Saturday, 12 April 2014

Freeing India launches 'Real Escape Game' for the first time in Chennai, India

Freeing India, a part of Laser Gambit, a pioneer in amusement services, in India, announced the launch of India's first 'Real Escape Game' in Chennai on April 9, 2014.

I received an invitation to the launch and attended, to come back impressed. 

The launch had healthy media presence - print and electronic. 



I am, as readers know, unashamedly geek & love gaming - well, so are many of us in our generations.  Countless hours of our lives devoted to gaming, well, on our gadgets!

Bordering on addiction or obsession, if you will, these gaming sessions on our gadgets often take away our 'family & friends' time - the time to physically be present with and for them. 

'Real Escape Game' precisely brings the two elements together - the ecstasy of gaming and the physical togetherness of family & friends!  Real Escape Game originally started in Japan and has made interesting strides across the world and has now arrived in India. 

Interested? Read on ..

This unique real life adventure game requires teams of a minimal two members to large teams (size can be customized) to solve inventive gaming situations in real life settings!

The teams have to use their detective and problem-solving skills to resolve several mysteries and escape from a closed adventure room within a set time!

Yeah, I know, its getting itchy and you want to try? Here we go..

Where?

Chennai, Ispahani Centre (Basement), Nungambakkam 

When?

Open to public from Monday, April 14, 2014

What?

There are 4 Adventure Rooms currently offering 4 Real Escape Games; the themes are:

90 Degree Cricket Fantasy

In a Country like India where Cricket is a religion by itself, its only natural that it makes it to a real escape game theme :)

This game is all about cricket betting leading to mafia trapping & chasing you and you have to find your escape!

Mirror of Love

You are trapped in what I christen as the 'Room of Love' as you enter to find what's wrong with your neighbor Athena - she is heart-broken in love and has cut her wrists with a sharp fragment of glass from a mirror her lover just shattered before leaving; 

She is in a coma and has locked herself inside leaving cryptic clues to convey her lasting love to her lover. You now have to escape - even to rush her to hospital to save her!

Prison Chaos

Underground prison of a crazy scientist.

Originally built to imprison thousands of scientists to force them to do frenzied experiments.

You have to find the clues to not only escape but free all the imprisoned scientists!

The Lost Chamber

You are handcuffed and wake up from consciousness in darkness!

Find you way to the treasure box to discover the only lighting appliance you have. And, guess what, you have to crawl out of this chamber if you make good your escape!

Who?

Family
Friends
Students
Gaming lovers
Corporate Teams (in pursuit of team building)
Quite simply, anyone who loves gaming and wants to game in reality

Why?

Real Escape Game brings the best of both worlds - gaming & real life adventure.

Provides gaming time, yet with physical bonding with family, colleagues & friends

Enhances creative thinking and problem solving

Hones our innate 'survival instincts'

Inculcates team building and trust

Its a boon that it has come up in the heart of the city, well connected by public transport and with free and enormous parking space (as compared to many other malls where parking for hours together could be expensive).

How (long)?

Each game is for a duration of 45 minutes - you get that maximum time to crack the game and escape from the real life setting!

My experience at the Launch:

I visited three of the four adventure rooms - Cricket Fantasy, Mirror of Love & Prison Chaos - and loved the real life setting in each of them.  I will soon go to actually play the game - when it opens on April 14th :) So, await a review right here, on this blog!

Meanwhile, here is an exclusive sneak peek for our readers, of Athena in her Mirror of Love room:








I was quite in awe of the prison setting (its a damn real prison cell folks - so we don't have to any longer tell our posterity that the only jail we have been to is the twitter jail :)

There is a locked prison cell with all the trappings - i even saw a washroom enclosure and a wash basin! phew! 

Photographs from the Launch



In the Photos (left to right):

Mr. Murali D Barathi, Founder and Director, Freeing India, Chennai
Mr. Shiva Subramaniam, Consultant, Creative Thinking






Video Sneak Peek




What did i wear to the Launch?

Yes, we have always said this is a Fashion blog even before being a Lifestyle blog;

So, here is what I wore to the Launch:



Radiant Orchid (Color of the year 2014) straight fit pants
Ruffled Chiffon white top
Radiant Orchid statement necklace
White strappy flats (oh common, its already sweltering in Chennai)
Neon & Aztec print sling bag

Get, Set, Go .. Chennai, for Real Escape Gaming! See you at the adventure!

And, remember, you heard about it first here :) 

Cheers :)

Thursday, 3 April 2014

#PizzaCornerParty on March 29, 2014

It was a delightful afternoon of food, friends and fun at the #PizzaCornerParty organized by Pizza Corner, Virugambakkam, Chennai for bloggers & social media buffs on Saturday last, 29th March 2014:



Nicely done up interiors this outlet has - makes me think, I'm so much of a pizza delivery customer that our ilk misses out on dining in!




There is even a nice little play area for tiny tots - we put so many chairs around it because none of us were of permissible age to enter anyways :)



The agenda for the meet was we could bond over Pizza Corner cuisine, learn and try our hand at cooking any of their menu items and of course, taste our adventure (at the outset, it might seem optimal karma - that we get to taste what we make - but, trust me, it all turned out very tasty).

Excellent hospitality from Pizza Corner with an ever obliging team and a hearty flow of cooking tips and of course, delectable food and drinks.

Images speak a thousand words and that's why my posts are oh so full of pictures, so take a look for yourself:

Crowning glory - the head gear is mandatory before we enter their kitchen:



Regular readers know I'm a die hard Italian cuisine fan, so never miss an opportunity to either partake great food or learn to update my still painfully amateur cooking repertoire.

Here is what I dabbled in, with Sarath, Sandeep and I making a lovely threesome team (well, we formed mini teams so we could cook in turns):

I learnt how to identify the 'soft side' of the pizza base from its 'skin side':


The team explained to a fascinated me how to sift the cornmeal off the pizza base, once its done, by tossing it with either a 'Six O'clock' movement or an '8' movement of the hands:



Applied our choice of sauce - we naturally chose our favorite tomato based sauce:



The most enjoyable part: topping our pizza with our choice from a wide range of toppings.  

Ours is a vegetarian team, so we had a field day topping up with veggies to make what was duly acknowledged as the 'most colorful' pizza of the meet:



We then put our pizza through their huge oven - the pizza travelling horizontally across the oven and emerging as the finished product at the other end.  Impressive oven it was, with the ability to cater to and churn out multiple dishes at the same time - given its size, width and capacity.

Time for the result:



Did you know?

Pizza Corner have a 'Pizza Rating Scale'!

They don't serve anything less than a rating of 8/10 to their customers.

Wonder how the rating is derived? Examples: if the sauce spills over to the ends, the rating loses a point. If bubbles show up (in sparsely topped pizzas, bubbles could show up, so I learnt the chef has to use the 'docker' to avoid bubbles) a rating point is lost. 

Well, we asked the friendly team to rate our pizza and they smiling said: 7 out of 10 :-P

But, trust me, it tasted yummy - Sandeep got us to devour ours :)

Then, came my chance to play out a fantasy - I had always been fascinated about their Conizzas, effectively a pizza in a cone!

I wanted to make one and got my chance with my team: 




Pizza Corner get their standard, quality controlled ingredients from a centralized facility in Bangalore; the Conizza actually starts off as a semi-circle.

I learnt to fold it into a perfect cone - how to tightly bind it into a cone (else the cheese would melt through the hole at the bottom :)

We started filling with a base cheese layer, followed by our choice of vegetarian toppings, duly sealed at the top with another layer of cheese.

Do you see a tiny little capsicum piece atop the Conizza as it makes its way through their oven? The team explained to me that is their control for marking the Conizza as 'vegetarian' :) 

For non-veg Conizzas, a small piece of tomato adorns the top. 





Yummy Conizza only strengthened my already established delivery routine fondness for it!


Fellow bloggers had a great time too, making cuisine of their choice:



Garlic bread:



Pineapple topped pizza - i loved it:


Potato Wedges, the all season favorite:


I noticed their process control is quite demonstrative with this sign on the hot rack where we put the pizza as soon as it emerges from the oven:



Nice touch that!

Here is another team proudly displaying their creation:




Wonder if these guys were actually trying to play cricket or what? 



                                      Picture CourtesyBragadeesh P 

If you thought the fun stopped there, well, no .. the enterprising guys among us started a 'pizza box folding' competition :-D

And, oh boy, did they do well or what:



                                     Picture CourtesyBragadeesh P 


                                     Picture CourtesyBragadeesh P 

Thank you Pizza Corner for a fantastic meet.  Kudos to the hearty hospitality.

I hope to be back 'dining in' at the outlet, with family & friends, soon :)

Reach Pizza Corner on Twitter.

Cheers :)

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Why are Funzoa funny videos so much fun?

Funzoa Funny videos are exactly what the doc prescribed!

Why you ask? Read on ..

Funzoa funny videos are not pretentious or over the top.  They are just simple, uncomplicated fun.

Watch Mimi Teddy & Dumblu fight over Salman Khan versus Brad Pitt.  That's as basic as it can get.


Funzoa funny videos are so you and me.  No rocket science. No super heroes.

Watch Koi Mujhe Pyar Nahin Karta (nobody loves me):




or, watch Dil Mera Stupid Hai ..


That is so you and me, I repeat!


Funzoa funny videos are multilingual - it is language that connects people & language is so central to tickling the funny bone. 

Watch 'Tu Hai Beautiful':

 
There is even a line that says 'Everyday tu khaye extra calorie' (which translates to you eat extra calories everyday :)

The videos mix a colloquial language that we use .. and hence instantly tickle our funny bone!

Funzoa characters do what we do .. so they identify with us, yet, they have so much fun and bring us so much fun in doing that .. whereas we are lost in existential angst.

Watch 'Tu Online Hai, Main bhi Online hun':


Funzoa videos depict our problems. 


Watch 'Mimi Teddy has serious weight problems':



Funzoa videos are just the right length: fun, i strongly believe, comes in optimum doses. 

Funzoa videos are all between 2 and 4 minutes, averaging 3 to 4 minutes each.  Perfect to keep us entertained and act as potent stress busters.

There is one for everyone: they are clean and no age bar. 

Funzoa world is peppered with one of each kind - exactly as we are diverse by nature.

The She Teddy
Dumblu
Junu Teddy
Bojo Teddy
Mimi Teddy

Fun sure comes in diverse shapes, sizes and colors :)

They do the things we can't find enough time for.

Watch Bojo Teddy - The greatest Percussion Expert:


They celebrate our festivals and occasions :)

Watch 'Teddy Wish - Happy Diwali & Happy New Year':


So, to me, that's the fun package - unpretentious, so much us, in our language, optimum dose, slickly shot & easily accessible (its a rage on Facebook)! 

Hope you enjoyed this :) Go get more ..

This post is my entry for theblogbowl.in and Funzoa contest.

Cheers :)

Review: Just Herbs' Lively Clean Honey Exfoliating Face Cleansing Gel

I got introduced to this product by FAB Bag.

Just Herbs's Lively Clean Honey Exfoliating Face Cleansing Gel, with Tulsi & Neem, came with what I call no-nonsense packing:


Containing honey, tulsi (basil), neem, orange extract, jojoba meal & symplocos bark, among other natural ingredients, it is a natural ayurvedic product.  No artificial flavoring, substance or chemicals.






Ideal for oil to combination skin type.  Not recommended for extremely dry skin.

I have used it for 9 days now - cleansing my face twice a day - once around noon and once around 4 pm.

To review this product, it helps that I have oily skin with combination skin along the T.  Well, when I was a teenager, I hardly prized my oily skin - gave dry skin a lot of fond yearning.  Since then, so very thankful for my oily skin because it has kept me looking young and supple - that's what oil does :)

That said, maintaining oily skin is a big task. All the more, in my city's hot and humid weather.  Frequent washing does more harm than good. At the same time, to keep it cleansed is important to keep away the dirt that oil attracts. Dirt tends to clog pores and results in more mess. 

It is here that the honey exfoliating face cleansing gel has its advantages:

Honey naturally moisturizes even as the gel cleanses; i love that honey is also a natural bleach (which does wonders for subduing minimal facial hair). 

This product has turmeric which makes it an antiseptic as well.

Lathers well for a natural product. 

Kept my face from getting oily or greasy at bay for at least about two or two and half hours. 

No harsh effect - though, it must not be applied on acne or pimples (no scrubbing against acne or pimples, if you have them).

It is hypo-allergenic.  Yet, the product advises an allergy check to start with - applying it on the back of one's elbow for 15 minutes. Good to follow that.

Because it also exfoliates as it cleans (yes, we are well and truly in a multitasking era), it helps rejuvenate and protect skin.

The feature I best loved is - it has a very subtle or mild fragrance. I am actually allergic to fragrances and perfumes - so only the very mild ones or preferably, ones that emit no fragrance do for me. This one emits a very mild citrus fragrance - as a matter of fact, more a 'bark' fragrance than citrus - its like smelling mild wood :)

Size: 100 ml

MRP (Maximum Retail Price): Rs. 295 [but available after discount across a number of online stores selling beauty & personal care products].

You can reach:

Just Herbs on Twitter

FAB Bag on Twitter

Cheers :)

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Autumn's Shadow: Random Photography

Some random original photography, from yours truly, this:


This reminds me of a famous line from the title song of an old Hindi movie called 'Kati Patang' featuring Asha Parekh & Rajesh Khanna:

"Pathjad ki mein hoon saaya .."

That, when translated in English, means:

"I am autumn's shadow" :)

Cheers :)

Aish Karo with Cashkaro.com

Aish Karo, in Hindi language, colloquially stands for 'Have Fun' or 'Enjoy'.

Its only natural that I found Aish Karo rhymes perfectly with Cashkaro :)

I recently had super fun & enjoyed myself shopping online with Cashkaro.com:

Cashkaro is India's largest Cashback site!



While they offer cashback and coupons on a range of genres - restaurant offers, product deals etc., being a fashionista means I invariably end up with apparel or jewelry first!

Cashkaro.com is running a very inviting cashback offer for Myntra.com - you can find it in the Cashkaro Myntra store offers page.



That is Rs.240 cashback the first time someone gets on to Myntra from Cashkaro & shops for a minimum of Rs.400 :)

For subsequent visits to Myntra from Cashkaro, Rs.112 cashback per order :)

That is an assured Rs.240 or Rs.112 for every order of minimum Rs.400!

If you think its a handsome deal, wait, the icing on the cake is: we could use this cashback offer along with any of Myntra's current running deals; which is what I did!

Myntra ran a 'Flash 60% off' sale (just watch out for the next) and I went through Cashkaro and shopped.  




See the results:

Myntra Order applying their Flash 60% off coupon:







The first of the 2 part shipment arrived in less than 24 hours from Myntra! 

Its what I call bliss home delivered in boxes - take a look:















I love Myntra's Dressberry for its feminine silhouettes & liberal use of sheer :)

My Cashkaro cashback got tracked and I got an email:



Isn't that a super cool way of having super fun?

My review synopsis for Cashkaro.com:

Advantages:


1.  Cashback & Coupons on a wide range of brands, categories.

2.  Fantastic minimum limit on most sites, especially Myntra! Kudos!

3.  Good cashback percentage on most sites, especially Myntra! Kudos!

4.  Very agile customer service (I reached through email, very responsive)!

5.  Cashback did get tracked promptly, as the site guides (big relief - I have shown proof above -in these times of all types of cons, this one is true & straight forward)! I will also post a screenshot when the cashback earned gets paid into my bank account :) Just didn't want to wait until then for this post.


Improvements needed:

Well, well .. we are one demanding lot aren't we? Is anything ever enough?

So here is what can get better about Cashkaro:

a.  Only if you have a minimum cashback earned of Rs.250, it can be transferred to your bank account.  Which is, to start with, a very reasonable limit (after all, they need to do an online transfer or cut a cheque).  

I still would love to see the limit go and transfer happen order by order :) 

Warning: this could be asking for too much from a business that is relatively new but growing well.

b.  This is not primarily an improvement need for just Cashkaro, but in equal measure for the retailers associated with them:

The cashback settlement period is rather long - I think, at present, about 8 to 12 weeks.  While the cashback promptly gets tracked, the retailers take time to confirm & pay the real cash to Cashkaro, who then have to pay us, the shoppers.  See my estimated time for receipt in the aforesaid screenshot.  I would love for retailers to work with Cashkaro to make it shorter, may be, cut it to half.

c.  I understand some retailers track cashback (within a couple of days of shopping) at the lowest limit and then revise it to the actual amount closer to date of payment.  That is, if you shopped from Cashkaro on Myntra for the first time, within 2-3 days, your cashback gets tracked at a minimum Rs.112 and later, after verification that you indeed shopped for the first time on that account (email ID), it gets revised to Rs.240.  I would love for the retailers to track it at the actual amount, right in the beginning. 

Thank you Cashkaro.com for my recent Aish Karo experience :) I will surely be back.

Like it?

Go, set up your account on Cashkaro and have your very own Aish Karo experience!

Cheers :)