Monday, July 20



... made it to the top 100 in The Great Driving Challenge (TGDC). A wonderful idea by the organizers in the home page to unveil the top 100.

And guess what.. We (Harsha and I) are in the middle of the word ALL, very apt... TGDC has been ALL that we have been doing for the last 2 weeks :)Being amidst everyone, ALL the contestants gives us this amazing feeling of being in touch with ALL :)We need the support of ALL to get to the top :)

We were very nervous about the number of votes we got... a mere 470 plus... while some others had close to 2000. Now that the jury has been able to weed out the spam cases, we feel better.

We've been having a mixture of feelings since this whole thing started... As we had been travelling, we hadn't heard soon enough about TGDC. When many of our friends/ relatives started calling us and enquiring about our participation, we checked out the site. And we understood why these people were nudging us to
participate... it felt like it was meant for us.

We had participated in many rallies (in the TSD format which have much more to them than just speed); we had been in the organizing team of several car-related events; we had even spent lots of effort, time and money for the smallest excuse related to cars and travel... but in all these years, we have yearned, yes, yearned for an event like this. It was
unbelievable. We have been talking of Indian highways coming of age, earnestly publicising car travel to all kinds of folks we meet, wondering why there isn't more interest, more events based on road travel and here comes TGDC!
We actually went and bought a Reliance NetConnect dongle during our brief stay in Pune so that we could start work. Life came to a standstill in all other aspects... we started completing our application. I was so apprehensive in the beginning when Harsha said "Look at it this way... We've always wanted to fill in the blanks in our travel blog. Now's the time to do it!"

That did it.

All the travel notes from my diary which hadn't yet become full-fledged articles in the blog started to become long
articles... places were re-visited in our memories, words and feelings flowed freely, photographs that were sorted in various folders in the comp were placed in appropriate places...

To touch back base in Chennai meant two days of travel, and for once, we were eager to cut it to one day so that we could spend more time on TGDC. Ironical isn't it? But that also gave us an opportunity to do Pune-Chennai non-stop, something that we have been wanting to do ever since most of the South to West part of the GQ was completed. So we lived our life in the TGDC way.

Now this vote-thingy was getting onto us... friends and foes talking about how good we are is different from actually getting them to write testimonials and vote for us. And between Harsha and me we started off this 'pehle tum, pehle tum' business to start campaigning for votes as both of us are not used to doing that for ourselves, though we setup publicity campaigns for startup companies all the time! (its the barber story, I guess)

But we did send out emails, sms-es and talk to a whole lot of people. In the bargain, we got in touch with many folks we hadn't seen/ met in a long time... Nice. There have been only good things coming out of this ever since we started and that feeling is real good :)

Getting back to Chennai meant getting back to many responsibilities and many in the things-to-do list. But they were attended to very briefly to get back to working on TGDC. With two terminally ill patients at home, this wasn't easy. But its amazing how when one desperately needs something, creativity and efficiency work their best. And that happened to us... we were able to juggle some important things that couldn't wait in between breaks. I was amazed at myself and vowed to remember this...

Like a yoga practitioner, told my mind and body to remember this very seriously :)

One day to go... window on the comp was permanently open in the countdown window of the TGDC site. Both of us hardly slept since we came back; Guns n Roses and Yoda were demanding our attention, one to get his windshield fixed, and one to make up for the 40 days we were travelling without him.

But they could wait.. the countdown wouldn't. So amidst takeouts from restaurants, unpacked luggage, relatives (also
neighbours) giving us wierd looks, unsorted mess at home and office, we furiously trode on the single path in order to make it to the Top100.

Last minute calls to friends who had promised testimonials but hadn't uploaded them yet, feverish attempts at grabbing a bite for the hungry stomach, typing away madly at the keyboard to constantly improve the profile, the pitch, the travelogue...

With just 2 minutes to the zero hour, I was still trying to perfect our travel plan. Harsha dared not interrupt the
perfectionist for fear of getting a screaming reply that was sure to wake up everyone in a one-km radius. He had long
approved of the route saying that by now I was the best 'planner' in the whole world and that I could take any competition in this area head-on. But that was exactly what I was doing!!

Time! Phew! Done!

Now we wait. It was the longest weekend we had ever had... Monday morning just didn't seem to come. We ried doing other things, some office work, some cleaning, some quality time with elderly patients at home... every hour or so, checking the TGDC website. We weren't alone... all the participants were experiencing the same thing in every corner of India.

And then... the results! After a long time in life, I had a mixture of so many feelings at the same time... fear, anxiety, nervousness, thrill, surprise, excitement, irritability, impatience, joy, love... all at the same time... WOW! We had made it!

In a reflection of the 'high' that we are feeling right now, as a tribute to this whole event in our life, we have 'photo mosaic-ed' the 100 finalist couples and the Cedia... and another one of the TGDC logo...


Post a Comment

Tell us what you think of this...