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Old 17th February 2009, 13:47   #46
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99% of the people who stopped me to ask what this rally was (including cops) asked me, "why are you going slow? shouldn't you drive fast in a rally?!" So the purpose of having a sticker at the back to prevent honking (for slow driving) will not serve it's purpose.

A funny incident: a police gypsy stopped me outside the hyatt and asked what is going on after seeing the stickers of the rally pasted on the car. So innocently i told him its a blind man's rally... Now while i was answering him, dippy and rehaan were gonna overtake me so i was looking at their cars from the right side ORVM and the cop was standing on the left side of the car talking to me from the rolled down passenger side window. So as i was concentrating on who all are passing me, my navigator on hearing the cop's voice turns towards him and starts answering his queries.
So this is the situation: my blind nav is facing at the cop's direction and answering him and me wearing very dark sunglasses looking in the other direction and also muttering somethings to him. Thus, the cop now starts to believe that in the blind car rally (as my nav told him it was), i was a blind driver and my nav was telling me how and where to drive!!!
But instead of throwing a fit, the cop says we are doing a good job and offers to escort my car till the finish lest i bang into someone! Very nice gesture of him... Ofcourse i cleared his misconception very quickly and explained in detail about it and was on my way...
But i wonder, how he agreed to let me drive if i was blind?!!!


@Ankit: pics please
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Old 17th February 2009, 13:58   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan
.but yes, this was one that i was referring too, Dippy was cruising by it infront of me and i had to honk to alert him, and then to pull he had some F1 maneuvers
You bet it was like the two F1 cars waiting behind one another in a chaotic pitlane during a race. I was actually waiting diagonal
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Old 17th February 2009, 14:10   #48
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Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
So this is the situation: my blind nav is facing at the cop's direction and answering him and me wearing very dark sunglasses looking in the other direction and also muttering somethings to him. Thus, the cop now starts to believe that in the blind car rally (as my nav told him it was), i was a blind driver and my nav was telling me how and where to drive!!!
Holy cow, I just fell off my chair! That's it, ENOUGH. I have never laughed so much out of a 2 hour exercise.

Just goes to show the fun we had, wot?
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Old 17th February 2009, 14:42   #49
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This is a small anecdote that happened after the rally.

Goes to show how we just miss so many obvious things and these visually impaired people have such excellent observation.

After the prize distribution was over , I returned to my car which was parked a little far away and brought it closer to the NAB gate. my friend ,Mandar who was traveling as passenger in my car, was waiting with our navigator ,so that we could drop him at his home at Prabhadevi.

I called him Suhas Kaka. Suhas Kaka is a middle aged man who operated a telephone booth at Citilight cinema. He has impecaable Braille reading skills and did read out he Braille instruction in clear English and directed us correctly it was only Mandar and me who messed up on our part of the duties, translating to actual road directions and where to drive along.

So by the time I parked my car at the gate and went ahead to bring Suhas kaka to the car and open the door, I saw a group of about 6 fellow visally impaired navigators strugling at the divider where the road was dug up and they were confused where to go. They were not moving ahead since each one of them "feeling" the road with their sticks said "Pudhe Khadda aahe" (There is a pit/pothole ahead).

I went ahead to help them find the route and asked them if they wanted to goto the bustop. They said yes. I redirected them to the left where the gap in the median was and saw the steel bus stop on the other side of the road. I staretd walking slowing holding a hand of one of them and the other following suit by holding each others shoulders.

Meanwhile Rehaan also saw them struggling and moved ahead to help.
I promptly crossed the road and took them along the edge of the road and took them at the bus stop. The leader in the group asked me "Is this the bus stop for going to Mahalaxmi?"

I was clueless. I rarely come over to Worli sea face area and clueless about the directions which side goes where. The 8 that we drew across Mumbai didn't help build my sense of direction either . I said "I dont know , Its not written here where the buses go"

One of them promptly went ahead and started "feeling" the bus stop with his stick and on hearing the metal clang of the steel said "Are yeh nahi hain Mahalaxmi jaane waala Bus stop opposite side pe hi hain .. " ( Hey this is not the the bus stop for going to mahalaxmi . It is on the opposite side)

I felt so stupid. Hell how did they know Mahalaxmi buses go from the oppsite side. THe NAB side of the road was all dug up so the seaface side was use for both directions. There was a bustop on the foothpath for buses that went towards Prabhadevi / Dadar. For going in the opposite direction towards Mahalaxmi there was no bus stop. Just by feeling the steel rods of the bus stop he could make out we were on the wrong side of the road.

Whatever I "blindly" followed their instruction and took them back to the NAB side of the Road. They patiently waited at the road divider for the Bus.

A friendly cop standing there coordinating the traffic said "Dont worry I will stop a bus for them to Mahalaxmi. you dont worry."

I said THANKS and slowly treaded away towards the gate where suhas kaka was waiting for me. Rehaan meanwhile has a similar bamboozled expression on his face. I was like "Rehaan yaar I had no clue which way to go but they told me the bus stop is on the other side"

Rehaan added" Haan yaar they are not even scared to crosse the road. Walked ahead ekdum bindhaas"

I kept thinking over this for the whole day. We should consider oursleves blessed that we are normal . Its doesn't really require any superhuman powers or to be exceptional to lead a happy life. All you need to be is normal .

People learn to make their other senses strong,when they have one weakness (eyesight) .

Literally the event was an eye opener for me a fortunate person to have all his senses in perfect working conditions.

Sorry None of our smilies are appropraite to convey what i was going through. So excuse for the drab looking post.

Guys if you have any similar experience of the day please post.
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Old 17th February 2009, 14:44   #50
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The Blind Man Rally was a superb experience right from the briefing day.
The Saturday briefing drive was really helpful on how the rally would be, my navigator and I messed up the briefing drive, so we thought we will do another one which we figured perfectly.

Sunday morning started sweet, was a pleasant surprise to see Robin's family for the flagoff.

My navigator Ravi was a third place last year, and I could feel his enthusiasm.
Through the rally at one point we (Straight6, Ravi & I) shared a good laugh and Ravi mentioned how he was at the rally to have some fun, and winning was secondary.
He could speak quite well, narrated every word on the braile to perfection, and if it had not been for a certain phone call which distracted us at B.K.C. we would have mostly managed a better result than an 11th place. After the PDA, when I told him about our position he seemed quite content, I could easily sense he desired a better result and was let down as he seemed one of the best navigators at the event. What surprised me completely next 'Manmeet, I had fun, next rally we will call and take part together', I was speechless for a few seconds, and extremely happy after that.
I could tell Ravi was not entirely happy with the result, but his enthusiasm is surely going to have me make it to the next Blind Man Rally without a doubt.
These guys inspite of being not the most fortunate go about their daily life just about as strongly as one of us. For example sake, Ravi saved my phone # almost immediately after I called him. He spoke fondly about his six month old son through the briefing drive, and so on.

The rally is a touching initiative taken up by the bodies linked to it, the volunteers and members of the RTI were extremely polite, patient and very helpful from the form submissions through the drive on Sunday.

I am glad I made it to this year's Blind Man Rally after missing it on both past occasion while I was out of town. Good way to catch up with friends who I had not met in ages, and a brilliant way to gather a new prospective towards life.

manson.
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Old 17th February 2009, 14:46   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
So this is the situation: my blind nav is facing at the cop's direction and answering him and me wearing very dark sunglasses looking in the other direction and also muttering somethings to him. Thus, the cop now starts to believe that in the blind car rally (as my nav told him it was), i was a blind driver and my nav was telling me how and where to drive!!!
That was hilarious stuff Tejas.

All the guys who came for the rally will agree that we had a lot of fun.
I am kicking myself that I didnt make it for the earlier rallies.

Had Sam been around , I think it would have been even more fun.
Sam we missed you
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Old 17th February 2009, 15:40   #52
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Leadfoot,

When we were helping them cross the road they said they were trying to catch bus number 82 (to mahalaxmi). I was looking at the busstop to confirm that 82 did stop at that busstop, but by then they knew that we had crossed the road, and hence the bus would take them in the direction opposite from mahalaxmi!


I have another such story, but will post after a while.

cya
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Old 17th February 2009, 16:03   #53
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Originally Posted by leadf00t View Post
Sam we missed you
Thank you. I missed being there. Shame.
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Old 17th February 2009, 18:00   #54
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Some snaps of the prize distribution...
Attached Thumbnails
Report & Pics : The Blind Man Rally Experience, Feb 09.-first-place-participant-rufina-karmali-navigator-namdev-jhadav1.jpg  

Report & Pics : The Blind Man Rally Experience, Feb 09.-second-place-participant-harshman-singh-navigator-kritika-purohit1.jpg  

Report & Pics : The Blind Man Rally Experience, Feb 09.-stage1.jpg  

Report & Pics : The Blind Man Rally Experience, Feb 09.-stage5.jpg  

Report & Pics : The Blind Man Rally Experience, Feb 09.-stage8.jpg  

Report & Pics : The Blind Man Rally Experience, Feb 09.-stage7.jpg  

Report & Pics : The Blind Man Rally Experience, Feb 09.-first-place-participant-rufina-karmali-navigator-namdev-jhadav2.jpg  

Report & Pics : The Blind Man Rally Experience, Feb 09.-first-place-participant-rufina-karmali-navigator-namdev-jhadav3.jpg  

Report & Pics : The Blind Man Rally Experience, Feb 09.-second-place-participant-harshman-singh-navigator-kritika-purohit4.jpg  

Report & Pics : The Blind Man Rally Experience, Feb 09.-second-place-participant-harshman-singh-navigator-kritika-purohit3.jpg  

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Old 17th February 2009, 18:34   #55
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Hats off to all of you guys who participated in this rally. It makes me proud to be member of Tbhp.

Ankit, nice pics there. You all at NAB did a wonderful Job. By the way is that Leena Mogre on the dias?

Mansi
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Old 17th February 2009, 19:16   #56
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Ankit, pics of our cars being flagged off too... please?
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Old 17th February 2009, 20:19   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post


3) Checkpoints
- Some checkpoints were on very wide streets just after turns, and some drivers saw them too late and had to pull some dangerous maneuvers cutting across traffic to get to them... The checkpoints in smaller deserted streets worked much better and were tricky too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leadf00t View Post
Ankit I would suggest making the Checkpoint slightly more visible.

Just a umbrella (easily covered by a Scorpio) and a 3 4 sq feet board lying on the rear windscreen on a car or hanging by a bike cna be easily covered.
Moreover if there are more cars the orange marshals too cannot be easily seen.

Yes the clue is looking at the cars standing by (with number Stickers) however those too can be easily overlooked if say you are overtaking another car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankitpp View Post
Guys,
With regard to the check points, they are decided by the fmsci... Also we cannot put anything huge due to BMC issues. Last year they came after us and removed a few umbrellas from the marshal points. Hence give me some suggesstions which make the marshalls more visible.
Thanks Ankit. Rally was perfectly organized.

Regarding checkpoints, I know some of them were bit difficult but there was another way to actually be alert for the upcoming checkpoint.

After my first mistake, I learned its very helpful to know atleast 5 Tulips ahead of the current position. So when the braille ends we automatically know that there should be a checkpoint somewhere close to that place.

Example - While I was waiting at VT signal, I had virtually reached Dadar making him read next 10 Tulips. The braille ended after mentioning back to back flyovers, thats where I came to know that there should be a checkpoint before those 2 flyovers. And I was right checkpoint was indeed at Phoenix Mills. Similarly, the Grand Hyatt one, where nothing was mentioned after set of speed breakers! So checkpoint was bound to be at Grand Hyatt.

Ofcourse, this helps when you know the roads even if you dont, by reading couple of tulips ahead, the navigator will come to know that braille is over. And after the 3rd last tulip you should keep your car in the left lane. This way you dont miss any checkpoints!!

Last edited by F50 : 17th February 2009 at 20:21.
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Old 18th February 2009, 10:38   #58
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Thanks for ther pictures Ankit, do put up some pictures of our cars being flagged off (if you have any).

The rally was really well organized, I was very impressed with the way the flagging off was done - in sequence and with the correct time gap. Fortunately for me my Navigator showed up just as I was to line up!

The rally in itself was a great experience, botht the novelty of the format as well as the opportunity to do something for a social cause. Plus, meeting several other BHPians was an added bonus :-).

One thing I must mention here - while the drive was in support of a charitable cause, in no way did the drive event seem like it in itself was a charity drive. I mean to say that our Navigators were our partners in the drive - not benificiaries of our time.

Seeing them living their day to day lives absolutely normally is fabulous!

My Navigator for one, speaks four languages fluently and Vikram's Navigator is a Phd in Education!!

As far as suggestions go, perhaps a quick test of how fast the Navigator can read braille should be conducted, I know a couple of participants had difficulty with that.

All in all, a great event. I'm certainly looking forward to taking part the next time around!

Suhail
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Old 18th February 2009, 15:47   #59
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Hi,

It was the first Rally of my life and it was a pleasure to be a part of such an event.

This was also the first time that I interacted with fellow Team-Bhp members.

It was a nice experience altogether. Hope to meet all you guys again, maybe for a rally or a race or just a get together.

Note: Rehaan you missed out on my car (No. 25) when you showed the line-up of Team-Bhpians :(

Some pictures I clicked.

I am the one in the photo wearing stripes in the third photo.
In the second photo, from L-R, My navigator Vijay Chauhan, My bro and my colleague
Attached Thumbnails
Report & Pics : The Blind Man Rally Experience, Feb 09.-dsc01352.jpg  

Report & Pics : The Blind Man Rally Experience, Feb 09.-dsc01353.jpg  

Report & Pics : The Blind Man Rally Experience, Feb 09.-dsc01354.jpg  

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Old 19th February 2009, 00:27   #60
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Quote:
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....Note: Rehaan you missed out on my car (No. 25) when you showed the line-up of Team-Bhpians :(...
No baba, its very much there.

Its the first pic in post #5 !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heman View Post
....My navigator Vijay Chauhan...
He was very interested in my car on the drive to the station, infact he was talking about some vehicle testing center that he is part of somehow (im not sure i got the detais right / it was a 5-way conversation)

Either way, i told them about how we all knew each other through TBHP - and what this site was about - and they said they do have software to read websites to them, so they will check out Team-BHP - The Definitive Indian Car Community !

cya
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Last edited by Rehaan : 19th February 2009 at 00:28.
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