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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tiger reviews Renault Lodgy

"Looks bulky", I told myself when I saw the new baby from Renault for the first time. She had come to give us a taste of her speed and was standing in front of The Leela Palace at Goa. I love any new vehicle and this was especially enticing as it had just rained and some little droplets were hanging on to her. There was an entire fleet of 10 vehicles and we got the most powerful one with 6-gears to test out.

The first few minutes I was trying to figure out how she would respond to my finicky fidgety approach while trying out the shifting of gears and adjusting the seat height, angle of the steering wheel and fixing the indoor temperature and the music system (touch screen).

Once we got off the road from Leela and went on to try the driving at the main road I could feel the power of the machine. The MPV segment’s new baby from the Renault family had it packed well under the hood. I was amazed at the dexterity it could maneuver the turns and the wet paths on the rainy Goan roads. Well... while I can go on and on what I tried, let me tell you what comes as a package when you pick up a Renault Lodgy.

Control: I tried doing some stunts that the Renault team wouldn’t have agreed but ya… I have tried. The vehicle is under control when making sharp turns, does well in slopes when climbing up an incline. It also does well when braking suddenly. Though their reports say it is the best when it comes to the coverage of distance while braking, I had no reason to doubt. The ABS + EBD + Brakeassist, rear defogger, airbags and all the other security features makes you comfortable when with family.  

Real estate: The best feature was the space available in it to pack so many things and have the whole family, extended family and some luggage for picnic and drive off. The air conditioning was powerful too and with vents out at the third seat, the cooling was superb. We were around five people in the vehicle along with some stuff and still could be cooled properly at the first point. The boot space is amazing. What did I like here? The two tone dashboard, leather wrapper steering wheel, a fine looking 3 panel instrument cluster, leather upholstery, a built in medinav system with colored reverse camera display, roof mounted dual AC and electrically adjustable rear view mirrors, central locking, key-less entry...  

Comfort: Apart from the height adjustable seat belts, seat belt reminder, door ajar warning, impact sensing unlock, speed sensitive door lock, a rear wiper & defogger and front fog lamps the Lodgy was comfortable and there was no noise! Coming to noise, it was pretty silent despite all the rush and rain outside. The acoustics were done neatly and the music system with its touch screen option along with the Bluetooth connectivity to take a call and dial was superb handy. Giri tried calling his wife and we checked the functionality. The buttons for the call handling are right behind the steering wheel and could have been better if connected to the steering itself but that was handy too.

The vehicle is prepared to match the Indian roads when it comes to humps and speed breakers and with a considerable amount of weight has good clearance to handle the challenges. I am particularly impressed with the suspension and it was after all a family car with a specific need. 

Looks: The size isn’t big when you actually look at it that way and can be used comfortably in city traffic. The design is impressive with a lot of chrome work running around it and the arrow head hind lights were cool. The reverse park-assist camera and the proximity signal would come in handy especially when you are in a fix to find parking space.

I would have loved it if it had come in black but the Royal Orchid was close enough. Six more interesting colors make your choice easy. The gear box is a bit shifty and you should get used to it soon. I have a fairly good rating to it for the comfort of driving a really biiiig car and Renault has everything you need in the Lodgy. 

If you are in a big family and love traveling long distances every week or take frequent trips, this is the best you can opt for especially being the pocket friendly option. Renault Lodgy has been launched in India with an introductory price range of INR 8.19 to 11.79 Lakhs (ex-showroom in New Delhi) which I believe is very competitive for its features.

Check out Giri's review for more technical version or Renault Lodgy website.

Rating: 4/5 (The vehicle gets about 3.5-4/5 but when you look at the cost and the product offering it gets 4/5)

Verdict: Definite buy.

I was a part of the #LiveLodgycal Drive by in association with Renault India.

Some of the pics and video are from Giri.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Blues: Dare to dream

Let it be very simple. Let it be big. Let is be difficult. Let it be anything you think you want to do. May be it is too tough to do or too difficult to achieve but if you have it in you and pursue it, make it your dream. A dream worth living for. A dream to achieve and you will find ways to do it. But the first step is the toughest to take. It is a big leap. Dare to dream and you have already started off on that journey.

I have a secret to tell you and I am sure it will help you to dream and achieve it too. Have a specific dream. Specific to the color, size, brand, look and feel. It will help you make your dream better and live to see it turn to reality.

Let me give you a personal example. Years ago I had this dream of winning twin awards. Not one but two. Every time I thought of it I always had some notion that I wanted two. I always imagined I would be holding them and also remember the smile. Now I forgot the dream for sometime till I won the awards and was on stage to receive them and here is the picture. Dreams come to reality when you build foundations under them with hard work and determination. Dare to dream. Care to achieve. Want to read some success stories? Check out Talk To Tiger.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

What is your style?

For ages most of the general population have followed and worn dresses from what a select few have chosen every year. These fashion designers, masters, tailors, gurus have always looked at finding out what trends are catching up and how they can guess it before it hits the market. Some even went of elaborate plans to make a particular fashion a hit. In India Karan Johar is known to have introduced GAP hoodies and tees to the teenage audience through the film Dil Wale Dulhania Le Jayenge so much that everyone from the fruit and vegetable vendor to the guy on a Yamaha bike were wearing counterfeit tees without knowing that the original brand GAP was non-existent in India at that time!

Trends come and trends go. You stay the same! The fashion police look down upon and sneer about the choices that many people think are cool and have glorified horrible looking selection as well. I have always, reiterating the word - always, had my own fashion and have been comfortable in being so. Very few times, I liked what was being thrust on to me as a fashion trend we cannot miss and hence the style has become the same almost all these years. I am glad I did stick to a particular style that remained with me so much as I have always been photographed or seen on the same trend - my trend. 

My choice of fashion has two main reasons:
  1. Is it comfortable?
  2. Is it made from good material?
Simple huh? Well! not for many people. Some people have closets that are much bigger than the one in Chronicles of Narnia! And yet have always wondered what they should be wearing. I have heard and read a lot of people talking about the body shapes and stuff but don't you think it is too much to think of? While I always want you to be fit and healthy so you would live longer (Isn't that the idea?), I would recommend you take the trends off your chest for a while and look at life more easily and make things less complicated. Wear whatever your heart tells you to. Make sure YOU are comfortable. Don't bother about what others think. What they would say. Worry about you being presentable and being nice and don't give everything else a damn! You look best when you are happy and comfortable. Just make sure you have a smile on your face when you step out. You are mint new!

Having said that, I have had my share of suits and boots and have rocked them too. Sometimes mom wanted me to look so (on my graduation), sometimes the occasion demanded so (my wedding being one such occasion). But just can't have then every day.

So choose your fashion choices wisely and go with what you like. Choose your style. Make one that is your own, personal and close to your heart. Something you would be comfortable in and can pull off. I myself like a black tee, blue jeans and sport shoes any day, every day.

Get more fashion advice and tips from here.

“I am participating in the ‘Ready For Rewards’ activity for Rewardme in association with BlogAdda.”

Selfie with daughter

The #LiveLodgycal experience @ Blogadda

Day -12: I am on my twitter app updating myself and I suddenly see the tweet from Blogadda. Something exciting is happening and I am invited to be some of the select few. How can I say no? I decide to skip the session of RTI at my law college and jump on the bandwagon. 

The Light Liders

Day 1: It was a good day to wake up. Last night it had rained and the cool original Bengaluru weather was welcoming but the excitement was more about the hot humid Goan weather that would invite us in some time. 40 (top) bloggers from all across the country woke up early and gingerly finished their tasks and moved towards the respective airports to board Air Asia flights and headed to Goa. While the flight was uneventful, there was very high expectation in the air about what the Renault Team with their new MPV - Lodgy would have for us along with their co-conspirators - Blogadda. Now we all know the hospitality of Blogadda and we were only ready for being pampered. I personally was coming off after 72 hours work shifts and had left my little one at home and it was a promise to come back as soon as I finish my testing and review of Lodgy.

We landed on time in the little Goan airport and stepped into the arrivals lounge when the Team #LiveLodgycal were ready to receive us and we were ushered into the waiting bus and wow we had 20 more people to join us in this crazy drive. I dozed off on the bus to reach the hotel and was ready to experience the fun and the famed five star service The Leela Kempinski Beach Resort. With the floral welcome came the coconut drink and off we went to the rooms to fresh up. The evening was fun too as we were introduced to all the bloggers and the meet and greet ended with a small brief about Lodgy and the specs of the MPV. We were repeatedly reminded to have fun and not worry about the vehicle or anything else. 

The BlogAdda team were more than willing to ensure this would happen. We wanted to go to the beach but the weather played rough and it was almost impossible to walk on the beach without moon-walking. A quick dinner and a dip in the warm tub got me ready for bed but the excitement was just too high that we got up early and went off to get hands on the New Renault Lodgy. Boy this was going to be fun. 

Day 2: We were a team of four with Neha Mathur, who while not riding SUVs and MPVs cooks a mean dinner and is known for her food recipes, Hina Gujral, who has fun and frolic with food when she is not admiring the beautiful Nainital, and Giridhar the brain behind one of the top techblogs in India, and we were 'the Light Riders'. We got the higher end vehicle to tryout and we were already to ride quick and light after a filling brunch. Burp! 

The vehicle was flagged off and we zipped off on the moist Goan roads and were quickly greeted by drizzles and showers that made the driving more fun. The events planned all along with the way and we made good progress. Once we reached the Cavelossim - Assolna Bridge we had to stop and take a break. Break from tweeting, clicking pictures, tagging and retweeting and having awesome fun. The four of us had the best of times during that drive. We had Ankita to help us out with the route and it was beautiful. The view was too damn awesome. You have to stand on the edge there look at the lone fisherman in his boat under a palm hat and rain drops hitting your face and you are the only human amidst the massive plantations, flooding river and a cloudy sky. Damn it was fantastic.You got to be here to see this. And then we zoomed off to the venue – The Lalit Ashok. We went off to the beach and there were 15-20 ft high waves and a strong wind blowing at you. With all cameras being guarded all the bloggers were taking pics and strolling on the beach. My shoes got to kiss the ocean and the fun was I could click this picture. 

Soon after lunch we went on to proceed back and we convinced Archanaa to come with us to shoot the video bits while we were driving. And again we stopped to have a break at the bridge. This time the rain stopped and we were again in for some nice treat. We clicked a couple of pictures and were sitting there while others joined us and we all sat there just looking at the sun set in the horizon at his own pace. Once it sank in we pulled some stunts on the Lodgy we are not really allowed to do to see how it performs in pressure on the wet sludgy roads in rain. The vehicle performed well and I have a separate review coming up for the same. Once we reached back, I went out to do some shopping and got back to go to the beach and off to dinner and the party. 

Blogadda team was very particular in making us feel very comfortable every step of the way. We had an awesome musical night planned with Frontline, the best of the bands in Goa performing for us and the real fun started with bloggers started to take the mike and belt out smooth numbers like professionals. The highest point was when Neha clean bowled everyone with her incandescent deep voice and the whole of Bollywood came on to the floor. After a light dinner we bid good bye and went off to rest our tiring feet and had specific plans for the morning to shoot some short films on the beach. 

Now I have to mention the place specifically as they had one of the best resorts in India and we were really enjoying the hospitality. Once we rested our bodies we woke up to a hard hitting rain in the morning and yet we went off to the beach to have some fun and were joined by Santosh and Prashanth. We shot some funny videos while having too much fun, too much to be read as the cold swift rain hitting at you as you try to stand straight. We went off to the hotel, freshened up and packed and were ready to have a sumptuous breakfast and the Lodgy’s were missing but we had enough to talk about politics, food, travel, wildlife, life and philosophy. 

The flight was delayed but we had some fun waiting for it too. We reached Bangalore and traveled back with Garg Ankit, PiyushPariknnita and called it off. This was really a fun experience and it was awesome to the hilt. Thank you Blogadda for pampering us and keeping us happy, busy and engaged. It was more a fun event than 40 bloggers working for something. 

We made 45 new friends - Tina , Pranav, Atul, Manjulika, Aditi, Neha, Senthil, Rutavi, Debojyoti, Sammy, Ragini, Prateek, Murtaza, Piyush, Nirav, Madhu, Deepak, Satish, Rekha, Roshan and Omkar. Now Harish, Ankitha, my bags are packed and am ready for the next adventure. Thank you Renault and BlogAdda for everything. 

#LiveLodgycal #Peace.

I was a part of the #LiveLodgycal Drive by in association with Renault India