BY AJAY JAIN
My usual job is to travel and write travelogues based on my own experiences. And then comes along an opportunity to do the same with a twist: record someone else’s experience on the road.
I travelled with Bollywood actress Gul Panag on her drive recently from Goa to Hampi via Karwar and Gokarna. Ford India and the National Geographic channel were producing a series where Gul drove on the circuit of her choice in Ford Endeavour alterrain edition (http://www.india.ford.com/suvs/endeavour). Gul was on an endeavour of her own - in search of material for a possible coffee table book, or a travelogue.
What was it like? When you have a pleasing and friendly personality like Gul, it can only be fun. Especially since driving just comes naturally to her - whether on two wheels or four wheels. Gul belongs to the road - a space where I come into my own too. I must admit the terrain was a bit rough - and for six days, we would wake up before first light, and be out till as late as beyond midnight. And be on the move all through in search of stories and personalities. The summer heat did no favours to us. Surprisingly, Gul took it all in her stride - always ready for the next shot. No sir, there were no starry tantrums here. Hats off to the professionalism.
Would you have liked to join the ride yourself? Who wouldn’t have. But seats were naturally limited. Although there was a lucky winner of a Ford India’s contest who did get to be a part of the drive. I understand your jealousy, but don’t feel too disappointed: Tune in to National Geographic channel in India on June 23, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. for a drive with Gul Panag.
Will the show be fun to watch? Yes. How do I know that? I was there, behind the scenes, when it was being shot. And I can personally endorse what I saw. What can you expect to see? I am not letting the cat out of the bag, but here is a little teaser to whet the appetite. Stay tuned for more.
Have a look at more images from the trip at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151344332960770.1073741835.108449295769. And watch the curtain raiser on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ph_A8TLsuM.