Off to the Land Far Far Away

My favourite adventure was the time we went to the Land Far Far Away.
Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Peter Parker & I have been best friends since childhood.

All of us were excited about this trip since we were planning it since a long time but all of us were busy with our work, saving the world, fighting villains and being friendly neighbourhood superheroes. We finally managed to take out time from our busy and mildly exciting schedule and decided to head to the exotic land of Land Far Far Away in Tata Safari Storme. 



At the break of dawn, we set off. Since Bruce and I are insomniacs, we were sleepy during morning time and hence Peter decided to take the wheel. He was in for a treat. The car's fantastic handling and the ability to run over potholes meant, one would never want to leave the driver's seat. At first, we thought it was Peter's condition wherein his fingers get stuck to any and every object is making him control the steering so well. But i later found out, it was all thanks to the beautiful leather finish on the steering wheel that lets the driver grip it beautifully and stay in total control. 

Few hours into the drive, we felt Dinosaurs in our stomach; hence, decided to grab a bite or four. We stopped at Restaurant StaleFood. From the name, we had absolutely no idea what type of food we’d get. The waiter whose name was R. Gandhi suggested we try Rahul Roy Spring Rolls. When asked what they were, he told us that the chef made these Kebabs lipsmackingly good the first time he cooked but has never been able to repeat the same taste. We skipped those and instead ordered Bhagyashree Samosa. They looked good from outside but were fairly undercooked from inside. They were more-or-less just a flash in the pan. After filling our stomach with a bowl of Saunf (Fennel seeds), we marched on.



Soon, Clark Kent started developing green rashes all over his face. It turned out, all the Saunf (Fennel seeds) that we hogged on to, to fill our stomach; was responsible for it. Fennel seeds are rich in Potassium – K. The ‘K’ replicated the effects of Kryptonite, the only substance he’s allergic to. We stopped the car and got Clark out in the sun so that he can regain some of his strength. Instead, he became unconscious, fell down, hit a rock and ruptured open his forehead. We were in the Corny Dog district and there was no civilization in sight. As a quick-fix, Peter Parker weaved a web on his forehead to close the skin opening and stop the blood flow. Being the best driver amongst us, Bruce Wayne took the wheel and started zipping mile after mile.
  


Soon we reached the village of Giggling Hyenas. As we entered the village we saw a shepherd who was playing with his pet bird while his sheeps were grazing in the grassland. He introduced himself, and told us his name was David while his pet is called Dickie. He became concerned opon learning about our situation, he gave us directions to the house of the village's only hakim - Doctor House. While leaving he told us that the way to Land Far Far Away is full of obstacles and only the most ardent travellers will be able to reach there. We left for Doctor's clinic as David shepherd continued playing with his Dickie bird. 


*knock knock*

Dr. House: “Go away, kids. I’m out of candy.”
Me: “Doctor, we need your help. Our friend is sick.”
Dr. House: “This trick won’t work on me, again. Go away.”
Bruce: “Doc, help us. You’re our only hope.”
Dr.: “What’s wrong with your voice? Did you drink phenyl?”
Bruce: “No, this is my actual voice.”
Doctor: “If your voice is not the issue then what is it?”
Bruce: “Another friend of us have an outburst of algae on his face?”

*Dr. House opens the door*

Doctor: “What?”
Peter: “Yeah. Look at him.”

Dr. takes a look at Clark and says, “You idiots, it’s not algae. It’s just a case of greenosymphomitis. Meaning, he’s allergic to most things green.”
“Take this red velvet cup cake, it’ll balance out the green,” he added.

Within no time, Clark’s rashes disappeared. We thanked the doctor and got going.

Manier miles down the road, a giant 230 ft. cow-statue atop a 150 ft. plinth welcomed us. It was the town of the Holy Cow. Any travellers who pass through the Galactico Highway 666 doesn't cross over before offering 1111 coconuts to the Holy Cow temple. But since we didn't have time for it, we struck a deal with the head priest of the temple. We promised him to get a 1112 likes on his temple's facebook fan page. All we had to do was post a picture of the cow with the message, "LIKE Holy Cow Official Fan Page or else bad luck will haunt you for 7 years." Within 93 seconds of posting this message, the FB Page got flooded with fans to the tune of tens of thousands. To celebrate this momentum occassion, the head priest declared it to be a National Holiday in Holy Cow. Holy Cow!

The priest wanted us to be a part of week long festival to celebrate 50,000 facebook fans but since we were getting late, we respectfully declined their invitation. Also, Bruce starts shaking uncontrollably upon seeing more than 19 people in one place.

We kept heading North thinking we'd reach Land Far Far Away in no time. But nature had other plans for us.


The terrain kept getting uglier by each passing kilometer but the Tata Safari Storme just soldiered on without battling an eye.

Even on steep slopes where the gravel would make it impossible to grip for normal cars, Safari's Hill Assist Control kept the driver in total control.









We kept on driving for days and nights at end but the Land Far Far Away kept getting further and further.

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From chills of snowpeaked mountains to heat of barren land, Tata Safari Storme braved everything that was thrown at it.


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We kept going and reached far off places but never the place we wanted to be at - the Land Far Far Away.



We went to Lasha and asked about Land Far Far Away, they said, they haven't heard of it.


We went to Hong Kong and asked about Land Far Far Away, they said, it was a place that shouldn't be talked about.



We went to Beijing and asked about Land Far Far Away, they told us that it was a forbiddened land and one shouldn't go there.


We went to Kuala Lampur and asked about Land Far Far Away, they asked us to return back since we'd never reach there.


We went to Bangkok and asked about Land Far Far Away, they warned us that that journey shouldn't be attempted.


We went to Shanghai and asked about Land Far Far Away, they threatened not to set foot on the hallowed land.

We went to Taipei and asked about Land Far Far Away, they told us that it's a land that's not supposed to be found.


We went to Tokyo and asked about Land Far Far Away, they informed us that we'll find the place ONLY if the land wants to be found.



With honest intentions, we soldiers on, for days, weeks & months at end in search of the Land Far Far Away.

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We crossed many deserts, mountains, bridges and rivers; braved many snowstorms, avalanches, snowstorms, landslides and thunderstorms. 



The nature tested us in every which way, but in the end, it revealed it's most beautiful secret - the Land Far Far Away!



We reached the destination on the full moon night, and the entire landscape was bathed in pearly white glow.



But it was in the morning that we completely noticed the beauty of this place which has been the stuff of the legends.


As the first sunbeam hit the land, the nature's most beautiful spectacle came to life!


From a small crevice through the tent, I peaked out and saw flutter of some prayer flags


I went out and saw God's messenger fly above me; as if congratulating us on our exploration. Just then realized that it was none other than Dickie bird. Wait a minute, does that mean that David shepherd is God?

Is that why David told us that if we ever reach the Land Far Far Away, he'd be there since he could easily beat us in a race to the Land Far Far Away? Is it possible that this is the same shepherd who walked the earth 2 millenias ago? Well, we'd never know. All we knew was that all four of us were at the most beautiful place on the earth, that is, IF we were still on the earth.

We decided not to think too much about it and just enjoy dance of the sunshine on the pristine blue waters.


It's believed that these flags carries the prayers to the heaven. Well, I don't really believe it. Simply because, HEAVEN IS THIS! 

There can't possibly be a more beautiful place in all of the three worlds. 




For sure, this journey wouldn't have been possible without the fantastic Tata Safari Storme. To know more about this beast of an SUV, log on to www.tatasafari.com and check out what more inhuman feats it's capable of doing.


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Future Of Shopping

Over the past few months mankind has done a lot of stupid things and people have started to wonder if we as a race have already peaked. Let's keep that for discussion for another. For now, let's talk about what's good about our species as agreed upon unanimously but the entire population: 1. Jennifer Lawrence 2. Aston Martin 3. Curiosity.

Welcome back! Now, since you're back after drooling over #1 & #2's images on Google, let's talk about #3. Curiosity is one of the best things about human kind. It is this curiosity that makes us want to ride a tractor on Mars, dive to the bottom of the ocean to find out Kate Winslet's sketches and give Miley Cyrus a chance to perform on stage to find out the depth of the human stupidity. All these won't have been possible without us being curious. People have often been curious about their future. In fact, this has given rise to a new industry consisting of astrologers, palmists, face readers, tantriks, tarot card reads and others. Though it's not yet officially recognized, according to a research the "Curiosity Industry" is 10 times more profitable than IT, Pharma, Petroleum, Infrastructure and Auto Industries combined.

The other day, I also got curious to find out what curiosity feels like. I started wondering about future and how we the every aspect of our daily life would be different than what it is today. Say, in the year 2030 how would be eat, shop, communicate, commute and work. I believe a bunch of these issues will be solved by eBay.

Picture this:

- You wake up. You go to brush your teeth, but you're out of toothpaste. 

So what'll you do? You'll log on to eBay, and choose whichever toothpaste you're looking to buy.

Since we'll be a lot more environment conscious, we'll never throw away our empty toothpastes but just refill it. That too from the comfort of your home. Just place it in a toothpaste vending machine and the chemicals in the machine will blend in the toothpaste of your choice and refill it for you.

Based on whichever toothpaste you want, you will buy it from the respective company, say, Pepsodent, and then that company will send a set recipe (closely guarded secret of the company) of the paste to your TVM, which will then read the instructions and blend all the ingredients+chemicals and churn out the paste for you.

- Now it's time for your morning coffee. 

So will you make it? Simple, go to your eBay and buy yourself a coffee.

Go to the eBay shop of your favorite cafe - Barista, Cafe Coffee Day, Starbucks or any other. Select your cafe and your fav. coffee and after check out, your system will instruct your coffee machine via bluetooth as to which coffee to make and how to make it. Hence, you never have to worry that your homemade cappuccino never tastes as good as Starbucks'. Once you've bought the coffee, Starbucks will tell the coffee machine the type of beans to grind and the amount of milk and water to add and voila! Your cuppa is ready!

What's more, you don't have to take the pains of selecting the coffee every morning when you're getting late for work. Just set up a monthly pack of Cappuccino and set the time in your Account settings and everyday, without you logging on, the Coffee Machine will be make the coffee and will be ready for you when you wake up. We do have coffee machines with timers available but this one will give you coffee from whichever cafe you want. You can even program upto 30 different settings for different days of the week for different members of the family. So now, on Mondays, you can have capuccino from CCD while your wife can have Decaf from Barista, while on Tuesdays, you can have hot chocolate while she's have black tea. And with so many different settings (30 in total), you can even program it to have different types of coffee on different days. All of this courtesy of eBay.

Okay now you're hungry and looking for some breakfast.

So what'll you do?  Simple. Stand in front of your wall - which also projects images from internet , and by tell whisper it to the voice assistant hidden in the wall to take you to eBay. (Not to mention, the phrase "deewaron ke bhi kaan hote hai" will became a reality in 2013).

Since it's your breakfast time, a simple "hand to mouth" gesture will be sufficient for eBay to take you to your fav. deli/breakfast place list. Once there, select whichever breakfast you feel like having. Just like the coffee, here too the bluetooth will send instruction to your automated 3D food printer. The food printer is capable of reproducing from a combination of 18000 textures, 42000 smells and 57000 colours. Any combination of these textures, smells and colours can be processed instantly by the Intel i91 chip that's inside. The 3D printer has edible dyes and edible paper to replicate real food to 99.97% detail. Not just that, just so that you also get nutrients with your food, the 3D Food Printer will inject vitamins, minerals, carbs, fat, proteins, amino acids etc. in the food that the product coming out of the food printer will be exactly like the real food even in nutritional value.

Guess, what? As an exclusive feature to eBay, you can even tune the nutritional value. So, just because you're on a strict diet doesn't mean you can't have a rich pastry. eBay's partnership with all the fast-food and restaurant franchisee ensures that you get the exact taste what you'd get outside but without feeling guilty. So now, for the first time, you'll have liberty to eat that cheesy burger and those fries but with 90% less fat content. Diabetes is no longer going to stop you from having that chocolate mousse. All thanks to 3D Food Printers and eBay.

- So breakfast is done, what next? You're right, next is riding a horse.

But wait, you don't have riding shoes. Nor you have riding pants and riding jacket. So, what should you do? Simple, head to eBay and check out the latest range of shoes and attire. And what next? No, you're wrong. It'll be stupid to have a bluetooth enabled giant textile machine and a shoe maker (or whatever it's machine is called). Why would you even thing about that? So after you've chosen you shoe, just place the order. The webcam which till 2013 was used for Skyping, now also scans you from head to toe and takes exact measurement of your body. This info is now sent to nearest automated garment factory. This one factory will be able to sew any type of cloth in any fashion in minutes.

This means, 1. Not bothering that an item bought online might not fit you. 2. Never having to worry about a particular store not stocking all the items.

Designers' showrooms will be replaced by state-of-the-art, fully-automated garment factories which would be much more efficient. Since the transportation of ready-made clothes is out of the question, the clothes will be much more cheaper. No itinerary overhang, hence, you don't have to worry about a store stocking out-of-fashion garments but last season's stock ain't sold. 

Now, the entire collection is online, everything is in stock and everything fits. Just choose your garment and leave the rest to eBay and the designer. 

- So what will you do after the horse riding? No, you're wrong. Not lunch. You feel off the horse and broke your ankle. You don't know how to ride a horse, remember? So now, it's hospital time.

The doctor thinks your ankle is badly injured. He needs titanium plates to insert in your hell and ankle. But since the nation is planning to launch a rocket to JackSparrow - 4th planet of the star NinjaAssassin, the titanium is scarce. Due to this scarcity, it's prices have gone so high that to buy you, the doctor might have to sell your liver. So now it's a battle between football and vodka. Just then, doctor has an eureka moment and decides to buy those titanium cufflinks that Sir Ravindra Jadeja wore in his 15th 007 movie 'From Rajkot With Love', that are up for auction on eBay. He used those cufflinks to hold your ankle in place. Because, why not? If they can hold His Highness Sir Sri Sri Lord Ravindra Jadeja's sleeves in places, can't be just stick a mortal human being's bones?

Since the surgery took so long, you access eBay app from your mobile - a piece of foldable screen twice the size of a credit card, and order Chicken Tikka from Copper Chimney. But since doctor has asked you to cut down on spice, you customize your food - tune down the masala factor and raise the proteins & vitamins. And when you reach home, all you have to do is hop (like, literally) to the 3D Food Printer, take out hot food and eat it.

This is a typical day in the life of a homo sapien sapien bluray.

This is about 2030. However, if you're curious to know how you can buy on eBay right now, check out: bit.ly/eBayCheck_Extention


The Mud Rush Monsoon Edition: Downright Dirty And Fantastic

It is a general consensus that Monday is the worst of all the weekdays while Friday is the best one. And if you’re asking, “Why is that so?” then you probably are a toddler or an alien. Or someone from Middle East; in which case, for you, Saturdays are Mondays and Wednesdays are Fridays.

Either way, weekend is when people get an escape from their routine, mundane work life and recharge their batteries. With regards to that, there are two types of people in the world:
1. Those who curl up in bed with a book or a stock pile of DVDs and relax all through the weekend. 
2. Those who set off on an adrenaline-pumping adventure during the weekends, and get ready for upcoming week in full spirit.

This post is about those 3000+ Type II people who participated in the Monsoon Edition of The Mud Rush. Mud Rush is for those who like to usher in the new week with a testosterone busting weekend adventure. 

The Mud Rush is a military boot-camp style run where the runners encounter various obstacles throughout the course of the run. As a run, you need to cross these to the best of your ability by either climbing, jumping, sliding, crawling, swimming or any which way possible. After the tremendous success of the first edition of The Mud Rush which took place at Kolad, the bigger and better second edition of The Mud Rush was organized on 31st October, 2013; at the picturesque Jadhavgadh Fort. 

The 6.3 km. long obstacle course at this 300 year old fort tested the participants physical as well as your mental endurance. In this edition of The Mud Rush, the runners were made to overcome 21 obstacles. This was a significant rise in the number of obstacles from the first edition of The Mud Rush which had only 15 obstacles.

While the course was designed to test your stamina; the sequence, placement and the type of the obstacles made sure the participants stayed interested & entertained till the end. The run is not time-trial, so that not only participants take their own sweet time to finish the course, they also get to enjoy every minute of it. The run also promoted team-building since you not only run for yourself but you also motivate and cheer for others. Grabbing a stranger's hand to pull them out of the ditch, showing others the best technique to clear an obstacles and cheering a rusher who's struggling soldier on were some of common scenes played through the entire day. The Mud Rush is a place where the strangers become friends and friends become motivators.

If you thought that The Mud Rush is only for the youngistan, you're mistaken. There was a 65 year+ grandma crossing the obstacles like a pro alongside her daughter and other family members. It's scenes like these that make the entire event worth it.\

And at the end of the race, every participant with rewarded a medal - as a token of appreciation of their grit. And not to forget - a chilled beer. You start the run with Red Bull (gives you wings!) and you end it with a Kingfisher; with so many wings around, how can you NOT have a heavenly experience? (Okay, I know, bad joke. Sorry.)

If you thought The Mud Rush is only about fun and frolic, you're mistaken. The good guys at The Mud Rush partnered with Multiple Sclerosis Society of India (MSSI) and their brand ambassador Milind Soman was present at the event to spread aware about this deadly disease.
Clement D'Souza
The rush didn't just end there. The rushers were rewarded with some foot-tapping, booty-shaking, electrifying music. At the EDM Sundowner Party, Clement D'Souza, Anish Sood, SEQU3L and Ajit Pai's tunes kept the crowd grooving for the rest of the evening.

Anish Sood
Anish Sood
Needless to say, The Mud Rush Monsoon Edition was one helluva experience. I got bruised, tired, even bled; and by the end of it, got downright dirty, in literal sense. But honestly speaking, I wouldn't want it any other way.

P.S. Thank you to Photokatha for associating me with the Mud Rush and arranging for the transport.