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Ford India - National Geographic: My Endeavour with Karun Chandhok
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Ford India - National Geographic: My Endeavour with Karun Chandhok

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When you visit the vibrant northern Indian state of Punjab with a charismatic car racing driver, you know the journey can only be exciting. …

When you visit the vibrant northern Indian state of Punjab with a charismatic car racing driver, you know the journey can only be exciting.

So it was when I drove through the rich and colourful state with Karun Chandhok (http://www.karunchandhok.com), with many a racing honour to his credit. Shooting for the MyEndeavour alterrain series being produced by Ford India and the National Geographic channel, he was on a quest to rediscover the land of his ancestors. And experience the culture of the state through its people. If you didn’t know, Karun comes from a Punjabi family for whom Tamil Nadu has been home for generations.

Driving a Ford Endeavour alterrain edition (http://www.india.ford.com/suvs/endeavour), we sure covered a lot of ground, both in terms of distance and variety, within a span of a few days. The journey started in Sirhind near Ludhiana - this town is known for giving trucks in the state a colourful and artistic look. One was almost tempted to ask the artists to paint our cars in colourful motifs.

Wherever we drove, we could sense people living life to the full. Whether tending to their fields, or performing their traditional martial arts, we could sense energy in Punjab. It may have been hot, but that didn’t seem to bother us much.

Our last stop, Amritsar, was an auspicious one - we got to admire the beauty of the famed Golden Temple in Amritsar under a full moon night. A peek into their langar (community kitchen, where thousands are served free meals daily) not only got us a good home-cooked style meal, but also an understanding of how hundreds of volunteers have made a management case study of the process.

Of course, when in Punjab, food is always in abundance and you are spoilt for choice. The kulchas of Amritsar will make you want to forget any diet plan. The fresh rotis with daal at highway dhabas are a treat anytime. And there is always the lassi in flavours of your choice to wash it all down - preparing you for the next meal.

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 June 16, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. for a drive with Karun Chandhok.

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.10151370573880770.1073741839.108449295769. Watch the trailer on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H_YcJFmYPc.

BY AJAY JAIN


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  • 1. Exploring Punjab inIndia with Karun ChandhokWatch the show on June 16, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.,India Standard TimeAll photographs and text by Ajay Jainajay@ajayjain.com / http://kunzum.comTuesday 4 June 13
  • 2. Truck ownersand drivers inPunjab cannotbe on the roadwithoutdecorating theirtrucks wellTuesday 4 June 13
  • 3. Driving along the canals that feed the agriculture in PunjabTuesday 4 June 13
  • 4. When one Ford meets another…Tuesday 4 June 13
  • 5. Relaxing in the fields of Punjab, Karun? A little secret:the metal below was hot, very hot, in the sun ;)Tuesday 4 June 13
  • 6. Driving through the fields in PunjabTuesday 4 June 13
  • 7. Time for a tea break, even if it’s hot. Who is the bluebrigade in the background though?Tuesday 4 June 13
  • 8. Is it a sport? Is it a battle? Tune into National Geographic onJune 16, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. to know for yourselfTuesday 4 June 13
  • 9. The alterrain sure can be used for many purposesTuesday 4 June 13
  • 10. Are you thinking of the alterrain’s body caving in? It didnot! Don’t believe me? Come over and see for yourself.Tuesday 4 June 13
  • 11. In Punjab, some can even tie the turban blindfolded. AndKarun gets a feel of how he may have looked had he beenborn a Sikh in the state. See the turban tying in action onNational Geographic.Tuesday 4 June 13
  • 12. First man to the top wins an alterrain. Do they? BSFJawans (soldiers) keeping themselves fit at a trainingcamp in HoshiarpurTuesday 4 June 13
  • 13. Karun meeting BSF officers at a camp in Hoshiarpur - willthe officers make Karun go through the drills?Tuesday 4 June 13
  • 14. Not as easy as you thought it might be. Want to try it foryourself?Tuesday 4 June 13
  • 15. No, this is not Holi at the wrong time of the year. It is ademonstration of one of the weapons for the armedforcesTuesday 4 June 13
  • 16. BSF soldiers going about their drills as usual - fitnesscan never take a breakTuesday 4 June 13
  • 17. The BSF officers were quite hospitable - and Karun offersa ride in his alterrain to show his appreciationTuesday 4 June 13
  • 18. The BSF officers can more easily face the enemy than gooff-roading with Karun in his alterrainTuesday 4 June 13
  • 19. Visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar - on a full moonnightTuesday 4 June 13
  • 20. Visiting the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, where hundredsof peaceful protestors were shot down by the rulingBritish at that time, is always a solemn occasionTuesday 4 June 13
  • 21. The Ford Endeavour alterrain visits theGolden Temple in AmritsarTuesday 4 June 13
  • 22. What are you eating Karun - in the langar (communitykitchen) of the Golden Temple?Tuesday 4 June 13
  • 23. Visiting the Wagah border in Punjab….Tuesday 4 June 13
  • 24. The alterrain keeps its date at theWagah border near AmritsarTuesday 4 June 13