At last I have finished almost all that was asked of me at work over the last week. I might have sounded a bit off last week, but that is because I was under major stress. Of course, I'm still broke, but the month is about to end and I should be moneyed again. Not for long, but at least the first two weeks of June should go fine and the maid will be coming back which means decent food all over again.
I realise that I didn't write a decent report on the Innova, which I will do later. But first...
NEVER EVER GO TO ORANGE ROOM AT THE ASHOK.
There I said in big bold letters. It is really that bad. I mean the decor is nice and the drinks are OK too, but the DJ is really fucked up. Why? He was interspersing contemporary Hindi indipop music (which is bad enough as it is... but this Delhi for God's sake - Bheegi Bheegi Yaadein which translates as Wet, Wet, Memories was played umpteen times) with Michael Jackson, Bee Gees, Madonna and god knows what else. There was not even a single relative contemporary (as in last 24 months) song the guy played from an English artist - No Usher, No 50 Cent, None of the pop tart brigade (which was a good thing). But Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal? In 2005? At a night not advertised as 'Retro', and is even politically correct to play MJ nowadays, given that the man is standing trial for 'loving' young boys. Now I don't want to pass judgement on the fact that MJ 'loved' those young boys 'metaphorically' or 'physically' but anyone who has had a nose job or ten too many is weird. And Madonna's Holiday, which passed into the netherworld of music two decades ago was our DJ's choice for the night. I asked the guy for daft Punk, and he looked at me like 'What?'
Stupid and bad DJ. A good DJ can make even a crappy place seem good, like the old Mezz. But a bad DJ can ruin even a decent place, and this was a very good (or bad) example of that. Unfortunately, Delhi bar and restuarant owners have to realise no matter how good you make a place look, the food, drink and (in nightclubs) music have to be good. And while you'll never see Today give a bad review of any single place (bread and butter syndrome) it should seriously start doing that. And people vote with their feet and wallets, and if I went to someplace which sucks because a tabloid told me to, I will be very pissed at that tabloid. Bad places deserve bad reviews.
Now, there is the Innova. Well, honestly the top end version of the Innova the 'V' model is actually very comfortable. It is easy enough to drive, has very good pick up in the low-to-mid range and potters around nicely at 80-90 kmph. If you push it hard, it protests a bit, mine even had a weird case of unintentional gear slippage. But, it can go fast. However, the ride is amazing. It is more comfortable (by miles) than the Qualis, the ride (and this was a test drive vehicle - which means it had been raped by auto journos before me) was surprisingly good. It was actually nicer to ride in than the Camry. It is bigger than the Camry, and it has two AC's. Rides nice and high, costs around Rs 10 lakhs and its got enough space for two Great Danes. The vehicle (it is a van, but Toyota wants to call it a car, which I can't so this is a compromise term) is a bitch to park though. It is huge and though the steering is light, parking this thing is difficult. So is maneuvering it through Delhi mad-hour traffic. Good vehicle, but a bit too big. Or maybe I'm just too used to my little Alto by now. The baby just crossed 9000km today, and its only seven months old (The more I drive, the more I lose resale value, and with digital odo's clocking will be difficult)
OK, so the dirver losing the 'keys' was a bit stupid, but anyway... I enjoyed the Innova a lot. And I hated 'Orange Room'. Kind of equals out.
I'll blog a bit more tomorrow, while watching the F1 race. I support Kimi Raikkonen for this season, because I can't stick Flavio Briatore, Renault's team manager.