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Stories and tips to improve lifestyle. Well researched articles about health, food, profession, fitness, green living.

Off-road and On-road experience with TATA Hexa

When I got the invitation for ‘power packed, feature loaded, adrenaline pumped’ TATA Hexa #hexaexperience, I took my family along for two reasons. Firstly, I gave up travelling long distance on road because of excruciating pain due to arthritis; and secondly, my family is better at judging the features of a car. We decided that if the off-road rides were too bumpy and rough,  then my family will continue with the ride, while I watch them from the arena.

Tata Hexa

Hexaexperience Centre

The ambience at the #Hexaexperience centre at Gurugram, was inviting. There was only reasonable crowd who had come seriously to have an #Hexaexperience. And in addition to sitting in a car driven by an expert for the off-road experience, you could also self-drive on road if you own a drivers licence.

tata hexa

Special ride for Kids!!!

When we went for the off road ride, the kids were taken for a special ride, where they were taken for a spinning, speed drive and a little of the bumpy rides, excluding some of the extremely rough hurdles. Kids returned smiling, and a small complaint that ‘Uncle did not take us on all the hurdles’.

Tata Hexa

Attractive Exterior

While waiting for our turn for the off-road experience we could see four Wild Hexa speeding and spinning on the dusty ground. The six-seater TATA Hexa is huge and attracts attention with the grand exterior.

tata hexa

Designed for Hills and Sports

The Seats were extremely comfortable, and there was enough leg space with seat belts for all the seats. We were taken for the rough and tough drive, with sudden breaks applied at close intervals. The car went spinning fast three time, and then we crossed a huge muddy pit with utter grace and elan. Then we had a ride up an artificial hill, a hill hold and a hill descent. Hexa has special features for Hill hold and Hill Descent control.

Tata Hexa

Amazing Wheel Balance

Another amazing hurdle is balancing TATA Hexa on three, 19″ Machined-cut Alloy, Wheels. While sitting inside you do not feel the jerk, but when you watch the video here you will understand the adrenaline feel of the vehicle.

Then we went for the on-road drive. There was Air Conditioner for all the the three row, so the ride was quite comfortable. TATA Hexa got Sports Mode with Race Car Function, by which the car races at amazing speed at the same sudden breaks can be applied with relative ease, without causing discomfort to the passengers. There are a number of exclusive features for the car making it unique, state of the art and giving a tough competition to Cars like Innova Crysta.

I spent few years of my childhood abroad, hence a desi product appeals to me only if products – be it chocolates, cosmetics or electronic gadget – meet all the international standard of quality. Hexa, according to me, is absolutely abiding to the international standards of quality. Sitting inside the car I felt like the product could give tough fight to any foreign brand. And in addition during the three hours that I spent at the #Hexaexperience centre, I forget about my pain. I feel TATA Hexa is absolutely suitable for long rides for people suffering from pains like me. The pricing of the Car is said to be between the range of 12 lakh INR to 18 lakh INR.

Tata Hexa

In addition to the #Hexaexperience, there was also a dog show for adoption of abandoned dog. There was also the food corner with amazing food. The free coffee served at the counter was one of its kind. The coffee first looked like black coffee, and on stirring with the spoon the creamy milk got mixed and the taste is still there at the tip of my tongue.

TATA is known for quality be it steel, coffee, tea, coffee or cars. Hence Hexa will surely set new standard for Cars in India.

The Greek and Cypriot connection of a Bollywood hit song

If we search for the origin of any product, we will find that from potatoes and onions to coconut and tapioca, everything has a foreign origin. Civilization has kept evolving, and kept moving from one place to the another, so we have relics of Mesopotamia in Mohenjo daro and vice versa.

Do we need to criticise someone, and brand them copycat, if their Indian work looks like a copy of an Arabic work or a Western work. During a discussion of his book ‘The Country of First Boys’, Amartya Sen says that there was constant borrowing, quoting and referring to each others works in the ancient cultures by the Indians, Greeks and Arabs. Hence no culture can be said to be bred is a vacuum, on the other they have been nurtured by borrowing and adopting the good things from other cultures.

Today our lifestyle is a subtle mix of the oriental and occidental, very difficult to decipher where the influence of one culture ends and the other begins.

The art of borrowing from other cultures and making it suitable and enjoyable for the Indian Soil comes quite naturally for us. Some of our great artistes were so effective at translation and adaptation that the copy sounds better than the original. Now with the advance in technology public is getting copies of the original works, which makes them doubt the authenticity of the Wonderful Bollywood Hit Song they enjoyed for decades.

A great music composer was criticised for copying foreign music; an allegation which was hard to digest for the fans. In this age of social media, proving the allegation right, the original song by Demis Roussos which inspired Mehabooba Mehbooa in Sholay, is viral especially on whatsapp.

After listening to the original song ‘Say you love me’, by Demis Roussos, I was left in a confusion which was the original and how to decide which was better. Both musicians have left a mark of originality and essence of their culture in the songs. To be more precise, Demis Roussos, ‘Say you love me’ was not his top work, on their other hand Mehbooba Mehbooba is an all time hit of Bollywood.

Interesting, Demis Roussos composed the music based on a Cypriot folk Song.

Listen to all the three songs shared below, and may be you can find a connection this song has with another culture, proving that the world is round, and we have always been borrowing and sharing our cultural values with others.

Mehbooba Mehbooba

Mehbooba Mehbooa, in the Sholay, picture in 1974, was composed by Bappi Lahiri, and sung by RD Burman. Bappi Lahiri, according to some articles, has said he has sometimes borrowed music.

Cypriot Song

This is a video of an artiste, singing, Ta Rialia, which is said to be the original folk song, which was used by Demsi roussos for ‘Say you love me’. Cypriots are Greeks, who settled in Cyprus.

Demis Roussos

Demis Roussos was a Greek Musician,  influenced by the Cyrpriot music. Though  ‘Say you love me’ which is believed to be released in 1972, may not be his best works, Bollywood lovers cannot ignore the similarity with the Bollywood hit song Mehbooba, Mehbooba.

Indian Standard time or Singapore Standard Time

The only time I went on a group trip was on a Singapore-Indonesia tour ten years ago.  It was arranged by a travel agent and there were atleast 20 families in the group. A friend took all responsibility of the trip, so we hardly had any worries except to do all the shopping about the trip and brag with friends and relatives. In those day very few people went on international tours, so we felt proud.

At a destined time we reached an assigned spot to take the Tourist bus to Kochi Airport. After Picking up friends at various points we bagan the 2 hour road trip. We enjoyed a enjoyable ‘picnic’ trip to the airport, singing and joking. At the airport also we enjoyed 3 hours of masti, as we had an agent to take care of the paper works, we only had to enjoy the trip.

Most of our friends were first time travellers so when the flight took off there were  humorous experiences; one 25 year old guy cried for his Mom.

Everything was fine until we reached the Singapore Airport. Then we were ‘handed over’ to a Singaporean Guide, I thing her name was Mary. Then we understood why Singapore is much ahead of ‘time’.

Mary was particular about time unlike we Indians. In India we reach a place atleast an hour after the designated time. The only person I know to be punctual is Big ‘B’ – Amitabh Bachchan.  Mary took us around on a tourist bus to tourist destinations like the Mirlions and Botanical Garden. While we de-board the bus she gives us strict instruction to come back at a sharp timing ; say for instance 4:00 PM.

Most of the time we all messed up with the timing. We used to get even half an hour late and then Mary got even more strict. She said next time she will not wait for anyone and just move on.

We had to obey because non of us had a local SIM, so she was our boss for the trip.

The next day we were all on time and Mary praised us for mending our manners. From then on she used to say “come back at Singapore Standard Time and not Indian Standard Time”

Next day we went to Sentosa Island, Singapore Zoo, Chinatown and various other places.  We saw the four different ethnic groups – Chines, Malaya, Indian and other staying together and working in unison for the betterment of their own self and of the country. All religious groups Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam stay together in harmony.

Singapore is like a well kept home, not a single piece of paper or a bit of dust could be found anywhere. All the cars were less than 15 years old so they shined like new cars. And above all the same water was used in the wash room and for drinking. You can take water from the wash room and prepare tea.

By the end of the tour Mary became friendly and she learned a few malayalam words and promised to visit Kerala very soon. We bought some tokens to remember the Trip.

Finally we were handed over to the Indian Guide at the Airport, we were much relieved because we could now follow the Indian Standard time. Just like at the beginning of the trip we were dropped home from Kochi Airport by Bus.

We came back with lots of memories and learning . If we follow Singapore Standard Time (Punctuality) we can have success in life and we can contribute a lot to our society.

 

Remembering Indelible Strokes of Cartoonist Toms

Cartoonist Toms

I do not know Cartoonist Toms well though I like his old cartoons. Thought provoking humour at its best and which would stand the test of time. There are some who makes you think and some who makes you laugh, but very few who could do both…I remember my Professor once pointing my views to the dog in the cartoons; to check the actions and reactions of the tiny dog in each situation.  The finesse in even the smallest of details……. Every frame filled with thoughts but yet with a few strokes. The pen has stopped but the ink will remain indelible and will continue to spread for generations………..

About the Author: ManuManu Varghese Stephen is the CEO of Trade Integre Ltd, UK. He loves to work with people to help them achieve their full potential, be it a graduate student get a dream job in the Big 4 OR a Company with absolutely no history or experience with their new service launch to become the leader among their competitors in less than 6 months. In his motivation talks he often uses Boban and Molly stories by Cartoonist Toms, to inspire the listeners

Saptaparni tree – Sweet Smell; Sweetens Season

The volume of green canopy, covering a large area of land, makes the district park different from the parks in the residential area. The hue and scent of the park changes with the the changing season. In summer the neem trees are bright and full of life. In rainy season the park become greener as the dust from the foliage is washed away by the rain and the grass grows taller. Now the autumn is here and the trees circulate the cool breeze with a tinge of perfume of their flowers. 

I associate the autumn season in Delhi with the ‘Saptaparni’ tree (Alstonia scholaris) also called White Cheesewood, Milkwood Pine, Blackboard Tree and Devil’s Tree. Residential areas have blackboard tree lined on either side of the road. While passing through the roads in the evenings, the cool breeze scented with the strong, sweet smell of the blackboard flowers, soothes the mind. The beautiful smell is a pleasant companion for the festive fervor that is associated with October/November months. 

According to records, the saptaparni was brought from the Himalayas and planted in residential areas in Delhi in the 1940’s. A tree that grows more than 30m in the himalayan forest has a stunted growth in Delhi. 

In some places the saptaparni tree is also known as devil’s tree. There is a superstition that  witches reside on the tree; and the enticing smell is used by the witch to woo passerby’s, so that she can drink their blood.

For me the saptaparni is a natural air freshener that sweetens the atmosphere in the bright and colourful festive season of Diwali and Dusshera. The saptaparni also heralds the coming of the winter season, which is the most favourite season of the year for the delhiites.