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|18th January 2010, 02:10||#1|
DRIVOBLOG® |Maiden Drive with HVK (too tempestuous to be Telecasted LIVE!)
While Thousands of Miles clocked on my odometer, Travelling with HVK – The Baadshah of Indian Highways, would keep on deferring for years. Though he would always be with me on the airwaves and be able to ‘see’ where I am, during my own trips, I was longing to do a trip with him. But as they say there is a time for everything.
Now HV Kumar may have more than 20 years of experience of driving on Indian Highways, and 1 Million+ Kms of driving experience, but what makes things enthralling is that he is a human GPS. Such detailed are his video-graphic memories of roads that if one dials him from almost anywhere in India, he can provide directions and route information on the phone by making them spot landmarks and references on the very road one is, irrespective of wherever he is located.
As regards the DRIVOBLOG, don’t get disappointed: Travelling with HVK is too tempestuous to be Telecasted LIVE!
Forget opening the laptop, mere holding onto oneself and the essential gadgets becomes the prime survival challenge here. But then you have the spoils - His Scorpio’s cabin is a Mini Reliance Mart. So while you munch away fruits, snacks, biscuits and sipping leh berry juices to glory, the lifeless luggage items merrily sway to the immense G-Forces from the vehicle’s sharp and calculated turns. Quite a challenge in itself - The fact that you have to make sure that all of them need to be restored where there were originally placed every now and then.
I had completed yesterday the first leg of the journey – MUMBAI-GWALIOR, a distance of 1000kms in 15 Hours on ‘not so easy’ NH3 and you thought I would be merrily clicking away?
Not a chance, boy. Many of us, including myself may have done intercity trips and claiming records, but what sets HVK apart is that he is truly a consistent performer. For someone has been more than 20,000 hours at the wheel, there are intricate preparations. And there are duties to be executed during the, I must say ‘rally’, like the Log Book writing.
I am being honest here, no added sugar. Everybody has his unique style of driving beliefs and so does he. Realize, for someone who is such a seasoned driver, norms are important so that at any part of the journey the driver’s concentration is not marred and safety not compromised.
See the video.
Recommended as a crash course for anybody interested in travelling with him, to avoid any kind of disappointment.
|18th January 2010, 02:15||#2|
..its all in the family
And if you thought HVK’s is one unique stalwart, meet his uncle – The Grandbaap of Highway Travel, Mr. Ramachandra - who has been the eldest participant in the Aesean Car Rally with decades of highway driving behind him and I feel fortunate to having met him.
A bit mellowed down having attained Age 76 but still going strong, he drove to Gwalior from Bangalore in his 2009 Toyota Innova.
He is scheduled to return to Bangalore after covering Delhi and Mumbai, impressively substantiating his everlasting spirit of road travel even at this age when generally pills and pillows become ones closest companions.
OT: For a moment he reminded me of Utpal Dutta of Golmaal (in the picture he was indeed having trouble installing Skype)
|18th January 2010, 02:21||#3|
MP ka COP Dekho
The cops stopped us at a Cheque Post in MP at a place called Chirula on Gwalior-Jhansi highway (incidentally the North-West corrdior), detained us in the pretext of some senior cop's instructions and pending his arrival. Then after 1.5 + hrs of this, a police jeep arrived, and with 2 cops in HVK's car, we were escorted to Dantia, the dist HQ.
There they started challaning HVK, to detain the car. HVK flatly refused to hand over the car and said since he is an advisor to UN, he will not take this standing now. The cops finally got worried, talked to their bosses and they escorted HVK back to the CP. Then began the negotiation and they settled at a 2000 bribe for the pleasure of continuing our journey in a free shining india.
some moments of the car being seized.
|18th January 2010, 02:24||#4|
.. and the journey continues
we have now reached Chhatarpur, near Kajuraho, at 1030 pm, it is dense fog and biting cold here, impossible to proceed further this night, we are staying here.
|18th January 2010, 04:35||#5|
Join Date: Oct 2007
Thanked: 43 Times
Wow ... Great live drive-blogging! Congrats!!
I am sure you will be learning a lots of "best-practices" on extra-long-distance driving, from veteran HVK.
Scary! .. the MP police thuggery!! Makes me feel I should give up my idea of buying and driving a Scorpio in this country.
Of course, HVK knows, full well, how to handle such police situations. So I kinda of knew, that by the time his FB fans saw the message "My car is seized by MP Police ... HELP!" .... HVK would have already escaped ... and flying down the road to Khajuraho!
Cheers ..... and have a safe trip. Look forward to seeing more posts!
Last edited by kesri : 18th January 2010 at 04:38.
|18th January 2010, 07:17||#7|
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Faridabad, NCR
Thanked: 20 Times
Thank you Tirthankar for the blow-by-blow account. I have asked the right people to take those guys to task. Of course you are unlikely to get your money back, but at least these guys will not be so blatant in future. I am sorry about what happened.
simply_sunny, the MP Police was short of SUVs for Local Bodies election duties. At least this was the ostensible reason. What a nice way of ensuring democracy!
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|18th January 2010, 08:01||#9|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Jul 2007
Thanked: 3,451 Times
Hmmm, that is as lovely a DRIVOBLOG as it gets. Frankly, I wasn't moved by the train logues but this is awesome!!
My salute to HVK's uncle - whatay lovely coincidence. Very strong resemblance!!
That said, more details on the MP vehicle confiscation nonsense. I have always maintained that cruising MP roads at night is not for mere mortals. Now I think I better get some MHA sticker/letter along with laal batti on my car when I hit those roads next. This is frankly screwed up.
|18th January 2010, 08:09||#10|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jan 2008
Thanked: 405 Times
Just one word
That video was a revelation. I can bet that the rest of the trip and this thread will be an education in itself. To say "I am hooked" would be an understatement.
Have a safe journey. Looking forward to meeting you and Chief in Hyd.
|18th January 2010, 09:59||#12|
Join Date: May 2008
Thanked: 219 Times
WOW, that's interesting!!!
Tirthankar, I am sorry i couldn't give you the CD's you asked for when you were in Chandigarh.
Let me know if you still want them, I will send you a courier.
But, what wold be the address? Milestone 23, NH8 ?
|18th January 2010, 10:32||#13|
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Antonio
Thanked: 22 Times
Nice pictures/travelogues. Can you explain a bit more the MP police issue?
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