An eclectic group of bloggers

Finally met the faces behind the handles and verbal wars

 

The Tata motors mascot , Lionel Messi, Made of Great

Integrity and talent who everyone loved to adulate

Was introduced to us in a funky locker room of fame

With lockers and Tshirts in our name

 

As we waited with our breath bated,

Suddenly, the locker room split and doors parted

To reveal the all new Tata Zica

In its flaming sunburst orange glory

 

With features explained by the passionate Tata team

It looked like a mighty big win

Sleek silhouette, a svelte body, and features galore

The Car looked gorgeous all ready to explore

 

Alas, we would have to wait till next day

On the lanes of Goa to drive her away

But a party awaited us next

Where we could just relax

 

The #fantastico cocktail party was in full swing

Where dresses were pretty and full of bling

White, pink, Purple and black

And heels went clickety clack

 

Where pretty cocktails and mocktails flowed

While talented singers went to take a bow

Our talented bloggers crooned

And karaoked the night under the stars and the moon

 

Thus the day ended

And so does this narration

But wait, the Tata Zica ride is what made the whole trip so special!

 

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Well, that’s all the cheesy poetry (If I can dare call a bunch of rhymes that) I can write..

One week past the Goa weekend, and my mind still wanders to the fantastic(o) time it was. Tata motors and Indiblogger had taken a lot of care in organizing the event and kudos for pulling it all off so seamlessly to make for a brilliant experience.

And if the lines were too cheesy up there (half of which I published as an afterthought), here is the experience in a few lines of the easier to write prose 🙂

The MadeofGreat tag line for the new car being launched is pretty apt and I am going to call it the MadeofGreat trip in my next lines, was one of the best trips I have had for a long time. It was all the more special because it was with people who barely knew each other, but knew each other really well because of their words, and thoughts through prolific blogs.

The Alila Diwa resort which was our home for the two days that we were there, is a fantabulous property set on lush greens. The sprawling property has green views everywhere you look and calming canals and fountains that are indeed very pleasing to the eye and a far cry from the urban jungle we were coming from.

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We started off our Goa day with a refreshing beach sojourn. This was followed by high tea and an introduction to all the lovely bloggers who were present. The Tata Motors team, who were indeed very hospitable every minute that we were there, then ushered us into the funky locker room complete with individual lockers assigned to us with #MadeofGreat merchandise just for us.

Celebrity VJ, Cyrus Sahukar, who was the ‘head coach’ kept us entertained as we heard the story of their journey to making this car truly great and worthy of Lionel Messi, the star footballer mascot.

The wow moment was certainly when the locker room walls parted and the car was revealed in all its sunbursting orange glory. The excitement was palpable as we all enthusiastically went to explore the car and we couldn’t wait for the next day when we would finally get to drive the car and see if it fared as well in the drive as it looked.

All in all, a great day culminating with an exciting cocktail party complete with Karaoke with talented singers in the group regaling us all.

Stay tuned for more on the car and the fantastic drive the next day.

Categories: Other Travel Blah | 11 Comments

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