Saturday, August 30, 2014

A visit to the UniverCell Sync Mumbai


Twenty-third was not a good day to leave my hometown (it's a different issue), I thought. At least hundred and eight times the idea of cancelling my journey brushed my few remaining bleached hair over the 'Bruce Willis like' scalp. But, it was an invitation mail from Indiblogger, the blogging community with whom I've been associated since 1969... how could I deaf-ear a warm call from them? Getting my emotions, aren't you? Ok... so, I was invited to the newly set up UniverCell Sync digital store at south Mumbai, a mere 2095 kilometers drive from my home. My chopper would have been most appropriate for the occasion but my newly married pilot gave a apologetic call last night to inform he was having profuse diarrhoea, while I overheard a moaning sound from the background (utterly disgusting!). My bat-bike was the only option left and meanwhile you keep guessing what stopped me from booking an air ticket.

It took exactly 8 hours and 17 minutes to reach the UniverCell Sync, next to Regal Cinema and you believe it or not I was standing right there before the glass door of the store, dusting off slight dirt particles out of my tuxedo by afternoon 2:00! I'm resistant to thousand stares over my bat-bike whenever I park it in any city, so Mumbai was no exception. The store manager of UniverCell received me with due hospitality as I introduced myself, “Samanta... Anunoy Samanta.” He was like, “Sir, it was my lifelong dream to meet you once... my child is a big fan of your novels...” Like most mango-men I meet for the first time, he too ran out of words and stood frozen forgetting what he was supposed to do till I pulled him out of his hypnotic state. He gave a pro-active demo of their outlet which I found quite fascinating. They seemed to be be quite disciplined with their mission. UniverCell understands the need of a customer and assist him with comprehensive mobility solutions!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review of YHAI Trekking Programs


Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI) is a non-profit organization and an associate member of the Hostelling International (U.K.), with 23 functional state branches, managing around 95 youth hostels throughout India, and annually organizing more than a dozen of national trekking, biking, family-camping and other environment friendly adventure programs. YHAI claims to be promoting travel, tourism, adventure spirits, national integration, education and health by providing hostels of good standards to millions of youths of modest means during their travel at cheap rates on a sustainable basis and also organizing adventure/educational events, to create understanding among youths about social and developmental issues. I trekked with YHAI in last December and during that trip I was lucky to interact with fellow trekkers who had have several treks with YHAI. I could even gather information from cyclists who had participated in the biking program in Goa. So, from my own experience and facts assembled from veteran members I'm here to review the adventure/trekking programs run by YHAI. Let me be fair and confess that I've already enrolled for a life membership with YHAI, as I see many more treks coming my way. But that shouldn't be your yardstick, better read the pros and cons to decide whether you're game for YHAI trekking programs.
Inside view of a typical YHAI tent for 8-10 trekkers.