Armed with fresh GK about Iran, Bijoy is as excited as a schoolboy on a picnic as he completes a quarter of a century in the automotive industry
Bijoy Kumar, Karun Chandhok, Richard Meaden, Richard Porter, Ted Kravitz
ALRIGHT I WANT TO TELL YOU A LOT OF stuff and I have just one page. To begin with I am all excited to pack my bags and hit the road. And it is going to be virgin territory for me – never been to Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia! I landed in Tehran once when the aircraft I was flying in developed an engine snag but otherwise all new territory for me indeed. So, I am busy googling cities that the India Russia Friendship Motor Rally 2018 will connect and boy, am I excited. So, what did I learn?
Bandar Abbas has nothing to do with monkeys or a Swedish pop band from the eighties, Shiraz is not exactly wine country, Persepolis is not a board game, Lankaran has no relation to Ravana, Makhachkala is not a peanut snack, Astrakhan has nothing to do with Opels and Voronezh is not a character from Archies.
Really, I am miffed at the fact that I know so little about this part of the world… but hey some 13 days to go and I will do some more intense googling.
The rally has been organised for the Government of India by Kalinga Motor Sports Club with Mahindra Adventure supporting the event with 20 Scorpios. The first leg of the rally was successfully completed in India. For the second leg, the vehicles will reach Bandar Abbas, the port town in Iran, by ship and the rally will get flagged off on April 28. After going through the above mentioned cities and covering 5,483km, we will reach St. Petersburg. Unlike other Mahindra Adventure events, I am not really into organising stuff and I am sure it will have its share of surprises and adventure. And yes, don’t be surprised to see a familiar name or two in the list of participants!
Talking of support events, by the time you read this another convoy made up of Mahindra Adventure vehicles would have conquered the upper Mustang valley in Nepal. This is the terrain oft mentioned in hushed tones by off-road enthusiasts. This expedition is planned and executed by Nidhi Tiwari of Women Beyond Boundaries with my friend and colleague Vinod Nookala in charge of the fleet of Scorpios and Thars. Expect more exotic drives from this association in the future!
The point I am driving at is simple. If you have a wild idea and need vehicle support from a car maker, you can always reach out to Mahindra Adventure with a proposal. We at Mahindra Adventure would evaluate your proposal and if we find merit in it would support you with vehicle(s) and as in the case of the Mustang expedition, provide you with service and spare part support too. What we are not entitled to do is offer monetary support to such events – so there, if you have a unique dream (random drive to Leh from your home town does not count) that requires a set of capable wheels, you know whom to reach out to. So, ladies and gentlemen, start dreaming.
On a personal note, ‘Happy 25 years of working with cars’ to me! I know it sounds a bit contorted, but it was in 1993 that I landed in Mumbai looking for a job. The first seventeen years I wrote about cars before joining Mahindra and Mahindra to have some more fun with cars. Alright, SUVs if you insist. Yes, there were ups and downs but it has been a phenomenally fast quarter century alright. As it turned out, those 25 years were rather important for the Indian automotive industry too. Right time, right place? You bet! ⌧
Bandar Abbas has nothing to do with monkeys or a Swedish pop band from the eighties