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June 7, 2011 / Nano Superdrive -2

Ready get set and go!!! Dream on!!!

That’s what how the today’s eventful marathon was flagged off. Just few hours and a lot of events were in store. The entire superdrive team for one last time buckled up their seat belts for a great start. The entire family of the Tata was a part of the superdrive. Almost above 500 invitees were present with their friends and family. Esteemed guest of the Telco and Tata Motors, were a part of today’s grandeur, making the evening even more colorful. Around 100 Nano’s participated in the rally, going all around the city of Jamshedpur, the Telco Plant and beside the Tata motor’s industrial unit. Nano was in its ancestral land today, and its travel in this place seemed like as if a kid has come to his maternal place, getting extra love and care from everybody. Imagine, so many Nano’s going in a queue all round its homeland, the sight was glorious. The event started post lunch at an amusement park called Jubilee Park, and the superdrive celebration that was going on in the park, didn’t seem any less if compared to a jubilee celebration. The participants were so engrossed in the celebration that the amusement park didn’t actually amuse them, and surprisingly the kids and their parents were even actively being a part of all the events, rather than going on the various rides, which were around. The rally was followed by prize distribution ceremony, which were taken care by the esteemed members of the Tata group. There were arrangements for refreshments even for all the guests. Today’s event was a great one, and as it was the last event of this year’s superdrive east route, the added pomp and show made it even brighter. On behalf of the superdrive team, I wanna thank the loving people of Jamshedpur and the entire unit of the Tata’s for making this great day, such a success and for showering the superdrive team with so much of warmth and love. So, now as the day comes to an end, a lot of things ends today, right here, right now! The morning started like a wild breeze, coz there was so much to be done, we hardly had time to breath, but now as it’s all done, to its best, am not here to again complain about my hectic schedule and tiredness, coz the superdrive journey ends here, with today’s night. The very thought of it, that tomorrow morning onwards, we won’t be driving in our Nano’s, makes me sad. Nano is truly a “small wonder” and as its tag line says “ghar le aao, khushiyon ki chaabi”, was proved, when we went from one point to the other. Through this journey that we made, we got to know how much people love the car, and today, even I realize my love for the car. In this 21days of superdrive, we have experienced the toughest and the most pleasant times on the roads of India. It has enriched my knowledge about my motherland and my countrymen. Am glad that I could be a part of superdrive, else I do not think I would ever get an opportunity to explore my nation so closely, it has as I had earlier said, already equipped me to accomplish my dream of going around my nation. I had taken few lovely shots of my life on this tour, fashion photography had been my area of interest always,but superdrive has shown me a new area of photography, which I’ll surely nurture now onwards. With tomorrows dawn, we all will part our ways, I will miss a lot of things in superdrive, like climbing on top of our pilot car or the Tata sumo at times, and taking photographs, hanging outside the window during rally and struggling to capture few wonderful shots, meeting new people every day, listening to their stories and perception of life, the meals that we had in the road side dhabas, etc, etc. in short I’ll miss every bit of this superdrive tour. Just few more hours, and it’s a final goodbye to all, but before that, I would like to make a few confessions, I may sound a bit melodramatic, but it’s important. I honestly owe my sincere thanks to superdrive, as this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, the very efficient Shobiz team mates, for being great companions, I’ll miss you all, our event set-up troop, for creating lovely atmosphere, and always fixing the right things and in right place, making my photography meaningful, and to all the citizens of all the cities wherever we have travelled, for touching my life, in your own sweet way, if I ever meet you guys again in life I will definitely pass on a smile. And most important to all the people reading my blog daily, you guys had been my inspiration, who made me improve radically. It has been an honour to be the official blogger for the Tata Nano Superdrive 2 and I was extremely privileged to have readers like you. Last but not the least, my boss Gunjan, who was always there to help me out in any worst situation and give unique ideas to make the blog post more interesting. So, now before stepping into my monotonous, mundane life again, I THANK everybody. I’m just overwhelmed with all the warmth and love you people have given me, I’ll be indebted to you guys, all my life. I convey my regards to everybody, and for the last time, cheer‘s to one and all, for your love and support, on behalf my Superdrive team mates and myself.

The journey in pictures

        

         

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June 6, 2011 / Nano Superdrive -2

Never a dull moment at Superdrive 2

A sudden phone call in the morning created tension among all of us. We all looking at each other with swollen red tired eyes, couldn’t really figure out, what went wrong exactly. The entire situation was hazy to most of us, may be coz we were still half asleep. Then finally after a while, we came to know, that the set-up van yet to reach Patna, it was still stuck in the last night’s heavy traffic on the highway. For a while we thought that the event at Patna had to be delayed, coz an event without the set-up was just impossible. But then the neurons in our brains were suddenly got super charged, we quickly chalked out a magnificent plan, and all got down to work. Hundreds of phone calls from our respective phones, trying out our local contacts; just to make arrangement for the event’s set-up all perfect. One single room, several different voices all talking together, ring-tones of all sorts ringing one after the other, it was an utter chaos. But you know, efforts do not go in vain, finally we warm up our Tata-sumo to go to the place where our set-up van was waiting, thanks to Clive and Rahul who were guiding the rocket on road. It was like the “duck-worth Lewis” situation for us today. We always work as a team and today the team work showed its colour. The local craftsmen were called to create the venue, the electricians were there already. In few hours’ time, the Shamiana was put up, the frames were made, the flex were framed, the sound system were buzzing and the set-up was all ready. It didn’t look that it were a few hours of work; thankfully, we got our skilled technician Samadhanand, our route champ Raja was always there with all of their experiences to guide the laborers who were our savior today. After all this it we were attacked by the first spell of this year’s monsoon at the capital, but luckily the people of Patna, still took active participation in the event. Here too, we found a lot of enthusiastic people, or maybe the Nano charm had boosted up the enthusiasm in them. The kids along with their families took active involvement in the games. The MC had pepped up the crowd by creating a “bhoj-puri” atmosphere, making us realize that, we were standing in the capital of Bihar. The two hours rally, went of smoothly with over 35 Nanos, going all around the city. I was in the pilot car, and thus could capture few real good shots. After coming back to the venue the GM of the Guinea at Patna thanked the customers for their presence. Phew! Finally the event was over; it was a grand success, cheers to my Superdrive2 team. This was our second last destination at this year’s Superdrive2 route east as you can call it a semifinal. We have crossed eight cities and just one more to go. Tomorrow we have to travel for almost 600kms; we’ll be heading to Jamshedpur, which was earlier cancelled due to Bandh. A grand event is waiting for us at Jamshedpur; not only because it’s our last destination, but because it’s the home land of the Tata’s. Our Superdrive2 team is really looking forward to it. So, now as the mid-night clock struck, I guess it time for me to catch a nap. Sleep well and Stay tuned.

June 1, 2011 / Nano Superdrive -2

A stroll down the streets of Kolkata

Waking up at your own bedroom in the morning is possibly one of the best feelings, and that’s what I felt this morning. Luckily today was a break from the events of superdrive. But, the best part was I got to see my hometown more closely than ever before.

A stroll down the wide streets of Kolkata, having sips of chai in the kullar and the cheapest lunch of at a road side stall, was sometime that was a common phenomenon during college days, but today after years I got to experience the same thing. And I even made my super driveteam mates experience the same, and we all loved it. You always have a soft corner for your home-town, but when I today actually started exploring the city in a different way, I realized that why is it called the “city of joy”.

I never did try to capture shots of my own city life and its people. When today I was travelling across the city, I tried my best to put things into frame, and that gave me a satisfaction of its own kind. It made me realize that this city has enormous life in it, the people out here, has one of the best souls living under the sun. the city looked pretty in always, be it in the morning, when the yellow taxis are all heading towards the airport or stations, be it in the day time, when the red buses are over-crowded with people, or in the afternoon when the coolies are taking a short nap on the grounds of “maidan”, or the youngsters heading towards “park street” for a party in the evening.

The beautiful Victoria Memorial, situated in the heart of the city, is really picturesque, and its light and sound show in the evening, is a hot favorite among the citizens.  The River Hooghly flows at its own pace, but the soft cool breeze that comes from the direction of the “Princep Ghat” or “Babu Ghat”, makes one forget all woes. The two kali temples of the city, “Dhakshineshwar” and “Kalighat”, still have enormous number of devotees at the Goddess’s feet, all gathered there for their own satisfaction. This city still stands proud holding its heritage of the “hand-pull rickshaws”, the “metro rail” but the most important the “tram”. The house of the “Tagore’s”, have become a heritage building now, but it still makes one proud when one visits it. This city has a rich heritage and culture of its own; it hasnatives of all kinds, involved in different activities, all moving in their own momentum, in short making one feel, that you are truly in a “metro”.

Just a week left for me in superdrive; but it has made me realize that I reside with the most charming people of the earth, on the most beautiful land. You know, things might look beautiful or ugly from a distance, coz we always tend to believe what people say, without even thinking once for ourselves. But, now that am taking a close look at everything and traveling, I feel happy, coz am getting to know that my land is so colorful.

I want to gather an even richer experience of my hometown and my motherland, so this exploration will just go on. And if you are willing to contribute to our experience, we’ll be happy to see you at the “south city mall” on the evening of 1st June, where our event is due.

Till then I’ll keep you all posted with my beautiful experience. Stay tuned.

May 30, 2011 / Nano Superdrive -2

Super Drive entered The City of Joy-Kolkata

Early morning  the birds were chirping, the sun had just risen, the sky was orangish –blue in color, few people going for work, some returning from work, the smoke at a road-side tea stall was just lit, the municipality workers all set to perform their morning chores, and we left Durgapur.  The soft breeze and coolness of the morning made me feel light, I could smell the wetness of the soil, and I was happy, coz I was heading to my hometown, “the city of joy”, Kolkata.

The Durgapur-Kolkata highway had one of the smoothest roads; a straight 3 hours drive and we had covered a distance of 250kms, I guess our record in superdrive. I was watching the beautiful tall trees, the lush green agricultural lands, and trying to capture the best shots, just when we halted to grab a bite. We stopped at a place called “shaktighar”, which is famous for a particular type of Bengalisweet called “Lancha”, two of my super driveteam mates, who were from Mumbai, just couldn’t believe the size of the sweet, as it was huge. They were still trying to digest what they had just seen, and we already stuck in a traffic jam. Out of curiosity we all took a close look with our sleepy eyes, and we were surprised to know that we had already reached Kolkata.

It was a Sunday morning in the capital and Sundays are always special, the roads were empty, but the markets areas, the sweet shops, the Boucher shops were immensely crowded, as Sundays are like festival time for the Bongs all-round the year. This is the first time we are in a metro city and as usual the Super Drive Nanos attract the mass attention very easily. Every junction we stopped we saw people pointing out and talking about the Nanos. Someone even wanted a test drive. We invited them to the nano activity we are doing in Kolkata. All these actually made me believe that at last I’m back to my home town. Its late afternoon and after finishing all the official works finally I’m back home. I can’t believe that am actually at home, sitting in my bedroom. My delicious lunch by mom, has already intoxicated me, it had made me forget the world that am living in.

I just got me a plate of mangoes and litchis, I just can’t wait to finish them, and so I’ll keep you guys updated later. Our superdrive event will be happening in two days time, so you guys can chill for while. But do catch us at the most happening mall of Kolkata, “South City Mall” on Wednesday evening. Enormous amount of joy, fun filled events, rally across the city, exciting hampers are waiting your way, so the superdrive team hopes to see you’ll soon at the venue.

 

May 30, 2011 / Nano Superdrive -2

Beautiful Nano stories revolve around Durgapur

After the nostalgic night yesterday, the morning sun today gave birth to a lot of new hopes. The brightness of the sun, made everything around us gleaming. Right from the flag-off in the morning, to the games, to the rally, everything had a charm in it, which just kept adding to the day’s brightness. When you have a lot of children in the swarm, they just make the air around you more cheerful. They were ones actively participating in all the games and events, and making it a point that, their parents and other elders even take chip in with them.

All happy and merry making was going on at the venue, when even Mother Nature thought of contributing to it, by making the world cooler. An hour of heavy downpour helped the mercury scale drop, bringing a smile in everybody’s face. Then was the best part of the day, the rally. All were eagerly waiting for it, and when 35 Nano cars were ready for the superdrive cavalcade, there was a magic of happiness in the participants eyes. The steel city really had an amiable people present with us today, hearing them; one could feel the real love and passion for the car.

Every middle class Indian’s dream of owning a car of their own, and now one can actually live that dream, coz Mr. Ratan Tata innovation of the “small wonder” has made this dream into reality…… all the beautiful Nano stories told today, revolved around this. A young florist guy, from a lower middle class family, delivered flowers on his bicycle, then of recently he bought a bike to make his delivery process faster, but now he own a Nano…..not only for convenience, but as a status symbol. And he takes pride in that. Another young guy, who had saved up his pocket money just to own a Nano, has actually turned the “small wonder” into a “hi-tech wonder car”; he has modified the car to such an extreme that it is actually became anexecutive luxury version of Nano. It was really awesome. Any car designer could take inspiration from him. Bollywood numbers are very famous among Indians, and today we got to hear a parody of one such number, just dedicated to Nano. It was fun hearing that and the Punjabi guy really sings well. Oyepaji, Chak De Phatte.

I wanted to enjoy the flavors of the city, and I actually got the taste of it. It was one of the most cheerful days in super drive, thanks to the people of Durgapur for making this event joyous for us.

Tomorrow, we’ll be heading to the “city of joy”, Kolkata. I’ll be in my home town, most important, will be going home…..aaahhhhh….the very thought of it, is making me smile. The style and content of Kolkata Culture are a bit of an addiction.

My super drive champ’s staring at me, he thinks that I have gone crazy, smiling to myself. So, I’ll keep you updated from Kolkata, till then good night.

The Flag off :

May 28, 2011 / Nano Superdrive -2

Durgapur- The steel city.

Waking up in the morning with a cup coffee has always been an aspiration, and suddenly one fine morning when that aspiration of yours come true, that to outside your home, you just don’t know, how to react. It just makes you smile, boosts up your energy for the rest of the day. Then you travel to one of the place, where you have never been before, but still the roads look similar, the faces look similar, there is a different feeling of its own.  Is it because you are in a known land? Or is it because you have heard a lot about place? Or is it because of some other reason, which you are unaware of?

Today was one such day for me in superdrive. The wheel of our Nano’s started rolling, after the flag off from the dealer’s store at Asansol. We were heading towards the steel city of Durgapur. It was an hour drive for us. When we were almost nearing the city, the hazy sight of the steel plant, came to my notice first. The buildings, the trees, looked very familiar to me; I could match the city map, with my childhood stories partially, which I had heard from my grand dad. The view of the steel plant mesmerized me; don’t know why though…..may be because I had heard a lot about it before.

The evening breeze makes me feel a bit lost. Lost in my childhood stories, still trying to believe that am actually in the land, which used to be a part of my imagination once. I just came back from the venue, where the event is about to take place, the set-up looks very similar to the durga puja pandals; and this even more make me feels, that at last, I have landed in my own motherland.

I wanna thank superdrive for giving me a chance to live my bedtime stories today. Maybe am a bit nostalgic, trying to fit the picture of this city into the jig-saw puzzle of my memories. On 28th May, we’ll have the actual event taking place, more than anybody; I am keenly waiting for that, coz I really wanna enjoy the flavors of this city.

Am still in thought, and need some more time for it……so I feel I should sign out now. Stay Tuned. If you are also in Durgapur meet us at Peerless Sarovar Portico from 3 pm onwards to partake in the Nano Superdrive Carnival.

The journey in pictures:

 

May 26, 2011 / Nano Superdrive -2

Superdrive’s Approaching towards Asansol


Travelling almost 300kms in the desiccated summer heat was honestly an exhausting journey today. Crossing the border of Jharkhand and entering my very own state, after a long time, gave me a homely feeling. I could see the bill-boards, posters, and graffiti’s on the walls;all written in my mother tongue, and that really gave me a different feeling of happiness. Today we are here at Asansol, it’s a one of the big cities of West Bengal, huge population, wide lit roads, many shopping  complexes, busy market areas and most important, extremely hot.

Temperatures were boiling outside, when our superdrive cars were on the highway.  The flag-off in the morning happened at the dealership at Ranchi, Basudev Auto Ltd. NH23 is a brilliant highway, with just straight roads for long stretches. The drive was superb, but the heat outside drove us crazy.

It was a long 8 hrs. journey, the heat was just enough to dehydrate us all; we all drank like barrels of water, to beat the heat. And like always, soon after entering Asansol, our 1st destination was the dealership. On giving our superdrive cars, we headed towards the venue. And to our surprise, it’s a lovely park this time. Ample open space, lots of greenery around and a lake flowing beside, the venue has been ideally chosen, it will be very pleasant for the evening events tomorrow. But, the best part is, it’s very close to the hotel, where we are put up, just walking distance. We were just exploring the place

It’s almost 12 in the mid-night, the set up workers are doing their last minute touch-ups. It’s really nice to watch them, how they do their every bit in the best possible way, just to make superdrive even more perfect. I honestly came here, just to breath in some fresh air and feel the coolness of the night breeze. But after coming here I realize that our mother nature is beautiful even in the darkness.  Along with the nature, am even enjoying watching the men at work, the way they are performing their task, is worth capturing. The moment is appropriate for the stop motion photography. It’s good to see how a setup is being built from scratch. The heat has already drained out all the energy within us; we really need glucose to charge our cells. Nothing other than my bed is coming in my vision now, so am off to bed. Be geared up for new fun and excitement, new updates from the city of Asansol. Stay tuned