Thursday, December 27, 2012

Rann Festival, stay tented

A bit on travel.

We recently went to Kutch region to attend Rann Festival organized by Gujarat Tourism. Reach Bhuj by flight or train from where pick up is provided.

What does the package consists of?

We took 3-night AC tented accommodation. There were about 300 tents set up at Dhordo village. Great facility and excellent planning. Food is good but beware it is Gujarati with lot of besan flour for all meals and less vegetables, barring that same salad served everyday.

This tented village has a small museum, shopping arcade, food court, an area for games and an amphitheater for performances. Yes, there are nice traditional Gujarati song and dance performances every evening.

Should you go?

You should go for the tented village at Dhordo. And remain there. AVOID the daily trips that are part of the package. Nothing against them, but a daily 3 hour drive (that is just one way) to not so spectacular destinations is absurd. Of course, the white sands could have been a consolation but unfortunately for us, the rains spoilt it. The salts had de-crystallized and instead of the white horizon, everything was brown.

On day one you are taken to small villages. Poor villagers! They are timid and as Savitha said we were intruding into their lives. Of course, you could shop in these places. But nothing special about them. On day two, I fell ill and we decided to stay put at the tent. Otherwise we would have gone to Indo-Pak border. Few people who did go for the trip said that it was a waste especially if you have the famous Wagah on mind. The border was a long distance from the place where people were taken.

To top it the third day options include either a trip to Narayan Sarovar or to Mandavi Beach. We went to the sarovar which was about four hours from Dhordo village. There are two temples - Kotteshwar and Narayan Sarovar - to visit. Though we were told that they have big significance for Hindus, we avoided it due to the long travel and probably because we are not as religious. While we came back cursing, others who went to Mandvi also were unhappy. Apparently, the beach is dirty. 

So, if you do want to go to Rann Festival, please stay back in the tents and relax. At this point of the year, the weather is pleasant and the Dhordo village is very good.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Underwear, the inside story

Not that I haven't experienced it, but with age, I think, we start appreciating smaller things in life more.

And I must say that there are only few things in life that can match the happiness that a new snugly fit underwear can provide. While trying to collect data for blog, I visited this wiki page on undergarments. I realized the depth and breadth, the science and art of that humble piece of clothing.

I shall not try to get into it and will stick to the happiness part that a newly bought trunks gave me and my realization of how I have been buying a product based on brand equity rather than the merits. Now as you have learnt from the wiki page, there are undergarment for every occasion. I have been a boxer person for a very long time now. but after I took up tennis, my undergarment shopping list included trunks as well. Never brief, the reason for which for my own sake I will never even briefly provide.

Jockey has always been the brand of choice for boxers and when my shopping list expanded for the other type, the choice followed. Though I have bought other brands like Hanes, Crocodile and Tantex, I usually would go back to Jockey. My mind was conditioned. Recently, due to convenience of a store located on the drive back home coupled with absence of a Jockey shop, I bought Poomer trunks for tennis. Like a child who likes to wear a new dress with much awaited eagerness, I tried Poomer the very next day for my game of tennis.

The product was remarkable and I found great comfort. That was the trigger, I became inquisitive. I wondered if it was because I was trying a new brand hence Jockey trunk didn't feel as great or actually Poomer was a better product. Then, I immediately bought a Jockey trunk so that the experience is fresh and I could do a real experiential experiment.

Results? I must say Poomer, which is as affordable as Jockey, is definitely a better product than my brand of choice for boxers.

And here is how Poomer scores over Jockey in the following categories:

  1. Price: At Rs. 150 and odd, the Jockey is slightly higher priced. But the difference is not too much. Actually, in my mind, I position Jockey to be more premium than Poomer. In fact I didn't expect the latter to be so highly priced.  
  2. Elastic: The elastic in Poomer is the traditional old model meaning you can see it with the brand name inscribed on it. Padded with cloth inside, it does provide great comfort and hugs the waist (a rather large one of mine) well. Jockey on the other hand is not so loud, the elastic is clothed on both sides. It is important because many brands do not have the insides padded which leave a very strong impression on the tummy and even hurts. But certainly, the hug of Poomer is far superior than Jockey. In fact, I found the latter to be little slag.  
  3. Comfort: The First Day Test can tell you a lot. If it gives you the best feel on day one, you can almost certainly be sure that it will feel good for a long time before diminishing returns sets in. You get this elated feeling, at least I get it with the good new one.
  4. Fit: The problem with Jockey was not only the waist but also the legging (for want of another word). Both the elastic top and bottom leg parts roll down and up, respectively. This often causes irritation and discomfort.
  5. Durability: I observed that in terms of life both brands last almost equally.
Isn't this a classic example of promotion over product. How a good product with promotion can be better positioned and how a better product without promotion may not achieve the same. Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe both the companies have clear segmentation strategy which is not clear to me.

Before I close, I thought I will register my quote here on this wonderful subject of "andar ka maamla"

Undergarments are like second skin, we shouldn't be aware of its presence. The moment we are reminded, it means there is a problem with it.