Monday, February 18, 2013

Another milestone! Or is it?

It's our second Wedding anniversary. What's wrong with time? Forget the "Time flies" adage, I think time is travelling in one of those Japanese bullet trains. Before you know it, you hear a "Whooshh" and that's another milestone passing by. It feels like, before I know it, I'll be a dadi/nani, recounting stories of of romance, love and commitment hamare zamaane ke, you know.

But, on a serious note, it's been a fabulous journey so far. I have been so happy at times, that I wanted to pinch myself to believe if it was true! And then there were times, when we have fought like there was no tomorrow. But we always make up. Not because we have to, but because we really want to. After a full fledged screaming match and calling each other names, we do get the feeling that the issue wasn't really worth a fight. But then, a good scream and fight here and there, doesn't hurt anyone right? In fact I feel, doing that sometimes is almost therapeutic. But yeah, you gotta underline that "sometimes", ok? And whoever says and believes that "I love you for what you are" is completely bullshit and you should know that. Spouses keep trying (mostly unsuccessfully and therapeutically ;-)) to change each other and do succeed a little. Only to be faced with a "tum badal gaye ho" a little later. Married life is full of such and many other clich├ęs. And yet, each journey is so different from the other.

H and I started ours on this day, two years ago. By far, it has been the most important, the most special and the most romantic day of my life. I had waited for it, yearned for it and was lucky enough, to get to live it.
Just like time, our equation too is changing everyday. At 2 years, I have learnt to cook, as much as a survival meal for two. Now that's an achievement if you know my disapproval for cooking. And H has learnt that to get me to cook, he has to say this in the most pleasing way, "Don't worry babes, we'll order from outside". Likewise, H hates to oil my hair (an activity which I emphasize must be carried out religiously 4 times a week). And so, I have learnt that I can almost (ALWAYS!) get it done if I top with a hot chocolate. So, there.

We both have our quirks. We love some of it. We try and change the rest. But as long as I can fit my head snugly in the nook of his arm at the end of a long day, I am not worried. I know we are moving in the right direction. Growing up. Having fun. Fighting it out. Most importantly, together.
Babes, I know you will agree to whatever I said above. If you don't, well, we can always talk it out over a cup of hot chocolate, can't we?
Hail the Bond couple! ;-)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Indica Vista D90 - Gone in 90 seconds!

And so, BlogAdda has taken product reviewing to another level altogether. And hence, I graduated from reviewing books to android apps to restaurants, to *hold your breath* reviewing a brand new car. *collars up* This was a fun filled, 350 km long vroom vroom review, done by yours truly in collaboration with BlogAdda and Tata Motors.

Once the euphoria of knowing that I was one of the few bloggers selected for this review, and that I would have the car at my disposal for 3 days, I began to think about the car (yeah, till then I was only thanking God and thinking where all I drive take the car). The first thought that crossed my mind was the taxi-car that the last Indica had been reduced to. But those thoughts were soon thwarted as soon as I lay my eyes on the All new Indica Vista D90. I drove the car almost 350 kms in 3 days and this is what I have to say about it :-)


The car's looks have been dramatically improved from the last version of Indica Vista. It's longer in the front and the back has been restyled too. It looks taller and wider, more on the lines of the bigger hatchbacks available in the market like Fiat Punto or Volkswagen Polo as compared to a Swift. Even the boot packs in more space than your regular hatchback. Thrown in is a contrasting top roof, which a novice might actually mistake for a sun roof, which it is not, but undoubtedly gives a smarter look to the car. The dual tone alloy wheels are chic and add to the style statement of the car.
A TOP (class) look !!

The interiors are pretty decent with contrasting beige and black thrown in across the seats and the dashboard. The music system is not really top notch, but you have ample variants in the market to suit your needs. The AC is pretty strong though. You have all four power windows, electronically adjustable side view mirrors and ample leg space for all passengers.

The driver's seat has a special lumbar support (a jutting out cushion for the lower back) which is a huge relief for long drives, and even otherwise. I drove the car for 2 hours at a stretch (add a massive traffic jam to that!)and seriously, I felt less tired than I would have normally.

The steering wheel is adjustable too, and comes in quite handy as my 6-ft tall husband and I, a modest 5-ft., drove the car in turns. You have steering mounted controls (with Bluetooth streaming available) using which you can easily pick up and disconnect calls while driving. Although I seriously discourage talking on the phone while driving, but this is quite a handy feature if it's really urgent and you need to take that call right away. You can also adjust the song sequence and volume from the steering controls without having to wean your concentration away from the wheel even for a second.

I found the front display showing the fuel available and the "distance you can drive till the nearest petrol pump" quite innovative. It also instantaneously shows you the mileage. We discovered how our mileage went up and down as we drove from highway to the city.

The car packs a powerful 90 PS Quadrajet engine with VGT, which basically gives you a good throttle even at lower RPMs. In layman terms, it means that the engine does not take a toll even when you are driving on a lower gear, and once you pick up speed, you have a car that's stable and eats the miles away. The manual says the maximum speed of the car is 158 kmph. I drove at 140 kmph myself and definitely felt the power of the engine, as the car just smoothly glided on the highway.

The ground clearance is good, making the car favorable for long road journeys as well as in-city driving wherein often there are some real bad stretches. The mileage is around 20 kmpl which I think is again quite decent. The driving experience was quite a breeze, as the steering is light and stable, and the engine quite powerful.

Some high points for me:

1) For the size of the car, the turning radius is smaller, and that is so welcome on our "traffic"ed roads.

2) The car has an intelligent rear wiper that starts automatically if it's raining and you put the car in reverse gear.

3) The steering mounted controls that let you take calls (via Bluetooth streaming), as well as change your playlist and adjust the volume.

4) The 90 PS engine does full justice to the car providing good power and throttle.

A few let downs':

1) There's engine noise associated with a diesel engine, although quite reduced as compared to the previous Vista. The cabin is quite immune to the outside noise though.

2) While the AC is on, you can actually smell diesel fumes which are not so welcome.

The car is priced at a decent 6 lakhs and I think it's good value for money. What tilts the odds in favor of the car are some of its features that are so practical and user friendly like the rear wiper, steering mounted controls, airbags but also the fact that you won't find these features in your regular hatchbacks. With the Vista D90, Tata has really taken the competition in the automobile market to another level with a car that's loaded with a slew of new features, an impressive body and design, without compromising on the power, performance and technology.

The car is definitely getting BIG thumbs up from me.

A few pictures as I leave you to ponder:

This review has been written as a part of BlogAdda's Sponsored Reviews.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Valentine's Day gift!

It's Valentine's week. Even though H and I are not too big on celebrating these "days", we aren't immune to them either. So, while we 'go out celebrating it in a big way, we do give each other a small-little something as a V-day gift. This time, I got mine a little earlier. A good thing, you'd say. I thought so too. And so this happened on a fine evening.

H: I got you a surprise gift.

Me: (suitably surprised) really? What's it?

H: It's a little different. You have to take a guess.

Me: uhmm..Ok. (How difficult can that be, I thought)

H: So, what do you think it is?

Me: uhmm....Chocolates?

H: No

Me: A book? (or even better, books :-))?

H: nopes.

Me: Flowers? cards? A dress?

H: No, no and NO!

Me: Ok, give me a hint..

H: It’s good to keep it with you, but bad to use it!!

Me: (confused) What kind of a show piece is that? That I can only keep it? and NOT use it!
Ok, Can I give it to a friend? And can she use it?

H: No, it's kinda harmful for everyone.

Me: What kind of a gift is that? (By this time, I was thoroughly miffed)

H: Ok, I ll give you one more hint.

Me: Sure. Go ahead

H: You will need to carry it with you all the time

Me: (Aghast)A pepper spray?

H: U got it babes!

And with that, H fished out a can of pepper spray from his bag and explained to me in detail, how it was to be used in a "situation". 
I didn't know whether to be happy or sad. I mean, it’s a good thing when your husband/boyfriend/friend/parents worry about your safety, but really? A pepper spray? Cynics would say that is a bad gift to give a woman on V-day. It kind of gives you a sinking feeling about your own well being  But now, are we still living in that age when we actually celebrate anything/any day, or for that matter, even go out of our houses feeling safe about it? 

Not only the incidence of rape cases is going higher by the day, their brutality too is lurking around a dangerous bend. The brutal rape of the Delhi medico student Nirbhaya jolted everyone out of their wits, but so what? The Govt. says the "juvenile" cannot be punished. I do not understand the logic behind this. If he was adult enough to plan and execute a rape in the most grotesque manner, how come he is not adult enough to be punished? And even if the entire nation showed their anger, and disapproval against this by coming out on the streets in full strength for almost a week and demanding a strong anti-rape law, things have hardly changed in our country. And in fact, if you have been reading the newspapers, the rapists have taken the December case as a benchmark, and brutalizing a woman while raping her is becoming a trend now.

A 19-year old girl was recently raped in the Lajpat Nagar area of New Delhi, and the rapist inserted an iron rod in her mouth. You can read about it here
Another minor gang raped in Jalandhar (details)
This trend seems to be catching on worldwide. Recently, there was a brutal rape case reported in South Africa. You may want to read the details at your own risk.

Gifting a pepper spray to your woman on V-day might not be the most romantic idea ever, but it does show that our men are as scared of our safety as we are. He might tell me sometimes that I act paranoid, but deep down I guess, he understands. He knows he cannot be with me 24*7. There will be so many times in a single day that I will be alone in the house, or alone on the streets. Words of caution and advice are no longer a woman's shield. It's sad that humanity has stooped down to such a level. Women ventured out of the house to become independent, and take the society and nation forward in terms of development. Little did she know, certain men looked at it in a completely opportunistic way.

As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. I think we are living in those desperate times. Where women, apart from looking after a household, working alongside men in MNCs, bearing children for them, will also have to learn self-defense to be able to defend her honor. Until then, maybe the gifting trends on Valentine's day will change. The next thing you know, your luxurious spa voucher will be replaced by a form enrolling you in martial arts. But so what, isn't it all, still about Love? 
*All images sourced from Google

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Love and marriage!

Quote: “Match for 6”-31 yrs(luks 29), H’som PB Kh Boy,xtrmly well stld in M.Navy. Lkng 4 B’Ful Shrt Educated, frm High Status,Cltd Fly. Pls cntct with fl lnght foto only.” Unquote.

Greek? No, that, in fact, is English. This is a recent ad published in a matrimonial column. Decoded it says that a six foot tall, 31 year old Punjabi (Khatri) man, who is extremely well settled in the Merchant Navy is looking for a beautiful, short, educated girl, who belongs to a cultured family with a high status. Interested candidates are to contact him with a full length photo only.

Note how he is looking for a “short” girl.

Love and marriage – how well do they go together? Do they at all? Do you think someone like this man, who is looking for a short girl to marry has love on his mind as furthermost in a marriage? Doubtful.

Consider this song….Love and marriage by Frank Sinatra. He sings about how love and marriage - they go together like a horse and carriage. And according to him, you can’t have one without the other. Sinatra is outdated, as are his views –in present day society. We are all about “instant make-out, instant break ups” as quoted by Anushka Sharma’s character in Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

I am the brunt of many a caustic remark when I sit down on a Sunday to peruse the matrimonials. No I am not looking for an H’some Boy who is “extremely well settled” with a large income. I read them because of the sheer incredulity that overwhelms me when I come across ads that I have quoted above. I have even come across ads that ask for women who are educated up to the 12th standard only. They do get specific don’t they?

Relationships are a farce now. Everyone wants tailor made people for a specific purpose. No one is willing to compromise and adjust to another person. Thus the instant breakups happening all over town.

People are evidently getting married for the wrong reasons – if they insist they want a person who is less educated than them then something is horrifyingly wrong about the mindset of today’s youth.

I do believe that the days of yore had more integrity, yet I am equally sure that the seeds of the present situation of society were sowed then. Was there more love? Maybe. Those were the days of arranged marriages that worked out because they were arranged for one specific purpose. A girl/guy was needed in order to produce an heir, obviously male, to carry on the family name/tradition.

After this necessary duty had been fulfilled, the couples carried on with their lives, with a feeling of affection for each other. They might have even fallen in love sometimes. At least they were honest about the reasons behind marriage. Love might have been secondary, but when it did bless the couple, it stayed.

But now all that has changed. The horse has struggled out of its shackles and taken off for the horizon, leaving the carriage to teeter into a ditch. Relationships have become as disposable as contact lenses. They even have the same shelf life – for most people, yes, not all. Now it seems that marriage has been reduced to corny sms lingo ads in papers, and bimonthly relationships based on desires.

But we don’t want that to happen. Unfortunately, no one seems to be listening. All you hear these days are feminist rants about how men are not required and men wishing for multiple partners. Again, the disclaimer – mostly.

Have you heard the songs that abound these days? “Main zandu balm hui, darling tere liye?” “Wanna be my chammak challo?” Excuse me? This, ladies and gentlemen, is the yardstick for romance then. You go up to a girl and ask her to be your village belle. Or ladies, proclaim yourself as pain relief ointment. Songs these days make absolutely no sense, and very few romantic songs are actually full of romantic sentiment. We have to listen to most songs carefully and thrice over, to try and make head or tail of what they mean. So notions of romance are evidently very different – and indicative of prevalent mindset.

Very few people listen to Elvis anymore.

But to return to the quoted ad and what it represents. Can u even read it at first go? People don’t even bother to write entire sentences to spell out what they are looking for in a girl. Even people who are dating send expressions of love via texts – “I lv u.” Or simply, “M.U.” What is “M.U”? Miss you, of course. I miss you but I cannot be bothered to type out eight letters.

So my advice is – society has changed. Make sure you have the right guy in hand before you get married. And don’t marry until you are sure you absolutely want to. In fact don’t get into a serious relationship until you are, well, serious, about the person. Find yourself a man who sends you full sentences when he is texting his feelings. For if the guy can’t take responsibility of a sentence, how will he take the responsibility of a wife?

Guest article from Glad2bawoman is an online media company for women with a growing community of more than 70,000 members. All about women and for women, it encompasses a variety of topics including empowerment, relationships and health.