Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Personalized Gifts with IGP.com

Choosing a nice gift for a friend can be quite difficult than it seems. More often than not, you’ll be wondering what to get him/her and running out of ideas pretty soon. You realize that, they already have most of the things and you are left with very little choices. If you’d ask me, a very ideal gift would be something personalized. Even if it’s a small keychain or pen, when you customize it with their pic or name, it automatically becomes very special and holds immense value to it. This has always been my go-to strategy and never seemed to fail to impress the other person. Fortunately, I was introduced to one such personalized gifts website called IGP.com and invited to review the same.

Personalized Gifts website

IGP stands for Indian gifts portal and one of the biggest multi category online gifts website. In most cases you either finding sites delivering only flowers or cakes or maybe the occasional Teddy Bear. IGP.com thankfully has a lot more variety than the traditional gifting options, giving us the much needed interesting choices we need.

The Personalized Gift Collection

Customization is usually the key in gifting and making the occasion memorable. A gift with a photo of your friend and their name engraved can be a delightful, well thought out gift. You can be sure, that it’s going to a prized possession forever. This could include a mug / tshirt / pen drive/ photo frame/ desk clock or even a perfume bottle with his name engraved. Now who would have thought of that?

Creative Gifting Categories 

As the name goes, you may be able to find gifts in several categories. They even made it easy by sorting it out against festival days, occasions and the type of recipients. These include
  • Home & Living:  This includes everything you might need for home (clocks/wall decors/Showpieces/mugs/office stationaries/ room decorators and furnishings.

Personalized Gifts website home furnishings

  • Fashion, Lifestyle & Jewellery: Be it perfumes set, watches/ties/cufflinks,T-Shirts, personal grooming kits for men, bags, accessories & dresses for women, and a whole bunch of fashion jewellery for women.
  • Toys & Games: This section includes all types of indoor & outdoor games for kids, board games, soft toys etc.
  • Gourmets: Probably my most favourite section in the site. They have a good variety of imported and Indian chocolates, sweets, dry fruits etc.
  • Cakes, Flowers and Teddies: As expected from a gifting site, you get a fair share of delicious cakes and flowers to deliver to anyone you’d want.
Apart from Product level categories, they have also sorted the gifts based on the occasion . This includes Birthdays, Father's Day, Mother's Days, Diwali, Friendship Day etc..

My Picks from IGP.com

After sifting through the entire collection for almost a day, I narrowed it down to a Park Avenue Gym Fitness Kit, a set of Superman action figures, a Vintage Aeroplane collectible and a Lomani brand of EDT kit.


Personalized Gifts vintage collectibles


Personalized Gifts Superman



After much deliberation I ended up buying the Lomani Deo-EDT combo kit for men at a price of 950 or so. This seemed to be an excellent deal and being a perfume lover myself, I couldn’t wait to try this out. The buying process worked smoothly, checked out and got the payment done in a minute or so and I received the mail almost instantly. 



The estimated time was roughly 3-4 days, but I had the product delivered, in 48 hours flat. The products came in a nice big carton neatly sealed. More importantly the perfume kit was wrapped with a ribbon and came with a small wooden tray as well. This seemed to be a perfect gift, you could give to anyone.

Delivery Map of IGP.com

IGP delivers to more than 150+ countries(including US/UK/Australia etc) and 7,000+ pin codes in India.  . You can either ship to any of these countries or even order from anywhere else to India.

So next time instead of breaking your head to get the "Perfect", "Creative" gift for your friend or loved one, just head to IGP.com ,  choose a personalized gift, upload their pic and name, have it delivered with gift wrapped & win those hearts !

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sunday Brunch Menu - An Inter-Continental Experience

I was fortunate enough to be invited for a special Sunday brunch buffet at one of the most popular 5 star resorts in the city, Intercontinental Resorts . This event included a complete tour of the resort and more importantly trying out the new weekend brunch menu in their in-house restaurant, "Melting Pot". Whenever I hear the word brunch menu, I keep constantly being reminded of the famous cheesecake factory brunch menus. So when you are on the lookout for nice Sunday brunch menus, you are left with the standard fare of restaurants with no variety or experimentation. Luckily this invite got me to explore my most favourite meal of the weekend, BRUNCH !

Intercontinental Resort Chennai




A drive along the east coast road followed by delicious food was everything I asked for , and that was exactly what I got. This is my first time to this beautiful beach resort and it certainly turned out to be a great one. Many things about this place impressed me. Inspired from a Pallavan dynasty based architecture,you could see it quite visibly through the lanterns lit over corridors , open air restaurants overlooking the majestic courtyard & performance area, the tastefully designed rooms (they even had a copy of Vogue magazine inside to stress the irony)😀😏 and many other things. (More on this extensively in my travel blog. Link to be updated shortly)

Sunday Brunch Menu

Coming to the food, the resort has two restaurants which includes Melting Pot and Tao of Peng.
Melting Pot is an Indian & Continental restaurant while Tao of Peng is a Japanese & Chinese restaurant.  This sunday brunch menu did not restrict itself to just Indian or Continental but rather had a wide spread of multi cuisine food. (Thankfully not another heavy South Indian thali on a lazy Sunday afternoon).

Sunday Brunch Menu


The brunch menu included a nice mix of Indian, Japanese, Chinese, European cuisines and Seafood. Live counters were present for most items including Mumbai chats, seafood, North Indian, Chinese, Japanese Sushi rolls, a salad bar. A refreshing mix of ice teas and juices were kept being refilled at the table itself. Without being too light or heavy, the menu was somehow kept just right to ensure you are not bogged down by a very heavy meal.




Coming to the breads, it was neatly stacked up one against with another and last time I counted, there were more than 20 types of breads & rolls. I guess the below picture may just tell you that.

Weekend Brunch Menu

The main course included pretty much everything else (Rice/Noodles/Phulkas/Biryanis/Indian breads) and I barely managed to skim through the large variety.  You always need some space for desserts right?

Brunch Desserts Menu


For a brunch menu, the desserts compliment the above foods and not stick to the vanilla or chocolate scoops. Melting Pot went ahead to dedicate an entire row for desserts, every possible kind you could think of. Red Velvet Sundae : Check . Chocolate Mousse : Check . Bluberry Cheese Cake : Check. Home Made Chocolates : Check ! Sea lion shaped dark chocolate on a stick: Check !!

Brunch Desserts Menu


As a staunch vegetarian , I really cant offer my personal comment on the seafood and other non vegetarian items there. But in all probabilities it may have been done just right, given how good the vegetarian items turned out to be .

Brunch Menue

Other Activities

Interestingly, Intercontinental has setup specialized Kids buffet counters, organized culinarysession on food arts with few of the MasterChefs and even setup a designated play area called Planet Trekkers. Kids also get to do some balloon arts and painting tattoos.
Adults get a complimentary access to the swimming pool and the private beach.
We also got to hear some classic old tracks played by some artist at the venue ( Couldn't catch his name though)


Intercontinental Location Details

Intercontinental Resort is located just 500 metres away from Crocodile Park, Chennai. So you don't really have to drive all the way to Mahabalipuram for this.
Address: No. 212 Nemelli Village, Perur Post Office,, E Coast Rd, Chennai,
Phone: 044 7172 0101

Disclaimer :
As stated above, I was invited by the wonderful guys at the ICC Resort and PassingPorts. However the opinions expressed are completely unbiased .

Monday, June 05, 2017

Tata Tigor Styleback - Selfie Contest


A few months back, you may have read my review of the latest launch from Tata Motors, namely the Tata Tigor, The car was one of its kind with style and design as its core elements and was even referred to as the Styleback car.


A completely refreshing and a revolutionary design, Tata Tigor seemed to really turn heads during its launch. With a premium sedan look in the front, a stretched out design , twin barrel headlamps and of course the large boot space made it  even more special and stand out from its competitors.

Barely few months later, Tata Motors has now launched a kickass 'Selfie' contest for the Tigor Styleback, which can help you to win some exciting prizes that even include "Zara" vouchers !

What you need to Do?


  • Sign up a simple form to do an awesome test drive of the Tata Tigor, the StyleBack.
  • Also get a chance to click a nice selfie with the Tigor.
  • Once done, just upload the selfie and tag Tata Motors on Facebook , Twitter or Instagram(links are provided below) with the hashtag  #TigorStyleback .
  • Do mention in the above post, your Name, City, Dealer Name name along with the selfie picture & hashtag
The official handles of Tata Motors include


Top Prize :  Randomly selected winners from these entries will be announced in the Tata Motors FB/Twitter page


So what are you waiting for ? Head to the nearest showroom and start clicking your selfies with the #TigorStyleback


Saturday, June 03, 2017

House of Cards S05 - The Underwoods are back

The most awaited political thriller and drama, House of Cards is back on television this year with its fifth season. Luckily, I managed to catch the first of the 13 episode season and I can confidently say, the show has certainly managed to come back in its true form, just where it left after the fourth season.

House of Cards Season 5


Note : This is a spoiler free review!

House of Cards SO5E01 - A Glimpse

Power games played at the highest levels of office in Washington, manipulating people at its worst and frankly doing anything possible to get to the top, House of Cards is everything you'd expect in a political thriller. If the first episode is any indication of what's going to happen in the remainder of the fifth season, be assured of a thrilling binge-worthy show, that could just keep your weekends fully busy. Be it the complex relationship with his wife, upcoming elections that may just seal his fate, and criminal allegations that he tries to defend, Frank Underwood may have caught himself in a lot of things. The season opener has just shown the door to various other twists and suspenses, that you might have not seen it coming.

Frank Underwood : Greatest President on TV Yet?

Kevin Spacey screen presence

Though I wouldn't go too much into the details (to retain the spoiler-free experience) , be prepared to expect some power packed acting from the master actor, Kevin Spacey. Almost getting transformed into the role of Frank Underwood,this can definitely be one amongst his greatest performances in his career. An impeccable screen presence, brutal power shown through his eyes and his legendary acting can just make anyone glued to the Tv screens.


HOC S05 - Drawing Parallels in 2017 ?

In the first episode, you can't help but wonder at the startling similarities between some of the scenes and the actual current administration at the White House. In both cases, the country seems to be unsure of what's really happening inside, while an air of unrest lingers around. Frank Underwood may not be the most popular person in the country, but certainly has several tricks up his sleeve to retain his Presidency, votes and of course the Congressional support. As the scenes unfold in rapid moments, Frank Underwood yet again manages to come out of the scene, and talks to the viewers in his trademark style. Truly gives me the chill everytime. Every single time ! Do we even need any more reasons to watch the rest of the season?


Whats HOC all about ? (For those who haven't seen the show yet)


A ruthless and corrupt man,  Frank Underwood(Kevin Spacey), gets his way in almost everything he desires. He manages to plot a devious scheme along with his wife, to attain the greatest seat in the country. From a congressional Whip, to the President of the United States, House of Cards showcases the gripping realities of United States politics, in its true colour.

Awards and Recognitions for House of Cards

House of Cards has won a whopping 33 Emmy award nominations and also happen to be the first web-television series to win so many major Emmy nominations. These include Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Lead Actress.

When is it Airing in India?

Frank Underwood is coming to India with the television premiere of House Of Cards Season 5 on Saturday, 3rd June, 5 PM onwards, only on Zee Café! #HOConZCafe

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Rafflesia, The Banished Princess - A Promising attempt in Fiction

Never judge a book by its cover . You might have heard this a million times in so many different contexts, never once in its literal meaning. Well, I had the chance of experiencing this through a recent book I received called Rafflesia - The Banished princess.


The book cover has an image of a beautiful woman (Probably resembling a Japanese girl) holding a hand fan covering part of her face. The title reads Rafflesia - The Banished princess and you'll be naturally inclined to think, this is a mythical / fantasy story. Probably a beautiful princess in a far away kingdom, banished by an evil watch for whatsoever reason and so forth.

Yet, the book is not even remotely about it , and in fact a normal fictional drama. Before you proceed reading, I'd like to stress that , this is a spoiler free review and I'm not revealing any of the main plots in the below review.

The book is a fine mix of young adult fiction and a serious drama , as the author decides to switch back and forth between the protagonist's childhood and his future. Though some parts might get a little slow and melodramatic , it still keeps the reader quite engrossed in the happenings of the story. The dialogues, experiences and events seem quite real and authentic , and the book thankfully stays away from the fictional cliches away and makes it a little enjoyable

This 400 page book may not be the kind of book , that you might be able to finish it in a day or two. It needs time, yet in the end it proves to be a delightful read. The author deliberately leaves a lot of loose strings in several parts of the story , only to bring it all together in the end.

Gautam, the author of the book, has given immense importance to the lead character,Appu and makes the readers sympathize with him and even feel sorry for him at times. The best part about this book is, its non descriptive. Unlike other authors, who takes time in describing a staircase for 2-3 pages, he gets straight to the point.

The few downsides of the book could be the numerous characters being deployed. It's almost impossible to remember more than 60% of the names being mentioned. I had to kinda make note of who's who or keep switching back pages. Additionally , you feel a sense of melancholy throughout the book and this may not be a cheerful read as you might expect to be. Even in a celebration , there's a sadness that lingers away in the background and I sometimes even wonder if this was needed at that point.

Having said that the book is a delightful slow read, a promising bold attempt from the author and would definitely recommend to people who's looking for something new.