You read something in a newspaper or watch something on a TV that catches your fancy and you make a wistful wish –“I wish I could do it someday,” you tell yourself. You visualize that for sometime and then wake up to reality and tuck away that dream or bury it in the far recesses of your mind. Life happens, you put others wishes ahead of yours and your dreams are forgotten. Except that the dream does not die. Time and again it pops up disturbing your conscience and time and again you push it down, consciously and forcefully.
A couple of friends have dreamed the same dream, years before you have when they were in college and have buried it too in their hearts and have let other things take precedence – Career, marriage, kids, responsibilities of a corporate job, staying afloat and sane, a new house, loans, parents to take care of, the list is endless.
And one fine day a friend becomes a catalyst and tells you of an opportunity that will help realize our dreams. Yet, we are skeptical. The list of reasons for not making this dream a reality is endless. The reasons or the excuses outweigh your selfish desire of realizing your dream. We women are famous in putting others needs before even thinking how important this will be to us! That is why we women exist and do not live for the most part of our lives.
It then takes a certain push and some convincing from the catalyst for us to actually come to a decision…you can say that the Universe conspired and made us all come together to realize our ‘common’ dream, which we all had nurtured for years, for as long as 25 years – a long road trip.
This dream became a reality in form a car rally for women! Times group have been organizing a Women’s Drive for the past 8 years…this was to bring about the awareness of breast cancer among women. Every year the women used to drive from Mumbai and Pune to Lavasa. This year, they included Bangalore City too and the destination was changed to Goa. A blessing in disguise? Or a higher force at work? Whichever way we want to think, it worked out for us. The icing on the cake was when my friend Nandini asked me to join her team! There was no way I would say ‘No’ for this…I would try everything I could to make this a possibility because I have waited for this too long.
And so things got rolling and we made preparations. Nandini scanned the Internet and came up with reading materials that would help us understand the rally better – This was the TSD rally.
D – day:
We are excited and thrilled. We were tensed and nervous. The venue from where we are to be flagged off had a festive atmosphere, pulsating with enthusiasm and cloaked with fog – the whole scene was right out of a fairy tale book, surreal. We saw women from diverse professions all decked up…the cars decorated in various themes, the effort they had put in to stand out, to send across a message, every moment was awe inspiring.
We had named our team comprising of myself, Nandini and Kala – Bindas Babes, we are both Bindas and can also be babes – a combination of strong and delicate. There were various categories of prizes to be won and one among them was for the best-dressed team. Initially we had decided on “Kacche panche,” a traditional way of wearing a dhoti and Mysore pheta as our attire. Well the logistics did not work out and we ended up wearing a simple dhoti and turbans, the colors of which matched our national flag. After taking lots of photos, collecting our goody bags and breakfast packets…we were set. Our heartbeats could be heard over the music!
We were flagged off amidst cheers and shouts…so far so good. We were so excited to start off our journey that we missed our first turn! First of many blunders we would make.
From then on we never missed our route or the Time Controls. At least, we could read the Tulip Chart!
Well, we do have the credit of reaching our destination first…first among all the zones. Yaayyy!
The take away from this rally –
We did not win any prizes but we had an experience of a lifetime. It was our first car rally, the longest TDS rally in the world as claimed by the organizers, it was my first girl’s road trip and it was a thrilling adventure.
Never in my life have I understood a formula so quickly – time = distance/speed x 60. Never had math be so integral part of my life! So many numbers…what a nightmare!
Our calculations on paper were perfect, but we could not match up to it practically…a lesson we learnt. We need more practice and co-ordination and not to forget precision.
We were good as a team and if we were close as friends, we became closer. I gained a friend in Kala.
It is a popular misconception the women drivers are bad…I was stupefied with the amount of control they have even in high speeds. I could see these women zipping between trucks with ease on a National highway. And also dance away as there is no tomorrow even after driving for hours.
We all made the best of these 3 days! We were ourselves and we did what we wanted to do.
The resort we were staying in was really beautiful and the beach at night was bliss.
We did nothing and nothing was all we wanted. We talked, we sang, we shopped, we ate, we felt alive and we had the time of our lives.