One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.
That’s what came to my mind the moment I received a message from Naveen (Indiblogger) that said – I was shortlisted as one of the 60 bloggers being invited to Goa for Tata motors Zica launch event. I am usually a pretty introvert person who avoids most social gatherings, especially where I do not know anyone closely. Boredom is my nemesis and on top of it all, I am hesitant to approach strangers. But something made me say yes this time. Perhaps it was all about the attraction to Goa and the lure of driving on the scenic roads. My bags were already packed from the trip to Europe that I had just come back from on December 2, 2015. And so I left for the new adventure just three days later.
After an uneventful flight to Goa on morning of 5th Dec, the ride to the hotel was jam packed with action and adventure. A mishandled bag, Verbal banter on the phone with the guy whose bag one of our people had mistakenly carried with them – those were the few things that hailed the arrival of an exciting weekend that was in store for us.
Tata motors and Indiblogger Team was all set and ready to welcome us to Goa when we reached Hotel Alila Diwa. Post introduction and registration; we were lead to lunch while the teams expertly took care of our check in formalities. The lavish spread of lunch menu made sure we had the satisfaction of the mind as much as of the tummy.
I admit, it gets awkward to share a bed with stranger, but lucky for me, I hit it off pretty well right off the bat with my allotted roomie for the stay –Dr. Supriya Himanshu. A little siesta later, we were both fresh and aptly dressed to take on the Gonsua Beach.
For the next hour, the bloggers dabbled in different beach activities. Some of us played a few bouts of beach football(or whatever that game was!), walked along the peaceful beach( I spotted a few bloggers who went prettttty far), did a little foot dipping in the cold ocean waves(some went all in, i kept my safe distance, thank you!), spotted various sea creatures such as baby crabs, starfishes and shells (oh, so many photo ops). Although the one activity that all of us did which was the most important of them all – taking selfies. Solo, in a group, in the sea, in a large group where most of us had only awkward limbs visible in the pic. You name it, we did it.
Back to hotel it was afterwards, for the high tea and session with indiblogger. Fun ensued with discussions that ranged from what Bloggers can do to change the world, to what fashion/food bloggers were doing at an automobile launch event to How to get your money back from scamming fraudsters. At the end of this session, we were asked to choose our teams for the next day’s drive and challenges. I picked my team, or rather my team picked me, and we actually started to #Gearupforgreat drive as we next entered the locker room session hosted by Tata motors. It was an awesome setup of an actual locker room for all the bloggers, with personalized memorabilia for each. Excitement soared higher just as Cyrus Sahukar entered the locker room as our coach. Boy, he is tall, funny as hell, and did I mention, that he is tall?!!
Cyrus also introduced us to Delna Avari. The lady who got Lionel Messi to say – “Namaste India”. Soft spoken, yet determined and driven, she explained the Tata motors of MadeofGreat campaign and its impact.
Next was the technical narration by Pratap Bose, of how Tata Zica was conceived and eventually born. I tell you, it wasn’t boring like I expected it in the first place. I loved this part of the locker room session the most in fact. Especially because what followed was the most spectacular thing I’ve seen in quite a while. Once Pratap Bose finished, the locker room transformed in a night club, with awesome beats and disco lights, and lo and behold – the seemingly uninteresting locker room wall turned itself into a sliding door and there it was – The coveted Zica.
Zica was surrounded by its proud creators, being shown off in the best possible light, in most impressive of ways. I was already feeling pretty excited to get my hands on to driving it the next morning.
I looked at all the stations set up that explained different features of Zica. I heard people ask question in jargons and the Tata team explain as simply as possible. I walked around the Zica a few times in a circle I guess, taking in the smallest details, of the chrome finishes, the design elements like door handles and Tata emblem, the bright sunburst orange color that was complimented by the accents, etc.
Reluctantly, I left the locker room when the session ended, but all in all the festivities had just begun. A quick freshening up and dress change (well the agenda did say it was a Cocktail Party!) , and we were back to rock the evening. The celebration began with Cake, followed by drinks, dinner and karaoke.
Oh, I can write whole another blog post for the karaoke session, but let’s just say it was a night of new revelations. That Cyrus can do such an awesome impersonation of Elvis Presley, that a Lady ( Take a bow, @BlogwatiG ) can rap “Ice Ice Baby” like a pro, and that the bloggers I was surrounded by were such talented folks.
Reluctantly again, we bid goodnight to friends and went to catch some required sleep, for there was going to be an early morning start the next day. Or so we tried to sleep at least. My roomie and I had to remind ourselves to sleep, or else we could have just talked the night away.
Dot on time next morning, we received our wakeup call and we proceeded to get ready and leave for breakfast and then the drives in our Zica. Breakfast was as scrumptious as all the other meals we had in this hotel, and I was truly getting confused this time about what to eat and what not to. But finish fast we must, as zica awaited.
Outside, 20 Zicas were lined up, each with their support vehicles. All the team captains(drivers) got a quick demo again on Zica controls, Navigation Routes, and the role of support vehicles. I was given a petrol variant of the car for my drive, and I adjusted the seat, rear-view and side mirrors to my height.
After a few minutes, we were all flagged off with our cars and we began our fun drive with crazy challenges that we did on the way. Next few hours went in a jiffy as we tried to do as many challenges as we can while enjoying the drive to narrow but scenic routes of Goa. As far as I remember, our Team P3 that consisted of a much similar minded Sid (@Iwrotethose) and probably the quiet-est person I have ever come across , Ajay ( @ajaykontham), we finished 25-26 challenges out of all 29 that were given to us. It was a mean feat, I tell ya!
Read more about the challenges here on Sid’s blog here – http://www.iwrotethose.com/of-sand-goa-and-a-zica-licious-affair/
Also Ajay writes his experiences here – http://www.ajaykontham.in/2015/12/the-goa-experience.html
The drive ended at noon for us, and we continued on to feedback session with Cyrus and then to our lunch before we head back to airport for our flights back. Altogether, this weekend turned out pretty awesome, so a heartfelt thanks to both the Indiblogger Team and Tata motors Team is due.
Thanks Indiblogger Team, Naveen, Vineet, Swati, Anoop, for this event. Keep doing these kinds of events, and keep inviting me while you are at it. 😛
As for the car itself, there are many things to be loved, and a few to ponder upon. Here are the car Technical Specifications docs for reading – Key Features and Specifications – ZICA Petrol
What I liked about the car in specific is as follows –
- The ease of use with which the car handles. I drove it for 3 hours straight and didn’t feel tired. Seats are comfy and the default setting of steering wheel is at a great angle and height. I have driven a few hatchbacks and I own and drive a sedan, and so I appreciate a car that handles well.
- Turning radius of this car is great. I could just about do a U turn right in my lane without maneuvering in a few reverse and forward gears. That made driving in Goa so easy. I’m sure the car will fly in/out of city traffic as spectacularly.
- As a female driver, I like my storage spaces for bags, groceries, mobiles, etc and the personalized interior accents inside the car. It was great to have both in zica.
- 8 Speaker Harman Kordan spound System! Need I say more?!!
- Sexy Door handles are Sexy! And so is the sexy new and improved Tata emblem.
- At one point in the drive, on a long empty stretch, I pushed the car to 100+ and it held its ground underneath. I amazed at the grace with which the car handled it so well.
- The city mode and the eco mode. Both the modes greatly affect how you drive and your fuel mileage and how the car reacts. A sign of good engineering.
Somethings that left me desiring more –
- A good flawless navigation system.
- Engine that felt rather noisy inside the cabin. Perhaps a better insulation needed?
- Glove compartment latch. It was difficult to get used to, at first.
All things considered, Zica is aptly named as it’s really a zippy car while driving. Other hatchbacks must watch out for this underdog in the competition who might just blew everyone’s mind in this segment with its aesthetics and integrity, provided its priced just right.