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Old 4th June 2011, 00:58   #1
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Default Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

The dashing young man in the drivers seat was persistent, but his female passenger was not so amused. The small sports car did not give her much of a chance to ignore him, as he burst into song. Jeevan ke safar mein rahi, milte hai bichad jaane ko, he sang. We meet fellow travelers in life, but only to be separated. Who can forget Dev Anand and Nalini Jaywant as they gave us one of the immortal songs of all time? Who has not sang, or heard the song, in college farewells, or reunions? And who can forget the tiny open car with rakish lines and swept back wings in which Dev wooed Nalini in Munimji, back in 1955? It was an MG TC, that quintessential archetype of the British sports convertible.

Fast forward to 1 June 2011, when the monsoon hit Bangalore. Hit is the wrong word, though. The monsoon in Bangalore is as gentle as a lover's sigh. The clouds have vented their fury on the coast and those that surf over the ghats are but a shadow of their grey cousins to the west. Bangalore's monsoon brings cool winds, and an occasional veil of light spray. It was an ideal day for a spin in my MG TC, Dev. We headed off to the Nandi Hills.

The first few moments of a long drive in a sports car are the ones that linger the longest. The preliminaries include a check of the wheels, topping up the radiator water, checking the oil level, tapping the carburetters to loosen the floats. Then the hood is carefully folded down, before one shoehorns oneself into the drivers seat. The vigorous clicking of the SU pump starts with a twist of the ignition key, slowing down to a more deliberate and slower rhythm as the floats fill up. A pull on the starter cable and the starter turns, with a tinkling as it engages the flywheel. The engine roars to life and the clatter of the tappets begin. A couple of taps on the accelerator brings an instant response from the eager engine, and then we are off.

Ishaan my son, is my passenger. We hit the open road and enjoyed the thrill of the throttle. Past the new airport we went and turned into the scenic road towards Nandi Hills. It threatened to rain all day, but it did not. The scudding clouds overhead and the cool wind might have fooled anyone into believing that we were in England, except for the Scarlet Gul Mohurs and the wide low Banyans.
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Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev-6.jpg  


Last edited by tonrag : 4th June 2011 at 00:59.
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Old 4th June 2011, 01:07   #2
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

As we hit the hill road, the car came alive on the twisty curves. The rains had kept the tourists away and that gave Dev enough leeway to take the curves. MG turning circles are bad, but with no traffic, there was no worry. A few turns and twists and we were at the top, fighting the gusts away. The only hostile reception we received were from the aggressive monkeys that had made Nandi their abode.

How did this magic day come to pass? It all started on a similar rainy day, twenty four years back, when I laid my eyes on a forlorn sight, a dismembered pile of bits, a chassis and a body cast away and half sunk in the mud. This thread is one that I have been meaning to relate for a long time, of how Dev, my MG became my Jeevan ke safar mein rahi.

And like all good stories, it all starts with the flashback!
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Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev-12.jpg  

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Old 4th June 2011, 01:10   #3
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

Wow what a beautiful thread. Purely describes the joy of open top motoring, the wind in your hair experience. The MG looks stunning. British craftsmanship at its best. Hats off to you for keeping the Brit in the prime of her beauty.

Deserves a 5-star !! Lovely !!
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Old 4th June 2011, 06:29   #4
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

You devil. Poet and Screenwriter all in one. Waiting for herstory. (History would be MCP na??!!)
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Old 4th June 2011, 07:08   #5
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

What a way to start the day !. Beautiful to read. Nice photos. Glued to this one. Look forward to the balance of the story .
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Old 4th June 2011, 07:22   #6
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

Hi Tonrag,

Lovely start to this thread. I am sure you would have enjoyed this drive very much. What wonderful weather, great drive, place and last but not the least lovely car.

We should start our classic drives in Bangalore .

Cheers

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Old 4th June 2011, 08:08   #7
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

Well maintained vintage car, the drive to Nandi must have been exhilirating, your entry into Nandi hill archway photo looks great. Kudos for owning a vintage beauty.

Last edited by GTO : 6th June 2011 at 10:50. Reason: STRICTLY no SMS language on this forum. Correcting
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Old 4th June 2011, 09:11   #8
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

Fantastic car Raghu Sir,

I must be happy that i got to sit in this lovely car even if it was for a small moment, it feels Great

Enjoy your ride for many more years to come.
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Old 4th June 2011, 10:17   #9
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

Lovely start to a Saturday morning.
The fifth pic in the first post and the last pic in your second pic is truly classic like your car.
How amazing it must be to drive the open top classic car in that wonderful weather.
It would be so interesting to read the love stroy of your and Dev.
Anxiously looking forward to it Raghu Sir.
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Old 4th June 2011, 11:02   #10
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

A cloudy Mumbai morning, a hot cup of tea, ... and this thread !! WOW.

Tonrag - your prose is like poetry, and your pictures like a movie . Wish I was there too !

Please do continue, awaiting more poetry and movies !!
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Old 4th June 2011, 14:05   #11
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

Thanks a ton Tonrag.The thread is a cool change from the so many drab ones that we all start and subscribe to (including me).
Its a very beautiful pictorial narration of the memorable drive by you.Your car is gleaming (touchwood) and the one used by thespian Dev Anand in 1955 (then as in the movie),may not also be able to match its beauty with your car !
Please keep up the good work.

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Old 4th June 2011, 14:25   #12
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

Nice to hear from you Tonrag after long time. Another amazing MG drive, seems like classic old times flashback, refreshing and cool.

Great, keep it coming more. How was your Swamy (Austin-7), I think you
were restoring small things.

Cheers!
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Old 5th June 2011, 09:21   #13
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

Thanks everybody! Yes, its good to be back after a long break. Was not able to contribute much due to professional commitments and travel, but I was following the threads, particularly the ones on restoration. Pavan, you are doing a marvelous job on the Topolino!
One of the things about restoration, at least in my case, is that hectic periods of activity are punctuated by long periods of quiescence. That was the case with Dev too. While the restoration took fourteen years, from 1988 to 2002, (even that's not true, there are still a few things to be done), actual quality work would not have taken more than two years of effort.
Dev's story started in 1987 when I was able to move into Bangalore to be with Aditi. We were then married for just two years, but had to live apart due to work commitments till then. Bangalore was a lovely place then, not the crowded, noisy, dusty metropolis it is now. Every weekend was full of bus rides, walks through tree lined lanes, pointing out picturesque houses and of course, car spotting. Aditi was mildly amused whenever I broke off from a conversation to watch an older car drive by, or lean over a gate to catch a glimpse of a shadowy shape in a gloomy garage. Now was that a Citroen? Or perhaps, a Humber? Hmm!

We finally decided that we needed a car. There was not even the slightest doubt that it would be a classic. Marutis were at a premium; even Fiats were unaffordable. It was then that a conversation with a distant relative turned into a successful chase. She mentioned a dark black rotund car that was old and for sale. Our search led us to a modest house in Jayamahal and the usual dark garage. As our eyes grew accustomed to the gloom, the looming shape turned out to be a Vauxhall Wyvern. TMZ 6056 was as original as could be. A 1950 model, it was the most basic version. The car did not even have winding windows, just panes that could be slid up and down manually. The original midnight blue paint had faint crinkles on it, but the car bore all signs of loving care. She had lived all her life in Madras, being used by a Professor for his daily trip to college and back. I had reason to believe that the 37000 miles on the odo were genuine. It only had three forward speeds and the steering gear column had a nice snick to it as they meshed. We picked her up for 11500 Rupees, happy that we were able to bargain the price down from 12000!

The Vauxhall gave us many months of joy. We repainted it (in retrospect we ought not to have done that, the patina was lovely), but did not touch the original leather-cloth upholstery-we could not afford it.

So how was this car related to Dev? Read on!
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Last edited by tonrag : 5th June 2011 at 09:23.
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Old 5th June 2011, 09:33   #14
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

@tonrag - Sir i know that you have worked hard on the restoration process for long years. But was wondering if you have pictures of Dev before the restoration was complete. Something like the Before and After pics.
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Old 5th June 2011, 09:56   #15
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

@Raghu sir, you narrative brings back memories of Bangalore of yester-years.

Some nic pics there in the first post, and waiting for me. Pls try for some B&W pics with the car .. would be lovely. Hope to meet you and this beauty one of these days. Till then, will follow your story here.

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