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Ford India - National Geographic: My Endeavour with Chetan Bhagat
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Ford India - National Geographic: My Endeavour with Chetan Bhagat

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A storyteller is always looking around for inspiration in whatever he or she does - and that is what Chetan Bhagat seemed to have been doing while driving around Gujarat. …

A storyteller is always looking around for inspiration in whatever he or she does - and that is what Chetan Bhagat seemed to have been doing while driving around Gujarat.

I got the opportunity to travel with him while shooting for the MyEndeavour alterrain series being produced by Ford India and the National Geographic channel; Chetan was on a quest to meet the people of Gujarat, especially the Siddhi tribe of African origin living around the Gir National Park, to provide possible settings for a new book. According to Chetan, the real India lives in villages while he writes in English. It was his endeavour to gain insights to be able to write about this real India.

Driving a Ford Endeavour alterrain edition (http://www.india.ford.com/suvs/endeavour), we sure met a diverse set of people - all with their own unique societies, cultures and lifestyles. These included the rural folk of Gujarat, self-help groups trying to improve the lot of the lesser privileged, the Maldharis of Gir, the Siddhis and more. It was literally like a series of house calls we were making.

Of course, we also had our share of adventure along the way, driving through different terrains. These included dust tracks through forests, landscapes of near-desert like conditions, village roads, hilly tracks and more. We got to see a lot of colour and vibrancy too - rural folk spontaneously breaking into traditional singing, the dance of the Siddhis with their painted faces, workers making decorative earthen kitchen devices - it was all there. And in between, we grabbed a bite of the famed Gujarati cooking, often prepared with a touch of sweetness.

Sounds inviting? Did you want to come along too? Would have loved to have you on board, but we could only take that many. Ford India did run a contest in advance, and a lucky winner got to ride along. But you don’t have to feel disappointed - tune in to National Geographic channel in India on July 7, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. for a drive with Chetan Bhagat.

I am not telling you what you will get to view on the show. But here is a curtain-raiser; watch this space for more. You can also view more images at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151353070315770.1073741837.108449295769. Watch the trailer on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d56cs0yocYg.

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  • 1. Exploring Gujarat inIndia with Chetan BhagatWatch the show on July 7, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.,India Standard TimeAll photographs and text by Ajay Jainajay@ajayjain.com / http://kunzum.comMonday 10 June 13
  • 2. Chetan Bhagat at a village near AhmedabadMonday 10 June 13
  • 3. The lady is checking out the alterrain in her village near AhmedabadMonday 10 June 13
  • 4. Any time is a good time for a chai break - even when the weather is38 degrees CelsiusMonday 10 June 13
  • 5. Hello ladies, would you like to go for a drive in the Ford Endeavouralterrain edition?Monday 10 June 13
  • 6. Everyone in this village seems interested in the Ford EndeavourMonday 10 June 13
  • 7. Can you identify these traditional Gujarati dishes?Monday 10 June 13
  • 8. Is it back to school tolearn a newlanguage?Monday 10 June 13
  • 9. Chetan Bhagat live on community radioin GujaratMonday 10 June 13
  • 10. Kite flying is a tradition in Gujarat - and the alterrain could notproceed without witnessing some kites in AhmedabadMonday 10 June 13
  • 11. Making a point, Chetan?Monday 10 June 13
  • 12. Driving though scrubby terrainMonday 10 June 13
  • 13. These earthen jugs keep the water cool - and these ladies are giving it acool look with their art. Want to order one? Visit http://mitticool.in.Monday 10 June 13
  • 14. Ouch, what’s that? It’s a real nail. What’s it for? Tune into NationalGeographic on July 7, 2013 to know moreMonday 10 June 13
  • 15. On way to the Gir National ParkMonday 10 June 13
  • 16. Visiting a Maldhari village around Gir National ParkMonday 10 June 13
  • 17. At a Maldhari village in GirMonday 10 June 13
  • 18. A colourful Maldhari home in GirMonday 10 June 13
  • 19. Maldhari ladies sure are attractiveMonday 10 June 13
  • 20. Spotting the big cats in GirMonday 10 June 13
  • 21. What are the Siddhis painting their faces for?Monday 10 June 13
  • 22. Now, can you dance like this? ;)Monday 10 June 13
  • 23. Atop a hill in GirMonday 10 June 13

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