“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move on.” Robert Louis Stevenson
I feel restless every time I come home; there is a constant yearning to be on the move. It is as if the Swift has become my home. Also, I feel a great sense of emotional attachment to the Swift, whose languid grace and ‘enthusiasm’ makes me believe that it has a ‘thirsty soul’ – a soul that thirsts to travel. When I drive her within the city I can feel a restraint on the accelerator, as it were; as if she holds back on the speed to meet the requirements of city regulations. However, the accelerator 'releases' quite dramatically as I ease behind the wheel to go on a long drive – I call it the glee of the fleeing accelerator. Additionally, I feel that when we are on an expedition the car generates a lot of positive energy. Thus, over the past 14 months I have a symbiotic relationship going with my 'Swift' car. She knows that I know nothing about automobile mechanics, or for that matter, even to change the wheel. Therefore, she knows that if she breaks down there is going to be no help at all from me and, I suspect, she does not want to be stranded either. Since the April of 2012 she and I have been comrades in arms, so to say. Together we have set four arduous records in a year, all of them with a single driver – that's me. It was a fortuitous coming together – my Swift and I.
I had booked the new model Swift in March 2011 when I was working with a firm near Bellary, Karnataka. However, I canceled my booking in June when I left my employment in the firm. My brother bought the new model Swift in October 2011. I loved the styling and the features. I yearned to possess one, but the waiting period was said to be over six months, exacerbated by strikes in the Maruti plant. I was planning a drive between Kanyakumari and Leh in July 2012 and I trusted only the Swift to keep me company; I needed a Swift swiftly. As luck, or providence, would have it an opportunity presented itself in March 2012 when I was in a dentist's chair attended to by my cousin, Abraham James. He told me that one of his friends was intending to cancel the booking of a Swift after the allotment had been made in Popular Motors, Ernakulam. Siby Edayadi, the original allottee, agreed to transfer the allotment in my favor as long as I reimbursed him all the costs he had incurred, to which I readily agreed. Pioneer Motors told me that the Pearl White Swift would be available in the third week of April. I told them to get it ready for delivery on 23 April – I deemed it a gift to my parents (who were deceased) on their wedding anniversary. The white beauty was ready as appointed and since then we have been inseparable. We shaved 33% off the existing Limca Book Kanyakumari-Leh record (July 2012), became the first to do the Coast-to-Coast (January 2013) and East-to-West (January 2013) expeditions solo and better the record for the Golden Quadrilateral (June 2013) – all in 12 months. Astounding! More so, when you factor in that not once did the vehicle break down or show any signs of fatigue or nerve! I did not even have to attend to the tyres on the four tough expeditions. Even after 54,000 kilometers the tyres have their treads intact and expert opinion is that they are good for another 10,000. I may have misgivings about the expeditions when I set out, but the Swift is ever ready and raring to take on any adventure. So this blog is dedicated to the Champion Car – KL 07 BU 1397 - the champion without whom these records could not have been rewritten or set.