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Old 9th April 2021, 17:47   #1
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Default Aloha BHPians!

Hello BHPians!

First things first, a big thank you and my gratitude to the moderators of Team-BHP for letting me in . And hope all of you reading this post are safe and doing well.

I am Mudassar, 37-year-old, working as a Brand & Marketing professional with one of the Media conglomerates. Lived in 3 cities mostly; Udaipur –where I was born and bought up till the age of 17, Mumbai – where I spent my early adult life graduating and getting a sense of career and life and currently in Delhi/NCR for the last 11 years.

Coming from a family of machine enthusiasts and engineers, my childhood memories have a fair share of machines, automobiles and literature around them. In fact, I still remember my early affection and enthusiasm for automobiles came from reading the manuals of Willy station wagon and Jeep (I guess it was CJ3B) from among my grandfather’s collection on Automobile and repair manuals. Damn! it was heavenly literature with sketches & images of mechanicals etched on my mind forever. And this date, the childlike enthusiasm prevails when it comes to Automobiles and Machines.

Here’s the list of vehicles I have owned or worshipped to date and a brief about my experience with each of them : (In Chronological Order)

1. Bajaj Pulsar 180 – First Gen. Was given as my 18th birthday gift by my parents. To be honest, I was naïve and it was all about pompous show-offs and adrenaline drive rash riding. It’s only now I realize what a beautiful machine Bajaj had made at that time, ahead of age and creating a new segment of bikes for generations ahead. A Hero Honda CBZ was a handsome and sharp looking opponent. But this one had the brains and the brawns as well.

2. Bajaj Pulsar 180 – Second Gen. Bought a used one during my Post Graduation. Learnt a lot about bikes and engines from it and through it. Was doing DIY repairs and servicing all by myself in the latter years.

3. Hyundai Accent 2004 Model – bought a pre-owned model in 2008. Drove it for less than a year upon realizing how true is the phrase ( it’s easier to buy a car but expensive to maintain a car )

4. Ford Fiesta 1.5 TDCi 2008 Model – Again a Pre-owned model bought in 2010, as the kid in me refused to sober down and settle for something that suited my age and income. But I have to admit, this was the car that taught me ownership and how to maintain and worship your machines, of course, while having all the fun. This ownership also sealed my affection for Ford Cars and in a way helped me to overcome inhibitions about the American or European carmakers that we common folks nurture in general. Although the last year of Fiesta Ownership made me run to the service centre almost every weekend before I and the car as well gave up. Scrapped it in 2013.

5. Ford Figo Zxi Petrol 2011 Model – It was purely the Fiesta effect! Was smitten by Ford and the way it handles and the way it puts a grin on your face every time you exit a corner. And the Figo Didn’t disappoint. It remained as my daily commute to the office for the next 4.5 years zipping and cutting through the trafficked lanes of Delhi. Clocked 1.75 lac Kms without a single breakdown or major repair in 5 years of ownership. I still regret selling it as it had lots of juice left it in.

6. Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI 2014 Model – Aah! The Skoda Charm.. I had always salivated at the mere side of an Octavia. However, I knew it was much out of my pocket’s league in 2014 when I was scouting for new wheels. But as life has consolations for all, It so happened that I went for a long drive with a friend in his New Rapid and fell in love with it almost instantly. Having Driven Fords so far, The Skoda’s Steering was a bit numb but still miles ahead of the electric ones of the likes of Hyundai and Honda’s. The Grip! The Thud! The Understated Elegance! Wow!! I was in Love Again. With little savings, lots of courage and research (T-BHP of course) I bit the Bullet in spite of friends and well-wishers telling me not to gamble my money on Skoda.
Surprisingly or Luckily, my ownership experience of Skoda has been more than wonderful. The sheer pleasure of driving, sense of safety and the niggle free experience has proven all inhibitions about Skoda as wrong ones for me at least. Again, not a single breakdown or major repair till the car was with me until last year, drove more than 1.3 lac km and just regular services kept it as new as it was.

7. Safari Storme 4X4- 400 NM 2016 Model – The word TATA brings such nostalgia to me. My first experience on wheels was my elder cousin’s Sierra Turbo… The rough & tough yet elegant beast of that time. I guess it was the year 1998 and after a lot of persuasion and nagging by me, my cousin brother finally agreed to teach me how to drive and I proudly learnt my driving lessons through The TATA Sierra which I bragged about for a long time among friends. And somehow the soft corner for a Tata SUV has always been there.

17-18 years later, when the time came to realize nurturing my passion for Touring and off-roading, I was confused, there were practical options like a Duster AWD, Soft roaders like XUV and Used Endy, Fortuner etc. in my budget, all were explored and considered and I still could not decide. Rather wasn’t convinced what would bring me the wholesome experience and satisfaction.
That’s when fortunately or coincidently on a trip to Mumbai I got a chance to drive the New Safari which now was Safari Storme Varicor 400, with refreshed powertrain and increased output. Those 400NM were mouth-watering, I always had been a fanboy of Safari (thanks to the wonderful campaigns and my Sierra connection) till the late 2000s and after that, I mostly felt sad about Safari moniker being wasted by TATA. But with the updates in late 2015 with bumped up power to outperform the Fortuners of that generation and proven mile-munching creds, I was warming up again to the old warhorse of TATA. Back in Delhi when I enquired I was told Storme won’t be making it to Delhi Roads owing to the 2ltr ban, disappointed me started looking at other alternatives again and spent another 6-7 months when finally news came about 2 ltr diesel engine allowed in Delhi now. Immediately went and booked one. And Rest is History… As I write this, have clocked 1.03 lac Km in the last 4 years with the beast. And what a roller coaster ride it has been, mostly Fun and joy with occasional horrors of TASS.. but that requires a separate post altogether, so some other day.


I hope and look forward to interacting, meeting and learning with the stalwarts and esteemed members here. Also, very interested in aligning with the off-roading community to make my weekends a bit more gratifying.
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Old 11th April 2021, 18:47   #2
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Default Re: Aloha BHPians!

Hello there Mudassar!

Welcome to the Forum! That's a very nice list of cars/bikes you've got there! There's no doubt that you're an enthusiast when you look at that list!

If you haven't already, you must check out moderator tsk1979's threads. He too owned a Safari and has published some fantastic travelogues that you will most certainly find interesting!

Please take some time out to read the Announcements. It will make using and navigating the Forum a much smoother and nicer experience.

Enjoy your stay, and don't get into too much trouble!

Cheers!
Suhaas
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Old 12th April 2021, 23:28   #3
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Default Re: Aloha BHPians!

Thank You Suhaas!

Definitely I look forward to go through TSKs travelogues and more! In fact, I remember while deciding on the Storme, I religiously went through the detailed threads from Tanveer and ACM and it indeed helped me to zero down on the beast with much conviction.

Cheers!
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