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Old 15th June 2007, 21:19   #1
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Hi
This is Sudipto Roy from Kolkata. I drive a Maruti Esteem Lxi and love travelling around in my car. I am 43 and my wife and daughter (4 years) accopmpany me on the long drives.
My car has all the usual dents and some more.
I have driven upto Araku in AP, Darjeeling, Bhutan (just the border town) with the Esteem; among other interesting places I went to Kufri (from Delhi in 1999 in a Cielo via Chail), Chiplun (from Bombay in 1998 via Pune, before the Bombay-Pune highway was opened).
I intend to go to Sangla from Kolkata this October in my Esteem.
I am also a member of a yahoo group on Indian highways.
Sudipto
ps :
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Old 15th June 2007, 21:24   #2
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Welcome to TBHP. Nice to see taht Kolkata team is growing up.

Sudipto, share some of your trips story here.
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Old 15th June 2007, 21:55   #3
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Hi Rudra
Thanks for the welcome. Trip stories can be very boring sometimes unless the destination/route is interesting enough. Now Bhubaneshwar-Vizag-Araku is not what I would call interesting drives by any stretch of imagination. I found it difficult to stay awake driving on that GQ.
I would tell you about this short drive of about 40 km in the Darjeeling hills last month.
We reached this place called Tin Dharia from where we were supposed to be escorted to the manager's bungalow of a tea estate (they are officially renting out these to tourists). Tin Dharia is about half way between Siliguri and Darjeeling (those who don't know - Siliguri in the foothills is like Kalka from where the mountains start and Darjeeling is like Shimla). These last legs to the tea estates are notoriously bad, narrow and steep and unless you are experienced enough you should not try them without a 4WD vehicle. I have seen the bad stretches of Raid-De-Himalaya. Believe me, these are several times worse.
So from this place on the highway (from where you are supposed to take the narrow road) I called the manager asking if he could send his driver. He said the driver is gone and no one can come to escort me. I asked him whether it is okay for me to drive this stretch on my own. He said "what car is this?" I said Esteem. He said, "well ......... (long pause) I guess it should be able to come".
I looked at the innocent face of my child sleeping on her mother's lap. Clouds started engulfing us from all around. It was 4 pm or so. It was just a matter of 2 km or so. But something in me said "don't go".
I turned the car around and headed towards Darjeeling.
By this time clouds had literally engulfed us and I could hardly see anything beyond ten feet or so. I stopped for a while and then like my guardian angel a Swaraj Mazda came along which had good tail lights. I started following those two red lights in front of me. Not looking left of right, my vision fixed on those tail lights. Suddenly after a turn the truck vanished into the clouds. I stopped immediately because hardly anything beyond the bonnet was visible. My orientation on the road was dangerous. In fact I couldn't even understand or see exactly how I was positioned on the road. Hazard lights were turned on. My wife got down and started guiding me to park parallel to the side of the road when suddenly another jeep came along and I started chasing him like a drowning man clutching on to a straw. These mountain drivers are amazing. They can drive on those roads with a blindfold on. Little wonder they say that in Darjeeling the best looking girls elope with the drivers. It is really a heroic thing they do. I had or have no shame in following them and I will do the same thing if faced with the same situation again and again.
Luckily I reached my destination (a Tibetan's personal house rented out as a hotel just after Batasia Loop) in one piece. Thanks to those two drivers.
My wife captured some ten minutes of this drive on the camera. When I see it on the TV it doesn't unfortunately look so dangerous. But anyway ..... such is life.
Sudipto
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Old 15th June 2007, 22:29   #4
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Hello Sudiptoji
Welcome to T-BHP
I guess the travelogue section would be of great interest to you!

Enjoy
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Old 15th June 2007, 22:37   #5
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Well DCEite, to be honest I knew about TBHP for quite some time but finally created the id today after I read Abhijeet Roy's travelogue of his trip from Bangalore to Kolkata. He dropped a post about this article in the yahoo group whose member I am.
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Old 16th June 2007, 01:02   #6
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Welcome to TBHP sudipto. So the Kolkata group grows by one more. I am sure you have a lot of stories in your bag for all of us.
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Old 16th June 2007, 01:23   #7
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@sudipto - welcome to t-bhp. Hope to meet you sometime soon !
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Old 16th June 2007, 02:33   #8
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hey Sudipto da! welcome to team BHP. enjoy your stay here. it will be great if we can meet one day. nice write-up. whats the idea behind S-Team??

...i gotto sleep now. i havent slept since day before yesterday. "Kab subha hoga and i will get to drive again?" - BTW i have a surprize for all of you. hehehe!

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Old 16th June 2007, 10:08   #9
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Welcome to T-BHP, Sudipto. You've got great writing style - would love to read more on your travels and travails. What's "S-Team"?

Of Bongs and Hindi: Eije Planet_rocker-da, "Kab subah hogi", not "kaub shubhah hoga". "Jaago, mohan pyare ... jaago..." - everyone is waiting for your surprise!

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Old 16th June 2007, 11:03   #10
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hey DerAlte - i made it clear that only few bongs like me speak like that and i am keeping the "spirit of bongs (pun intended) alive".

surprize - most of you got your modern mean machines a FFE. i got my fiat a FFE yesterday
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Old 16th June 2007, 11:51   #11
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Hi Sudipto, welcome to TBhp. Read the announcements section and enjoy your stay here.
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Old 16th June 2007, 12:54   #12
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@ Sudipto da - for your reference -

the Kolkata gang are:
shuvd
shuvc
toiingg
1100D (not in Cal right now)
nikunj_cal
neel_1234
razor4077
babhishek
BlackPearl
SP_Kolkata
Adhiraj
indrajitr (inactive)
wimwian
saurabhM
arijitM
nura
Hells Bells (not in Cal right now)
ADC (inactive)

we usually meet up in small groups - the mini meets and once in a while in large groups. do check the meet section in Shifting Gears.

ps: please forgive me if i have not mentioned any of the members from Cal.
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Old 16th June 2007, 13:23   #13
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Kemo Nacho Sudipto Da? Suswagatam to the forum.
So we have one more intellectual from Kolkatta!
Welcome once again and enjoy your stay here. Do go through the board rules section to familiarise yourself with the dos and donts of the forum before posting.
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Old 16th June 2007, 14:15   #14
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Thanks All
I am a little overwhelmed by the welcome. Regarding my id here - I wanted to keep it just sudipto but apparently it was taken. So I thought I will include the Esteem also in my id. Therefore it actually means Sudipto-Esteem. Just a bit of silly stylisation. By the way, all the mechanics call the Esteem, Steam. So this is another way to show that it is actually Esteem and not Steam.
I will be most happy to join these informal meets. Where do you guys meet? Is anyone going for the Kabiguru Rally on July 7th?
Sudipto
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Old 16th June 2007, 14:21   #15
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Hello sir. Welcome to TBHP and enjoy your stay here. Good to see more car guys from Kolkata.
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