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Old 5th February 2012, 20:02   #46
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Default Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

So how did it go guys? Anyone posting a report on it.

Got the results in the mail from Vishal. So did BHPian Kapil Thacker ranked 5th?

ACM you as well finished the course without missing any of the check points.

BMR 2012 Final Results:

Result-BMR2012.pdf
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Old 5th February 2012, 21:36   #47
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Default Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

Finally the rally is over! From hoping to finish first in the first ever attempt we finally managed to get back just in time before lunch was over, thanks to a multitude of mistakes. However it was so much enjoyable I think it was a success for us.

I spotted an Aria sporting TBHP stickers on Saturday, within the NAB grounds, but it was missing from action today. No other BHPians participated, as checked with the organisers, or they didn't carry the stickers (just like mine). There was a Santro at #32, just before me, but I don't know if it was from a BHPian.

Mine was #33. My navigator was Mr. Ashok Parab, a veteran of six races. The trial run probably showed a trailor of the big picture, since the ten minute route took us more than half an hour and we still managed to get it wrong. However I was hoping a more cautious driving would at least allow us a respectable finish.

The rally day arrived, we reached NAB at a few minutes to seven, but the navigator wasn't there. Called him up and he said he was walking to the highway to take a ric to the railway station! Disheartened, we went ahead and stuck the stickers on the car, took a photo of the car and watched the general proceedings. No tea/breakfast as it would be served in the car before the flag off.

Another call to Mr. Parab and he has now reached Santacruz. The spirits lift a little. While lingering around the car, teaching the basic camera settings to my wife, we spot Colonel Dilip Vengsarkar strolling by. I assumed he was out for a morning walk, but later the navigator informed me he was to flag off the cars. Meanwhile a call to the navigator reveals he will reach the venue in five minutes. Finally at a few minutes to eight he and two others descend from the bus on the opposite side (seaface side). I go across the street and bring them back on the right side, and they want to visit the freshroom. That took another twenty minutes and finally we are rolling (after two reminders from the organizers about us being late).

The flag off was to take place at the police parade ground somewhere behind the NAB, so another task finding it. Finally after asking a cabbie we reach the venue.

The first twenty odd cars have already been flagged off and the organizers hurriedly get us into the line. The #32 Santro too is late, just ahead of us. So we join the queue. The volunteers then supply us with the breakfast boxes, water bottles, a cap for the navigator and a pen (for the co-navigator). With cameras working on both sides of the line, we soon reach the flag off point. The tulip is handed out, signature made on the timesheet, clocks synchronized and off we go!

Now, I am desperately waiting for the instruction to set the tripmeter to zero. It finally comes as we exit the gate, after all the other parts have been read. I have, meanwhile, impatiently set it to zero just after we are flagged off. No matter, no damage done. I have managed to hit it at just the right moment (this is VERY important!).

The first few instructions sound easy. We navigate the route and soon reach the first time control! Hurray! My wife spots them just at the time they spot us and wave us to the side. The time control completed, we proceed ahead. And now the first mistake!

After an instruction to keep straight ahead but stay to the right, the next right turn is something like fifteen metres. However the consistent speed of the navigator makes me miss the mark and I have already moved ahead. No option but to proceed ahead and then take a U-turn and then take a left to do a course correction. While we have maintained course (and time too) I have lost the tripmeter setting, as it's no longer in sync with the instructions. This proved fatal because I remained upset over this throughout.

The second time control arrives. This time we spot them and pull over, and the guy actually congratulates us for making it in time (I have yet to find out how they know car #33 made it in time to their time control!). Off we go. Now I have decided to disregard the average speeds and focus on the course.

We move ahead. Now there are S-bends! The first one is quite easy (specially as a rickshaw driver sets us right after hearing about the "S-curve"). So we are on the correct route. However after that things go wrong. The second S-bend proves to be a killer. We go through two or three places which could generally be likened to an S-shape, but I know we are off the track. Desperately we try to scan ahead, and find that we are to leave HSBC on the left and take a right over rough road. After wasting many minutes (including asking for the nearest HSBC branch) we draw a blank. Finally I decide to play a hunch.

I know there's an HSBC branch on JP road near the Four Bunglows signal, and I also know Metro construction work is going on, so the road could be rough. We forget about the instructions and zoom towards this HSBC. We find it, the right turn is there, but it can't be called 'rough' by any means! Travelling along this road, trying to follow the next set of instructions soon reveals the folly of the hunch.

Another option: Could the road near the Seven Bunglows garden be the S-curve? Nothing to lose, since we have probably already consumed the allocated time, so off we go to Seven Bunglows. After going almost to the end of the road and realizing it's a no-go we turn around. Now we stop and have a serious talk. Finally we decide that enough is enough, let's pack up and call it quits. If we reach NAB we might at least get some lunch! (That's my remark in jest, little did I realize it was to become a reality!). So from this road, we travel to the Seven Bunglows garden, turn right and follow the road towards Worli Seaface. Along the road we reach a signal and what's there on the right?? It's a ** HSBC branch!! I turn on the left indicator, wait for the following car to pass me from the left, honking angrily and gently make a left, apologizing to the others behind me in my mind). We have finally found the elusive HSBC! We soon change our resignation plea into a no-holds-barred attempt at finishing the race.

We manage to hit another time control, but things are already bleak, as the TC guys too know it's a lost battle. We now try and put in place some technique of mapping the tulip distances to the tripmeter reading, but we still get lost enroute quite a few times (because the navigator skipped two instructions). Finally we sense we are onto the right track and without caring about the average speeds, I put the car through its paces.

The route now is quite straightforward: Taking the road from the West of Andheri/Versova over the flyover to the east, onto the WEH and then to the right. From here we move into the BKC area (don't ask me how, I don't remember the route),

We again (yes, again!) went wrong within the BKC area, retracing our steps several times, before finally finding the right way and moving on. We lost further time around Mahalakshmi and finally when our third tulip ran out and we made a call to the organizers who offered a dignified exit. Back to NAB, and we are hearing announcements. As we step inside the compound, we realize something is wrong. On taking the advice of the organizers to grab lunch first, we soon found Mr. Mukesh Khanna (Bheeshma from Mahabharata or more recently Shaktimaan) dining with us on an adjoining table.

We finished our lunch only to realize everything else had already concluded. So handed over the timesheet and the quiz forms and headed back home.

The navigator had been pestering me about the BWSL since yesterday, so I asked him where he wanted to go, specially since it was close to 2:30 and WR services would be out for another two hours at least. He then asked us to drop him at Plaza so he could take the 201 from there. Yessir, and off we went to Plaza. En route as we reach the Siddhivinayak temple, he dropped the last bomb by saying he would be going to his PCO booth at Bhawans' College, Andheri, to hear the rest of the cricket match commentary and then head home in the night. I cursed my badluck in my mind, as if he had told me earlier I could have driven him onto the BWSL (and also got some snaps of the sea link in the process).

After dropping him at Plaza we then head back home.

More on the mistakes and our learnings later, as it's getting late and I am still not fully recovered from the flu attack.

Was definitely disappointed to see such a low turnout from the forums, let's hope it improves next year.

And there's a similar rally in Pune on 4 March.
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Old 6th February 2012, 00:49   #48
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Arrow Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

Me & Capt. Sachin Kalyani both TBHPns participated in the Blind Men's Round Table Rally at Ahmedbad, I drove and Sachin, along with the Blind person Navigated.

Yesterday evening there was a briefing, we got our Blind Navigator, Viya Bharathhai. He was very good in reading braille, Sachin wrote out the instructions to be on the sure side and also did a lot of odo error corrections on the fly. He was so good we covered all the the 8 check points and covered the entire route, reportedly, one of the only top 15 out of the 100 who participated. The 4x4 Scorpio was up to some of the mud, sand and a little bit of rough road, did all of it in 2x4. Enjoyed the whole event.

We were happy that we did our bit to the society, made friends with a great person like Viya Bharatbhai. He's blind from birth, studied up to MA Hindi, did MEd and now teaches in a BEd college at Drangdara, he teaches computer, operates his mobile fluently and is amazingly functional. Looking at him we find most of us are blessed and don't need to crib about the spanners in our lives, me and Sachin felt highly motivated after the experience. We did not win, but came out with other trophies.

We were a little disappointed no other TBHPen from A'bad participated, maybe better luck next time.

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Last edited by ramkya1 : 6th February 2012 at 00:52.
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Old 6th February 2012, 01:00   #49
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Default Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

This was my first time at BMR. Missed three TCs so not ranked.

I was at number 6. Reached NAB early at 7:15. I had a lady navigator (Preethi) who was also on time. Registered at the desk, put on the stickers and headed to the Police ground behind NAB which was the starting point.

Went around looking for cars with TBHP stickers. There was an Aria with stickers right before me at No. 5, which turned out to be ACM. Got some useful tips from him. Macfreak7 was also there behind me, but I met him only after we had finished. There was also another BHPian whose name I have forgotten.

There were some photographers and a video camera at the starting point. Waiting to catch this in the papers/TV.

I am familiar with most roads in Mumbai, especially the suburbs. Navigating by the instructions was easy. I made only one wrong turn at BKC, which I corrected in a few minutes. The problem was that I was not alert enough to spot all the TCs. I missed the very first TC at Shivaji Park. Was very disappointed when I found out at the second TC, because the motivation of competing was killed right at the beginning. Missed two more TCs after that. Luckily did not miss the ones where they were giving instruction sheets, so the drive went on smoothly. Next time I will have someone in the back seat to do the spotting.

Met up with the other BHPians after finishing. Chatted for a while. Saw the Fiat classic car rally which had made a stop in front of NAB.

I did not have the patience to wait for the ceremonies, so left after lunch.

Macfreak7 and ACM reached all the TCs.
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Old 6th February 2012, 11:36   #50
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Default Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
Got the results in the mail from Vishal. So did BHPian Kapil Thacker ranked 5th?

ACM you as well finished the course without missing any of the check points.
yep Kapil came 5th, Vishal (Macfreak) came 6th and I came in 14th. Was going around a bit slower yesterday compared to last time 4/5th and yet this was fun. The Navigaor was superb. And the aim was to pass all checkpoint - which I managed, but went a bit slower believing that last time I lost out due to getting to one of the posts too fast. excuses - excuses ....

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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
I spotted an Aria sporting TBHP stickers on Saturday, within the NAB grounds, but it was missing from action today. No other BHPians participated, as checked with the organisers, or they didn't carry the stickers (just like mine).
That was me in the Aria, was at no5 so checked off early on Sunday and hence we missed each other. But it is hard to spot guys without TBHP stickers. Thanks for the detailed report of your drive.

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Originally Posted by highway_star View Post
Went around looking for cars with TBHP stickers. There was an Aria with stickers right before me at No. 5, which turned out to be ACM. Got some useful tips from him. Macfreak7 was also there behind me, but I met him only after we had finished. There was also another BHPian whose name I have forgotten.

Met up with the other BHPians after finishing. Chatted for a while. Saw the Fiat classic car rally which had made a stop in front of NAB.

I did not have the patience to wait for the ceremonies, so left after lunch.

Macfreak7 and ACM reached all the TCs.
Yep one does then to disappear if one missing any of the check posts. Was nice talking to you.

You had TBHPians ahead and behind you 5 & 7 and though both of us got all check points you missed 3 . You should just have stayed between both of us. Of course that was not really possible as even 5&7 did not manage to stay with each other.

This time there were 97 participants 13 dropouts who did not turn up on sat, and finally 83 who started on sunday. the number of people who got all the checkposts was about double of last time and the major difference this time was the start off happening from the Police Parage grounds behind rather than from the seaface opp NAB. The finish though was at NAB.

The FCC Rally was a sight to watch as they passed NAB about time we finished ours.

Will post snaps in a couple of days.

Last edited by ACM : 6th February 2012 at 11:38.
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Old 6th February 2012, 11:43   #51
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Default Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

That's better than I had expected, specially after the race when I checked with Vishal he didn't remember spotting the Aria, and so I was afraid the TBHPians had pulled out.

About the odo correction, that's a vital aid that we missed out on. Though we did this at the later stages of the rally, for us the rally was already over. We did make it through around six to seven TCs, and I think in the correct sequence too.

The other important point I realized is to make the navigator read out the serial number of the instructions. He skipped a couple of instructions while we hit the Versova TC, and were supposed to travel to the WEH, and then at Kalina he kept repeating "Take right" long after we had taken that right turn. Funnily he didn't even realize he wasn't reading the serial number. He kept reading the cumulative distance and kept claiming he was reading the serial number too. So then I had my wife write down the serial number of the instruction, the split distance (to be added to the odo/tripmeter) and the instructions. That streamlined things a lot. However the navigator kept asking if instruction # was done or not, and answering his questions took much time and focus out of mapping out the rest of the route.

Next time I am gonna have the navigator sit behind, with the co-navigator. The co-navigator will be translating the navigator's instructions into English, noting down the odo/tripmeter readings and pass it onto the driver. The navigator/co-navigator should always be at least two instructions ahead of where the car is at present, so the driver can take the lefts/rights with proper planning without putting others' and their own safety at risk.

I remember an Innova which was trailing us in/around the Dadar area and suddenly it zoomed past us, flashing the left indicator, reached the next signal, still in the middle lane, and cut across another vehicle to make a wild left turn at the signal. Let's hope such instances are avoided.

I am yet to know how the route could be mapped out so accurately. Do they use a GPS, or do they go through the route plotting out the points onto the map manually? It's a wonderful job! The logistics of organizing such an event and ability to pull it off without any goof ups cannot be appreciated unless you participate in the same.

I must say the navigator was perfect in reading the braille script. Overall I think we needed to polish our technique a little bit, heck we needed to have a technique in the first place! But now I am confident we can try for the podium in the next year's event. (I am secretly wishing to participate in the Pune event too!)

PS: The moment we realized we had lost, we should have just bitten the bullet and returned back to the last instruction we had done right, and retraced the route. Instead at several points we tried to play smart, taking guesses and trying to see if we could short-circuit our way back onto the route. Needless to say it bombed. So next time no smart moves, back to the last point and then carry on.

PS1: It seems the Ahmedabad rally had some serious fun with different terrains thrown in.

Last edited by honeybee : 6th February 2012 at 11:47. Reason: Added PS and PS1
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Old 6th February 2012, 11:49   #52
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Default Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

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Originally Posted by ACM View Post
yep Kapil came 5th, Vishal (Macfreak) came 6th and I came in 14th. Was going around a bit slower yesterday compared to last time 4/5th and yet this was fun. The Navigaor was superb. And the aim was to pass all checkpoint - which I managed, but went a bit slower believing that last time I lost out due to getting to one of the posts too fast. excuses - excuses ....
I think next year on the day of the pairing with the navigator you should take a session for the BHPians to explain 'How to pass all the checkpoints' I think this was your second year and you passed once again in flying colors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
I must say the navigator was perfect in reading the braille script. Overall I think we needed to polish our technique a little bit, heck we needed to have a technique in the first place! But now I am confident we can try for the podium in the next year's event. (I am secretly wishing to participate in the Pune event too!)
Any idea who is the contact for the Pune rally? I should make use of this opportunity and you are welcome as well for one more try.
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Old 6th February 2012, 12:04   #53
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Default Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

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Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
Any idea who is the contact for the Pune rally? I should make use of this opportunity and you are welcome as well for one more try.
No, but Vishal Mirpuri should know. I think it was through him I came to know of it. As the wind up (or wind down) was happening we were just interacting and Vishal, Ankit and others wanted to find out how we felt (specially as we had arrived after everyone had left ), and after hearing we had enjoyed the rally even despite the setbacks, they let me know about the Pune date.

I so want to try, specially now that me and wifey are both charged up! However she doesn't have the Saturday off on 3rd, and so the logistical difficulties are something we need to discuss.

Last edited by honeybee : 6th February 2012 at 12:05.
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Old 6th February 2012, 12:40   #54
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Thumbs up Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

This was my 4th participation and I must say the organization of this fundraiser has only improved year over year. Big thanks to Round Table No. 2, IARC and of course NAB.

The rally started out at the police grounds on SPW road, which was a lot better IMO, than starting out on Worli sea face. It allowed for better management of the 83 cars and also gave us a chance to interact with other participants. Ahead of me was highway_star #6, and ahead of him was ACM #5. Flag off for each car was at 1 minute intervals. Lots of media/press coverage as usual added to the excitement of starting out.

The instructions given out this year were definitely simpler as compared to last year. As a result, the route seemed easier (even tho. driving in the suburbs is never easy!). I managed to hit all check points this time around (which was a first for me!) and I was happy with 6th place overall out of the 83 contestants that started the rally. My navigator (Rambha) was highly skilled at reading braille but there were some proper nouns and such which threw her off (understandably). Being car #7 I was the 7th car to leave the ground (duh), and 2nd car to return to NAB after completing the rally. I would've been the first to complete had I not been overtaken last minute by fellow t-bhpian Ashvtosh (car #9) at the last stretch on the sea face. Anywhoo, that was pretty irrelevant as it's a T,S,D rally. Took me a total of about 133 minutes to complete the rally, overall distance was about 55kms.

Once I was back at NAB it was a matter of waiting. First for everyone else to finish. Then for lunch. Then for the various announcements and introductions and finally for a bunch of other awards and prizes. I kinda wish they'd speed through this process a tad, but I understand it probably takes a while to (correctly) determine the results for 83 cars! It was a good time to meet other people and was fun talking to fellow bhpians highway_star, Ashvtosh and ACM. I probably would've left post lunch if it wasn't for the hopes of finishing in the top 3 as I had another event to attend soon after.

The chief guest was Mukesh Khanna who gave an interesting speech about "inner-shakti" and "shaktimaan" which made the crowd pleased and cheery.

Overall a wonderful event and great way to kickstart a Sunday.
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Old 6th February 2012, 13:21   #55
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Default Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

Got an SMS from the organizers on media coverage of the event. Photos in today's papers:
  1. HT page No. 8
  2. TOI page No. 2
  3. Business line page No. 4
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Old 6th February 2012, 14:17   #56
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Unhappy Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

Feel Sad to have missed this event! Had to be in Pune for an association meet.
Where are the photos friends?
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Old 6th February 2012, 17:23   #57
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Default Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

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Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post

Got the results in the mail from Vishal. So did BHPian Kapil Thacker ranked 5th?

BMR 2012 Final Results:

Attachment 883127
Thanks Amit. Last Year was ranked 7th, this year 5th, 2014.. do the math

ACM, It was a pleasure spending time with you

Unfortunately not many Team Bhpians this time. Dippy saw you in the morning, then where did you dissappear? GTO & rest of the gang from last year missed meeting you'll again.

Event was great! Attended with my Brother who was Car No. 77. Everything was so well planned that sometimes we don't realise the effort behind making the event what it was. Routes and directions were flawless. I remmber the last time there were some last minute corrections, this time it was spot on. But much preffered last years route. This time the furthest south we went was Breach Candy.

My Navigator, Manish Kataria was not only Visally Impaired, he even had a one artificial hand. Despite all that, he is a Software Programmer We tend to take things for granted and these people just carry on with thier lives so effortlessly, which I guess is the point of this exercise.

A few light hearted moments I thought were worth sharing. (No offence meant)

1. I was to pick up my naviagtor and his friend from Dadar. I tried looking for him since he was only about 10 feet from where I was but still couldnt locate him. Finally without thinking I asked him, "Ok What colour shirt are you wearing?"

2. Two navigators arrived at the venue behind each other and they sensed each others presence and exchanged greetings, when a third navigator nearby very casually yells out "Abe suresh aage peeche dikhta nahi hai, main bhi idhar hi hu"

3. A participant was so involved in assisting his navigator around that after eating lunch must have wanted to go to the washroom. Very carefully the participant took him all the way to the WC to which the Navigator replaied "Arre yaar sirf haath dhona hai"


Thank you TeamBHP for everything, A Sunday well spent with family & Friends!

Will post pics soon

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Last edited by Rudra Sen : 9th February 2012 at 17:20.
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Old 6th February 2012, 19:07   #58
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Default Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

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Thanks Amit. Last Year was ranked 7th, this year 5th, 2014.. do the math
There is a rally happening in Pune in March. You can participate in that as well so that we don't have to wait till 2014 for a BHPian to come 1st

Noone is posting any pics?? Everyone was tensed about the drive and did not remember taking pics?
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Old 6th February 2012, 19:10   #59
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Default Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

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Originally Posted by kthacker View Post
...
My Navigator, Manish Kataria was not only Visally Impaired, he even had a one artificial hand. Despite all that, he is a Software Programmer We tend to take things for granted and these people just carry on with thier lives so effortlessly, which I guess is the point of this exercise.
So true. While discussing the rally, my navigator Mr. Parab remarked that one of the good points was it allowed 'sighted' people (as the normal people are called in the blind people's parlance) to experience the potential of the blind people.

Fortunately I have been associated with the blind people since many years back, through chess. However a few years after college I dropped chess altogether due to the work pressure. Then for a few months I and my team from GTL used to visit the GTL Foundation at Naigaon, Dadar, where we gave programming lessons to the blind students there.

On the trials day I even overheard a couple of navigators discussing stocks and one was telling the other how he made a quick profit by selling a particular stock that he had bought cheap a few days back.

So, I don't really want to call it a Charitable drive and a noble cause, which makes us feel superior to them. They are way better than us 'sighted' people in many respects. My navigator could not save my phone number to his mobile, but he remembered it when I told it to him once, and now has called me up twice already to enquire after my health. I doubt if I could remember his number if I couldn't save it or write it down, and further if I would call him after six months to ask how he is doing.

A nagging question: Did all the cars get the same route? Do they always get the same route?

As usual I used my 35mm SLR to take a few pics on the trial day and on the rally day, so it's a painful wait till the roll is over, development and printing happens and then the photos are scanned. I have yet to upload the Igatpuri meet photos too, though I have got them in my album.

Somebody gift me a DSLR!!!

Last edited by honeybee : 6th February 2012 at 19:14. Reason: Re Photos
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Old 6th February 2012, 19:14   #60
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Default Re: Charitable Drive : The 2012 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 5th February

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A nagging question: Did all the cars get the same route? Do they always get the same route?
Yes all the cars get the same route. Else it would be more difficult to work out the timings and the penalties as multiple routes would have to be mapped for the Time, Speed, Distance rally.
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Charitable Drive : The 2011 Blind Man Car Rally (Mumbai). On Sunday, 6th February GTO Indian Motorsport 95 6th February 2011 18:51
Charitable cause :The 2009 Blind Man Car Rally. EDIT :Now on Sunday, 15th February GTO Indian Motorsport 131 15th February 2009 15:21


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