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Old 30th May 2010, 13:11   #1
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Default It's a miracle that I'm still in one piece

Dad bought me a book once called "Cars"- how they work. That book changed my life.
I grew up watching top gear. I still love it and will spend a few hours watching stuff I've seen before all over again. My childhood was pretty standard. I still have my first dinky (a matchbox police car based on the Rover (Standard in India) 2000. It’s minus the 'A' pillars now, but still goes straighter than most cars on the road. I used to sit and oil the axles just so that the squeaks would stop. Strangely enough my first love was not the family car. It was a REALLY old vintage car sitting in a garage in Calcutta (now Kolkata). I actually used to dream about how I could replace the engine in it, get it a new paint job and a new life; I was 10 years old at the time. Spoke to dad about it; he gave me a concerned look and didn’t say anything. I think he knew better than me what was coming.
Fast forward to age 21 and my short love affair with bikes (none of them my own). I crashed one time too many (actually 5) and took a 'grown up' decision to steal dads car instead. My first car, a five speed Maruti 800. LOVED IT!!! But I also realized that I have NO control over myself at a car accessories store. Alloy rims, upsized tyresin, Black lights inside the cab and an overly loud stereo with with a woofer where the boot is supposed to be all made me live up to the punjabi munda stereotype.
Drove the car from Mumbai to Jamnagar (Gujarat). From Jamnagar to Kochi, Kochi back to Mumbai. Then from Allahabad to Delhi (The last of those being the maddest as a very good friend of mine went with me ON A BIKE in the November cold and everything. We finished it in one day. After that there was Chennai to Bangalore and back; and finally, Chennai to Mumbai. Kind of settled in at Mumbai and would generally drive all over town at night (‘town’ in this respect includes Lonavala). Oh, and in between I learned how to fly fixed wing aircraft, then Helicopters and was flying Helos for the Navy.
Life was good and so I decided to go and mess it all up. Became a statistic by having two major accidents in the car (was drunk silly both times). I finally decided it was time to grow up and sold it. This started another love affair – with the Old Honda City. Bought a type I OHC 1.3 in 2007; was one of the best decisions I ever made. Went all Punjabi with it AGAIN. Wine Red with a Black hood and roof, Rims, custom interiors, Typhoon intake, Alloy rims, MOMO this and that, 2 amps, Neons, the lot. It was an obsession: I just could NEVER let anyone else drive my car. I got into a lot of trouble once when I told a friend of a friend to ‘Take a cab home’ just because she would keep saying someone else should drive the car. Rude? Yes, but that’s just me. In my car I am ruler, king, dictator.
I had three coffee destinations while I stayed in Colaba: the ‘Next door place’ at Shivaji Park, the ‘Regular place’ at Juhu and the ‘Weekend place’ at Lonavala (any of you from around Mumbai will know which coffee shop I’m talking about). I have lost count of the number of times I drove on that expressway.
Life was good again (so you know what’s coming next). I had a seizure while driving, the last image I remember from that night was the speedometer reading 110 and rising. I smashed into a wall left side first, missing a pole by about a foot. Fortunately, I was alone. Waking up was one of the most surreal experiences ever. I had bitten my tongue and was bleeding from the mouth. The cops later told me that they thought I was dead… So that’s why I woke up lying in a drain…
I was not permitted to drive after that; it was considered too much of a risk. The first thing I did after I was allowed to drive again and completed my MBA? Surprise, surprise, bought a car. Which one? An Old Honda City Type II 1.5. The first thing I did with my latest one was drive from Kolkata to Hyderabad with my dad (this May). My latest car, my latest project. With any luck this one will not end the way the last two did.
I remember seeing a bumper sticker on a red Type II Honda City which was flying down Peddar road which said “LOVE CARS, LIVE CARS”. Four words that capture a LOT of what my life is about. It’s a pleasure to be part of this community, and really nice to know that there are those of us around who give our machines the respect they deserve.
Hi guys, here’s to good times to come.

Appu

p.s- The only time I EVER sit in the passenger seat in my own car is when a mechanic is testing it; and even that hurts.
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Old 30th May 2010, 13:56   #2
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Ah, you need to bless your luck to survive each of the accident. Hope you have become wiser after each mistake

Quote:
I remember seeing a bumper sticker on a red Type II Honda City which was flying down Peddar road which said “LOVE CARS, LIVE CARS”.
You might have spotted fellow member Tejas

Welcome to TBHP and drive safe
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Old 30th May 2010, 14:30   #3
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Man. That's terrible. Seizure while driving. So does that mean your flying days are over now? Are you still with Navy or out of it?
Guess, long drives and heavy machinery are on the no-list due to your health condition.
And sad to hear that you woke up from a drain after being thought dead. Some bugger decided to leave you in the drain thinking you are dead shows the pathetic nature of fellow civilians!
Welcome to T-BHP.
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Old 30th May 2010, 16:23   #4
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Yes, sir I am quite lucky to have survived. It was a very sobering experience. As regards the gentleman who placed me in the drain, well it was a cop. They pulled me out of the car and placed me there. But their reaction when I woke up was quite amazing. Absolutely priceless expression.
I have unfortunately had to cut short my flying career; the Navy has a zero tolerance level for medical conditions in flying, so I'm out now and in Hyderabad. I have completed my MBA and am fortunate to still be involved in aviation (management). I have to wait another three years to fly again so who knows, if not as a career then at least as a hobby I may fly again.
Fortunately I am permitted to drive; I just recently got my clearance from my doctor to do so. Its a great source of happiness for me and has helped me become more careful with my health too.
So driving is therapeutic for me after all.

Thanks for the welcome, I hope to put up more than a few travelogues and attend meets as often as possible. In Hyderabad and elsewhere too.
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Old 30th May 2010, 17:57   #5
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Welcome to the gang reddevil. You are in the right place
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Old 30th May 2010, 22:57   #6
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Quite a mouthful, I must say. And an interesting read.

Welcome aboard and hows your tongue by the way
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Old 31st May 2010, 10:28   #7
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Originally Posted by thedreamcatcher View Post

Welcome aboard and hows your tongue by the way
The tongue was stitched back on. Unfortunately that led to another problem in that it keeps wagging all the time .

I don't drive as fast as I used to now. I guess that will come back with time.

BTW, my full initials are BTZS Appu. A free refreshment for anyone who correctly guesses which part of the country I am from.

Cheers.
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Old 31st May 2010, 11:06   #8
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Welcome to teambhp.


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Originally Posted by reddevil_appu View Post
.....
BTW, my full initials are BTZS Appu. A free refreshment for anyone who correctly guesses which part of the country I am from.

Cheers.
You are from Hyderabad.
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Old 31st May 2010, 11:50   #9
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Five speed Maruti 800 is a terrific car. So much power to carry so less weight! But an India tour in a M800 is simply awesome. You are where you should be. Welcome to T-Bhp.By the way, drive safe. We would like to see you around for a long time to come.
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Old 31st May 2010, 12:07   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddevil_appu View Post
The tongue was stitched back on. Unfortunately that led to another problem in that it keeps wagging all the time .

I don't drive as fast as I used to now. I guess that will come back with time.

BTW, my full initials are BTZS Appu. A free refreshment for anyone who correctly guesses which part of the country I am from.

Cheers.
Appu sounds like a Mallu name. Are you from Mallu-land?
Lots of initials doesn't belong to a Mallu though. So are you TN? KA?
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Old 31st May 2010, 13:57   #11
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Welcome to TBHP, Appu. Look forward to seeing you in the coming meets.

I think you are from Andhra. If not next would be Mallu - Land
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Old 31st May 2010, 14:05   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddevil_appu View Post
BTW, my full initials are BTZS Appu. A free refreshment for anyone who correctly guesses which part of the country I am from.

Cheers.
Let me guess, from Punjab or Chandigarh.
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Old 31st May 2010, 14:49   #13
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Originally Posted by reddevil_appu View Post
The only time I EVER sit in the passenger seat in my own car is when a mechanic is testing it; and even that hurts.
aah haha! i can relate to that! have had my car for almost 4yrs and my bike for 10yrs and the only person who drives/rides them machines is ME! i've not even let my dad drive/ride them!


on a much serious note, please take precautions while driving on account of your seizure. i too have seizures (rarely now), but these crop up when i'm very tired, not rested or wake up suddenly. i've to always make sure i'm well rested and wake up slowly and to the side. one time i woke early for a long drive - blacked out and fell backwards on a glass shelf. woke up with lot of glass shrads in my back

take care and welcome to the gang!

Last edited by IronH4WK : 31st May 2010 at 14:51.
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Old 31st May 2010, 15:48   #14
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Well, your love for soccer means, you are either from Kerala, Bengal or Goa. But somehow I'm unable to associate a Navy helicopter pilot with Kerala but your name suggests you do have something to do with that place.
I can hazard Bengal as a guess as well.
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Old 31st May 2010, 16:02   #15
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Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
But somehow I'm unable to associate a Navy helicopter pilot with Kerala but your name suggests you do have something to do with that place.
Why Mx6, guess you imagning a Navy helicopter pilot having tough time keeping his lungi from being entangled in rotor blades
But still, my guess he from mallu land. FYI: Iam known as appu to friends and relative in mallu land.
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