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|6th December 2007, 21:50||#1|
Senior - BHPian
Birth of the Evil Twins - From Delhi to Mumbai
Quick Recap :
04th Nov: After his Europe trip Sam gets the first chance to check the progress on the Twins & discovers that due to some unavoidable circumstances it might not be possible to get them ready & transported from Delhi to Mumbai for the show. He even tries getting a separate truck just to deliver the two cars only but even then (despite considerable expense) on-time delivery is not guaranteed. So time to chalk out Plan-B!
Problem is discussed & debated among the D-company & Mods and everyone comes to the unanimous conclusion that 4 people amongst us are going to drive the cars down to Mumbai in time for the show. How to choose the four madmen?? Simple, I get chosen as I’m based in Delhi & can take care of the arrangements there plus, have a lot of highway driving experience. Farhaan (Sideways) comes in automatically as he threatens everyone involved that if the cars are driven down without him he’ll fly down and chop off the gonads of everyone involved !! And we could always use a Rally champ anyways! Jitu (Ford Rocam) volunteers from Mumbai and again has a fantastic amount of highway driving experience & Vid is coming from Bangalore as we need someone to maintain the log!!
So team finalized, we decide that we are going to meet in Delhi on the 16th evening while Sam is going to come there on the same day to make sure that the cars are ready & to hand them over to us. This happens while in the background the 4 of us are finalizing the route & equipment that we need to carry and what final checks need to be carried out on the cars before setting off for Mumbai to avoid any delays or mishaps.
Initial plan is to get the cars on the 16th evening & do some checks on them to satisfy that everything in place. 17th is kept as a reserve day in case we need to have some more work done on them. 18th morning at 4am we leave Delhi & hit Surat by 9pm night so that on the 19th we have around 650-odd kms to cover and can cover that with ease especially given that we’ve been warned in advance that the Surat-Baroda stretch is bad & is going to eat up time. Plus, we need to make sure that the cars are not damaged in any which way possible.
16th Nov: I wake up early to find that an urgent meeting has come up which I have to attend at all costs before leaving for Mumbai. ****, there goes my plan of going in ahead of time for everyone’s arrival! Anyways, when I call up everyone to tell them this, it turns out I’m not the only one! Apparently everyone’s and I mean everyone’s flight is delayed!
Sam, who’s supposed to land in Delhi at 12pm lands at 2pm while Farhaan is delayed by a good 2:30 hours & so is Jitu. I finally reach the airport at 5:45pm to pick up Farhaan & Jitu together while Vid who was supposed to land at 7:50pm has still not taken off from Bangalore!
We reach Arush’s workshop at 6:30 pm to find Sam deeply engrossed in the work as there is a LOT of it that has yet to be finished. Basically, this is the condition that the cars were in when we reached there:
Ford Rocam aka Jitu
Sideways aka Farhaan asking a mechanic for something
The Wheels & Tyres arrive
Anyways, Jitu & Farhaan get stuck in to ensure that all mechanicals are working perfectly while Sam is busy finishing the ICE equipment installation.
At 9pm Jitu, Farhaan & Me feel hungry & decide to go grab a bit & on return also pick up Vid who’s now arriving at 11:15, nearly 4 hours late!
So, we decide to go to Farhaan’s favourite joint “McDonald’s” so he can devour his favourite “McChicken” burgers!! And man, does he devour them or what!
Jitu, Farhaan, Tausif
D-BHPians hard at work, in a mall!!
Me & Jitu decide to pose!
Vid finally arrives at 11:20pm!
When we reach back after picking up Vid, the work has progressed quite a bit & the enclosures have been painted.
It’s already over 12am so after finishing all the work we have, we decided to head over to Sam’s Guest House & get some rest since we know tomorrow is going to be a long day if we need to leave by the 18th. By the time we leave it’s already 1 am.
|6th December 2007, 23:48||#2|
Senior - BHPian
The painters are doing their job & it’s already over 12am so after finishing all the work we have, we decided to head over to Sam’s Guest House & get some rest since we know tomorrow is going to be a long day if we need to leave by the 18th. By the time we leave it’s already 1 am.
We reach the guest house at 1:30am to find that it’s Tausif’s (Sam’s colleague who in Delhi) wedding anniversary & he’s got a small Biryani & Whisky party planned for us! So we decide to sit out in the lovely balcony and enjoy the tasty food & drinks!
Sam decides to don full chaddis for a change!
While Jitu decides on wearing long chaddis!
Enjoying the food & drinks
Last edited by ajmat : 10th December 2007 at 13:58.
|7th December 2007, 00:17||#3|
Senior - BHPian
17th Nov: After discussing plans till 4:30am Me & Farhaan decide to sleep while Jitu has already started work on his Cold Air Intake! For more details click below to play the video:
We get up at 9am to see a bright, sunny morning outside. Breakfast is about to be served so we move again to the preferred meal area, which is yes, you guessed it right, the balcony again!! Some pics again:
Yes, Team-BHP time again!
Jitu practicing some kind of new Leviatation exercise
Yeteshwar loves his 69!!
After breakfast it is decided that Sam will push off to the garage immediately & start supervising the work while we cna come later as no mechanical work on the cars can start before the afternoon. So Sam leaves at 10:30am while we leave the house at 12:30pm.
|7th December 2007, 00:53||#4|
Senior - BHPian
So after we leave, we decide to first stop at GK-1 as Farhaan needs to pick up his specific box of Ciggies & of course the derigueur “McChickens” So while Farhaan is there picking up his stuff Jitu, Me & Vid decide to have some good, old Dilli style Chaat!!
From here on our way to the garage we take a slight detour & head on to the showroom in Yusuf Sarai because we need to pick up the LED’s that need to be fitted into the car’s roofs above the ICE to give them a nice, lighted effect at night!! While here we also decide to check the stuff on display as we know we have some free time on our hands.
Jitu admires the stuff on display
While Farhaan discusses possible options for his house with Tausif!
After spending a few minutes at the showroom we push off to that garage. While on our way Tanveer (tsk1979) calls to tell us that he’s on his way too so we tell him to wait for us at a spot before the garage & arrive with him in tow!
Last edited by ajmat : 10th December 2007 at 13:59.
|7th December 2007, 00:56||#5|
Senior - BHPian
When we reach, we see that the work has progressed a lot from last night’s position. Here are some pics:
Moderator saahab is pleased with the cars!!
The Enclosures & Rims are painted
While one car’s enclosure has already been fitted
And the HU too
Note the 230V socket for the Power Supply
The Door Pads are also being readied
Tanveer does some inspection
Food time, again!!
YetiTwo is looking fabulous!
|7th December 2007, 01:27||#6|
Senior - BHPian
By now Farhaan & Jitu have taken charge of the cars & they are being serviced & every aspect of the mechanicals is being checked & fixed by the two experts along with the mechanics. So, as work goes on we discover that there are quite a few spares that we are short of for even regular servicing of the cars, so Me & Vidyut make a list & try & procure them from the Maruti workshop next door. Turns out, even they’ve run out of stock & can only supply a few things.
So, we make a decision to make a trip to Delhi (the workshop is in Gurgaon) to get the remaining spares & also finish the shopping list of ancillaries & emergency equipment that we need to carry with us. Me, Vid & Tausif leave for Delhi while the boys including the Yeti continue to work on the cars.
Once in Delhi we procure the spares very, very easily & most of the other stuff is procured very easily too. Only hurdle that remains is getting a portable Air Compressor which we find after much searching in multiple places. By the time the job is finished it’s already 8:30pm so we decide to grab a bite to eat before heading back to the ‘shop.
While on our way back Vidyut decides to grab some shut eye. What he was imagining doing in his dreams with his mouth wide open is anybody’s guess
We reach at around 11pm with our hands full of stuff that we’ve bought.& see that the cars have progressed a bit further.
Door Pads Fitted
Equipment fitted in one car
Farhan & Jitu still sorting out the mechanical stuff
While Yeteshwar is still busy with the ICE
By 2am one of the cars start playing & it sounds FANTASTIC!! So a few of us get delusional & start planning on leaving at 5 in the morning after catching shut eye for a few hours. However, sanity soon prevails and we decide to get a decent night’s sleep before leaving reason being that this being a long drive, 2 nights of no sleep is not going to do us any favours & we can’t afford to risk the cars in any way either. So we decide to leave at 10am the next morning.
In the meanwhile the boys decide they want some coffee. So Vidyut, Tausif & Me get them some coffee from a nearby CCD before the four of us (Farhaan, Jitu, Vid & Me) head home to get some well deserved rest.
After this at 3:30am the four of us leave while the others are still working to finish Car # 2.
|7th December 2007, 12:15||#7|
Senior - BHPian
18th Nov: D-Day! We have a 4 hour sleep as we got home after 4am & by the time we slept off after arranging our bags which Sam was to carry, it’s already 5am. But, something is better than nothing. Then we get the first shock of the day which was somewhat expected to say the least. Sam, JB, Gunbir, Mukul & Arush’s boys had to work through the night to complete the ICE work. When we got up the cars were still being worked upon with a few of the niggles being removed, so Tausif (who was at the garage) advised us to take it easy & not leave before he told us. We also had to take a tough call with regards to the Spare Tyre as everyone realized after the interior had been fitted that our earlier estimation had been wrong & there was no way we could tuck a standard size spare behind the front seats. So, with a Prayer & a Puncture Repair kit along with the Air Compressor in hand, we said no problem!
So, we had another lazy breakfast session & went over all the Route Details, planning etc. once again. By this time we had realized that instead of Plan-B, we were now on Plan-C! There was no way we could start in the afternoon & reach Ahemdabad/Baroda by evening, it would take us into a very long night trip which we wanted to avoid as we could not risk the cars & all of us know the dangers attached to traveling on our highways at night. Cows, Dogs, Humans, Cyclewallahs can step out anytime, anywhere as the road was gifted to them by their FIL in their marriage as dowry! And not to mention the state of the Bus/Truck drivers.
So we decide to reverse the plan & cover the distance planned on Day 2 on Day 1 itself.
Thus, Plan –C went like this:
Day 1: Gurgaon to Udaipur – Distance of around 700kms. Night halt in Udaipur.
Day 2: Udaipur to Mumbai – Distance of just under 1000kms.
With all our Equipment & Ancillaries already purchased the day before we were all ready to go. Finally the call came at 1:30 pm that the cars were ready & we could leave. We left immediately and made a small stop at an In&Out on the way to pick up some Water Bottles & Chocolates. On the way to the garage there was mild entertainment provided to us when we started discussing the issue of Vid being a vegetarian as Farhaan explained to him how he would HAVE to turn Non-Veg sooner or later!
2:30 pm: We reach the garage & are greeted with this beautiful sight! Finally they’re ready!!
We perform some last minute checks to make sure everything is in place & distribute the Tools, Equipment etc. among the two cars. The papers of both are also handed over to the respective car driver’s. I take the wheel of YetiTwo (Orange Top) while Farhaan takes over YetiOne (Black Top). After the 15 mins of checks & everything we decide to leave my car at the workshop so Tausif can have it picked up later & we decide to push off.
Making sure the body kit doesn't touch anywhere
2:45pm: First Fuel Fill up at Gurgaon
Air Pressure Check as I thought the tyres were over-inflated & they were at 41psi!
After everything is done, off we go towards Jaipur! BUT, first as has become the norm for everyday by now, we stop at the McDonald’s near Manersar to pick up the damn “McChicken’s” So we do that stop & as expected the cars are drawing a LOT of attention with a lot of people not even understanding what cars these are!
And with some SMS’s from friends wishing us Luck & Godspeed we’re off!!
|7th December 2007, 12:31||#8|
Senior - BHPian
And so it begins! Intial signs look good, the cars are running nicely, the ICE as expected sounds very nice! And the roads are good too, canít say the same about the traffic though! And Vid as a navigator was a perfect move, he took Farhaan on the wrong road instead of going straight within minutes of us hitting the highway
Some pics of us on the way to Jaipur:
The priority users of our highways!
And then Vid does it again! Despite me insisting that we have to take an on-ramp onto a overhead carriageway he insists we had straight & as a result we miss the Jaipur bypass & head towards Jaiput town, however, I realize this soon enough & we turn around quickly!
A nice pic taken just after the missed On-Ramp
|7th December 2007, 12:49||#9|
Senior - BHPian
We make good progress and the light soon begins to fade, after we cross the Jaipur byepass it’s already dark. After about 350kms or so we realize we need fuel so we pull off at the next Reliance PP which happens to be just before Kishangarh
At the Fill up Point
Here we make some enquiries about hotels in Udaipur which can be booked by phone but are assured that finding a decent hotel wouldn’t be a problem due to their abundance. So we push off & continue maintaining a good pace, some pictures for proof
Do I look smug or what!!
At 10:40pm we hit Udaipur Byepass which we take as we have been advised not to go into the city. Also, the couple of hotels that we have references of are on the Ahemdabad road after the Byepass finishes. So at 11:10 pm we hit the first place which is called “Matt’s Resort” which as find out on due inspection is anything but a resort! So, we push off to the next place which is called “Sneh Resort” & it looks promising being newly built & well decorated. But, it’s full! What a bummer! We ask the reception guy for some other good hotels nearby & he very kindly guides us to the Udai Vilas Palace just 50kms. or so down the road But we decide we’re gonna pass on that one!!
Some quick brain storming & chatting to a local taxi-wallah there leads us to the conclusion that heading into the city is our best bet for finding a good hotel. And so off we go & sure enough we find a good hotel just 3-4kms down the road called "Hotel Paras Mahal" where the guy not only gives us quite a decent deal for the room but also gets food for from the nearly closed kitchen at 12:45am! Top marks to them for the service!
2:30 am: Afer a nice, fresh & hot meal of Paneer, Chicken, Daal & Rice, we all are pooped for sleep while Vid has already dozed off! I take out the laptop & give a small update about our progress to our worried friends. We calculate & see that we’ve managed to cover 700-odd kms. in just under 8 hours of driving time which by any means is excellent progress! Satisfied with the day’s work we are all ready to crash and looking forward to reaching before time tomorrow.
Farhaan at this fantastic moment decides to threaten everyone with a 5:30am wake-up call & even sets an alarm for it. Tired we decide to sleep anyways, looking forward to a torturing morning with Farhaan shouting on us!
Good Night Ladies & Gentlemen! Bombay beckons us tomorrow!
|7th December 2007, 20:19||#10|
Senior - BHPian
19th Nov: I wake up to see a nice sunny morning from our hotel room window & hear Farhaan shouting “Utho ! It’s 8:30am!!!” So there goes the plan of a 5:30am wake up!
Nice, I like today already!!
When Farhaan finally cools down he tells us that he did wake up on time with the alarm but put it on snooze & went off to sleep!! Good for us I thought in my mind!! But what this has done is give us some decent rest for the first time in the past 4 days so we’re ready & charged up to tackle today’s long drive that lies ahead of us. But, as we guys are still a little lethargic we order some Tea & after that get ready one by one as there is only one bathroom. Some pictures:
Vid wakes up looking like a shaggy dog !!! Farhaan in serious thought mode & probably reflecting on what today is going to be like!
Jitu’s already filing an update!
The two shabby buggers!
While in all this I peer down the window to see that the cars as expected are drawing quite a lot of attraction! And the Hotel guys as instructed have already cleaned & washed the cars!!
So finally at 10:00am Farhaan & Vid leave the room to have the complimentary breakfast (We took a heavy breakfast so that we could skip lunch & save time!) and also fill up the cars from the pump next door to the hotel. While at 10:20am Me & Jitu also reached the Restaurant and had our share of the fill!!
When we stepped out we weren’t surprised to see that Farhaan had already played the system for some of the people present there & they were quite smitten by it! He even took some videos of them praising the cars, the speakers & then going “I am the One” with the Bagpiper soda symbol of one finger up in the air!
As you can expect we got the best parking spot at the Hotel porch!
So, we finally leave at 11am looking forward to the long drive ahead with the aim of reaching Mumbai by tonight. While leaving Sam even says that I’m fine if you guys wanna stay somewhere tonight & reach here tomorrow but that idea of his is unanimously shot down. We are going to do this today itself!!
Last edited by ajmat : 10th December 2007 at 14:00.
|7th December 2007, 20:52||#11|
Senior - BHPian
The roads after we leave Udaipur city are fantastic! Most of them go between small mountains & it’s a fantastic sight to be driving on them. Farhaan & Jitu are having a lot of fun pushing the two cars on these twisty streches!
After about 130kms. we cross over the border into Gujarat and the road conditions remain more or less unchanged till now. One thing I liked about traveling in Gujarat were these flowery plants which were planted on the divider at regular intervals. These are small touches but they do a great job of breaking up the monotony of a long journey on these largely featureless highways.
One funny thing we encountered on the way to Ahemdabad was a closed Railway crossing.
What’s funny in that you ask?? Well the funny part was that it wasn’t closed for a train but for this:
01:30pm: After about 250kms. of traveling from Udaipur we hit Ahemdabad byepass & here Vid decides to change seats & takes over the wheel of YetiTwo while I travel with Farhaan. After the byepass ends we hit the famed NE-1 which is one of the if not the fastest pieces of roads in India by my reckoning. Well made, straight & fenced from both sides it makes for a road where you can do as high a speed as you like. All you need is big enough cajones & a machine capable enough to do it in!!
And Farhaan promptly decides to max out YetiOne here!!
2:30pm: But this high-speed cruising is hurting our FE so we stop at the Reliance PP 15kms. before the Expressway ends to fill up the cars.
After refueling Farhaan has to push YetiOne as the silly started button mechanism in the car has been playing hide-and-seek from the start & once again refuses to function when needed.
While our cleaning boy dusts YetiTwo
Here we try & fix a loose screw in the front bumper.
It's been going smooth till not but now comes the most challenging part of the whole journey, Baroda is now only 40kms ahead of us & from there till Surat the next 150-odd kms. are going to be hell compared to our journey till now. But, we’ve made excellent progress till now & we are very charged up to cross Surat before it becomes dark. So we move on with our hopes high.
Plus, with excellent advice from Mr. HV Kumar, we are mentally prepared to spend the next 3-4 hours stuck in jams & generally getting frustated. We are quite ready to not let that irritate us that much!
|7th December 2007, 21:22||#12|
Senior - BHPian
03:00pm: We hit the end of Baroda byepass and as expected the situation is terrible. There is a lot of heavy traffic apart from the two & three wheeled nuisance around & the roads are in bad shape. Apparently, there is road widening work going on through the whole stretch till Surat all we can see is dug up roads & barriers, no work at all appears to be going on there.
This is the general state of things on this stretch:
Three or four times we get stuck in traffic jams and in one of these jams I take a picture of Vid driving (Sam this one’s for you!! )
Finally at around 6:30pm we manage to cross Surat after wasting a lot of time in the jams & crappy roads. One of the reasons of the jams is this Scorpio which rammed into the back of a truck at quite some speed:
Here is a nice shot of the cars I took during a pee break!
Finally we get out of the hell hole traffic & begin making some progress but in doing so Me & Jitu (we switched back during one of the jams & now I’m back to driving YetiTwo) take our car on the wrong side of the road & escape the final jam. Despite our repeated honking & flashing Farhaan & Vid fail to notice what we’re doing & remain stuck. Foolishly, we also forget to call them up & tell them about this.
When they finally get through the jam & notice us nowhere around they call us up & when I tell them where we’re Farhaan starts mouthing his best expletives!! It turns out we’re nearly 30-40 minutes ahead of them! So, we make a decision to stop just after the Vapi octroi naka for some food as all of us are quite hungry (Remember, no lunch!) So, Me & Jitu reach there at 8:15pm while Farhaan & Vid arrive at 8:45pm with Farhaan still mouthing his choicest expletives at us!!
We leave from here at about 9:10pm after having had our fills of Idli, Vada & some good old dhaba style tea! Man it tastes so good when you’re really hungry! Jitu takes over the wheel from here till Mumbai. Now we only have about 250-odd kms. more to go & we’re quite excited too!!
But, the roads are not much better once we enter Maharashtra. Infact, compared to the stretches before Surat they’re quite disappointing. But, we push on & make decent progress with some nice music playing & all of us getting excited with the prospect of finally getting the cars safe & sound to Mumbai!!
Sam is quite excited too & keeps calling regularly to check where we’ve reached & also gives Jitu the location of where we have to reach with the cars.
The rest of the 2.5 hours pass by slowly as we take it easily & the roads are not the best either. But the excitement of finishing what has been one of the most exciting & at the same time challenging drives is getting to all of us! This is going to be fun!! I call up Sam again to make sure he has some Scotch ready for the occasion!!
|7th December 2007, 21:53||#13|
Senior - BHPian
11:15pm: We finally hit Mumbai!!! YAY!! What a relief!! The plan now is to go to Jitu’s house which is on the way & pick up his car & drive with all 3 to our hotel in Khar where Sam is waiting for us with the welcoming party & the Scotch!!
Meanwhile I message to all those who have been following our progress & tell them of the mission being successful and us arriving safe with the cars undamaged in any way!! And congratulatory messages & calls start pouring in!!
Dippy in the meanwhile calls us up & asks us to visit him (he lives very close to Jitu) & after picking up Jitu’s car we do so. There we meet Dippy & Kartik who decide to also come to Khar with us to join the rest waiting for us there.
And then we leave for Khar which feels like a fun but oh so long drive (It’s the fatigue & the excitement & anticipation of finishing this without a hiccup) and when we finally reach, what a relief it is!
Yeti is all smiles to see his two babies & the four mad men there in one piece! And man are happy to see some nice Scotch and the promise of long, undisturbed sleep!!
Farhaan was a tad disappointed though as Sam had forgotten to get along what he had requested specifically, Dancing Girls!!
After the small welcome & a few drinks we leave for dinner to Sheetal Bukhara nearby, as we’re late & he’s open for us as Ajay has called him in advance & told him to wait for us!! Thanks for that Ajay!
We get served some fantastic Indian food served there & it really is good! We have a great time with the whole gang cracking jokes & telling them about the drive! It was a great evening all in all!!
Finally, it’s time to wrap up the successful trip & say Good Night to everyone there! So, after a small demo of the system for everyone present there, we decide to call it a night. Sam, leaves us with the promise of waking us up at 8:00am the next morning as the cars are booked for washing (Damn! Another early morning!!) and we’re more than happy at the thought!
In closing, here are some people we would like to thank for all their efforts & help:
Tausif & Maria: For their lovely hospitality at Delhi & for taking great care of us! Thanks guys we owe you one.
Mr. H.V. Kumar – A special thanks to you from all of us with all the help with the route planning & constant updates & queries during the whole journey. It would not have been possible without your great help. Thank you once again for all your efforts!
Tanveer - For donating us the Bulbs & helping us out with sourcing the parts we needed in Delhi!
Gunbir/JB/Mukul/Arush's Boys - For helping finish the car by working their collective rear ends off through the night! Hats off boys, that was some effort from you!
Navin/Ajmat/Rudra/Aditya/Ported etc. etc. - All those people who kept their good wishes pouring in for us & encouraging us all through the trip! Thanks guys it couldn't have been possible without your support.
And also a big cheer to the guys who helped in planning this out with their suggestions & tips. Some of them were invaluable.
In closing, all of us would like to say that Team-BHP is a great uniting force which can bring together four mad men from four corners of the country to drive down two cars for the biggest mad man of them all!! Thanks Sam, it was a real pleasure doing this for you!
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