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Old 14th February 2014, 00:00   #1
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Default A Decade with Team-BHP...

A Decade with Team-BHP...-2004-teambhp.png

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will - Mahatma Gandhi

Up until 2004, a powerful medium driven entirely by me (the Indian car owner & enthusiast) was simply unthinkable in India.

My community was born on this day in Feb '04. It was tiny, it was independent. The driving force was a fire in my belly & the pure love for cars in my heart.

In the 3653 days since, I've built an all-encompassing encyclopedia on Indian cars. Anything & everything that's to be said on the automotive scene, I've said it.....exactly like it is. Today, my forum has nearly 20 lakh unique visitors each month, reading 32 lakh posts in 1.16 lakh threads, all created by me. I am the BHPian and, thanks to Team-BHP, I have 81,000 other enthusiasts to exchange thoughts & ideas with everyday. Together, we're a force to reckon with.

It's been a decade of fun, a decade of learning, a decade of truth and a decade of building relationships in this home of mine. I am particularly proud of the fact that our core value system hasn't changed; it is rock solid and only gets stronger with time. The petrol in our veins is of the purest, highest octane variety.

The commitment, leadership and dedication of the Support Team is deeply respected. Hats off to .Anshuman, Aah78, Aditya, Ajmat, Bblost, Benbsb29, DerAlte, Dippy, Eddy, FlyingSpur, GTO, Jaggu, Karlosdeville, Khan_Sultan, Manson, Mobike008, Moralfibre, MPower, Navin, N_aditya, Noopster, Parrys, Rehaan, Rtech, Rudra Sen, Samurai, Stratos, Suhaas307, Technocrat, TheMAG, TSK1979, Vid6639 and Zappo.

Here's looking forward to the next 10 years. I know there can only be greater things ahead for us.

Keep Revving and God bless,

Every BHPian

Last edited by GTO : 15th February 2014 at 18:10.
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Old 14th February 2014, 00:27   #2
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11 years ago
…I got a phone call from someone I'd never spoken to in my life. I joined his MSN community. Sounds legit… right?

…I visited the site several times a day. Ooh someone has replied to my post, yay!

…we crossed Ts and dotted Is of every post we came across. Just so the site looked better.

…we deleted old photos, so we could upload new ones. 1 MB attachment limit per account, you see.

…we got more and more familiar with each other. Quite a cool and intelligent bunch, as it turned out.

…we were embarrassed to say "Yeah, I know him. Ummm, we met online…". But that would change...

10 years ago
…we moved to our own site. Team-BHP. Hmmm, sounds good. We can re-name it if we think of something better.

…we brainstormed section names. What should we call the chit-chat section? Something cool and automotive…. Hmmm.

…there was a record-high of 17 users online. We celebrated.

hey GTO, check this out - someone found us via Google. Unreal!

…we didn't realise that we'd never have another 'day off' for a long long time, and never complain about it either.

…we shared a passion - and maybe we didn't know it at the time; but we started something really, really special.

….we are a FAMILY of 80,000+. On-line, and off-line too.

…100,000 guests hang out in our home daily, and listen in on our conversations with interest.

…3.3 million little nuggets of information have been shared. Each one personally crafted with care, to help whomever comes across it.

…the hospitality, consideration and help that has been shared between BHPians is truly incredible. It consistently amazes me and makes me proud.

…it has been 10 years of giving it everything we've got, and loving every minute of it.

…it's still just the very beginning, and I look forward to this journey with each and every one of you.

Thank you
Thank you Team-BHP.

Thank you to every single reader. I hope you know that you're just as much a BHPian as anyone else.

Thank you to all the members here, be it newbies, BHPians or DBHPians.

Thank you to the Mod team. What a great bunch of guys (and the Support Forum is my favourite section… shhh)

And thank you GTO! Take a bow, seriously.
Without your initiative, planning and diligence, there's absolutely no way Team-BHP would be the truly amazing phenomenon that it is today!

And BHPians, here's a little birthday present for you:

A Decade with Team-BHP...-04livetodrivekeychain.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th February 2014 at 01:13.
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Old 14th February 2014, 00:28   #3
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10 years! Thats long... It sounds like yesterday when I joined. Although Team BHP was at it's infancy back then it still had its merits. The reason that brought in so many of us together. It formed the nucleus of today's Team BHP that stands for strong, unbiased views on the Indian car market.

Today when I look back I realize the huge distance that we have covered in these last 10 years. These were progressively assured steps and not a giant leap that got us here. We knew what we wanted to be and we kept moving ahead. We had our dilemmas, ponderous moments and the lures of easy returns but we knew what our core ethos were.

While we reap the benefits of our foresights and hindsights, imminent when you have 10 years of experience in your portfolio, where we go next will also be a factor of how matured we as Team BHPians are, how relevant we remain to the market and its dynamics. I have no doubt that Team BHPians form a major segment of the opinion makers and together we can look forward to a very meaningful next 10 years.

Happy Birthday Team BHP!
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Old 14th February 2014, 00:29   #4
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I am currently in two permanent relationships: to this forum since May 2006, and to my lovely wife since August 2009!

Back in 2006, I did what every full-blooded male would do when he had a doubt - query St. Google! And when I searched for car accessories for my to-be-delivered Swift, Team-BHP was amongst the top listings.

The rest, as they say, was history.

What started out as an inquisitive exploration of this great forum was soon entrenched into a long-term relationship. The reasons for this association arent too difficult to understand, when you consider what Team-BHP stands for:

1. One-stop shop for automotive news/information.
To have one single roof, under which anything automotive was available, was nothing short of a revolution. Towards this, some of the giants we had on the forum during its formative years are legends even outside Team-BHP, and they played no small part in adding to the technical depth of this forum.

2. Solid friendships.
No amount of money can give me the quality friendships I've had from this forum.

3. Unbiased.
The last time I read an automotive magazine was in 2007. There was only so much I could allow my time to be wasted on what was clearly sponsored-reporting. Team-BHP came like a shot-in-the-arm, in calling a spade exactly that. This USP has now translated into Team-BHP being used as a research/feedback forum by auto companies towards their course-corrections.

I could go on. But I believe I have captured the essence of why I am proud to be part of Team-BHP's 10th anniversary, and wish it completes a 100 !

Mahesh Shivaswamy
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Old 14th February 2014, 00:29   #5
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Believe it or not I ran into TBHP via Google. It was mid 2004 and I was searching for a car to replace my aging 1996 Opel Astra.

My first "friend" on TBHP was a guy many of us know as "Main Chalaoon" aka Dippy; and though he is not very active on TBHP today he continues to be a friend. Sadly I never got the opportunity to hold up my end of the deal - Dippy had recommended I get the Skoda Octavia vRS over the Corolla, Sonata and Accord, and I was supposed to give "main chaloon" a ride to return the favour.

2004 was early days for TBHP and being an audio enthusiast I started reading the ICE advice. GTO was the "ICE mod" then and his favourite recomendation was Pioneer 944 amp and Pioneer 6x9s in the rear. I figured he must think all "944s" are good. . Not being one to stir up things, I let the GTO run ICE.

Then came along what we can only call a phenomenon - Sam Kapasi. Sam started a car audio advice thread and I found my voice (see the thread below)

Over the years, TBHP has became a stress buster, it has become my daily dose of audio, banter, and all sorts of news about cars, engines, vengines, and some other bit and bolts that do not relate to music or the reproduction of it.

As TBHP grows, I am often surprised at how it continues to attract new memebers while still holding on to the older ones. We might not be the largest website or fourm but every time I meet anyone from the car industry I am told how much we are respected, feared even.

So from a 'backroom' idea thought up by a bunch of petrol heads, today TBHP is 80,000+ strong. Every week there is something new. Every month a new review. Every year a new look.

I wont profess to know where TBHP is headed to in the future, but I am sure going to enjoy the ride.

Last edited by navin : 14th February 2014 at 13:49.
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Old 14th February 2014, 00:31   #6
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Back in the day, I was blablabla.............
Fast forward to 2011, two milestones:

Graduated from college, joined Team-BHP six months later.

What has it given me? The world.

Why the world you ask? Because for people like me (us), this is the world. Cars, bikes, roads, stereos, and all those components which come together and make this boring life a journey, on wheels.

I take immense pride when I converse with my folks / friends about anything related to the automotive sector which I learn or write about on this forum. With more than 1 lakh threads, this forum is nothing less than being termed as the Automotive Wikipedia.

From everyone to everyone, here's wishing all of us a very Happy Birthday. 10 years and still going strong, with a bunch of very learned members and discussing everything automotive & beyond, to depths, and bolts.
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Old 14th February 2014, 00:32   #7
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10 years! That is a lot. In the online world where attention spans last seconds, and fads last minutes, going from strong to stronger really says something.
When I look back at my journey... Well its been 9 years.
And as a mod, it has been over 8 years.

It was a proud moment when I got the invitation to join the team, and it has changed my life in ways I cannot even imagine

Over these years I have seen the forum grow from a place to discuss cars to a formidable force in the Indian automotive industry.

And with power, has come responsibility. Never in my wildest dreams I could ever imagine that I would be reviewing cars, participating in track days, and interact so closely with the manufacturers.

Its been truly wonderful. And as for me, I am already looking for the 25th Silver jublee in the far future! Team-BHP rocks!
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Old 14th February 2014, 00:33   #8
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I chanced upon Team-Bhp one late evening when I was burnt studying and preparing for my actuarial exams. The back bencher in me needed a break from the 10 - 12 hour book sessions.

One look, and I knew this was going to be the eye opener I needed. Passionate about cars since my early days (runs in the blood), I was glued. Glued to a point that it could shame a 16 year old's puppy love for his newly found girlfriend. I was browsing the forum like there's no tomorrow, like a kid who wanted to finish his bag of chips. In hindsight I was only catching up on the knowledge that the maestros had begun sharing a few months before I joined.

In the last decade or so, I have ended up meeting the most interesting people through Team-Bhp and today I'm glad they form a part of my life even outside of this forum. What started out as a hangout turf for us handful of enthusiasts has come a long way indeed.

Just like everything else we changed with time, from discussing riced out Hondas & Suzukis to the Ferraris & Porsches, from the Mercedes Benz to the Bentleys, from the Karizmas to the Fireblades, from the Bullets to the Harleys, from dragging a Honda City in the back roads to pushing Jaguars at the BIC, from making new friends to losing the most cherished souls, from being banned to being a mod, it has been a long eventful journey, an extremely memorable experience.

But a couple of things that stick out unchanged even 10 years later; the quality of content, the positive energy and the commitment of the team in maintaining the former two. Good job guys, the past 10 years have been exceptional, and here's hoping for the very best over the next tenner!

Happy Birthday Team!
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Old 14th February 2014, 00:34   #9
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I signed up on Team-bhp looking for advice on a used Tata Safari for my elder brother. There was a t-shirt lying around with an exposed label which said "moralfibre", I chose that as my handle. Didn't know I'd have to carry it for 10 years thereon to explain a couple of hundred bhpian friends what it means.

Over the years, I went on to make friends on the forum who were like minded and shared the same passion for cars and anything on wheels. The kind of network that team-bhpians have is unbelievable. To quote a short story:

I had driven down to Munnar, Kerala and checked into a resort far off from the usually touristy city center. There was an empty cottage next to ours which was going to be occupied later that night. A family from Cochin turned up while I was washing my car in the driveway. In a casual chat with the neighbour, I told him I had driven down from Pune to Kerala. His next obvious question was, "Are you a team-bhpian?". When I told him I was, he introduced himself as Amalji and said, "you show all signs of being a bhpian". I was away in an unfamiliar state and I bumped into someone I could connect with.

It isn't too surprising when an American friend sends you a link to our vintage and classic car section to explain some Jaguar version we've been discussing. The reach is far out and far wide. The quality is top notch.

From crying at funerals to partying in Goa, from gathering for a social cause to choosing your home appliance, from helping a friend setup his wedding to putting his car back on road, from driving a battered classic to gunning a BMW on corners is there anything that we haven't done on Team-bhp in the last 10 years?

Cheers to a decade long friendship and for many more to come.

Happy birthday Team-bhp.
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Old 14th February 2014, 00:35   #10
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I cannot help but look back at my first Team-BHP meet ever. It was somewhere around mid-2008 if I remember correctly. What can one expect of a journey, when the icebreaker itself is like THIS?

I made a lot of new friends that day. Some hairy friends….

A Decade with Team-BHP...-hairy-friends.jpg

...some scary friends...

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…and some close friends.

No. 'Very close' friends.

A Decade with Team-BHP...-3-very-close-friends.jpg

It isn't difficult for a 'car-guy' to be the odd-one-out in social circles; especially if you aren't particularly interested in Dhoni, Pink Floyd or Wayne Rooney. And this is one point where you will all agree with me; if there is one 'escape', one 'respite', one 'zone' that we car-guys can rely on to get our daily fix on everything automotive (and increasingly beyond), it's Team-BHP. A forum that has taught me everything from understanding technical automotive stuff to making good coffee to getting the best insurance deal to addressing the niggling issues on my bike. Undoubtedly, it is the most resourceful, close-knit, knowledgeable, honest and organized of the forums on the online platform, and one that each Moderator, D-BHP'ian, Senior Member, Member and Newbie is proud of. Haters gonna hate, but we can all see the results of our discipline - India's definitive online automotive forum.

It has been over six long years that I've been a part of Team-BHP. I joined as a regular member in December 2007, when I stumbled across the forum while looking for something. I don't know what made me join; but I know now that it was one of the best decisions of my life. I never envisioned, as a young internet surfing teen, that being part of an online community can change one's life so much for the better. My time here has been much shorter than that of most other moderators, but I still have countless 'Team-BHP moments'. This has been a community that has supported me every time I have required, be it during an accident, or a personal or professional matter, or even something as simple as fixing my iPhone. The forum means that I have family in every corner of the country, and even beyond the conventional political borders of India. The people I count among my close circle are selfless, humble and beyond doubt, some of the most interesting people I have met.

I have held the forum close to my heart and will continue to do so. The friends, the memories and the knowledge will always be a part of my life. It was an unsuspecting start to my journey here at Team-BHP...

...and the rest, as they say, is history.

A Decade with Team-BHP...-4-journey.jpg
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Old 14th February 2014, 00:36   #11
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Discovered Team-BHP when I was planing to buy a Gypsy and couldn't find much info about it on the net. Team-BHP has been my companion ever since -- modifying the Gypsy for off-road purposes, sharing the modifications with fellow enthusiasts, going off-road & having fun. Have seen the 4x4 scene grow in India for which a large part of the credit goes to Team-BHP, in making it popular, beyond the select few. This year we will be having the famous RFC event in India and can safely say that Team-BHP has had a huge role to play in making that a reality by providing a place for 4x4 enthusiasts to come, bond, discuss and take the sport further.

Have made many life-long friends courtesy Team-BHP who are like the 2.00 am friends, like family and the bonding we all share with fellow members, online of off-line, is special. As they say, there are somethings you choose to make part of your life -- and Team-BHP is one of those things you choose to make part of your daily life.

Not just automotive, Team-BHP has become the go-to place for advice & help in other areas also -- like what mattress to buy, what washing machine or TV to buy, which hotel to stay in etc. The joy & smile that comes when you spot a Team-BHP sticker'ed car, the joy when people say 'oh you part of Team-BHP' is something that you can't measure -- simply priceless.

Look forward to making many many more friends here & being part of this one large family.
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Old 14th February 2014, 00:37   #12
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It all started in 2004, there were only two forums of note which kept on getting trolled. Along came a link for Team-BHP. I was one of the first members and I liked the strong anti-troll stance and quality of posting. What I never realised is that it would consume a major part of my life, meet good friends, do crazy things and do things I would never have done.

When I got a note a year later asking to be moderator (I saw a note somewhere referring me as a tough cop!), it was like a promotion. Although we began as a cozy community, the sheer numbers of members have viritually made us the voice of the indian motoring consumer which gives us a lot of responsibility to enure the truth and impartiality whilst maitaining our standards and thics which is not easy.

10 years ago, would I have thought that I would be playing with Mercs in Ladakh or Ranging it in Morocco? Nope. There have been some crazy experiences, meeting unknown people for the first time and suddenly they are your true friends for life. With a supportive community behind us, I took some crazy risks buying a RS unseen, tuning my Honda, taking your car out on track. Team-BHP has enabled me to have "Been there. Done That"

Team BHP has given some me notorous fame - my wife needs to call me Ajmat to get my attention. At work, I might be better known for Team-BHP rather than what I actually do.

Along with the joy, there has been some sorrow, losing Robin and Sam in circumstances which we ourselves try to avoid. Also there have been the very few times when some folks take it very personally when they do not conform to forum rules.

The forum has become vast, I barely make it to the various meets within Bangalore but the sense of fulfillment in being part of something wonderful which makes an impact on society cannot be measured!
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Old 14th February 2014, 00:37   #13
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I discovered Team-BHP when searching the internet on various articles on car ownership after i bought my first car in 2006. Google led me to this forum, and frankly i never imagined i would stick here long enough, else i would surely have chosen a better user name! Over 6 years and many new friends later, this has become like home. Staying away from Team-BHP is equivalent to depriving me of my daily dose of relaxation.

From a small community where everyone knew each other, Team-BHP has grown manifolds, and i am glad the camaraderie remains constant. Along the way some friends have moved on, while some others are there above watching over us. However, the love for automobiles which brought us together continues to unite us.

I am happy to see how Team-BHP provides the Indian automobile community a platform to present their views to manufacturers and vice-versa. The amount of information Team-BHP has, even within the portals of the Shifting Gears section, has to be known to be believed!!

Owing to the demands of professional and family life, as well as being a non-resident at the moment, my attendance at meets as well as events has taken a nosedive. However, this forum continues to be close to my heart, so much that anyone who knows me will surely have heard of Team-BHP from me.

10 years is no small milestone for a community in the internet age, where interests can become short lived, unless there is continued attraction and evolution. The simplest of such examples i can think of is how Orkut went out of public memory after the initial hype. I look forward to us achieving greater heights and continuing to be the unbiased voice of the Indian automobile community as we continue to grow. With the added responsibility, the need to ensure accuracy of information is all the more important, and this cannot be achieved without the continued support of all our fellow Team-BHPians.
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Old 14th February 2014, 00:38   #14
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Every now and again, driving along on Pune (and occasionally Mumbai) roads we get waved down by a smiling face with the question, "Team BHP?" On a couple of happy occasions someone actually asked, "Noopster?" and my family who were travelling with me at the time were truly impressed. So at the outset, I'd like to thank Team BHP for raising my profile in my own home!

I happened upon Team BHP when planning a road trip from Bangalore back in 2006-07. It became my go-to place for route planning after that, though for some strange reason I never thought of becoming a member till as late as early 2010. That makes me the relative new kid on the block as a BHPian. But having become a member (and later moderator) I often wondered how on earth I managed without the forums all those years! Often I'd wonder where the courtesy, consideration and kindness were vanishing from our blighted roads, and Team BHP and its focus on safe driving practices help restore some of my faith in humanity. I also found an outlet for my creative aspirations here and still go back and read the responses to my various travelogues and other threads that have had a good reception.

When GTO invited me to join the Support Team in 2012 I thought at first it was some elaborate joke () but went along and boldly informed him that I wanted to do an Official Review: those awesome pieces that had so guided so many of my vehicular purchases! The fact is I was still in disbelief when he invited me to go to Shimla a few months later to review my first car in Team BHP capacity.

I have always had difficulty making new friends but the fact that I now count so many BHPians as some of my closest buddies is a testament to the sense of community fostered here. It has been my online "home" for years now. I have had co-workers who barely interact with me otherwise come over to my desk and engage in animated discussions on what car to buy; when we moved to our new home a year ago, there were people there who already 'knew' me so blending in was so much easier. The funniest (and slightly creepy) was at my first Sunny mega-meet when a number of members pointed out that I was wearing the same T-shirt that I sported in my avatar pic! You can never underestimate the powers of observation of the astute BHPian!

As we complete 10 years, it is heartening to look back on all the great moments that we have celebrated in the journey to making us the most respected source of unbiased information on all things automotive. There is no doubt in my mind that we will go from strength to strength as the community grows in size and sophistication. It has been a pleasure and a privilege. Most of all, it's been a wild ride with the maddest bunch of car-freaks that I have ever known!
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Old 14th February 2014, 00:39   #15
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I have been on various Internet forums from the USENET days, even before people knew about world wide web. Therefore, when I joined Team-BHP in Jan 2005, I figured it will be just another forum. I was exploring a car purchase for doing some spirited driving, and a review of Fiat Petra done by a fellow named GTO kept coming up during my search. The review even had a photo of Petra. So I signed up to Team-BHP to discuss my Fiat Petra purchase. Within couple weeks, the BHPians convinced me to buy Baleno instead.

I had returned back to India just a year before, and was having hard time making new friends in my 30s. Team-BHP unexpectedly opened the flood gates of new friendships all over the country. Even though I was part of many forums earlier, I very rarely met the members in person. But face-to-face meetings were part and parcel of team-bhp, especially in those days. So I made many friends in the very first year. A year later I was invited to join the support team, a role I was happy to take on.

We were still very small then and I didn’t realise what kind of reputation Team-BHP was developing. When I visited Chennai in late 2006, we had a meet, which turned out be the biggest team-bhp meet in the south. Most of them had showed up to see a Team-BHP moderator in flesh and blood. I suddenly felt like a very small person in a very large shoe. That day I got an inkling of where the forum may be heading. Nothing about Team-BHP’s growth, accomplishments and recognition surprised me after that. I could count on meeting friendly faces no matter what part of the country I visited.

It was also the day when I was invited by a tall muscular BHPian to join him in a brutish Jeep enroute to the dinner destination. I remember staring at the Jeep and wonder “why would a city fellow drive a jeep”, before politely refusing the offer. Thank you, I’ll ride the comfortable car. Exactly a year later I was driving that very same Jeep in the canyons of Kelambakkam Quarry, under the tutelage of the same burly man. Thus I entered the rough and tough world of offroading and 4WD. It is another sub-portal, where I earned a trailer load of long time friends.

I also rediscovered my love for photography thanks to the critique I received in my early days in the forum. I get all my camera/lens/technique advice within the camera/photo threads of forum. I got technical advice on how to set up a wifi bridge over a KM distance for my work, from a BHPian in Shillong. That advice itself saved at least one lakh rupees. There are numerous instances of similar advice and help I found on the forum.

Being a moderator also helped me travel outside of my usual destinations, to test drive cars, along with professionals from auto magazines. My personal highlight was the week long trip to Japan, where I got to visit Toyota HQ as well as the HQ of Tokugawa Ieyasu in VIP style. As a Japanophile for 25+ years, I couldn’t have asked for a better dream travel opportunity.

Finally I have to thank the incredible group, the support team of Team-BHP. A bunch of truly dedicated individuals who reserve a significant portion of their daily life to keep the forum in order. Daily association with them has really enriched my life.
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