Having gone through several avatars in different stages of my life, I am now revelling in the latest phase of being a grandmother. It is strange, but I feel that my grandson and I are on the same learning curve – he on the curve of life learning while I am on the curve of net learning. Computers and the Internet are simply mind-boggling – something that is intangible yet so impactful. Ever since I discovered the joys of the computer, I have been on this journey and over the past two years my incremental learning has been enormous.
Sunday’s BOLTDRIVES activity was one such adventure of learning.
The first thing I learnt on this adventure was that I can take risks – great ones at that.
There is a whole population of Indians who are willing to take risks and move forward
The Internet is not such a bogie as people of my generation tend to think
It all began with an email from Blogadda inviting me to participate in a fun filled activity that involved taking 8 new Bolts for a ride from BKC, Mumbai to Tiger Point Lonavala.
Around twenty bloggers met up at Cafe Infinito at BKC that describes itself as a hip and happening place at 8.00 am on Sunday morning to be briefed on the activity and a quick breakfast. The place was filled with young people and I could see myself and another gent the only two salt and peppered people in the room. With most of the people younger than my children, I was worried how the day would go, but I needn’t have worried because it went off really well.
After the introduction of the teams ( the bloggers were divided into 8 teams with a person from Blogadda as support function), the briefing by the Tata people and the staggered flag off, we switched on our ignitions for the Bolt Drives of our lives.
Our team R4 consisted of a software engineer and a social media consultant both of whom had limited experience of driving in Mumbai. The R4 was the Revetron or petrol variant of the car. Half way through the trip we had to exchange cars to get a taste of the diesel variant.
The first test was the suspension test where we had to drive over speed breakers and join the dots of an outlined BOLT. Even though the suspension was good, this task was really quite impossible and our team managed to finish about 20% of it.
Since I was the eldest member of the team, the only female and also the only one on the team to have experience of Bombay traffic, I volunteered to drive off first at least till the first test. Luckily the car started on the first attempt and as I lifted my foot off the accelerator and see it purr slowly forward, my confidence in myself increased and I made it to the ground where we were to have our first test. It was there that I realised that I could do it and decided to go ahead all the way to Panvel till the first pit stop.
I was simply amazed at myself. This was the first time ever that I’d driven a brand new car, driven on roads that I was unfamiliar with and on the highway which I had only driven on once around ten years ago! As the car throbbed with the EDM music, my co-passenger Ashwini Dodani who was sitting near me tried to figure out the other features of the car- the voice controlled panel through which you could adjust temperature, entertainment features etc. We also received our first phone call from Capt Bolt, our unknown supervisor who kept tabs on our progress.
As my confidence increased so did my speed and I was thrilled with the car’s pick up, stability and general manoeuvrability. After hitting the highway, we moved onto the car’s sport mode and immediately I could feel the pep.
When we reached our first pit stop, I was reluctant to share the driving but of course I could not be a car hog and had to let the other participants have their turn at the wheel. Ashwini drove us upto Lonavala where we stopped for a lunch break at Cafe Triose. Ashwini is not a regular driver but he found the car easy to get used to and we managed without a hitch.
The last stretch was covered by Ankit whose skilful handling of the sharp hair-pin bends belied his confession of being an occasional driver. Once on top of the plateau we had a quick photo session before we made our way back to Mumbai.
Once again, we had a pit stop at the Cafe Coffee Day which turned out to be the most disappointing part of the trip as the coffee was more like flavoured water. But we weren’t complaining really as most of us were still on a high after getting to drive the Bolt.
The BOLT is a great car to drive and is what TATA promises: great pick up, good styling, roomy interiors, top of the line entertainment console and efficient air conditioning.
Would I buy it?
I was actually hoping to win the car but having got to drive it, would definitely be looking at buying it. The Revetron which is the petrol variant has the Turbo drive engine that allows it to be driven in three modes – Sport, City and Eco and at a price that you can’t really go wrong with. So as a car for a first-time buyer or a second car for a family who is looking for another vehicle, this is definitely worth looking at.
A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!
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