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Old 19th April 2011, 01:01   #1
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Default End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

To all those reading this thread, this is my first post on TeamBHP. I describe in this thread how we met with a horrifying crash with a buffalo with some points that worked in our favour to get us out of a situation where a dead animal is treated as a dead family member and the culprit is not spared by the mob that gathers in moments.

It was a hot sunny day on the 26th of July last year when we started of from my grandparent's home in Dholpur. Crossing Agra by 3:30 in the afternoon we were targetting a 7 o'clock coffee at our home in Jaipur.

Taking NH11 were enjoying the drive back on the newly laid down highway and the pleasent weather that greeted us. All along the trip we had discussions at a number of occasions about buying a new vehicle. Most of the discussions ended up in favour of buying a new vehicle with points like deteriorating driving pleasure and comfort provided by our trusty 10 year old Qualis with 215050 km on the odo. My mom especially did not like me and my dad teaming up against her and speaking in favour of buying a new car. After all it had taken us to numerous places in Rajasthan and U.P. on our annual December trips with the extended family and in most of the cases with 9 passengers on board with their luggage on the roof.

So just as we were approaching a small roadside temple which was seeing a rush of devotees due to Guru Poornima. My dad who was driving instructed me to call up a relative fir whom we were carrying a washing machine and a bag of Wheat fresh from the countryside to check whether these things could be dropped off at his place that very day instead of that day later. It must have been only 5 seconds from the moment i took my eyes off the road and picked up my dad's phone to look for the number that.....
Screeeeech.... BANG
a blacked out windshield and the car comes to a stop on the line separating the fast lane fron the slow one, with the engine still running.

I look at my dad who is uttering the words 'Ab iska kya kiya ja sakta hai', then i glance back to see my mom in a state of shock, that's i see a buffalo lying on the road through the rear window, nearing the end of its life making useless attempts to get up.

My dad slots into first and moves the vehicle to the service lane and the first thought that comes to my mind is to stop and check the damages. I ask him to stop to which he replies that its not safe stopping here with no witness to the accident and the villagers from around the spot running to the site of the accident or in the general direction of the source of sound from such a loud hit.

Sitting inside we could now see through a cracked windshield, a cloud of steam rising from the engine bay, the wipers half way up and the hood partially stuck to the windshield. The car was making a sound as the wheels moved and the steering was way out of alignment, far superseeding the rural jeeps' standard. It was best to stop.

My dad called up 100 which is supposed to redirect you to the closest police control room. The closest was Bharatpur and tje call was picked up swiftly. Only when the call was connected did he get out of the vehicle and i followed suit. He was explaining the situation to the person who picked up the call who was kind of interested in solving the problem on the phone itself. A few vehicles passed by and a couple stopped. A driver of a Scorpio which was fully loaded with people was kind enough to give us the number of the SHO of the closest police station which was Halena. In about 10 minutes the crowd that was gathering must have reached a 100 odd running. Some sympathising with the animal that had died, some wanting to see the cut on my finger due to whe windshield glass and some just praising our stars which saved us.

An ambulance arrived, a result of the phone call made to 100, which i was pretty impressed to see, coming on time. In the mean while the owner of the buffalo had come and was really sorry for the mishap. We were really sorry for his loss too. It was the only animal he had and used to earn his bread and butter from the milk it yielded.

The cause of the accident was the trees that the NHAI plants in the median on the highways. The buffalo was invisible and on the other side of the median. It came charging through the bushes and appeared some 70 meters in front of us in a state of frenzy and shock. The screeching tyres coupled to the state of shock that it was in. Our vehicle must be touching 90kmph when my dad reacted and the brakes locked up and the car skidded a good 35-40 meters before hitting the buffalo. The speed at the time of impact must have been around 35-40 kmph. The buffalo hit the bonnet with its front legs partially lifted from the ground as it tried to avoid our vehicle. This was lucky for us as it came on the bonnet, hit the windshield and just the front part of its body rolled over the driver side roof rest of its body just flung into the air away from the vehicle. Had it been planted on all fours on the road, due to the height of the vehicle the buffalo could have toppled and the vehicle could have been forced to go over it bringing along with it a possible rollover.
We later learnt that some villager on the other side had opened an umbrella to save himself from the drizzle, which happened to be a sudden movement, right in the face of the buffalo and scared it to its end.

Anyways, the police from Halena Police station came to the spot and the vehicle was locked and towed to the police station. The owner of the buffalo came to the police station and was asking for some compensation to which my dad asked him to lodge an FIR. He would have done it himself but was wanting to judge the reaction of the owner before doing so. The FIR was necessary for the Insurance Claim. The Buffalo owner was reluctant in lodging the FIR as he was illiterate and did not want the hassle of running to the courts. So we left it to him to do whatever he liked. We also offered to give him Rs. 10000 in cash to which he would have agreed had it not been for some village folk who were instigating him to ask for nothing less than Rs. 25000.

We asked some relatives living in Bharatpur to arrange for some cash and a Taxi to transport us and our luggage to Jaipur. Two days later the SHO called us up and said that the Buffalo owner had lodged the FIR and that the hearing in the local court was to be in another two days time for which the Driver and the owner of the vehicle have to be present at some court near Halena. My parents went there and the case was settles outside the court with us having to pay the Owner of the buffalo Rs. 12000 which my dad was more than happy to pay as he would have spent that much amount of money in transportation for subsequent hearings of the case.

Things that worked in our favour ad saved us from an enraged mob:
1. The Ambulance arriving on time.
2. A local on seeing my Dad's ID card having his picture in Khaki Uniform (Central Govt. Employee) which he pulled out of his wallet for a moment (just so that the villagers could glance at it) asked him where he worked, to which he replied that he was a Superintendent (very carefully not mentioning the department), and mistook him to be SP of Police.
3. Knowing an high ranked ex-policeman who called up the SHO at Halena which sped up the process.
4. Rain, which started just 5 minutes after the crash and made the mob disperse as there was no shelter nearby.
5. Talking to the villagers and feeling sorry for the owner of the buffalo.

Apparent damages to the vehicle.
The windshield was cracked but held its place pretty well.
Driver side A-pillar dented.
Hood crumpled up like paper
Busted front right side fender.
Busted Battery
Radiator smeared (yes, literally smeared, forgrt about the grille and bumper) onto the engine, leaking fluids.
Steering setup badly out of alignment

Worst fear: the impact having disturbed the pulleys at the front of the engine and the head gasket, which could have lead to a loss of compression as explained by the workshop people.

Decision: Sell it off in addition to claiming the damages corresponding to a totalled vehicle from insurance. Which only made us about Rs. 165000 richer and a saddening at least another 200000 km of loyal service poorer.

Bade goodbye to our beloved in the first week of August with a heavy heart and cursed ourselves to have even thought of replacing it in the first place.

What became of the Qualis and the Buffalo can be seen the the following pictures.
Attached Thumbnails
End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.-capture1.jpg  

End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.-25072010011.jpg  

End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.-25072010009.jpg  


Last edited by mobike008 : 19th April 2011 at 16:49. Reason: Removed the animal picture as it didnt seem too appropriate for the forum :)
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Old 19th April 2011, 10:26   #2
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Default Re: End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

That was a very sad encounter to read indeed.
I must say that your Dad had handled the situation perfectly. Not many people know how to handle such situations which then end up turning violent and ugly.
Too bad that the vehicle was totaled too. So what did you buy as a replacement in the end?
Drive Safe!
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Old 19th April 2011, 10:52   #3
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Default Re: End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

That is sad ,man.
both for the car and the poor animal.

Loved the sentiment in this statement:
"Which only made us about Rs. 165000 richer and a saddening at least another 200000 km of loyal service poorer."

With that kind of ownership, the car becomes a part of you, and its really hard to let go, especially in such a manner.
so what is going to be the next beast?
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Old 19th April 2011, 10:56   #4
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Default Re: End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

Very Sad to see this. Accidents do happen and thats why they are called accidents. We are no one to stop whatever is to happen, but when on road it is very much in our hands to be alert ALWAYS. Fraction of second life can go, which can never be bought back. Feel really sorry for the dead animal. Life is a life indeed.

Please drive safe and be alert on the road. There's no point in regretting over the loss, but make we can atleast try to avoid the losses.
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Old 19th April 2011, 11:22   #5
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Default Re: End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

Very sad end to your ride & the animal, no one to blame, but your ride has saved your family. Please be carefull and keep the phone out of sight while driving. Best of luck for your next buy, and I must mention that your dad is really a cool headed person, learnt something by reading your post.
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Old 19th April 2011, 12:57   #6
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Default Re: End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

You should be happy that its a buffalo, not a human/old person who come and stand in the middle of the NH from no where.

That's one reason I don't use my phone while driving for any reasons. Mistakes always happen just carry on and set right them accordingly.
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Old 19th April 2011, 16:10   #7
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Default Re: End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjith.rajaram View Post
That's one reason I don't use my phone while driving for any reasons. Mistakes always happen just carry on and set right them accordingly.
Well, he was using the phone, and his father was driving. This was just one of those unavoidable accidents.

But do remove the snap of the dead animal. Its really depressing.
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Old 19th April 2011, 21:37   #8
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Default Re: End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

Holy cow! (pun un-intended)

That is one sad incident. Glad Qualis held itself well to ensure you didn't have a scratch. Guess the way your dad dealt the situation made it simpler.

Stray animals on the road is one thing that scares the daylights out of me; as much because of the damage they are capable of as the consequences.

On a related note : While travelling Udaipur - Gurgaon, on a particular stretch, sheep were being herded along the highway and a few chose to cross the highway. On an occasion, I noticed a young sheep about the come over the divider and immediately shifted lanes. But the vehicle behind me didn't seem to notice and I watched in my OVRM as the young thing banged against the rear part of the vehicle. All I could see was it not being able to get up. After that, I just looked ahead. Very very unpleasant situation.
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Old 19th April 2011, 22:39   #9
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Default Re: End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

Buffaloes are quite dangerous in the night!

I myself hit one rather tangentially in Nov 2006 while riding back at night from Pushkar to Delhi. It was invisible till almost the last moment - thankfully the armored jacket kept my hand from being fractured!!

In your case - this accident could've been much much worse! Both in terms of damage as well as monetary/time wastage! Luck was on your side!
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Old 20th April 2011, 01:48   #10
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Default Re: End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

I am glad that the matter was settled so swiftly and none of you'll were injured, really do feel bad for the cow.
The vegetation planted between the 4 laned highways is really dangerous and specially in summer when villagers actually get the cattle to graze on the divider.
For the same reasons I actually dropped my cruising speed to 120 km/hr and I keep to the center of the road when it is empty and gladly overtake slow moving right lane hogs from their left without honking.
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Old 20th April 2011, 08:08   #11
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Default Re: End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

Sorry to hear your experience TGO but am glad that nobody suffered major injuries except the poor animal. Buffaloes crossing the road in hordes are a common sight on our roads but in your case a stray animal that too one who was frightened was a recipe for disaster. Sorry to see your lovely Qualis so badly damaged. On teh rbighter side, what vehicle are you planning to replace it with?
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Old 25th April 2011, 22:19   #12
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Default Re: End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

First of all i'd like to thank everyone who posted back on this thread. Its kind of overwhelming compared to the 12 posts in 3 months in a whole forum (leave alone one thread) i started elsewhere. I'm loving T-BHP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
Loved the sentiment in this statement:
"Which only made us about Rs. 165000 richer and a saddening at least another 200000 km of loyal service poorer."
Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Holy cow! (pun un-intended)

That is one sad incident. Glad Qualis held itself well to ensure you didn't have a scratch.
The Qualis indeed held itself together. Really feel like mentioning that it did those kilometers on the odo on a clutch which was bolted onto it on the assembly line and was still doing fine.
I come to think of it, and realise that the only things that were ever replaced on the vehicle were:
  1. Windshield X 2 (They were badly scratched and made it difficult to drive at night)
  2. Muffler and exhaust pipe X 2 (The pipe cracked at the same point probably because of getting scraped somewhere)
  3. Hood and FL Fender (Another freak Accident involving a tractor-trolley)
  4. Steering linkage UV joints (Had worn out badly)
  5. Accelerator Cable
  6. and a few Bulbs here and there.
No leaks or breakdowns EVER. Thinking of all this makes me want to write a Long Term Ownership review. Waiting to get back home and search the hard drives for old pictures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdsaab View Post
I must say that your Dad had handled the situation perfectly. Not many people know how to handle such situations which then end up turning violent and ugly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdon View Post
and I must mention that your dad is really a cool headed person, learnt something by reading your post.
He could drive a Jeep when he was in class 5.
Has been to 13 Schools before passing out of class 11.
Played Basketball for India when he was 17.
Almost road killed a panther once on his way back from Ranthambhore Sanctuary at night.
Has cycled Ajmer-Jaipur-Ajmer on a number of occasions.
Honeymooned at Jogi Mahal (Ranthambhore) for a week.
Plowed the fields on a tractor.
Built his Contessa (Isuzu diesel and all in 1990) for a first car.
Sold a first hand Yezdi CL-II for a profit of Rs. 3000 (over the price tag, after 2 years of use).
Has 4-wheeled in an Armada a minimum 30 km daily for two years in the Sand-Dunes in Jaisalmer while he was posted on the border.
Has driven at least 99% of the kilometers off the odo on the Qualis.
And is still a year short of 50.
This may sound like My Daddy Strongest, but...Experience Matters!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Off Roadie View Post
The vegetation planted between the 4 laned highways is really dangerous and specially in summer when villagers actually get the cattle to graze on the divider.
We also learnt that evening time is when the cattle farmers gather their cattle, which is let loose to graze at their own will after being milked in the morning, to be taken back home. A time when one should be extra cautious on the Highways in India.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Sorry to see your lovely Qualis so badly damaged. On teh rbighter side, what vehicle are you planning to replace it with?
We had almost Zeroed down on the Vento but the response from VW spoilt it all.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...rs-jaipur.html (Vento Test Drive: VW needs to pull up Tanya Cars, Jaipur.)

Even if i forget the incident mentioned above. Having driven the Qualis for so long low lying sedans just don't inspire much confidence.
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Old 26th April 2011, 01:29   #13
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Default Re: End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

if you are looking for a replacement vehicle then since you loved your beloved qualis so much, why not opt for the innova? fabulous vehicle which i am sure the family will love.
If budget permits look no further than the mighty Fortuner.
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Old 26th April 2011, 18:55   #14
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Default Re: End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

Hmm... The Innova story.
My mom loves it and the fact that it can carry 8 people. My dad likes it overall but as a result of having no other choice. I want them to wait for the Facelift.

The other reason is that recently, our travelling has reduced a lot. Of the 215195 km done on the Qualis, the last 15k were done in 2 years. Therefore we are on the lookout for a vehicle which justifies the travelling that we are going to do now.

Fueal Efficiency is another thing. An MUV/SUV will return 12kmpl max whereas a sedan can easily achieve 16kmpl.

The Fortuner is way out of budget. And there is that little thing that will always be in the back of your mind every time you step into any Toyota available in India. The feeling as if you are looking at a Volvo from the 90's.... Bland, Grandfatherly in taste.
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Old 1st June 2011, 14:32   #15
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Default Re: End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.

To all those wanting to know what the replacement vehicle for the Qualis will be. I want to inform you that it was a tough battle between the Skoda Yeti (being somewhat of an indulgence) and the Hyundai Verna (A well rounded practical option).

Booked the Verna today.
1.6 SX Diesel (Sleek Silver) 2 Airbags, Bluetooth HU, 6 Speed Manual, ABS+EBD
On road price: Rs. 10,74,xxx
Delivery in 3 Weeks
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