Jun 28, 2015

#LiveLodgycal by BlogAdda

Cars have always fascinated for me and I try to keep myself updated with the happenings in the auto world and the dream of a LandRover still races in my head. So when Harish called me for an event at Goa and having been part of the last event for Tata Zest, I confirmed my participation without a delay. I got to know it was an event by Renault India for their newly launched MPV, the Renault Lodgy. What was more exciting for me was the prospect of meeting several bloggers of various genre’s and spending 2 days with them, that was something I didn’t want to let go off…

Unlike the last event, this one was to be for two days and I had just two things in minds, connect with people and have a fun time and well, I truly lived up to it :)

(L-R --> Ankita, Ankita, Tridib, Sushma from blogadda; Harish is missing here)

I truly appreciate the team of Harish, Ankita Vadhel, Ankita Banerjee, Sushma & Tridib at BlogAdda who took our feedback from earlier events and truly bought in those changes that ensured we had a pretty good time with a mix of leisure, fun, activities and purpose. Three cheers team, you guys are rocking the blog-o-sphere.

We were grouped into teams much before our arrival and the teams would compete in doing some activities that had prizes up for grabs. We were hosted at ‘The Leela, Mobor, Goa’ for the two days we stayed there. The property is huge and sprawling and caters to the elite class with a range of rooms and suites that cater to your taste and needs. The lobby itself was a huge sprawling hall and we were received cordially by the staff followed by the registration and welcome shakes from the Renault India and the BlogAdda team.

(our deluxe suite at The Leela, Goa)

Networking started from the airport itself where I met the Bengaluru brigade, about 12 of us, people from different genres of blogging and traveling on the same aircraft helped. Prashanth, Vamshi, Piyush, Giri, Parineeta, Madhumita, Thakker brothers (Nirav & Prateek), Jobo and Ankit were some of the bloggers whom I met with at the airport.

RJ Archana from Radio Mirchi, Mumbai was the host for the event who kept the bloggers involved through discussions, talk and fun. That was followed by the talk and presentations from the Renault India team briefing us about the history of the company, the making and all about the product. Well, they were glad to have us there and we all were more than excited. I finally met up with our team that had myself, Parineeta, Tina Acharya and Omkar Thakur (both from Mumbai) and we came up with a name for the team at the last moment… called #OrganisedChaos! (We lived up to the name being organized in the tasks and created good amount of chaos at the event).

(Team #OrganisedChaos)

Monsoon time and rains were evident all through the 3 days right from bloggers from Mumbai getting stuck in bad rain traffic to the rains lashing Goa through the two days of the event and it was fun driving around, lazing or at the beach.
(photos by Renault India team during the event)

(photo by BlogAdda team)

The next day was the day of the ride, filled with multiple tasks for the teams to complete and the twitter was abuzz with #LiveLodgycal, so much so that it was one of the top trending topics, power of bloggers you see! We drove up to The Lalit, about 35kms away for lunch and some video bytes shooting by the Renault India team and drove back to The Leela by evening. All of us shared the driving and photo sessions were multiple throughout the day. It was fun discussing various topics, completing the tasks and importantly the drive through scenic roads of Goa.

The evening after the drive was much livelier with few bloggers sharing their experiences of their blogging journey and some of them were truly inspiring stuff to listen to. Post this was ‘complete energetic chaos’ for the next few hours as the number one band in Goa, Forefront took center stage and the dance floor was occupied by ‘spirited’ bloggers, dancing away to glory, truly living a bloggers life, celebrating an eventful day (Neha stole the show churning out some wonderful songs). I and few others also contributed to the high spirits dancing away to glory at the dinner plates and snoring away to glory much before the ‘spirited party’ came to an end.

Here's a small fun video I made of the party...

Through the event, I met up with Senthil, Dr Roshan, , Ayan, Deepak, Manjulika, Ankit, Rutavi, Sharon, Ragini, Ashwin, Sourabh and many others from different parts of India who had all come to experience the #LiveLodgycal way of life.

(with @payaniga Prashanth and Giri, @cgiridhar)

I and Prashanth were up early and the rains couldn’t stop us from venturing to the beach, joined later by Giri and Vamshi in contradiction to others who were still lazing around trying to overcome the overnight spirits. We had heavy fun at the beach enacting few plays, captured them, edited, loaded and shared with fellow bloggers at the event nicknamed as the ‘Beach buggies’ series of videos, all done on our OnePlus One mobile devices, such is the power of the mobile device nowadays.

I leave you to watch them and please share them if you like it.

We were back at the breakfast table to hog before our flight but a delayed flight ensured we had more time than wanted to spend at The Leela and we finally made to the airport after hogging lunch and bidding goodbye to the fellow bloggers who were returning on different flights. It was a well-orchestrated event with loads of fun, laughter, sharing, networking, knowledge, activities and most importantly driving around the new Renault Lodgy.

I had a jolly good time meeting a lot of new bloggers and having awesome fun along with it and true to our team name, we created organised chaos and emerged as the top team to help ourselves to an iPad each, #OrganisedChaos.

I made a short video collage of the entire event, please have a look...

If you want to look at more photos from the event, please head to Renault India Facebook album here or the BlogAdda Facebook album here.

And, also do read the experience posts of these fellow bloggers.
BlogAdda post on their blog here
Dr Roshan
Ankit Jain

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

Jun 27, 2015

The new ‘big boy’ in town - Renault Lodgy

Disclaimer: The entire opinion showcased here is my ‘own’ and I was part of the 40 blogger contingent that met up for the #LiveLodgycal drive at Goa hosted by blogadda sponsored by Renault India.

Renault, the French auto giant has the Pulse, Scala, Duster, Fluence, Koleos (in order of their price) lineup of models in India and the fact is that other than Duster, none of the others have anything to boast in terms of numbers sold or popularity and in this scenario, now comes the Lodgy, the new MPV (big boy) in town comparing against the likes of the Maruti Ertiga, Honda Mobilio, Toyota Innova, Mahindra Xylo, a MPV segment jammed with many competitors, a product Renault is hoping to work for them and to repeat the success of the Duster. There has been none to beat the Innova till now… well, I said ‘till now’.

(picture by Renault India team during the event)

First thing first, you spark the Renault Lodgy to life and it’s pretty hard to accept that it is a diesel vehicle you are seated in. I was surprised to hear it could do 0-100 in flat 12 seconds, faster than any of the competition here.

Look & Feel: The Lodgy name itself sounds a little odd to me though and it’s a big vehicle on appearance and is cleverly concealed when viewed from certain angles. Look wise, it’s not a head turner and looks boxy from the rear (but better than the Innova or the Xylo). Lot of chrome is used on the exteriors and interiors, something liked in a market like India though! The interiors are very practical and appear pleasing to the eye. Plastic quality is good and sturdy and many bits are carried over from the Duster. The seats are cushioned well and provide ample comfort. Overall, you feel good in a Lodgy.

Interiors: First thing you notice is the cabin is very airy and well-lit owing to the large glasses all around. Plenty of storage spaces, be it on the dashboard or the seat pockets, the door pockets or the arm rests. Reading lamps for all three rows and charging sockets too. Overall, appeared to be good and looks long-lasting. Small gear level, neatly laid out layout, practical dashboard, cruise control buttons and steering mounted audio controls are some of the eye-catching features that you notice instantly.

Ride & Handling: I only got the chance to drive the 100ps variant and it cruises above 2000rpm, below which it lags and needs frequent downshift of gears. Overtaking on highways is an easy task and exceptionally low noise levels inside the cabin. The ride quality is good across roads and many a time I didn’t feel like driving a big vehicle, a completely small-car like drivability. Really, need to test it out on a ‘long drive’ to be able to tell the steering response and confidence of handling this ‘big boy’ on the faster highways.

(picture by Renault India team during the event)

Space: Well, the biggest news is here. Owning a Xylo that’s massive on space, no other vehicle came close to that in offering space to all 3 rows of seats till now, but the Lodgy dispels that to an extent, albeit not entirely to my satisfaction. I couldn’t just digest the fact that the 2nd row seats are fixed. (Just imagining the scenario where I remove the 3rd row seat altogether and have 4 tall people with some luggage, translating it means more space for the luggage than the people itself).

Surprisingly, the 3rd row seats are ‘usable’ (far better than others in the MPV segment but not yet close to the Xylo) and can seat 2 adults or 3 kids or 1adult+2kids. You remove the 3rd row seat altogether and fold up the 2nd row seat to reveal a massive storage space. With all seats up, you find less space and can fit in 1 medium suitcase plus a couple smaller ones. Still, it’s pretty decent on space and comfort.

Pricing: Slotted bang in middle of the Ertiga and the Innova, this big boy has it spot-on and capable of moving people away from Ertiga/Mobilio on being more practical and usable and from the Innova on being more faster, refined, drivable and cheaper buy a good 500 thousand rupees. But, it can’t match the confidence an Innova evokes even at speeds of 150kms.

To summarize, I would list my pros and cons as below…


  • Pleasure to drive above 2000rpm on the highways (I’m generally seen on the highways, you see)
  • Superb drive quality and zero noise
  • ABS standard on all variants
  • Very airy cabin with ample light seeping in (feels good to me)
  • 6 speed shift on the 110ps variant (I miss it on my Xylo)
  • Rear large windows completely roll down
  • All 3 rows get AC vents and charging points (only on the top variant though)
  • Usable 3rd row seats (yes, I repeat usable for adults)
  • Plenty of small storage spaces (but front door pockets are small)
  • Massive luggage space when the 3rd row is completely removed and offers multiple combinations to suit all
  • Smart lever to tumble the middle row seat (not clumsy nor hard)

  • Fixed middle row seat (how can they do that!) and limited middle row legroom (especially for tall people)
  • No dead pedal and the clutch pedal tad small for my liking
  • The indicator levers on the left side of the steering (It’s takes a long time to get used to it, not to my liking though)

Overall, it would not be wrong to say that Lodgy is a good vehicle to own, a firm competition to the ageing Innova at a lesser price and is an overall good package.

Test it and go for it!

(picture by Renault India team during the event)

Finally, it leads me to one point – ‘how about after sales & service’... well, only time can tell!

If you are looking for a detailed review, then go nowhere else than this review on team-bhp.

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

Jun 25, 2015

Keep up the fresh air with ambi pur!

Well, I generally don’t do reviews but hell yeah, I need to tell how do I overcome that stinking odour of soiled clothes or shoes after coming back from a long travel or a trek (or, it could be me too…J)
  • Rains and outings go hand in hand for me and how welcomed are you coming back with a bag full of wet clothes with that smelly odour…?

  • Many a times, the socks get over utilized, i.e., remains unchanged for days and by the time I’m back they would have started crying and farting, smelling like shit… and my mom gives me that customary unkind stare as soon as the odour enters the house… well!

  • The rucksack holding all the items bears the brunt and is smeared with all kind of odour from the contents and more so especially if you have wet clothes and stinking shoes packed sometimes smells like a garbage bin with varieties of smell all packed in one bag.

Well, the above doesn’t mean I’m like this every time (hell no!) or come back stinking from where ever I go (I’m not smelly dude!)… but these do happen sometimes.

These are odours that I contribute to sometime but we also do come across many like…
  • A house full of visiting friends or families and that one sly person who farts unnoticed and the whole room stinks and then starts the infamous blame games… isn’t it :)

  • A heavy dose of garlic being prepared at the neighbor’s house or a food item with an aroma that you can’t stand… and they sneak their way into your house making you dizzy…

  • A very hot day blessed with power cuts and sweaty people… that’s a combination that you would want to run away from…

  • An unpleasant odour from somewhere hitting on your nostrils and you are just not able to locate the source, that finally reveals a dead rat in a secretive corner of your compound wall that had set you on a ‘find-that-smellysource’ mission.

I tried out the ‘Ambi Pur Air effects’, blossom and breeze air freshener that I got hold of recently. Not a regular user of any kind of bottled sprays and always put off by the mosquito repellant used, I was skeptical of using it till the first press of the nozzle.

The fragrance is light and not heavy (my nostrils are very sensitive to these artificial smells and starts crying immediately) and importantly not irritating.Back from Goa with a pair of wet, smelly clothes (well, I kept them to rot to test this…) and one use of the freshener instantly got rid of the smelly odour in the room from the wet clothes.

The bottle is sturdy and the nozzle and sprayer doesn’t feel cheap. I just read it’s imported from Thailand and well I would say, worth a try (especially for those who use a air freshener everyday).

I am blogging for #SmellyToSmiley activity at BlogAdda.com in association with Ambi Pur