Product/Service review


The new Tata Tigor experience

Some readers of this blog may know that I really enjoy driving (to the extent of taking part in rallies and driving at F1 circuit etc) and I quite enjoy trying out the latest cars out there.

Recently I was invited by Indiblogger and Tata motors to try out their latest addition – Tata Tigor (it was yet to be officially launched then) and they chose a few handpicked bloggers from all over India, for the 2 day soiree. I was quite excited at the prospect because there were a whole lot of fun activities as well as a trip to the Transport museum in store.

So off I set one early afternoon in March to the 1AQ gallery. This gallery is perfect for holding a variety of events what with its manicured lawns with quirky statues and plush interiors. Over sumptuous lunch curated by my friends at Food talk india and catered by Olive kitchen and bar, all the bloggers got a chance to interact with each other, watch lot of interesting performances, try one’s hand at spray painting graffiti, explore the extraordinary coffee blend prepared specifically for us and watch & gulp mesmerising molecular gastronomy appetisers.

Perfumery at 1AQ

Sample perfumes gifted to us

Styling area at 1AQ

So we all got to try out a range of perfumes with notes ranging from woody, to fruity and we were presented whatever suited us best. Next up, at the styling section, were lined up a whole lot of accessories along with the playbooks for various “looks”. I chose the 60’s style look. I was accessorised with a scarf (that matched the colour scheme of Tigor) and a pair of hoops. 

 

The “stage” where performances were held

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While we watched the performances we could try out the specific coffee blend made for this event. It consisted of 2 coffees from south India and one Brazilian variety. Overall it tasted super awesome. We were given sachets of the same to try at leisure and I must say I am hooked.

 

Coffee blend made specifically for the Tata Tigor event

Healthy salads

Molecular gastronomy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The spray painting graffiti wall

Parmesan buttermilk explosion with lime gel, dehydrated basil snow, faux tomato, avocado mousse

Plethora of desserts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lunch was to be eaten with the eyes and the mouth. There was a whole lot to watch and marvel at apart from wolfing down. The healthy salads, the molecular gastronomy shindig , the curated coffee and of course a plethora of desserts – left everyone satisfied. All this was brought to a plate near you by Olive kitchen and bar. While we had our lunch we watched some upbeat performances. There was a spray painting wall where everyone was encouraged to paint an adjective that came to their mind when they saw the new Tata Tigor.

 

 

Then we were all interviewed by a camera crew and took some group pics , had a lot of fun and left for our place of stay for the next day – Andaz, Delhi. Once we reached Andaz , we were allotted rooms on a sharing basis (now THAT was a first for me because I haven’t had the experience of sharing a room with a stranger and wouldn’t choose  it if it was left to me)!   We signed indemnification documents, copies of driver licenses et al – everything in preparation for the drive early next morning (6:30 am). The hotel rooms were nice, though not quite sound proof. We were welcomed with gujiya and a custom made chocolate for the event.

Welcome Gujiya

Customised chocolate

The room with a view

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After settling down all the bloggers congregated for the pre-unveiling of the Tata Tigor. It was done with much fanfare.

Pre-Unveiling of Tata tigor

Pre-unveiling of Tata tigor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the pre-unveiling, we were introduced to the special twitter studio arranged for us that day where attendees could create videos or GIFs of themselves and share instantly. For the drive I was put together by 2 other women (one of whom who drove) and the 3 of us made some funny GIFs at the twitter studio, with the two “driving” women  pretending to drive and the other one sitting it out 🙂

Twitter studio

 

 

 

 

It was an early night for us because the next morning we all were to actually drive the brand new Tata tigor – both petrol and diesel variants. The ETD was 6:30am. So we all got ready, grabbed a very quick small bite (can’t really eat this early in the morning) and we were flagged off by representatives of Tata motors.

 

 

Flag off by Tata motors

The car was really comfortable to drive. Packed with modern features, we had a navigation route already set for us to follow. The route actually crossed my place in gurgaon and had it been on the way back, I would have certainly gone home :). The new Tata tigor is very stylish and comfortable. It is neither a sedan nor a hatchback and hence termed “styleback”. Though looks wise, space wise, and comfort wise, it is nothing short of a sedan. Measurement wise it is barely short of 4 metres. It is very easy to manoeuvre and has loads of boot space. On our drive lot of sound bytes were taken by the camera crew following us. Somewhere half way to the Transport museum at tauru, I exchanged seats and tried my hand at driving. The car has got a lot of power even for the diesel variant. What REALLY stands out are the 8 yes EIGHT Harman speakers in the car! All the more reason for a peppy drive. Tata motors has especially focussed on the car being stylish and it really does look it, going by the way the car was getting stared at during our drive. The colour we were driving (copper dazzle) was also quite eye catching. The car has a lot of little nooks and crannies for additional storage across the interiors. The brakes are also pretty impressive, I specifically checked out the braking system by applying sudden brakes. Soon we reached the Transport museum which actually is pretty close to Gurgaon.

 

There was a food truck waiting for us to serve us proper breakfast on our arrival. We grabbed a quick bite and explored the museum. It is a vast space. There are 4 floors full of lot of quirky stuff, historical stuff and basically has everything to do with transport.  And all of it is owned by  one person! Here’s a brief glimpse of the museum.

Transport Museum, Tauru

Transport museum – Tauru

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a car installation

Bajaj – a cult phenomenon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coin car – covered with 1 rupee coins!

Pakistani truck art

Art installation made with discarded parts of a cycle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A glider hanging at the museum

The reception desk made with a Morris Mini and a chair made with a Vespa scooter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The All new Tata Tigor styleback has been launched at the starting price of 4.7 Lakhs.  The Tigor is very well priced and suited for  Indian families that wants to upgrade from an entry level hatchback but still get a bigger car out of it.

 


Review : My Vistara Airlines & premium lounge experience

Vistara Airlines is a New Delhi-based joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines. It marked its second anniversary of operations on 9 January 2017. However I had not used their services till date. Knowing the quality of Singapore airlines, which I consider the best in the world (out of all the ones I have tried), I really wanted to try out flying with Vistara Airlines. My expectations were based on whatever I had experienced with SIA. So when Vistara Airlines reached out to me for a women’s day extravaganza, It took me absolutely no time to get on board. Literally 😉

Vistara has recently launched flights to Amritsar and Leh. So on this women’s day, I was invited to join a group of excited women to try out the Delhi<->Amritsar sector, which included a 3D/2N all inclusive stay for all of us at a plush property (More about this property later). Some women from this group came on the inaugural flight from Bombay<->Amritsar (It’ll always be Bombay for me 🙂 ).

Checkin experience with Vistara airlines

So on 8th March, I reached the T3 terminal, Delhi to board my Vistara flight to Amritsar. I had already done the web checkin and chosen a window seat. So all I had to do was drop my baggage and collect boarding passes. The counter specifically meant for this was busy with one confused passenger. The normal checkin counters were fairly empty, so I got my boarding passes from one of them. The staff was smartly dressed, friendly and swift in their job. I proceeded from here to the Signature lounge of Vistara airlines.

Signature lounge of Vistara Airlines

The Vistara Signature lounge is the only lounge in India, that exists near the boarding gates at the airport, more specifically Vistara’s boarding gates. All others exist in the inner area. So it was a relief to know that one won’t have to trudge all the way to the gates after having a relaxing period. Entry to the lounge is complimentary for Vistara’s Business Class customers, Club Vistara Platinum and Gold members. . Premium Economy Class customers can also use the lounge by purchasing a lounge access pass for INR 1,000 only.

Vistara Signature lounge at T3, Delhi

Seating area at Vistara Signature Lounge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facilities available at SIgnature lounge of Vistara Airlines

The signature lounge packs a lot of stuff into the limited space. This lounge has a dedicated business centre with seamless connectivity, including tele/fax and video conferencing, reserved meeting space, Exclusive VIP room, A ‘Do Not Disturb’ room, Reading zone for the bookworms, Buffet area, a Fancy shmancy bar, standing counters and of course a large seating area with storage and Laptop charging points/USB Ports at every seat! The charging capability is a boon for on the go travellers.

Standing counters

Reading area

Bar at Vistara Signature lounge

 

Mocktails at the bar

The bar at Vistara Signature lounge

Comfy seating

Individual seats with charging points & USB ports

Decor matching the brand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meals at Signature Lounge of Vistara airlines

The meals are complimentary for all the guests who have access to the lounge. There is a lot of choice in the buffet. Ranging from quick bite that can be grabbed immediately to proper meal that can be had leisurely.  Both vegetarian & non-veg options are there. The meals are a mix of Indian and Continental cuisines.

Vistara also offers street food of India at the lounge, which is typically difficult to serve on  flights; this includes Bhel Puri and Golgappe. There are 4 cycles of the menu every day (Breakfast, High Tea, Lunch, Dinner) . They also have a snacks bar and well a “real bar” :). As of now, The liquor license is awaited and will be there soon. I quickly grabbed some Thai curry with rice before my flight was to depart.

The In flight experience

The flight was very comfortable. The economy class leg room was surprisingly a lot! It didn’t feel claustrophobic and my knees didn’t knock on the front seat. The seat was pretty comfortable without having to recline it. I didn’t have to hunch into a convex shape while getting into my seat because there was enough space between two rows. Usually with other airlines, one can simply not stand straight due to lack of space. Here are a few images that describe the experience.

 

Our cabin crew

Sharklets on the wings

Snack during the flight

In-flight magazine

Didn’t get to sit in them but Business class seats do look comfy!

Economy class sits have PRETTY good leg space!

Our cabin crew, pilots and some of my colleagues

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the return flight, we were seated in Premium economy seats. The seats were of course very spacious. The service included a hot towel and a juice box apart from whatever is offered in the Economy class. The meal was same as that in Economy class because it was a very short duration flight (45 minutes). For other sectors meals are more pronounced.

Leg space in premium economy seats

Seats in Premium Economy easily span more than 1 windows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I sure look forward to flying Vistara again!

 

Tweet: Review of @airVistara Airlines & their signature lounge - via @twilightfairy #travel https://ctt.ec/68bfs+

 


The Orb – One of the most visually striking lounge bars in Delhi

Recently Radisson Blu Plaza, Delhi Airport, opened ‘The Orb’ – a new and very visually striking lounge Bar.

With the opening of  this avant-garde lounge bar, Delhi now has a new venue for all fun loving people and party animals.  They have an exquisite collection of innovative cocktails, sumptuous relishes, and live events that add to one’s evenings.

Paneer Mushroom Pinwheel, mint mayo, tomato chilli marmalade_

Paneer Mushroom Pinwheel, mint mayo, tomato chilli marmalade_

Phuket Chicken'- green onion, wild ginger, thai chilli

Phuket Chicken’- green onion, wild ginger, thai chilli

Oreo Cookie Baileys Cheese Bar, mango & blue berry sauce

Oreo Cookie Baileys Cheese Bar, mango & blue berry sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Achari Fish Tikka, pickled baby shallots, lemon mint foam _

Achari Fish Tikka, pickled baby shallots, lemon mint foam _

Hazelnut Mousse Fudge, chocolate ganache

Hazelnut Mousse Fudge, chocolate ganache

Roasted Beetroot Salad with goat cheese, orange & caramelized walnut

Roasted Beetroot Salad with goat cheese, orange & caramelized walnut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Orb has an extensive cocktail menu, and enough live performances to keep you coming back for more. Their drinks menu has a lot of variety unlike many other places and includes everything from signature cocktails, Martinis, Jagerbomb, Tequila, single malts, blended whisky, vodka, gin, rum, champagne and various wines. Basically one is spoilt for choice.

The cocktails have rather intriguing names like Chamba Booti, Khopdi, Masala T-Knee, Rajkumar, and Orb Marry.

Apple cinnamon

Apple cinnamon

khopri

khopri

12 slaps

12 slaps

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange Caprioska

Orange Caprioska

Orb Mary

Orb Mary

Reflection

Reflection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

True to its meaning, “Orb”, that means a sphere or more literally a spherical celestial body, the lounge bar showcases exactly that. The interiors are very trendy and lit up in shades of blue. At The Orb, the seating is arranged around a circular table, which is a very welcome change from regular linear bars. The ambience is also very “electric”. It is not a very big bar and with its circular core,one can feel like one’s partying on an island in the middle of a hotel. Apart from the live DJ performances every evening, there are mid-week blues (on Wednesday) and special performances every Friday night. In the month of March, the line-up of artists includes Soham Mallick, Namrata Nath, Jive Can, Anahita Dawar amongst others.

THE ORB

THE ORB

Keeping in mind the rising spate of crimes against women at venues that serve alcohol, The Orb guarantees  a fun and safe outing. The management and staff has been trained & sensitised to extra care for women.

Images in this post have been provided by Radisson Hotels.

Here are some more details of this bar

Address

Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport, National Highway 8, Near IGI Airport, Mahipalpur, New Delhi

Phone number

26779191, 2677 9045, 9899115508.

Social media

Twitter, Fb, Instagram, Youtube

Cost

₹3,500 for two people (approx.) with alcohol

Opening hours

 5 PM to 1 AM



Fight demonetisation woes with AxisPay UPI app

These days everyone is going through a tough time receiving money or sending money, thanks to the Vaahiyaat demonetisation rules imposed on us. Why vaahiyaat, is stuff for another post. However, till the time the instant removal of 86% of our cash flow is dealt with slowly and painfully, we can surely ease the pains we go through every day to pay for various services and goods.

Going Cashless can be done in many ways. Apart from paying through credit or debit cards and mobile wallets, one such option is UPI apps. UPI stands for Unified Payments Interface , a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund transfers & merchant payments – all into one. This system was launched by NPCI (National payments corporation of India) in April’16. Now all banks have started sharing their particular UPI enabled apps from August’16 onwards.

In this post, I will share some details about the Axis Bank UPI app, called AxisPay that I had the pleasure of using and experiencing lately. Axis bank was one of the earlier banks to come out with their app. It is very simple to use. Instant payments can be made vis this app, by using a Virtual Payment Address (VPA). One does not need to remember beneficiary details like account number, IFSC etc. Just Send money or Ask for money using a Virtual Payment Address. 

Here’s a very quick 20 second intro of what all Axis Bank’s Axis pay UPI app can do

And here’s how to do it.

 

 

As you can make out, the steps are really simple. No matter which bank account you have, using this app, you can send payments directly to any other bank account holder as long as they are using any UPI app (similar to withdrawing cash from any ATM irrespective of bank account). So here are the steps.

  1. Download the Axis Pay app from Google Play Store (iOS version coming out soon)
  2. Select your preferred bank account
  3. Create a unique ID (example – yourname@axisbank)
  4. Verify your account & set a PIN

 

To send money:

  • Select your & receiver’s unique ID
  • Enter amount
  • Send money by entering PIN

To receive money:

  • Select your & sender’s unique ID
  • Enter amount
  • Receive money when sender approves transaction on his app

The best thing about making payments through the Axis Pay UPI app is that the money doesn’t go to a wallet with an additional step (and some charges) to transfer it into your bank account. It also uses two factor authentication, keeping it absolutely secure. As compared to NEFT, RTGS etc, this mode of money transfer is instant and can be done 24X7X365 without any fees to use your own money. One app can be used to make payments to anyone anywhere, as long as they are using any UPI app. You don’t even need an axis bank account to be able to use the Axis bank UPI app. Besides, there’s no need to remember or fumble around for bank account numbers and IFSC codes. You can even pay merchants & even do online shopping using this app. In fact, Freecharge has partnered with Axis Bank to launch UPI enabled payment on its Android app!

So go ahead and download Axis Pay UPI app to make your life easier!

 

 


Hair today, what tomorrow! (Review)

So I took up the #happyhairchallenge from Garnier almost a month back & at that time my hair had the tendency to be like what I highlighted here!

Here’s the journey from a tendency like this –>

monica-geller1

to using this –>

IMG_20150220_220013_1

to hair like this –>

MonicaBlonde

KIDDING! No my hair didn’t change colour! 🙂

to this –> (well somewhat)

MonicaClean

After using the shampoo frequently over a period of a month, following was my experience:

In the initial days of usage, my hair would feel soft immediately after the wash and conditioning process. However once my hair would dry properly, it would look rather electrified and I had to apply hair oil each time to just settle it! (grr – see topmost image above again) So I reduced the quantity of shampoo used. I also increased the time I waited, before washing off the conditioner and the results improved considerably. No more frizz. And my hair felt “silky” & easy to maintain. I might as well add, that the conditioner bottle mentions applying it on scalp but I NEVER apply conditioner to my scalp (ever since I learnt from haircare professionals that one is not supposed to). I take some in my palms and rub it from roughly 1 inch of hair follicles to hair tips without going to the scalp. It does help in reducing hair fall because conditioner is tougher getting out of one’s hair. Also, I don’t wash my hair without applying hair oil and massaging well first. So the product hasn’t been tried on an absolutely “dry” head.

More thoughts:

Both the shampoo & conditioner have attractive & bright packaging and a pleasant fruity smell. They have a pretty good shelf life (36 months) compared to other brands. The lathering is moderate. Not too much and not too less. I personally like more lather, but as long as results are fine, this is ok too.

The conditioner bottle’s instructions mention leaving it in for 1-2 minutes, but I left it for a good 3-4 minutes before washing off (towards the later half of my experiment). I have tried leaving it for shorter but as mentioned above, it doesn’t help my hair in the least.

Previously when I had been asked for a hair evaluation by Garnier (“Which is the biggest hair problem that you face?”) Mine in decreasing order of concern, were:

  • Frizzy/Unmanageable hair
  • Rough Hair
  • Dry/Undernourished hair
  • Weak roots leading to Hair Fall
  • Split ends

After using the shampoo for a month, the rating that I have submitted to Garnier is the following:

Does your hair feel Nourished after using Triple Nutrition?* – Yes
Does your hair feel Stronger after using Triple Nutrition? * – No
Has your hairfall reduced after using Triple Nutrition? * – No
Have your split-ends reduced after using Triple Nutrition? * – NA
Does your hair feel smoother and softer after using Triple Nutrition? * – Yes
Is your hair more manageable/easy to detangle after using Triple Nutrition? * – Yes
Does your hair look shinier after using Triple Nutrition? * – Yes
Rate the Fragrance of Triple Nutrition * – Love it!
Would you recommend Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition? * – Yes , can. In this price range.
Will you buy Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition? * – May be.

Good STUFF :

  • Affordable (Rs. 135/- each).
  • Good shelf life (36 months).
  • Colourful bottle, easy to open flip cap.
  • Smells nice.
  • Smoothens hair once you get what’s right for your hair.
  • Hair detangling made easier.

BAD STUFF :

  • Does not reduce hair fall.
  • Made my hair dry and electrified till I figured out what’s right for my hair (which was after not following the instructions on the bottle) .
  • For those finicky about chemicals in your shampoo – well this is not for you.
 Rating : 3.5/5

Disclaimer: I have not been paid for this review, but I did receive the samples of the product from Garnier. This is an unbiased review of the same.