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Old 13th July 2016, 04:17   #1
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Talking A happy veteran on Team-BHP!

I am a Mumbai-based driving enthusiast. And may be one of the oldest on the Team!

My blog avatar pretty much describes my life’s journey “Retired career army. Olympian. Himalayan car rally driver. Biker. Runner. Educator. Civil Engineer. Sports. Nature. Travel. Photography. Mumbai, India.”

A born adventurist, I have retired three times from consecutive careers and kept my interest alive in many sports and adventure based activities. An Army career offers unique opportunities for those interested. Hence went on to compete in the Munich Olympics in Yachting as a member of the Indian Olympic team. Driving was always an eternal favourite and got the unique opportunity to drive almost anything on wheels or tracks up to 40 tons in weight. Years in the mountains and deserts honed my interest and skill. Building a jeep road to Badrinath we dismantled a Willys jeep and 16 men carried the engine and chassis separately over a 3 km stretch. My jeep was the sole vehicle in the last 5 km to Badrinath and thus I had the unique distinction of being asked to carry Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru’s ashes for immersion. Subsequently I drove the first one-tonner and later the first Mercedes Benz 3-tonner(no TMBs then!) on their respective inaugural trips for proving the road. Winning a Services rally led to participating in two Himalayan Car Rallies - in their original avatar of 4000 km in a week - and was a finisher in both.

Participating in two Indo Pak wars was a unique experience. A 300 km cross country jeep ride in a day for recce in unknown or enemy territory became fairly common. Got to drive a Toyota FJ40 captured from Pakistan during the Bangladesh war.

Long drives are eagerly awaited by the family. I was in the field of education as the founding team setting up one of the best schools in India over the last 13 years. I'm a great fan of off-roading and biking; both indulged in good measure during my holidays in California with my children and nephew who are equally passionate on adventure. Off roading in a modified Lexus LX 470 (100 series Land Cruiser platform) or a Range Rover from their garages offer great pleasure. Last week went on a 350 Km ride on a BMW F650 GS Dakar bike to Lost Lakes area in Alpine County. A BMW R1200 GS Adventure is also my favourite for biking. Have had fun trying my hand at dirt biking in the US!

In my garage had the pleasure of owning a Fiat 1100, and an Ambassador for many years, and a succession of Marutis including a fully imported 800 from the original lot in 1983, an Esteem, switched to Toyota for the last decade and a half, with a Qualis and now an Innova. After returning from the US at the end of the year would look at getting a S-Cross or a Cresta. Two wheelers have been a vintage BSA 500cc Golden Flash, a Triumph Tiger 650, a venerable Lambretta, a Bajaj 150 scooter, a Bullet 350 and a surprise Bajaj RE 150 auto rickshaw driven all the way from Pune to New Delhi for the 1982 Asiad. Not to forget a Bianchi now. Many stories and memories ride in each of these cars and bikes!

For me reliability is of critical importance. I've found the Toyotas supreme in this area with Maruti doing a commendable job.

For me Team-BHP is now like family. My work has kept me away from participating in the animated discussions which I have followed carefully. I appreciate the ethical standards set by this community in upholding values, and am happy to see the respect and camaraderie among BHPians. I look forward to a close association with Team-BHP.

Safe driving!
Vijai
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Old 13th July 2016, 08:09   #2
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Wow!
Welcome to Team BHP sir. Just reading through the above paragraphs gave me goosebumps. What a life you've lived! I'm sure we'll get to learn a lot from you with our active discussions in the future.
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Old 13th July 2016, 08:36   #3
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Welcome home.
Looking forward to your posts and threads
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Old 13th July 2016, 08:48   #4
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Wow! You have lived so many lives in one.
Being an army kid, I have very fond memories of the One-Tonners and the Three-Tonners and its amazing to know that you drove the very first ones.
I would love to hear about your experiences of the Nissan Patrol - Jonga, my all time favorite. Where the gypsy's feared to tread, the Jonga literally danced up the inclines.
Looking forward to hearing all your experiences with different eras of automobiles. It would be well worth a rivetting autobiography.
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Old 13th July 2016, 08:49   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post
Wow!
Welcome to Team BHP sir. Just reading through the above paragraphs gave me goosebumps. What a life you've lived! I'm sure we'll get to learn a lot from you with our active discussions in the future.
Divya Sharan, Thanks for the welcome!
Vijai Singh

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Originally Posted by Mik View Post
Wow! You have lived so many lives in one.
Being an army kid, I have very fond memories of the One-Tonners and the Three-Tonners and its amazing to know that you drove the very first ones.
I would love to hear about your experiences of the Nissan Patrol - Jonga, my all time favorite. Where the gypsy's feared to tread, the Jonga literally danced up the inclines.
Looking forward to hearing all your experiences with different eras of automobiles. It would be well worth a rivetting autobiography.
Dear Mik,

Good to know that you're an Army Kid!

For the Himalayan Rally I was given permission to go to the Vehicle Factory in Jabalpur, to select a new engine and get a Jonga assembled! Remember driving on the GT Road from Delhi and reaching Karnal while adjusting the eight lights; no auto adjustment then. In a standby Jonga covered 10000 kms in a month during recce for the Rally.

Recall an impromptu long drive in 1995 from Mumbai to Allahabad done as rail reservations were not available, in a friends Tata Sumo in a driving time of 26 hrs, over iffy roads.

Highway driving in India requires a focused & cool mindset, and defensive driving expecting the worst from others. Never stretch your limits and pull over at the slightest sign of loss of concentration.

Keep safe,
Vijai Singh

Last edited by ampere : 13th July 2016 at 09:44. Reason: Back to back posts merged
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Old 13th July 2016, 10:07   #6
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Vijai

Respect! very impressive background. Am not sure if you knew my father in law. He also took part in the Himalayan Rally as part of the Services , i dont know which one but his jeep crashed out
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Old 13th July 2016, 10:29   #7
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Jabardast Life! Very high regards for someone who has served the nation and also the so many diverse fields you have worked in... You seemed to have driven anything and everything that rides on land. We look forward to hearing many more experiences from you soon..
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Old 13th July 2016, 10:52   #8
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Great to see you on the Forum! A very warm welcome sir!

Respect and envy for the opportunities armed forces provide. You seem to have enjoyed the career a lot there! Looking forward to more posts and threads from you on the forum.
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Old 13th July 2016, 11:04   #9
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Great to have you on-board Sir and welcome to the forum.

My grandfather served in the army for several years after which he retired and took up another position as a civilian in the 515 Army Base Workshop, but he passed away when I was too young.

Look forward to reading about your vast experiences on the road and off it too, do share them.

Last edited by NPV : 13th July 2016 at 11:25.
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Old 13th July 2016, 11:28   #10
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Vijai

Respect! very impressive background. Am not sure if you knew my father in law. He also took part in the Himalayan Rally as part of the Services , i dont know which one but his jeep crashed out
Dear Ajmat,

I took part in the 1984 and 1985 Himalayan Car Rallies, and as mentioned in my introductory post, was lucky to be a 'Finisher' in both.

The Himalayas have always held a great attraction to me; some of my best years were spent there. Now that I have the time, a li'l bird is urging me to traverse them from Ladakh via Nepal to the North-East zig zaging leisurely around 4000 kms.

Best wishes,
Vijai Singh
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Old 13th July 2016, 12:12   #11
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Originally Posted by STraiTDriVE View Post
Jabardast Life! Very high regards for someone who has served the nation and also the so many diverse fields you have worked in... You seemed to have driven anything and everything that rides on land. We look forward to hearing many more experiences from you soon..
Dear STraiTDriVE,

On land and also on water!

Land includes a battle tank, a TD20 automatic drive bulldozer, a 8x8 Tatra, a Shaktiman, and everything in between.

On water, rowing, sculling, sailing yachts, sea going cruises, paddling a dugout, speed boats ...

Best wishes,
Vijai Singh
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Old 13th July 2016, 21:51   #12
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heart felt respect sirji, pranam
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Old 14th July 2016, 17:00   #13
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Dear Mr.Vijay Singhji Sir - welcome to the forum Sir! The Himalayan Rally is very special for me too. I participated in 1983. Please read the Himalayan Rally thread on the forum, you'll love it.

LINK (Himalayan Rallying Experiences - A Flashback)

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Last edited by Rehaan : 15th July 2016 at 17:52. Reason: Adding a link to this post itself, making it easier for others to visit the mentioned thread :)
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Old 14th July 2016, 17:17   #14
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The famous 1972 Munich Olympics, or the tragic Olympics. That must be quite a memory

Welcome aboard, sir. What a career you have had/are having. Look forward to reading your various experiences - this forum surely offers enough breadth to talk about all your diverse interests
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Old 14th July 2016, 18:10   #15
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Originally Posted by Vijai_MoCa View Post
driving in India requires a focused & cool mindset, and defensive driving expecting the worst from others. Never stretch your limits and pull over at the slightest sign of loss of concentration.

Keep safe,
Vijai Singh
GOLDEN WORDS.
I wish we had some kind of test to judge a person's ability to adhere to this before doling out the driving license.

And welcome to the forum, would be lovely having an amazing personality (the text of your first post in bold) like yours here!
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