Mahindra: Its Electric

There were some of the manufacturers that I was least bothered about, Mahindra was one of them. However, as I moved through Hall 10, I spotted a rather interesting car - Mahindra Racing's Formula E contender. Although Formula E lacks all the aerodynamics elements that one can find in F1 or even GP2 cars, it certainly looks awesome.

Mahindra seems to have been the most innovative Indian manufacturer with its wide range of electric/hybrid-powered concepts. Be it the Reva powered roadcar e2o or the concept sportscar Mahindra Halo or the grand Hybrid XUV, Mahindra has put a lot of effort to be at the forefront of the electric vehicle technology.

And the conventional technology wasnt far behind either, with an interesting Bolero Stinger concept and XUV500 draped in candy colored matte finish. Another interesting addition was that of SSangyong brand, which had a few concepts and roadcars being displayed. However, I didnt bother to check out anything more than their gigantic LIV-1 concept car.

Mahindra is not just an automobile manufacturer, it indeed has a presence on the motorcycle scene as well. Their motorcycles were being displayed alongside their cars, which was interesting, because many other manufactures like Suzuki and Honda showcased their bikes away from their cars.

Roadbikes didnt enthuse me, so I skipped over to the more exotic ones - jcMoto - classic bike. Mojo - a new entrant and Mahindra Racing's MotoGP bike (or something similar).

Mahindra had also set up consoles with bike racing games and kinect (-like) controllers. I first thought that the model in the photograph was actually a dummy demonstrating simulated test environment for their MotoGP team. :D

European Flavour

Moving on from Nissan, I went to Skoda which were placed right next to Nissan. They didn't come up with any fancy concepts, however, they had 2014 facelift of their road cars. There was Skoda Rapid, followed by Superb and Octavia (pics below).

Last of the car manufacturers in Hall 12 was Volkswagen and so I was finally able to see some German cars! First up was the TSI engine powered Volkswagen Polo R Cup car.

Its racing decals and modified body work gave a sporty stance to Polo's otherwise dull looks.

VW guys brought their road cars as well - Vento and Jetta, but there was hardly anyone noticing them. All thanks to the brilliant crossover concept - Taigun, which pulled a lot of crowd.

Refined German design with prominent wheel arches, clean profile and a sharp front grille extending into the headlamp area, gives Taigun a very robust personality.

There are a lot of manufacturers who have started focusing on Indian customers, and VW is one such company, their show was indeed impressive. Not only did they bring their roadcars and concept, they also got a special treat for the enthusiasts - the Polo R WRC - a car that won 10 of 13 rounds on its debut in 2013 WRC season.

With that we complete the first 10 minutes that I spent at the 12th Auto Expo, 2014 and also brings up the (best of) first 100 photographs that I clicked there.

First blood

After pacing down from ticket booth, I reached gate number 5 for entry to the Expo area at around 1100hrs. The queue wasn't that long and the security check was fairly smooth. According to the plan I was supposed to visit the Germans first up, which were located in Hall no. 15. However, I was way too excited to actively look for the pavilion, so I ended up entering Hall no. 12.

And just as I stepped in, a shiny red R35 Nissan GT-R greeted me, much to my surprise, coz I didn't expect much from Nissan (it was supposed to be yet another Japanese manufacturer)

But I must say Nissan did a pretty good job at attracting the enthusiasts by bringing awesome concepts and by strategically placing the GT-R close to the entrance.

Just as I was drooling over GT-R and trying to click it from different angles, the Friend-Me concept caught my eye. I immediately shifted my focus to Friend-Me.

Unfortunately, with the adrenalin running high, I forgot to click its profile/front shot, as I switched back to capture the GT-R in all its glory.

Next up was the Datsun Go, I wasn't much interested in the hatch, so I quickly moved over.

The last attraction was the awesome little (World Premiere) redi-GO Concept. Absolutely loved this car, I hope the concept lives long enough to see the production line.

Oh and I skipped 2014 Nissan Sunny, and throughout the coverage you'd find that I've skipped a lot of road cars due to lack of interest; So with that we are through with the first manufacturer of this series.

PS: Full Nissan/Datsun collection

Auto Expo 2014: The plan

Here's comes a post on something I've loved since childhood - cars and bikes and auto shows. And that gives a jump start to my now dormant LJ.

In 1996-97, I went to the Auto Expo for the first time. I still have some faint memories of the show, like seeing the world's fastest bike (then) - Suzuki Hayabusa. Collecting stickers of Valvoline and several other lubricant companies, including calendar cards of TVS(-Suzuki) Fiero and Fiat Weekend.

My second visit to Auto Expo came in 2008, on 14th and 15th January. It was an amazing experience, back then I had recently been gifted my Kanoon (Canon Powershot A630). Over the two days, I shot 600+ photos, some of them made way to flickr: Auto Expo 08 and 9th Auto Expo Rehash

The third visit remained elusive. So six years later, I finally managed to be in the right place, at the right time. In order to maximize the fun quotient, I planned out the lens combination, and camera settings by going through the exif data from the previous visit. As soon as the details regarding the venue came out, I planned out the route and starting time.

The initial plan was to go to the Expo over two days just like in 2008, once on Sunday and once on Tuesday. But everything changed a day before the Auto Expo was opened to general public. Fearing the crowd, I switched over to a single day visit, that too on the first day of the show. The idea was to enter as early as possible and cover most of the stuff non-stop during the Business hours.

My primary concern was to visit Merc, Audi, BMW pavilion, then VW, Skoda, Ford, DC, Maruti, bike manufacturers and finally Tata and leftover Japs.

The start time from home was supposed to be 0830hrs, and plan was to reach the venue by 0900hrs, figure out tickets and secure entry by 1000hrs.

However, the actual start time was 0950hrs and I reached the venue by 1030hrs. Ticket booth was a long way from the entrance, so had to walk down the distance because of some misguidance by security people. Getting the tickets was easy, hardly took 5 minutes to get them, and thanks to the friendly staff, I got the tickets for closest entry point, on request. By 1110hrs I was inside the expo area.

Over the next 6+ hours, I'd walk on and on, and click over 1400 photographs, and have a hell lot of fun. The story would continue as I upload photographs on Flickr and accompany them with detailed write up, here on my LJ.
  • Current Music: Flesh and Bone - The Killers

Nikon 1 J1 Review

My gear has evolved from P&S to DSLRs over the last five years, and each year I end up buying a new camera. The focus this year, was on reducing the size and weight of the camera gear, unlike previous years where I had been looking to acquire the latest sensor technology (although I was tempted to swap my D3100 with D3200!).

What started out as a quest for cheap backup P&S, ended up as a story about Nikon 1. But not before I had analyzed every single camera in the INR 10k to 25k price bracket. Thanks to Flipkart which has a decent range of cameras. But somehow I resisted the urge to order J1 from Flipkart, and instead went to a Nikon store in Lajpat Nagar, where to my surprise I got a better deal.

Nikon 1 J1

When Nikon launched the 1 series, I was one of those who ridiculed their decision to go for a piddly 1 inch sensor, with a meagre 10MP resolution. More so because of their outrageous pricing of the kits. Perhaps Nikon's think tank never updated their market study which seems to have been based on the trends prevalent five years ago. Back then, these cameras would have been ground breaking, earth shattering, but things have changed since MFTs hit the market. Pricing has become a sensitive issue, in an already overcrowded CSC market. Thankfully Nikon acknowledged this fact, and dropped the price significantly for both its cameras, a move which seemed to work in their favor as J1 (and V1) dominated the CSC markets in Japan and Europe.

So is the J1 worth it?Collapse )
  • Current Music: David Tort & DJ Ruff - Changes

Coming Soon

Some ridiculed it, some praised it. It became 2012's best selling compact camera system in Europe, Japan and elsewhere. The latest addition to my photography gear. 

Nikon 1

Coming soon at flic.kr/nadircruise

100 days of exile: The Unsocial Woodchuck

Alright, so its been a while since the junior woodchuck  went unsocial. So i compiled a list of after effects of avoiding the social networks.

Time since last update: 105 days
Impact: High
Flickr has been one of the most visited site for me since joining it. And having a massive backlog of photographs from different trips and different cameras, doesnt help a single bit. This exile  has surely been the most depressing one.

Time since last update: 100 days (not counting a couple of friend acceptance/likes)
Impact: Low
Facebook has been a mixed bag, initially there was an urge to post updates and share photographs (yes the same massive backlog, posted on Facebook for the junta). As time progressed,  not turning to Facebook only helped the cause. Was pretty much happy to give up Facebook for this long!

Time since last update: Eternity, 1123 days to be precise (thats 3 years and 28 days)
Impact: Low
Lots happened during past three years, with a lot of events to blog about. But LJ died a slow painful death as other networks grew. There was always this urge to go back to LJ, but it never happened. Thankfully the unsocial woodchuck helped me get back to LJ. Note, that LJ wasnt originally a part of this experiment.

Time since last update: 100 days (not counting one odd retweet)
Impact: Medium
Twitter has been a mixed bag as well, there was always this feeling of being gagged. Was a bit difficult to resist tweeting, especially when Flickr announced the year end gift - free 3 month Pro upgrade! However, a limited following on twitter helped me stay away. With no one following you, it hardly matters what or how often you tweet!

Now that I am done with the unsocial woodchuck, its about time that i started reducing my photo backlog!
  • Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
  • Current Music: Scream - MJ


Its taken me one full year to post an entry on my LJ. What was once unthinkable is now a reality. And its sad.

Anyway its that time of year when i gather my random thoughts and pen down a welcome note (poem) to the new year. So here it goes:

The Long Road

Its a long road, and its lonely
The journey begins, the summit appears,
and i watch myself disappear...
down that road, which is long and lonely.

There's sunshine and hope
Yes, we all need this rope,
just hold on tightly...
'cause the road is long, and its lonely

And there are storms, grasses full of thorns
Don't lose yourself, believe in yourself,
and tread carefully...
'cause the road is long and its lonely.

Its a journey you'll never regret,
an experience you'll never forget.
Its not about the misery,
it is the glory that you get...
when you walk that road which is long and lonely!

So lets take a step forward, and strive to reach the summit! Best wishes for the New Year.

PS: The picture above was taken by me on the way to Hogenakkal Falls.
  • Current Mood: content content

HNY2K9: Transition

Like every year i have scribbled something this year too, hope you like it.


Battles rage and the cannons roar,
rattle the age and burn to the core.
I am lost in transition,
of the world that is full of militarization.

From being a nobody,
to being a somebody.
I am lost in transition,
of the world that is full of deception.

The sun does shine,
but the eyes are blind.
I am lost in transition,
of the the world that is full of manipulation.

I lose my identity,
and continue this monotony,
Why is it we,
when its all about me?

How can i be lost,
when i have a stage to host.
I cannot let go,
For the world, its full of hope.

As you read these lines,
the sun still shines.
A fire burns,
Is it just me, or is it inside you too?

Here's wishing for a better tomorrow and transition to a world full of joy and peace. Happy New Year HN2K9!

PS: If i bored you, my bad, if i amused you, my bad again. But if you had an echo of thoughts, mission accomplished!
  • Current Music: Karmacoma - Massive Attack

Gimme Fuel

Of lately i've been into a sort of routine. For the last 15 days or so, i've been keeping track of every single minute from 0730hrs to 0915hrs. The reason is simple, i need to get to the office on time, well ideally i should. The traffic on Bangalore is much more unpredicatable than in Delhi, finding an optimum time to leave home is extremely difficult.

Each day its like a race against time. A difference of 3 minutes in exit time translates into a difference of 25 minutes by the time i reach my office. Its nearly impossible to be on time, what do I do then? Simple, race on the roads! Ok, its not as simple, its not just about pushing the car to the limit, infact its not at all about overspeeding. Rather its about pushing your driving skills. There's actually a very thin line between being a rash driver and being an aggresive one. And i love being the latter, squeezing through the traffic, timing my movements every single day and reaching the office safely.

I lurve this routine of mine and i lurve my ride. Well my ride, its the same one since the past 4 years, 1400cc, 75BHP, 120nm torque, its Indica V2, Petrol!
  • Current Music: Cyanide - Metallica