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Old 30th March 2010, 22:14   #181
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30 kilometers from Karad, this huge structure caught my eye.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-dino-restaurant-1.jpg

This happened to be a Dino restaurant and theme park. I pulled over looking at this huge grotesque figure that was supposed to be a dinosaur. But then, that was all to it. There was no theme park there. The food was good though.

After our food, we waited a bit longer and fed our daughter again. It was her milk time now.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-dino-restaurant-2.jpg

We had fields surrounding the dino restaurant. Was good to sit next to green and cool environs and have food.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-dino-restaurant-3.jpg

Soon we were off on the last leg of our trip. The roads were inviting after a sumptuous meal. And now I realised that we were nearing pune. Traffic became irregular and unruly drivers started moving in.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-nh4-9.jpg

We were near Satara when I was doing around 110 kmph. Suddenly a huge qualis swerved in front of me. I decided to not tail him as he looked dangerous and moved to the left lane and slowed down to 80 kmph. The best way to avoid morons is to move out of their lanes and slow down for 10 - 15 mins. They'd have gone well ahead.
Near the entry point from Satara, I noticed a couple of statebuses trying to get in. They almost pushed a few vehicles by brute force to the right lane. I could see this well in advance and steered clear of them. Moved back to the right lane.
The first bus came in to the left lane and when the second bus tailed him and followed suit, he pushed a hapless poor biker (with a pillion rider) towards me.
I immediately looked on my rear view mirror and hit the breaks so that I'd create space for the biker to squeeze through and not bang me or the bus. But the biker wasn't agile enough and he hit the breaks fearing coming under the giant wheels of a big bus.
In the process, his hand or leg hit on the rear side of my car on the left.
I was horrified. At those speeds a bike sandwiched between me and a bus and a loud noise means anything can go wrong.
I flashed my warning lights, proceeded slow at 30 kmph keeping my eye on the rear view mirror. Luckily traffic slowed down but was moving on both lanes. So the gut feeling was the biker hasn't fallen off on the road and is safe.
I proceeded to a safe distance and found a petrol pump and pulled off the highway and waited there. 5 mins and still there was no sign of any biker.
Biting my finger nails I waited. A trip that was so smooth shouldn't end this way. That too with a mistake due to a moron bus driver.
Then I saw a couple of guys coming on a bike. I signalled them to pull over.
They were hesitant to stop near my car, but finally pulled over.
I'm translating the conversation I had in Hindi with the bikers.
"Did you just bang in to my car due to the bus?", I asked them.
"Yes sir", they said, "it was due to the bus guy coming in suddenly".
They were looking worried that I might scream at them, or they left some damage on my car for which I'd ask them for compensation.
There was absolutely no scratch or dent on my car.
"Yaar. Who's ever mistake it is, I'm sorry. Hope you are not hurt. I waited here for 5 mins just to ensure you people are ok", I said.
They thanked me for being humane and ensuring their safety though the mistake was the bus fellows. Above it the rider apologized to me.
"Sorry sir. I set out in a frustrated state of mind from Satara. When the bus guy over took me, I should have let him go. But I tried squeezing in, and he pushed me over to your lane. Had you not slowed down, I might have got hit and got hurt in a serious way. I'm sorry that I banged your car".

With mutual sorries for a mistake commited by a bus driver who's gone miles ahead, I heaved a sigh of relief and started on my journey back home.
Thought it would be good if I can relax and not let this minor incident distract me. Hadn't I acted quickly, two innocent people could have come under the wheels of some speeding vehicle.

I soon found a nice rest area with a nice restaurant and decided to pull over. It was time for our daughter to have her juice!
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Old 30th March 2010, 22:45   #182
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Nice story MX6, almost left me teary eyed.

I wonder if you have noticed - your one year old daughter is already using a rally car style (baby)seatbelt. I see a future in rallying for her .
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Old 30th March 2010, 22:56   #183
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Nice story MX6, almost left me teary eyed.

I wonder if you have noticed - your one year old daughter is already using a rally car style (baby)seatbelt. I see a future in rallying for her .
Yes. That's her graco car seat. I brought her home first time from the hospital in that car seat. There's also a protective head rest (with cushion) if you notice clearly.
Apart from that it also has two of her favourite toy attached to the car seat handle. the lady bug was the first toy she reached out and pulled, first one ever. That was the first toy I bought her as well. It's the one hanging above her head, the yellow toy with red spots. If you observe closely, there's also a book on the other side (below the mug she's holding), blue in colour. She loves to read that book while on the car seat.
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Old 30th March 2010, 23:05   #184
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the lady bug was the first toy she reached out and pulled, first one ever. That was the first toy I bought her as well.
Good to know that she still preserves the toy well, so that you can spend more on the toys. My son is clever he knows I shouldn't be wasting money on toys, so he breaks them. He's a good tuner too, he converted a scale model mini cooper into a race car? Didn't get? He cut open the complete body & now the poor toy stands only on 2 rear wheels!!!

That incident of yours is really eye opener for me.
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Old 30th March 2010, 23:11   #185
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Hi MX6,

You did the most wonderful thing in slowing down and getting out of that mad overtaking race.

It is not important who gets ahead, what is more important is there was not fatal accident and no loss of life.

your little princess looks cute in her seat, I just now showed her photograph to my wife and daughter, they simply loved the the photo and baby.
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Old 31st March 2010, 02:24   #186
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MX6,

It is highly appreciable what you did for the biker but be careful I have seen some other but similar incidents turn ugly.

By the way does the Ikon have ISOFIX locks, I mean to ask how do you secure the baby's car seat on the rear seat?

Last edited by khoj : 31st March 2010 at 02:25.
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Old 31st March 2010, 23:19   #187
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Good to know that she still preserves the toy well, so that you can spend more on the toys. My son is clever he knows I shouldn't be wasting money on toys, so he breaks them. He's a good tuner too, he converted a scale model mini cooper into a race car? Didn't get? He cut open the complete body & now the poor toy stands only on 2 rear wheels!!!

That incident of yours is really eye opener for me.
Lol. My daughter doesn't break things. She is very inquisitive. She normally targets my dvd collection of which I'm very protective. She loses interest in toys very easily. So we keep mixing them up so that she's engaged. Else she'll start breaking things too.


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Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Hi MX6,

You did the most wonderful thing in slowing down and getting out of that mad overtaking race.

It is not important who gets ahead, what is more important is there was not fatal accident and no loss of life.

your little princess looks cute in her seat, I just now showed her photograph to my wife and daughter, they simply loved the the photo and baby.
Yes. I don't get provoked that easily on the road. No one can tempt me to a drag race. My friends keep laughing when they hear my comments while driving. If a fat aunty on a scooty cuts me near the signal, I let her goand comment "Ok fat aunty. You won".

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MX6,

It is highly appreciable what you did for the biker but be careful I have seen some other but similar incidents turn ugly.

By the way does the Ikon have ISOFIX locks, I mean to ask how do you secure the baby's car seat on the rear seat?
Yep. One never knows when things turn ugly. I'm a defensive driver.
There are two ways. One is that there's a base that comes for car seats. YOu can place it in your car and loop the car seat through it and secure it in place. The car seat latches over it.

Another way, which I follow is to place the car seat and pass the seat belt around the car seat through the slots in the car seat provided for the seat belt and secure it that way.
I'm not sure what ISOFIX locks are. Ikon has 5 seatbelts (2 in front and 3 behind) for 5 individuals, that latch firmly.

Once the seat belt is on, the car seat doesn't move an inch.
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Old 1st April 2010, 00:26   #188
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We took an extended break at the nice place, overlooking the fields. Since my daughter was hungry, we decided to give her the solid food as well along with her juice.

Every new day. A new and exotic place to have food!
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-rest-area-1.jpg

The field in bloom. A natural ambience is always a great motivator. Even at the fag end of our trip.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-rest-area-2.jpg

Nice little place by the road side. Concept of such rest areas should catch up everywhere.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-rest-area-3.jpg

My josh machine. hardly 100 kms from home now. Way to go boy. The gleam on the bonnet can't beat the gleam on my face everytime I see my car.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-rest-area-4.jpg

While we sat there enjoying the view, I started going down the memory lane. The first time I spoke to my wife about driving on a long trip, The reluctance from the family, Browsing t-bhp many a times, Taking tips from people like HVK, start the planning almost 3 months before, even before my family agreed, Scratching my head over back up plans, documenting every minute details, creating every plausible check list, getting my car tuned up, compiling my list of music, shopping for the trip, packing, setting out against all odds, almost everything swam before my eyes.
As I drove back slowly, motoring along the last stretch at 80 kmph, thoughts were fresh in my mind.
It was 24 days before on a friday morning at 5 am we set out from Pune. With part trepidation and a little unsure, but brimming with excitement we set out. The last 80 kilometers was spent in complete silence.
I got off NH4 and took the Katraj ghat. Motored through pune city. When I pulled in to the parking lot at my home and stopped, it was a feeling of homecoming!
Home sweet home. My wife got out of the car and came over and whispered. Congrats on your first long successful drive with our baby and whole family.
All my previous long drives were all done alone or with friends. This was the first time I took my baby on a 5000 km long drive.
I unloaded the things from my car and had to take 3 trips in the elevator.
There's nothing like coming back home.

Coming up next. Trivia. How it all happened and What all helped.
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Old 1st April 2010, 00:33   #189
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ISOFIX is a standardized seat "fitment points" for childseats - do a wikipedia search. They are supposed to be safer than latching on the baby car seat to the seatbelts. But I think only Skoda cars offer it in India (that too, as an option).

Quote:
Good to know that she still preserves the toy well, so that you can spend more on the toys. My son is clever he knows I shouldn't be wasting money on toys, so he breaks them.
Quote:
Lol. My daughter doesn't break things. She is very inquisitive.
There is a theory that infant boys have a destructive streak while infant girls have a constructive streak. That's why little boys like to break their toy cars while little girls like to dress up their Barbies.
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Old 1st April 2010, 01:11   #190
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There is a theory that infant boys have a destructive streak while infant girls have a constructive streak. That's why little boys like to break their toy cars while little girls like to dress up their Barbies.
After the initial euphoria of getting a toy, my son starts throwing it around. When I ask him why, he says he is trying to get hold of the 'mechanism' (don't ask me what that means). Throwing is his way of making it open.
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Old 1st April 2010, 01:13   #191
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The Genesis.

It was in July. I set eyes on her for the first time. It was love at first site. I took her for a test drive and drove right home. Showed her to my wife and parents. I saw my daughter's eyes grow bigger looking at her.

I told the dealer I'm buying her. Two days later, she was home.

Sometime in september, I'd added 5000 kilometers on the odo since bringing her home.
Then the thought struck me. We have to go to Udupi and chennai when our daughter completes 1 year. Why not drive.
I hit the internet. Stumble upon a treasure trove called T-BHP.
Everyone at home is skeptical about driving with a baby which will turn 1 such long distances.
I wanted to test how the car handles long distances.
Oct 2nd to Oct 4th. The occasion was my friend's brother's wedding in Udupi.
I set out on Oct 2nd. Attend the wedding on 3rd. Leave on 4th and drive overnight, non stop. Loaded my car with many bags, my hometheater system, my LCD tv. They all reached pune safe in one piece.
Now comes the difficult part. Convincing my wife.
Started planning on a trip from 5th Oct. The excel sheet started growing.

Up next - Unfolding the plans.
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Old 1st April 2010, 09:33   #192
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@MX6
I expected to see some nuggets of the Chennai Sangamam as well!
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Old 1st April 2010, 14:23   #193
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Home sweet home.
I have changed that definition now. Home Sweat Home

Congrats sir.
Well written and now completed !
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Old 1st April 2010, 15:31   #194
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Not completed yet. Going by MX6's last statement, we next go to into 'flashback' mode.
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Old 1st April 2010, 16:19   #195
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Not completed yet. Going by MX6's last statement, we next go to into 'flashback' mode.
Thanks Gansan.

Yes Hobbes. It's not completed. The journey is over. But I want to explain to readers how I planned this whole trip over the next 2 - 3 posts so that people with kids can get loads of ideas.
It includes how I sensitized my baby to such long travel. The appurtenances that I carried, the back out plan at every stage.
This would be helpful for many first time dads and moms.

It would be boring for others. But let me give this travelogue a logical completion.
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