Book Review: ‘Aisle Be Damned’, exceptionally hilarious debut novel by Rishi Piparaiya

‘Aisle Be Damned’, Rishi Piparaiya’s debut novel is an exceptionally hilarious take on everything that one can relate with air travel. It has summed almost everything that can go wrong and right when you are air travelling. From what can go right when you step into the airport to what can go wrong while you choose your seat, meal and whatever else that an airline has got to offer. Every single person who has ever flown can relate to the book and those who do not like to travel by air and yet have to do that, they will relate with the every single thing mentioned in the book.
A Hilarious Take on just about Everything Associated with Air Travel.

–    Getting seamlessly upgraded to Business Class.
–    The hows and whys of micromanaging the pilots.
–    Action plans to counter the airlines Technical Snag routine.
–    Sure shot strategies for winning the affections of flight attendants.
–    Awesome icebreakers to start conversations with attractive co-passengers.
–    How smart executives deal with the Walk of Shame to the economy section.
–     How a water bottle dramatically improves flight safety.
–    Breezing through immigration and customs, always making your flight connections and a whole lot more
–    Rest assured, your flying experience will never be the same again!

Title: Aisle Be damned
Author: Rishi Piparaiya
Genre: Non- Fiction, Humour
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Pages: 216
Price: Rs. 250/-
For more details, visit:
Rishi Piparaiya is an over-worked and over-traveled corporate executive based in the skies, 38,000 feet over India. He has spent several years at one of the largest global banks and he currently heads marketing and sales for a financial services multinational company. He did his schooling at the Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai and undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Rochester and Cornell University in upstate New York. He speaks much of English, some of Hindi and a bit of Spanish but prefers to write ‘Aisle Be Damned’ his first book.


Goa declared best honeymoon destination by Travel & Leisure India magazine

Yet another time, Goa Tourism has won honours at an awards function recently hosted by leading travel magazine Travel & Leisure India and South Asia edition, where the Western Indian state was declared as the Best Honeymoon Destination, Best Family Destination, Best Leisure Destination and the Best Party Destination for India and South East Asia.


Valsala Vijayan Deputy Resident commissioner Goa Sadan receiving these awards on behalf of Goa Government from the hands of Ambassador of Portugal, Jorge Roza de Oliviera at a function held on March 31,2014 in New Delhi.

According to a statement issued by GTDC, Goa had not only bagged four awards in various categories but also emerged as Runner Up for Best Wedding Destination. The awards were conferred on March 31, 2014 at a function held in New Delhi. The T&L Awards are considered to be one of the most prestigious awards in the Travel, Hospitality and Leisure sector and winning five awards at this is a great achievement for the state, especially so following so close on the PATWA award.

While speaking about Goa’s achievement, Dilip Parulekar, Tourism Minister, Goa said: “I am very happy to note that Goa has won prestigious awards in so many categories. This matches with our aim of promoting the state as an all-round, 365-day destination and is a recognition to several steps taken by tourism department. In 2013 our tourist arrival figures went up by 12% compared to the previous year and we are optimistic that with all the initiatives taken by Goa Tourism, the number will increase further this year around”.

Goa Tourism bags PATWA award at ITB Berlin, Germany

Goa Tourism repeated its winning streak when it bagged the PATWA Award for the ‘Best Destination in Relaxation, Watersports and Entertainment.’ in a glittering function held at Saal 9, ICC building Berlin held on the sidelines of  ITB Berlin, Germany on March 6, 2014.  The award was accepted on behalf of Goa Tourism by Brijesh Manerkar, OSD, Department of Tourism, Goa, according to a statement issued by GTDC.
Speaking on the award, Dilip Parulekar, Minister for Tourism  said: “I am delighted to receive this award for the second time in a row. The award is recognition of path-breaking initiatives undertaken by Goa Tourism, such as introduction of Single Window System for Watersports activities on Beaches, Single Window System for according permission for Music festivals and Tourism events, as a result of which Goa managed to attract high profile Music festivals, weddings, etc. thereby cementing its place as India’s No.1 destination for Relaxation, Entertainment and Watersports.


Goa Tourism has been laying stress on World Class infrastructure Tourism and several Tourism projects have been initiated which will revolutionise Goa Tourism in the years to come. What is more, it is a matter of great pride that an International Body like PATWA has recognised the excellent work carried out by Goa Tourism”.
PATWA was established during the PATA Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The aim of PATWA is to promote professional development of travel writing and travel communication which makes invaluable contribution in the promotion of tourism. PATWA will support the fundamental objectives of PATA efforts for tourism and at the same time it will maintain adherence to the fundamental principles of the UNESCO, United Nations and of the World Tourism Organisation.
The members of the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA), adhere to the Fundamental Principles of the United Nations, UNESCO and the World Tourism Organisation (WTO).


– The wish to get acquainted with all human beings, to get to know countries and people, their habits, customs, history and civilization.
– The aspiration that commands people to live in good benevolence, co-operation and peace.
– The evolution of social living standards and the ceaseless development and process of communication to an extent when tourism becomes an essential need for the people.

Renault Gang of Dusters: Desert Odyssey flagged off in Rajasthan

The Chennai-based Renault India Private Ltd, India’s fastest growing auto maker, flagged off the second drive of its highly successful Gang of Dusters programme from, Jaipur today. The exclusive Desert Odyssey will see 30 Dusters cover around 1,500 kms of some of the most scenic parts of the country, passing through Bikaner and Khuri before culminating back in Jaipur on March 18, 2014.


The drive aims to provide an exciting, adrenaline-filled experience to Duster owners and their families as well as an opportunity to celebrate the festival of colors among the beautiful vistas of Rajasthan, according to a press statement issued by the firm.
Speaking about the drive, Sumit Sawhney- Country CEO and Managing Director for Renault in India said: “The Renault Duster has now achieved a near-iconic status among our customers, a fact that has contributed to the consistent sales success of the Duster. The first Gang of Dusters expedition was held across the West Coast last year and with the Desert Odyssey, we hope to build on the appeal of the Gang of Dusters and once again offer an opportunity for Duster owners to enjoy their vehicles during an adventurous and memorable escape in one of the most scenic parts of the country”.
During the Desert Odyssey, participants will be able to meet and share experiences with other Duster owner and driving enthusiasts, interact with Renault service personnel for maintenance tips a as well as take part in such activities as parasailing, soft roading and cultural events, among others.

The Gang of Dusters initiative will continue after the Desert Odyssey, with regular drives organized for owners across India in the coming months. For more information on the Desert Odyssey as well as to register for upcoming drives, visit .Regular updates will also be posted on Renault India’s Facebook page (

Renault India is a fully owned subsidiary of Renault S.A.S., France and currently offers five models in the Indian market – the premium sedan Fluence, the luxury SUV Koleos, the premium compact car, Pulse, the SUV, Duster and the premium sedan, Scala. Renault India also exports the Duster to right-hand drive markets, with India set to become a production hub for right-hand drive cars.

Renault cars are manufactured in the manufacturing facility located in Oragadam, Chennai, with a capacity of 480,000 units per annum. Currently, Renault India also has a widespread presence of 125 dealer outlets across the country with benchmark sales and service quality. Renault’s robust product line up and services have also seen strong recognition among customers and industry experts alike, winning a record-breaking 38 titles, including 29 accolades for the Duster as well as awards for the Pulse and Scala, making Renault the most awarded automotive brand in a single year in the country.

T20 World Cup 2014: Watch the cricket match on Live screen at Earth Plate Hotel Sahara Star

All you cricket fans out there, indulge yourself in sumptuous food at Earth Plate Hotel Sahara Star and watch your favorite team battle it out in the T20 World Cup this season.  Enjoy the cricket mania with LIVE screening of the matches on giant screens and that too uninterrupted.
You can now enjoy the flavour of T-20 cricket in a grand fashion at Earth Plate. Catch the excitement of World Cup action and enjoy the special promotions at Hotel Sahara Star with fellow cricket fans and lip smacking food. The entire restaurant will turn into a battleground with flags of the competing teams adorning the walls and T20 themed décor to add to the excitement.
Tickle your taste buds and enjoy beer for just Rs. 2250 at Earth Plate with unlimited foods and an array of international starters, innovative sandwiches, pastas and pizzas. So go ahead and tickle your taste buds while engaging in some serious cricket frenzy. Date: March 16, 2014 onwards. Price: Rs 2,250 plus taxes for buffet with unlimited Kingfisher beer/ Coke products, Rs 1,800 plus taxes for veg / non-veg starters with unlimited Kingfisher beer/ Coke products for matches during hi-tea. *Regular rates will be applicable for customers who do not choose the packages, ten percent discount will be extended to all Star gourmet members and 15 percent Aamby Valley EC’s  on the above package. For   Reservations   please   call   :   022 39807444   or   email us on Venue: Sahara Star, Opp. Domestic Airport, Vile Parle (East), Mumbai.
Sahara Star, the flagship hotel of Sahara India Pariwar, is poised to be one of India’s most sought-after 5 star hotel near Mumbai domestic airport. It has well-appointed 223 attractive rooms including 13 luxurious suites which are complimented by “9 specialty” restaurants which add to the beauty of the hotel. Sahara Star is a luxury class hotel with its picturesque tropical lagoon that looks up to the world’s largest pillar less clear-to-sky dome and the three compound-curved, custom-designed glass elevators with panoramic views. True entertainment infused with rich Indian Hospitality.
Be it seminars, workshops, conferences or grand celebrations, Sahara Star’s banquet is an ideal choice. At Hotel Sahara Star, it aims to host the finest meetings and banquets with magnificent venues for your events and celebrations. The hotel offer you a choice of numerous meeting rooms, state-of-the-art audio-visual facility and much more. The hotel also offers three levels of parking that can easily accommodate over 750 cars add to the convenience of the visitors. The hotel has serene ambience for both business and leisure travelers offering the pure luxury of enjoying the beauty of the India’s largest marine aquarium providing home to many wonders of marine life.

TaxiForSure launches APPTUESDAY offer for commuters travelling to and fro from Bangalore, Chennai Delhi, the leading online cab booking site run by Serendipity Infolabs Pvt Limited  has today announced the launch of its APPTUESDAY offer for commuters travelling to and from the Bengaluru, Chennai and Delhi airport or within the city’s limits, exclusively for Tuesdays.
According to a company statement, TaxiForSure has introduced this attractive offer on its mobile application booking, with commuters getting a Rs 50 talk time (for postpaid as well as prepaid) voucher on their booking. For an easy taxi ride, a customer will have to use the code APPTUESDAY while booking on TaxiForSure’s mobile application, available on Android phones and iOS phones. For new users, customers can download the mobile application at
Announcing the launch offer, Co-Founder and Director, Aprameya R said: “TaxiForSure has always believed in offering its customers the most comfortable and cost-friendly ride. Our super- intuitive app allows booking a cab in 15 seconds and lets you to track your driver too. The APPTUESDAY offer is a great way to get rewards on your app experience, every Tuesday this month”.
The offer will be available on all Tuesdays for bookings made on TaxiForSure’s mobile application suing code APPTUESDAY. Being one of the fastest growing startups in the city, has been offering its cab services at the best prices in the city since inception. is an aggregator of car rentals and taxis in India. The company works with various taxi operators and enables them with technology to ensure that customers get an easily accessible, safe, reliable taxi ride ‘for sure’.  
Founded by IIM Ahmedabad graduates Raghunandan G and Aprameya Radhakrishna in June 2011 in Bangalore. Within a time span of two years the company launched its services in Chennai, Delhi and NCR region and is looking at presence in 15 cities by the year 2015. Customers can book local point to point, local packages, outstation and airport transfer taxis, across various car types by logging on or by calling 60601010 or over the mobile app. Customers can also book a taxi through Twitter.

Polaris Experience Zone launched in Bhopal

Making its presence more available to the adventure enthusiasts and let the bikers enjoy dirt racing on uneven terrain, Polaris India Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries Inc, the world leader in off-road and All-Terrain Vehicles, today announced the launch of off-road track (Polaris Experience Zone) in RPM, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, according to a company statement.
Situated just a kilometer ahead of Ratibad town on Bhadbhada road, RPM offers the thrill of Polaris vehicles and a sense of discovery with bikers manoeuvring through dirt track with slush pit, humps, sand and stones all on a complete dirt terrain.
Spread over a huge area, RPM offers two tracks, one for adult and the other for kids. The adult track covers a stretch of 300 meters and has nine obstacles including two slush pits. The kid’s track on the other hand is 200 meters long. Offering terrains of thrill and excitement to adventure lovers, RPM also has other activities such as go-karting, archery and paintball.
Speaking on the launch Pankaj Dubey, Managing Director, Polaris India said: “With changes in lifestyle, people are leaning towards adventures sports. Amongst all, off-roading experience is gaining traction in India. Bhopal is a strategic location with Madhya Pradesh being a popular tourist destination. We foresee huge interest and growth prospects in Polaris Experience Zone.  We also plan to introduce more off-road tracks in other locations all over the country. With -such PEZ adventure lovers can now experience the real off-road thrill”.
The owner of the RPM, Sanjay V Shinde said: “We are thrilled to be associated with Polaris India. RPM was created with an ultimate aim to offer and serve maximum entertainment to people. It is an adrenaline-boosting place, where you will be exhilarated to ride the fast-paced Polaris ATVs on the muddy irregular un-levelled terrain. Taking care of adults and kids, the place offers different types of activities”.
Polaris India has on offer a diverse range of its models for the lovers of off-roading. The Phoenix 200 is a proven and reliable ATV. It comes with 200cc four-stroke single cylinder, air-cooled engine and Automatic Transmission (PVT) with forward, neutral and reverse.
The Sportsman Touring 500 HO has integrated front storage and Lock and Ride compatible rear rack making it easy to carry gear and comes with Engine braking system for smooth, controlled descents. The ultra-comfortable seat and backrest are fully padded and contoured for full support, with a slightly raised for clear visibility of the trail.
Trail Boss 330 is an entry level ATV. Combination of 329cc air-cooled engine and automatic transmission provides enough confidence to rider. Sportsman 90 with a four-Stroke Engine is a youth ATV which comes with Parent-adjustable speed limiter and includes instructional DVD.
RZR S 800 is a proven true-sport long-travel suspension package straight from the factory. The 12″ of front and rear suspension travel soak-up the roughest terrain. The 800 EFI high-output engines combined with a low vehicle weight delivers fast acceleration at 0 to 60 kmph in just four seconds.
Apart from the newly launched PEZ in Bhopal, Polaris also has 20 other such PEZ spread all over the county to reach out to more people and in turn give the participants a chance to experience the off-road racing experience within their city. Polaris India earlier launched Experience Zone (PEZ) at Dharuhera, Haryana.
Polaris India was established as a wholly owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries Inc, the US, which designs, engineers manufactures and markets innovative, high quality Off Road Vehicles (ORV’s), innovative All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), the Polaris Ranger®, (for recreational and utility use), Snowmobiles, Motorcycles and Electric powered vehicles. Polaris India Pvt. Ltd. launched its flagship products including ATVs, Polaris Ranger RZR®, Side x Side Vehicles and Snowmobiles in India on 24th August, 2011.The iconic Indian® Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle companywas launched in New Delhi , India on 22 January,2014 and the entire range of the all-new 2014 Indian® Chief® was revealed.
Polaris India, has taken one giant step to revolutionise the Indian market for catering to very culture of the Indian Territory with a wide array of diversified off-road vehicles designed exclusively for our elite customers and various utility use. Polaris India has a strong network of 16 Dealerships, 10 PRS (Polaris Riderz stop) and 20 Polaris Experience Zones (Off Road Tracks) to take the off road riding culture way ahead. They are state of the art and offer a workshop for service. These dealerships located at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Dehradun, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Srinagar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Dimapur and New Delhi. Information about line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories are available at or from authorised Polaris India Dealers.
Polaris is a recognised leader in the powersports industry with annual 2013 sales of $ 3.8 billion. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® and RZR® side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles.
Polaris is among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles and has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with the Victory and Indian Motorcycle brands. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the global on-road small electric/hybrid powered vehicle industry with Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), Goupil Industrie SA, Aixam Mega S.A.S., and internally developed vehicles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Polaris Engineered parts, accessories and apparel and Klim branded apparel.
Product Line
Sportsman® ATVs   Polaris Sportsman range of ATVs is the best way to enjoy the outdoors. They are affectionately called quad-bikes. Through rain or snow, flat or hilly terrain, our ATVs perform at optimum levels no matter what the region or the season. It is available in premium (high quality performance), 2 – Up (double seater) and value (more affordable) ranges.
Polaris RANGER RZR® Side by Side: Polaris Ranger RZR® Side by Side is the only sport utility off-roader which is exclusively built for off-road activities. Polaris off-roaders deliver a razor sharp performance every time. There are four variants available: Only Trail (exclusively for hilly/mountain terrain), only Sport (for dune-surfing and riding in open spaces), only four Seat (world’s first four-seater Side by Side) and Only Xtreme (Premium performance under all conditions).
Snowmobiles: Polaris snowmobiles promise to generate much excitement in India. They are available in Adventure, Crossover, Performance, Deep Snow, Trail Luxury and Utility ranges.
Polaris Range of Multi Utility Vehicles: The range of off-road vehicles offered by Polaris is undoubtedly one of the best in the market. It is designed to perfection for providing the maximum power, durability, higher loading capacity and superior manoeuvrability. The easy to use, hardworking multi-utility range of vehicles by Polaris is built specially for extreme performance and sturdiness. They are used in various industries such as:
Defence & Police:
Polaris Military vehicles are the solution for easy movement of military personnel in tough off-road terrains like hills, forest, snow, water, marshy land, desert, rocky land etc. Built to match the tough working of the Defence and Police, reaching the unreachable, achieving the impossible has become easily attainable with the range of Polaris Vehicles. Polaris “Light Tactical Vehicles” are most suitable for anti-insurgency, anti-terrorist and anti-naxal operations for quick movement in guerrilla war operations.
More ploughing power, tougher built, higher loading capacity, better manoeuvrability, and easy to handle, the agriculture range provides the option of achieving the maximum and best results for all farming needs.
Construction: The versatile, dependable and durable construction range helps in making the difficulties of construction easy. Designed for extreme conditions, these workhorses are available in a range of models to suit every requirement.

Explore the unexplored, create new possibilities and enjoy the beauty of nature with the maximum comfort provided by the tourism range of Polaris.
Forest Patrolling:
Ideally suited for deep jungles, marshy lands and rough terrain, Polaris range of vehicles will easily go in such areas. Forest Patrolling Range of Polaris will make sure that the journey is filled with possibilities and comfort.
Mining: Specialised designs, extreme power, higher loading capacity and easy to use Polaris Mining Range helps you in utilizing the available resources to give you maximum productivity with ease.
Adventure: Explore what few dare to explore, make the impossible possible, Experience the new definition of adventure created by the adventure range of Polaris.
Coastal Patrolling and Beach Rescue:
Safety sees a new high with the Polaris range of beach rescue vehicles, which dare to go into the marshy lands reaching out to the aid of the needy right on the spot, in a faster and more efficient way.
Ambulance Service:

The Ranger 6×6 800 modified ambulances are built with unmatched traction and capacity and have six wheels drives available on demand with simple switch. This is the ideal vehicle to move heavy loads over the harshest terrain. With an engine capacity of 760cc, this vehicle is perfect to manoeuvre on treacherous terrains as well as narrow strips, to supply medical help and assistance to places of difficulty. Polaris off-road ambulances are apt for supplying medical supervision in rural India and calamity stuck regions.

Car-pooling major FolksVagn forge alliance with Hindustan Times for Green Gurgaon Campaign

FolksVagn, a dynamic and India’s largest car-pooling service for corporates has collaborated with Hindustan Times’ ‘Green Gurgaon’ campaign as their car-pooling partner, according to a statement. The campaign which started in mid of January this year is all about spreading the green message among the corporates. One of the components of the campaign is following the idea of car-pooling to save fuel, pollution, traffic and hence, saving the environment.
Being their car-pooling partners, FolksVagn promotes the idea of going green in Delhi/NCR. Car-pooling to be rightly practised in India needs a formal system where the whole community can be connected through a single platform, keeping in mind each individual’s needs and their flexibility. FolksVagn provides that convenient option for the corporates that eases their lives. Through the Green Gurgaon campaign, FolksVagn has successfully been able to influence hundreds of people to register, who have already started using their service. The system is thereby playing a big role towards serving the nature by effectively reducing the traffic, saving parking spaces, reducing fuel cost, and stress for passengers and most importantly increasing safety for passengers. It is a much safer, convenient and economical option.
FolksVagn has already added thousands of members to its database in the first 2-3 quarters, with hundreds of users using the system daily. The system has successfully managed to associate with huge corporates and plan to actively participate in green campaigns in many other corporate hubs, where there are more than 50,000 cars on a daily basis, and where their service can hugely contributing in reducing the traffic by around 75 percent.
Launched on November 13, 2012 FolksVagn is a dynamic ‘car-pooling system’  that helps one share their travel with friends, colleagues or other like-minded people. Each user is verified and there is an automated payment system from the passenger to driver. FolksVagn allows flexibility of time and co-travellers, and basically supports two kinds of users- passengers and drivers. One can also connect with FolksVagn on Web, Apps and SMS.

India Heritage Tourism Conclave – 2014: Tourism secretary Parvez Dewan urges site developers to preserve tourism heritage

Parvez Dewan, Secretary, Tourism, Government of India urged all the site developers to develop and preserve tourism heritage by protecting ecology, environment and nature in and around it. The official recommended that the best way to develop and preserve them in India would be by evolving efficient manufacturing techniques with imagination on lines adopted by successful global players such as British and German governments.
Dewan inaugurated the third India Heritage Tourism Conclave-2014 organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi today. The Secretary, Tourism recommended that tourism and heritage sites all over the country and especially in terrains and landscapes within the Himalayan range and other places should be developed in such a way that original structures are intact and protected. For development and preservations of palatial places and sites, the best way would be to turn them into hotels so that those who choose to stay in such places enjoy and imagine the culture and heritage of such vintage, he suggested.
SM Khan, Director General, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting said: “The Government in consultation with all States and concerned stake holders were taking all possible measures to develop tourism and preserve our ancient culture in a manner that was not hostile to nature and scenic beauty.  I appeal to all the media organisations to create awareness so that development efforts of the governments and private sector for preservation of India’s tourism and culture are encouraged”.
Sharad Jaipuria, President, PHD Chamber in his welcome remarks assured the participants that the Chamber would take the initiative for promoting tourism and heritage to all 12 States in which the PHD Chamber operates and even in overseas economies in which the PHD Chamber interacts with its counterparts for mutual economic gains. He said that about 13 crore domestic tourists move to inter-state tourist destinations while Foreign Tourist arrivals during the period 2013 stood at around 68 lakhs.
The foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector during 2013 stood at around $ 18 billion and hence, India has a significant potential to become a preferred tourist destination globally, Jaipuria added.
Saurabh Sanyal, Executive Director, PHD Chamber, in his Special Address said that the total market size of tourism and hospitality industry in India stood at around $ 118 billion currently and is expected to double in the next five years. The tourism sector has excellent growth avenues as the Government of India has allowed 100 percent FDI under the automatic route. The Government is making concerted efforts to develop quality tourism infrastructure at tourist destinations across the country.  Among others who spoke on the occasion for all round development and promotion of tourism and heritage comprised Vijay Mehta, Chairman, Tourism Committee, PHD Chamber; Madan Mohan, Director, Deneb & Pollux Group of Companies.

GITANO, a music album by Hamza who imbibes musical styles from across the globe

It is impossible to imagine a more complete fusion with nature and universal world music and house beats than that of the Gypsy. Perhaps that is why Hamza – who has travelled / lived around in three different continents (South Asia, Europe, and North America) – has come out with a music album that not only gives a flavour of his travels but is named ‘Gitano’ – the Spanish word for gypsy.
Hamza, owner of Wind Horse Records has reached a milestone in his twentieth release as it is his first full-length album. Gitano is culmination of a prolific five years for the Indian producer with over a hundred recorded tracks and singles for the likes of legendary German label Kompakt and New York-based Deep House imprints King Street, Nite Grooves, and Open Bar Music. Now in its fifth year, Wind Horse Records – the first house music label of India – continues to pioneer the deep and tech house movement in India with releases, parties, and ground-breaking collaborations.
Gitano emerges out of a feeling embodied in the many different sonic landscapes wandered in and out of across the ten track release, touching on Latin, Celtic, flamenco, funk, and jazz influences within its house music foundation – incorporating many cultural trademarks. Hamza, with his uplifting melodies, sparkling production, and warm bass lines aims to seamlessly merge floor-driving deep and tech-house styles with a reverent helping of global musical traditions.
The opener ‘Sky Song’ features Celtic strings plucked in a way that somehow recalls the wilderness of the African motherland.  A soul satisfying bass line is magically mixed with wonderfully floated key stabs, pseudo-psychedelic guitar staccatos that wash from side to side, and a horn that sounds like it is straight out of New Orleans. ‘Blue Groove’ and ‘Ritmo Del Amor’ have a very classic Latin-influenced New York house sound incorporating percussion, funky bass guitars with plenty of groove, energetic keys on a mission, quick flute accents, and vocals used as their own instruments. ‘Blue Groove’ also features the contribution of Bista – a new studio collaborator with Hamza. ‘Tech Me to Havana’ is exactly as the play on words in the title suggest and ‘New York 2 New Delhi’ blends all this into a familiar epic of evolving bass, chugging stabs, highs soaring on sensory overload, and explosive build ups.
‘Let The Music Play On’ (featuring the vocals of the UK-based Loopy Juice), ‘Do It Right’ and ‘City Lights’ bring to the forefront more funk and jazz elements across guitar riffs, claps, snares, cymbals, and vocals. With the help once again of the enigmatic Bista, ‘City Lights’ shows Hamza’s ability to transform an unassuming track into a booming dance floor number full of tech energy. ‘Every Time the Bass Goes Down’ is a funky affair but markedly different with its braggadocio vocals over the interplay of organ and distorted synth bass lines. It features another first for Hamza, as the vocals are his own, added as an experiment that successfully enhanced the tune.
The title track, ‘Gitano’, with its driving bells, crashing cymbals, remarkably deep bass, classic flamenco guitars and traditional singing is a melting pot of South African melodies, Spanish finger work, and UK bass tied with an Indian voice.
Having developed many talented resources for export to the outside world, Wind Horse has recently been incorporating more remixers from the West, encouraging a two-way global relationship. Hamza has also been working to expose an Indian audience to the possibilities of house music through his Sunday Sundowner parties in New Delhi where he is joined by other artistes from the Wind Horse roster. Hamza aims to take this party to other parts of India, incorporating homegrown talent, and inspiring a pan-Indian house music movement. More world tours will follow as Hamza further exposes his special mixture of house and world music to global dance floors.
Hailing from New Delhi and now working to strengthen his base here, Hamza has attained a reputation as one of the more innovative and exciting producers, apart from being a top-notch DJ. His diverse international sound is influenced from his strong musical background as well as growing up in India and traveling the world, living in Paris, Boston, and New York.