Saturday, June 27

Dubai - The Diamond of the Middle east & Ramadan - The Holy and pious month


Many do say that Ramadan month its a bad time to visit Dubai as a tourist. But, Its this time, one should visit Dubai to see it in its full cultural vibrance. 

The Grand view of Burj Khalifa with UAE flag
The UAE flag with the Burj in background

From the Fasts to Iftar, prayers to getting together at night, it gives a close look at Arabic community at its finest. Interlaced by a fabric of global expats, it is woven in such a intricate way that no other place can be this inclusive and restrictive at the same place when it comes to regional traditions and practices. 

Burj dominating the sky along with the Holy moon of Ramadan
Burj dominating the sky along with the Holy moon of Ramadan

The Great Kings of United Arab Emirates, have been visionaries and for them, we have a nation upholding the framework of Islam yet building an inclusive kingdom, that even the multi - ethnic West should look to for learnings. 

Down town Dubai lit up

Tuesday, June 23

Design trends - minimalism is now grayscale too

Minimal will remain in style for another year

For business websites, going wafer thin and minimal with light weight drops for additional info seem to be the flavour of the season.

minimal greyscale apple webpage
Grayscale skeletal design 

Checked out the new #Apple Store websites and the whole theme has gone even more minimal. Rather Skeletal. 

Apart from retaining their less uncluttered feel, the move to Greyscale for most of the text and icons have added a certain strength or solidity to the feel.

It translates to an impression of "clear, I know what I am doing and how well", crisp greyscale & "authority" concept for Apple store clearly works in Apple's flavour

crisp clean and authoritarian apple webpage
Crisp, clean and authoritarian text

The Interesting bit is, a month back, I had a new set of the good old business cards printed and it looks inspired by Apple.

BULLETISM: Chasing the Bullet

Chris Zahner : Filmmaker, explorer and now Royal Enfield addict

Artist, filmmaker and traveller Chris Zahner, was introduced to Bulletism (a religion on its own) jus some years back(2011). It soon grew on him and ending up in India to focus on a documentary based on RE and its affair with Indian Junta.

Living d Enfield life in India, Chris has been working on a documentary : ‪#‎CHASINGTHEBULLET‬, an attempt to capture the essence of this legend

 custom Piston heads - chasing the bullet portal
Top contributors to Kickstarter fund raiser will get one of these custom Piston heads

In Chris Zahner's words,

“The legacy of Royal Enfield has been carried on by the hands of many. For generations it has woven itself into the cultural fabric of India."

Don't miss his website PrometheanLiver for some real  content, capturing the Royal Enfield way of life from varied perspectives. 

However, as a Bootstrapped project, he is now short on funds to complete the film. 

We humbly request our fellow Enfield lovers to chip in, as little as $1, via kickstarter

for, Its our story too

check out the coolest of live riding blogs : Motonomous & Co.

Image courtesy : many incl. Monotonous

Sunday, June 21

Sony: can a hygiene wash ur phone campaign sell phones?

can a hygeine or hand sanitiser style campaign really sell phones

Sony is either busy winding up businesses or on full dope.

The new dirty secret campaign is pretty interesting, though it kinda builds an impression that "waterproof" is the only key differentiator for its smart phone lineup. 

The hygiene campaign looks great and could have done well in launching a new hand wash or sanitiser gel, but a phone? 

Wonder why Sony isn't leveraging its assets like Cybershot, walkman or even PS. 

Sony Erricson was successful in using both Cybershot and Walkman! 

Sony phones would have done great under Vaio which already was an aspirational brand. Instead, they end up selling the brand itself. 

Now they are banking on tap water washing to rescue Sony mobiles? Insane!

The campaign seems India specific with Indian Rupee currency notes featured in the main page.  

Check out their dirty secret and germ-o-meter here at M4Aqua


As I See: A close encounter with a infant King Cobra

As I see : A Close encounter

Witnessed a baby Cobra (little more than a hatchling) being rescued from the busy Kollam railway station and the handler let it rest on top of his UV at a cool place away from the crowd. The snake was weary from the drama at the rail station and seemed thankful to relax atop the UV, which coincidently was a old #nationalgeographic 's #landrover !

 Worth a photograph, the image turned out well though shot on a cheap Sammy A7

A rescued baby cobra resting atop a land rover
A rescued baby cobra resting atop a land rover

Glad that snakes are respected and rarely killed in Kerala. There is always a snake specialist willing to risk his life to rescue and a active forest department ready to find a new home for the guest.

In this case it was one Mr. Murugan who safely rescued the nervous snake and awaiting forest officials to hand over the animal.

#kerala, It's worth the moniker 'Gods own country'.

Saturday, June 20

Siddhartha Lal : An Iconoclast in the making

Siddhartha Lal : An Iconoclast in the making



a person who attacks established or traditional concepts, principles,laws, etc
Derived Forms
iconoclastic, adjective iconoclastically, adverb

iconoclast. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved June 19, 2015, from website:
When Siddhartha Lal took over Royal Enfield, it was junk, ordered to shut down and the demise of a legendary brand was emminent.

A decade and half later, Royal Enfield is back, all guns blazing and its grand legacy intact

Sid as popularly known, did have his failures, be it initial brand positioning attempts and meaningless product lineup. 

Sid : Iconoclast

But as a true iconoclast, he dared to stay, and swim against the current set by smooth japenese bikes. With the right crew, hiring the right shops, the new Bullet came 100% true to its classic roots yet reliable as any other Indian bike.

Banking on biker-hood and riding culture, he was hands on in the job of reviving RE 's cult status. Turning Bullet into God.

The classic, Thunderbird and then came the best RE ever, the Continental GT. It was coming of age for the now India based Royal Enfield.

Now at the Helms of an ailing Eicher, Sid in typical iconoclastic style have spot an opportunity and has struck hard on it.

With Eicher Polaris Multix

Enter the Multix. A super compact do all vehicle for rural India. But the 'do all' goes way beyond other UVs have even thought of. Multix can transform into a power generator or a irrigation water pump.

Coupling with Polaris for their sturdy all terrain chassis and  tuning in a 500cc greaves deisel unit, Multix is actually paying road legal homage to the famous punjabi 'great Indian jugaad': the multi purpose  cart that runs on a water pump.

Priced at sub 3lakh, targeted directly at the end user, Sid has answered the need of a million medium size farmers and small businessmen. Obliterating the need for hiring a one tonne pickup + pump + generator to irrigate and manage orchards and dry fields.

Sid's move again is untested, unconventional and yet suprisingly simple.

During summers I often see these 1.0 tonne pickups loaded with a 1k ltr water tank and pump + generator for water supply. But the total cost of those pickups mostly exceeds 5 lakh and aren't really strong enough.

Maybe Sid too saw one during his road trips and acted on it quick. And like the GT, he went to the right shops for chassis and engines and quick to the market.

Sid and his team has pulled off a land mark feat. It is the first vehicle that answers the needs of today's farmer and small businessman.

Certainly an Iconoclast in the making. A man worthy of following

Multix from eicher Polaris : what rural India wanted

Eicher - Polaris Multix - GameChanger  for rural India

Eicher Polaris Multix compact utility vechicle for rural India portal
Perfect for the new Indian farmer

Eicher Polaris spotted the missing link between farmer / rural businessmen and the current offerings of 4 wheeled light/micro multi purpose vehicle lineup from the likes of Mahindra , Tata and Bajaj.

Averaging below 2 hectares, Indian farm holdings are too small with farmers having to rely on hiring the current crop of .75 to 1 tonne utility vehicles. 

The Eicher Polaris Multix with its compact yet sturdy built from Polaris is the perfect form factor for Indian rural farmer / businessman and by including a built in power generator and water pump, it just became the compact MUV that rural India ever wanted. With a bit more power, it would have replaced the orchard tractor too. 

Addressing the core issues faced by Indian farmer,  off-road mobility, utility space, on demand power and water pump, and priced sub 3 lakh with a fuel efficiency of near 28 kmpl diesel, MULTIX has gone straight to the end user with a compelling product.

Straight to the end user and family infact. Winner it is!

*This is like a startup killing the slumbering giants of tech  industry. Rest will soon redraw their rural utility vehicle concepts.

*images courtesy motoroid