Shoot to shop


FlipkartWhen the Indiblogger team sent an invite for a Flipkart event to be held at The Hard Rock Café (yes, you read it right) on 01 Aug, I was sure that this was going to be a ‘big bang’ event given both Indiblogger’s and Flipkart’s penchant for putting together large scale events that literally ‘rocked’. And man, was I right or what?

If anything, I underestimated the capacity of both of them to put together such a classy and fun filled launch event for the #flipkartimagesearch (Flipkart Image Search) feature of their mobile app. And the ‘big bang’ in this case turned out to be more of a ‘shoot to search’ event.

Picture this, you are partying hard at a pub, let’s say The Hard Rock Café on a Friday night. You are letting your hair down, the drinks are flowing, the music is blaring and you are dancing the night away and in walks your favorite film star or socialite celebrity or even just another billionaire businessman. And what’s better, he or she is wearing an ensemble, a dress, a suit, an evening gown or any other dress or other accessories that catches your eye and you would love to own, then the new solution from Flipkart is your Godsent opportunity to cash in on your luck.

All you have to do is to open up the app, use the Image Search option in the same and click a photo of the dress or the accessory that catches your eye. Hit on the Search button and lo and behold the app displays not only that particular item but also other items similar to that. And pretty soon you could be the proud owner of that dress or accessory.

As if this product was not good enough, the Indiblogger team (which also doubles up as a rock band) put on a lovely performance playing a couple of chartbusters and an Eminem song, no less. With the acoustics of The Hard Rock Café, the fun loving Indibloggers and the availability of free liquor with finger food, the event was nothing short of a bonanza for Flipkart lovers like myself.

After the initial ice-breaker events, the Product Manager for Flipkart Image Search went on to describe why this product was conceived in the first place and he went on to elucidate as to how the next 800-900 mn new internet users in India were going to access the web primarily through apps and how Flipkart wanted to continue being their first choice for online shopping across categories. At the end of his interesting and enlightening talk, it was quite clear that the Image Search product was conceived and developed keeping in mind this large chunk of Indian population for whom the mobile phone was more than just another mode of communication. Innovative companies such as Flipkart with their cutting edge products are clearly poised to make a lasting impression on the lives of very many Indians and this was clearly illustrated by the passion with which the entire Product Team of Flipkart interacted with the bloggers at the venue.

In a nutshell the whole event was a Saturday well spent in the company of good friends, good food, good drinks and an awesome team from Flipkart.

My Honey Diet


I have always been a moderately good eater ever since I can remember. I never used to shy away from eating pretty much anything that was vegetarian and edible; in fact, the tastier and sweeter the dish, the more helpings I have. However, the fact that I was reasonably active throughout my school and college life meant that I never had to worry about putting on weight or being obese at any point in time till I was around 20 yrs old. A healthy dose of physical activities in the form of outdoor sports, the occasional exercise routine and some walking/running meant that I kept my weight and my tummy in check. I guess all that physical activity also meant that my metabolism also kept the calories from being accumulated.

And then graduation happened, and I stepped into the corporate world; a desk job meant that I was well into my journey to a sedentary lifestyle. Most of my waking hours were spent either commuting to and from work or behind desks in front of a computer tinkering around with word documents and spreadsheets. This automatically put me on a sticky wicket as far as my metabolism went. Coupled with the untimely meals and constantly eating out this meant that my fitness levels gradually started going down south and the kilos just kept adding on.

As if the sedentary lifestyle weren’t bad enough, since I strictly believed in working hard and partying even harder, I soon began guzzling down beer by the gallon. Although I developed a taste for the fizzy beverage somewhat late when compared to my peers, I would like to believe I more than made up for the delay in terms of guzzling down quantities like there was no tomorrow. All that aerated water went ahead and added up bang in my mid-section with the result that today it looks I have a Formula One tyre instead of a midriff.

While this by itself is not a cause for grave concern, the fact is that I am on the wrong side of the thirties and it is high time that I took corrective action to get back in shape and get back to my fitness levels of yore. And it is in this context that I am strongly contemplating beginning a Honey Diet. And what better source of information and readymade tips than Dabur Honey’s website http://www.daburhoney.com/.

The website is a veritable treasure trove of information on all the relevant topics for me such as Fitness Tips, Knowing all there is to know about honey, Expert Advice and the icing on the cake, some really easy to cook and yummy to eat recipes by none other than Chef Vikas Khanna.

While the Fitness Tips section has small instructional videos of some easy, quick, but effective exercises to stay fit, the 3 Click Fitness Test has an option where the website provides you with a relatively customized diet plan based on some simple parameters you have to input. In a nutshell, this website truly is your one stop fitness shop and is a boon for all of you who are looking to get healthier.

The All About Honey portion of the website very clearly brings out reasons as to why honey is better than sugar and as to how honey forms probably the best substitute to sugar in our daily lives. And as mentioned before, some lip-smacking honey based recipes from Chef Vikas Khanna truly adds honey to the cake (notice how I say honey instead of cake).

So then, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start your own customized Honey Diet at http://www.daburhoney.com/

Cricket Information – At the speed of light


I still remember the days when my grandfather used to rely on his trusted Philips transistor radio and tune into either BBC or Ceylon Radio to get live commentary of the test matches happening in those days. For him cricketing legends like Gavaskar, Sobers, Gundappa Vishwanath and Vivian Richards were just names and faces from newspaper clippings.

My father though had the fortune of actually following cricket in an era when televisions slowly started making their way into our homes. In fact, the first tournament he saw on TV was the Prudential World Cup of 1983 when Kapil’s Devils beat the mighty Windies to bring the cup home.

As for me, I have been brought up on a healthy diet of cricket on TV and a major part of the last decade has been an explosion of sorts in terms of the sheer volume of cricket being broadcast on TV screens. But for the generation after mine, this simply is not enough. TV simply is not enough for them.

This truly is the day and age when cricket lovers can breathe a sigh of relief as they can easily follow the fortunes of their favorite cricket teams and players with just the swiping of a few fingers on their smart phones.

And this is where the free UC Browser (http://www.ucweb.com/) with its special focus on cricket (http://www.ucweb.com/English/UCbrowser/cricket.html) is a godsend opportunity for cricket fans to have the latest cricket related information at their fingertips (quite literally). It not only has the latest live scores of all international matches with live ball by ball commentary, but also a historical database of results, scores, scorecards and other statistics related to all matches. As if this weren’t enough, it also has the latest news regarding cricket, teams playing the game and all other people involved with the same, either as players, or as administrators or commentators or in any other capacity. In a nutshell, UC Cricket is the cricket lovers’ one stop shop for all information related to cricket, in what is probably the most easy to use interface as well.

It goes without saying that we all live in an era where information is king, and more importantly the speed at which relevant information is delivered to us is probably the only condition based on which we choose our sources of information. And it is in this regard that the UC Browser and UC Cricket in particular score really high. Gone are the days when we had to stare at our phone screens and see the ‘buffering circle’ spinning round and round. With its proprietary cutting edge technology working at the back-end, the UC Browser and UC Cricket ensure that all cricket related information is delivered to us almost immediately after each ball is bowled.

In case you are still not convinced, go ahead and watch this video, which will make a convert out of you for sure. I mean, it has none other Yuvraj Singh (yes, you heard me right, Yuvraj Singh) endorsing UC Browser and UC Cricket!!!

Kapil Dev ki ek nayi league


Not too many cricket fans from the 1980s can forget the sight of a fully charged up ‘Haryana Hurricane’ Kapil Dev charging in through his run up to the popping crease and delivering that beautifully orchestrated outswinger. It could be argued that he was among the best, if not ‘the best’ all-rounder of his era with Imran Khan, Richard Hadlee and a few others making up the rest of the group. One thing is for sure, the passion with which Kapil Dev represented India and the competitive spirit with which he played his sport was second to none.

And therefore, in the Ek Nayi League teaser promo videos (http://www.eknayileague.com) that are doing the rounds nowadays, when he mentions that something new is coming up which will probably involve leading sportspersons and other celebrities competing with something more than just passion, then it really does give food for thought.

Here are my guesses at what the Nayi League might be about.

A celebrity golf league

Given Kapil’s penchant for the sport post his retirement (if I am not mistaken he even played a couple of competitive seasons in the Indian golf circuits), it could very well be possible that he intends to promote a new celebrity golf league. As it is the sport attracts more than its fair share of prize money worldwide and enough blue chip brands already flock to sponsor golf tournaments around the globe, and it would therefore be a no-brainer that a celebrity golf league would surely attract more than its fair share of eyeballs in the country.

And the fact that Kapil keeps mentioning agar dil se kheloge toh hit wicket ho jaaoge makes me doubly sure that he is indeed talking about the sport of golf, where each competitor basically plays against himself and his own best scores rather than competing with each other.

A celebrity quiz competition

I have been a quizzer during my school and college days and know for a fact that quizzing as a competitive sport is anything but dil se. It is purely a dimaag only type of endeavor and requires competitors to be at their sharpest bit throughout the competition. Kapil’s frequent dil se mat khelo makes me suspect that his new league might even be something of this sort.

All said and done, the fact remains that Kapil Dev’s open invitation to MSD, Yuvi, Sania Mirza, Kapil Sharma (of Comedy Nights fame) to wait and watch as to what his nayi league is all about surely builds up enough and more anticipation for all sports fans across the country. And given that it is Kapil Dev who is promoting the same means that much more to all of us who have respected the passion and competitive spirit with which he represented the country.

So here’s wishing for a dhuaan dhaar nayi league from Kapil Paaji.

The whole world on your plate


The history of Singapore stands testimony to the fact that this city is truly a ‘melting pot’ of various cultures from all over the world. Some of the earliest people to invade this city were the Cholas from South India in the 11th century. It therefore follows that the invaders would have surely brought with them their culinary habits involving spicy sauces to the city. Over the course of the 15th and 16th centuries, travelers, explorers and invaders from European nations such as Portugal and Netherlands made this city their home and therefore the European influences on the uniquely Singaporean cuisine would have probably developed in this era.

However, it was the arrival of the British in the first few years of the 19th century and their subsequent occupation which forever changed the face of Singapore. The population of the place itself exploded from around 1000 people to more than 80,000 people and rubber plantations were very prevalent in Singapore under the British occupation. Considering that most of the population consisted of Chinese migrants from the mainland, it goes without saying that Singaporean cuisine was introduced to Chinese culinary influences in every way possible. And this unique combination of South Indian, European and Chinese cuisines is what makes Singaporean cuisine unique and truly one of a kind in the world today. In fact the current government of Singapore touts its culinary diversity as one of the main reasons to visit this country today.

Along with the North Indian and South Indian thalis which are very popular here today due to the large Indian immigrant population, Chinese cuisine remains the mainstay of Singaporean cuisine today. Known for its varied street-food culture, dim-sums, roasted meats and various soups make up for regular day to day dishes that the locals consume. The wonderful dosas served in street corners with an assortment of chutneys and spicy sauces are worth dying for. And the best part is that fusion cuisine involving a combination of Indian and Malay ingredients, Chinese and Thai ingredients and various other eclectic combinations truly make Singapore a gastronome’s delight.

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and try a Singapore meal. As the picture below reads you will surely have the whole world on your plate!!!

SingaporeTakeAway

———-

This post has been written for Takeaway Level: Singapore, the Far East Hospitality blogging contest in association with Indiblogger, India’s largest association of bloggers.