06 August 2009
(15) Comment(s) (26)
Posted By joseph
We’re here, 17 minutes away to the results. We’re tense, but not gloomy. We’re just happy to be here.
Whatever happens, it has been an amazing 6 weeks of activity! TGDC took up our times, our lives, and most of our poor friends’ lives as well. But the real deal was these past 3 days here at the Royal Palms. I’m sitting now waiting for the lady to get ready and thought I’d let you guys catch a bit of the feverish excitement in the air around.
I don’t have time to detail out everything, but an obstacle course after 2 hours, a cocktail party with God and Auto-god taking centrestage, a dinner revolving around discussing Mitsu’s plans for the next year and of life in the strangest parts of India, and sleep after 36hrs was what the last day of the auditions were all about. I feel that every contestant right now feels there is a chance, and I feel that everyone seriously has delivered in spades for the most important task - the short travelogue here. But I won’t get all “politically” correct on you guys now.
I’ll say this though, whoever makes it through is gonna have the time of their life. The next 10 days are going to be a roller-coaster ride of joys, discoveries, disappointments, pleasant surprises, lots of hard work, unforgettable experiences, new friends and much more to keep you glued to that monitor of yours - even if your boss threatens to throw you out (but hey, he’ll be addicted too!).
So strap on your seat-belts, ladies and gentlemen. ‘Cuz the show’s about to begin in 11 minutes!
ALL THE BEST TO EVERYONE!
Joe & Nam
05 August 2009
(10) Comment(s) (28)
Posted By joseph
I’ll be alright, I’ll be alright!
The addictive Jane Kyon track from Dostana came up on 93.5FM as we turned away from the highway towards Aarey Milk Colony. The time was 3:00PM and it was exactly 3 hr 6 mins since we’d kicked off our Great Shopping Challenge from the gates of the Palms Hotel. We had 24 minutes to beat the clock, but along the way we’d beaten choc-a-bloc Mumbai traffic, secured a parking spot on one of the busiest streets, devoured a tasty meal for Rs.75, and shopped for 7 things each for each other and a couple of goodies for the car.
Now, the song has been stuck in my mind since the time it played in the car, and I’m not complaining! It’s a peppy ode to good friendship and when was that ever a bad thing? (Of course, it stars the smokin’ hot Priyanka Chopra too!)
Anyway, I digress, let’s talk about our short adventure shall we?
The plan: Travel to Linking Road, Bandra - the choice destination for the bargain hunter and yet fashion conscious Mumbaikar. Take two different routes to n fro the place to ensure we capture the sights of the modern suburban Mumbai. Spend all of our Rs.2500 on 10 things for each of us, gifts for each others and lunch (including Mr. Rupesh from Team GDC!). Live tweet-telecast the entire adventure online. And see if we could meet any followers.
What really happened:
We started the engine of our Black Cedia at 12:54PM, waved our goodbyes to Unny/Bindhu, Thomas/Shilpy and Amit/Jasleen, and headed off towards Bandra via Jogeshwari/Oshiwara/Andheri/Juhu/Santa Cruz/Khar. The road takes us through some very gossip-flavored favorite places of Bollywood’s celebrities - something that Namrata tells y’all about in her posts.
It took us exactly 4 minutes to lose our direction in Palms itself, but thanks to the helpful security guards we found our way out. From that point onwards, Namrata took over centre-stage as the navigator - we did not need the GPS with her around! The mood was up-beat initially and we were doing good speed till we entered the road at InOrbit Mall, Malad. We slowed down to a crawl and ended up taking lots of shots of signboards and people who were genuinely staring at the stickered beauty.
Stuck with all the other “normal” cars
You don’t need a/c to love the weather
Save my soul too
All kinds of 4-wheelers
Even a pink-stickered Logan’s emblem gets stolen in Mumbai!
The other beauty
The not-so-useful dead speed-o-meter to complement the very useful dead-pedal
tu hain toh ulti-pulti baatein seedhi lagti hain…
Of course, not ALL of Namrata’s directions were useful. In some places, the BMC decided that going down under is the best way to beat traffic.
It was 1PM by the time we reached Juhu. The mind-numbingly slow traffic and the unrelenting stopclock had stolen all the excitement at this stage. And I was left with an unusually tense expression on my face. We were already 30% through our journey and we had NOTHING to write about and had been tweeting continuously about traffic-snarls and bollywood-gossip. Miraculously, the road opened up as we entered Juhu and my trusty navigator shouted out the one thing that a GPS can never say - “Bhagao, bhagao!”
Jaane kyon dil jaanta hai,
Tu hain toh I’ll be alright
My trusty navigator’s screams helped awaken the Cedia and we zoomed off on the last stretch to our destination; we snaked past rogue cabs and autos with Namrata pep-talking me all through (and cursing at the traffic!). Her navigational skills coupled with her ability to psyche out traffic through her stares and lip-sync’ing the choicest of local curses ensured we not only found the shortest path but it was also empty when needed!
1:13PM ...and we reached National College!
Oohu hu hu oohuuu…
I’ll be alright, I’ll be alright!
We had EXACTLY one hour at Linking Road to have lunch, shop around, hunt for our treasure and wrap it up with great photos - I’d say we did a darn good job at it!
Thirty-five rupees worth of cheese goodness!
Garish, gauche, subtle, understated…what your’s foot-style?
Not the most popular shop around
Everything glitters in Linking Road
The Zoo-zoos are back! Now on t-shirts for Rs.150 only!
Colorful, shiny, rugged…how do you want to waist it? - Taukeer’s belt-store!
(Waqar said “Most welcome, come next time also!)
Selling Popeye t-shirts is a serious busines - Popeye t-shirts sell the highest here!
My gifts for my trusty navigator!
The funniest t-shirts this side of “Tantra” - sold exclusively by Mohammed Bhai!
Rajesh sells “magic pearls” - bead-sized balls which inflate when soaked in water!
Love kills slowly - as opposed to this cap which will ensure you’re killed swiftly for your fashion sense!
After the mad-rush of shopping, photography and interviewing random individuals we headed off to pick up the Cedia, and guess what? We had a run in with the cops!
A Police Qualis had comfortably parked right behind our car.
Namrata sweet-talked them into moving their vehicle a bit while I went click-click!
With that out of the way, I slotted the car into first gear at 2:19PM and gingerly stepped out of the narrow lanes, only to be greeted by Amit and Jace’s White Cedia. A short-stop before we headed off to the Palms.
...and it was down to our final few miles in the Cedia.
kuch palon ka dostana yeh
‘Cuz when it zooms this way, the world seems alright. The traffic becomes a blur and the 30 seconds of overtaking before you reach the next light seem worth the wait. As I zig-zagged through the Taxis on the Western Express Highway, I looked back at the time that had raced past us. Cossetted in luxury, shut off from the humidity of Mumbai, it was a time to reflect on the machine that brought us here. The Momo steering wheel is compact and injects a whole new level of fun. The drilled-aluminium pedals stick to your feet and are almost telepathic in their connection with you. The SatNav touchscreen is polished and the climate control is enough to transport you to another world. But then, all this means jacksh!t if it does not drive well enough. And boy does it! You ride a wave of torque available at any rev in any gear, heck you can drive around the whole day in one gear if you want. Ride it a bit hard and the growl at the higher revs is addictive enough to want to do it all day, on any road. Try it. Finally, the bullet-proof reliability that will keep you singing “i’ll be alright” all the way on any road, any condition, at any time of the year!
Today, then, was the ultimate example of a speed-date. A date with Mumbai - its traffic, its people and its ability to bridge the gap between the affordable and the exorbitant on one single road, a date with my navigator in our first road trip together, and a date with the Cedia Sports. All in 3 hours, but friendships that last forever.
See you. Again. Hopefully still as a follower.
All the best everyone!
04 August 2009
(3) Comment(s) (21)
Posted By namrata
Linking Road was buzzing with activity as we pulled up in our posh sports car in front of National College, at Bandra. Like some teeny-bopper movie, the doors should have swung open, a close-up shot of my heels, Joe’s all-weather boots, pan up to show youngsters from Bombay’s swish set, turning up for yet another day at college.
But what scrambled out of that beautiful car were two work-weary souls in search of a life-line, to save themselves from the drudgery of corporate life. On a mission, we marched straight to lunch, to the Jay Sandwich stall, outside National College. A quick, working lunch of their special Cheese Masala Toast, a scrumptious, grilled sandwich filled with potatoes, tomatoes, onion, capsicum and generous helpings of cheese took us around 15 mins. While we waited for our sandwich, we chatted with some regulars at this joint – college students and working professionals, who swore by their favorite sandwiches here.
Free-rider Rupesh, Sagar, Krishna and Loretta from Max New York Life Insurance meet us to save their souls!
Satiated, we moved on to the next phase of our Great Shopping Challenge, part-Amazing Race and part-treasure hunt we quickly set about purchasing some essentials for the trip ahead. Each of us could spend a maximum of Rs.1000 on ourselves. Many of our friends & followers had recommended stalls & shops that would stock exactly what we were looking for. Hence, we headed to the stretch bang opposite the college. While Joe took some amazing photographs, I hunted for some comfortable footwear that was both flexible and airy. Having too many choices at hand, can be quite perplexing!
After purchasing my sandals, the owner Mr.Zakir Hussain gave us a short interview describing his shop & wares.
While browsing through the stalls, I recollected some ‘fashion tips for the monsoon’ that I had read somewhere. Avoid metal – wear wooden accessories, brighten up your day with colored flip-flops, avoid denim – it takes longer to dry, etc. Feeling wiser, I closely observed the other shoppers for clues. Some charming girls from Delhi offered some tips. Watch them here!
We helped each other make some tough choices too.
We also met some of our followers Suhas & Kedar Deo (link) also a fellow TGDC contestant.
We each had to spend Rs.200 on a gift for each other. I bought Joseph a funky hat while he bought me a pair of sunglasses, in what he believes is my favorite color, pink! Check us out, don’t we look all posh!
Here is how the final tally stacked up.
Spread the love
We returned to the Cedia to find a small group of TSEC (Thadomal Sahani Engg. College) students checking out our car. We let them in, of course.
After peeling those boys away from the Cedia, we rushed back to the venue but not before halting at the Aarey Milk Colony to study some wildlife
Since we both bought an equal number of items, no clear winner emerged. We did accomplish all our objectives in the allotted time. We reached Bandra, met some of our avid followers, shopped, relished a delicious sandwich, got back on time.
More importantly, we enjoyed every moment of this adrenaline rush, enjoyed working together as a team after such a long time, enjoyed the drive and above all re-discovered our joy in each other’s company.
All excited and awake,
04 August 2009
(0) Comment(s) (17)
Posted By namrata
Fresh from the mental alertness tasks in the morning, driver and navigator set off to conquer the Great Shopping Challenge. We hopped into a passing Cedia (very new, very shiny, very nice ), TGDC team member Rupesh hitched a ride too. Our share-a-mitsu was soon on its way to Linking Road, Bandra.
To give our visitors from Hyderabad and Jamshedpur a flavor of the suburbs, we ditched the quicker Western Express Highway and waded through some heavy afternoon traffic instead. Driving past some famous, infamous and not-yet-famous places, the radio was our constant companion with regular traffic updates and some groovy music.
The leafy lanes and clean air of the Aarey Milk Colony in Goregaon soon gave way to the narrow lanes of Jogeshwari, this area is famous for its cane furniture and is the place to hunt for some good deals. Oshiwara, always a bottle-neck, has new constructions like the Infiniti & Mega Malls, Citi Mall, Fame Adlabs, Fun Republic, Star Bazaar all along a 1 km stretch to thank.
Cane furniture shops of Oshiwara
Juhu’s Gulmohar lanes, home to quite a few birds and bollywood chicks, are notorious for shady activities too. Uniformed guards are quick to chase suspicious-looking cars away, especially if they have some heavily tinted glasses or a bunch of college kids looking for some quiet corners.
Amitabh Bachchan & his family reside in the vicinity, as do Hrithik & Susanne (at the JW Marriott Hotel– ever since their family residence became infested with ‘white ants’ called Barbara Mori ). JW Marriott, known for some good music at its popular nightclub ‘Enigma’ as well as a sumptuous mid-night buffet spread, is also the Bachchans’ favorite spot for parking their expensive wheels during the monsoons, when their low-lying bungalow ‘Prateeksha’ is often flooded. Juhu, once upon a time a peaceful locality, was rocked by a shocking incident last December, when two women, exiting the JW Marriott, were molested by a crowd of 70-80 men on New Year’s eve.
Coasting along the curves of Juhu Beach, much cleaner thanks to Ms.Hema Malini’s untiring efforts (you can actually see the sea now as you drive past), we quickly drove through Santacruz and Khar to reach our final destination – Bandra – the Queen of the Suburbs.
Let the games begin!
Signboards along our way
Find where Joseph and Namrata are heading
For advanced tracking Click Here
Namrata and Joseph, Bombay-ite and Hyderabadi, implore all you interesting, smart, cute and sexy people reading this to please, pleeez follow us !
Fresh out of college, we were thrown into the dust bowls of U.P and the jungles of M.P. Sneaky trainees that we were, we took full advantage of the available resources to explore. Whether the pine trees of Almora or the ruins of Khajuraho, a Bhojpuri film shoot or some gun-laden, mustachioed dudes in the Chambal areas of Bhind - our travels always had added flavor!