What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about travelling to the Northeast of our country? Beautiful landscapes, smooth curvy roads to the say the least right? Now imagine all this beauty and serenity coupled with a powerful car or an SUV that can take you to new and undiscovered places. This in a nutshell is Honda’s ‘Drive to Discover’. Honda’s 9th edition of ‘Drive to Discover’ takes Motor World India and a band of 25 journalists from across the country to the Northeast this time around. We are confident that it’s going to be bigger and better than the last time. Read on further to find out more about our North-eastern escapade, as we drive Honda’s two new exotic machines the 2019 Civic and the 2019 CR-V in and around the beautiful locales of Guwahati, Assam.
Day 1 –
My morning started exactly at 6:55 am with the phone alarm drilling right through my ear canal into my brain, waking me up from my deep sleep. As always, it took me a while to wake up from my slumber, only to realize it was already 7:20. My cab was scheduled to pick me at 8 am. I rushed through the morning routine, packed and unpacked my bags twice, checked and rechecked all the contents of my luggage, everything looked good so far. Finally, sat in the cab at 9-freaking-AM! Asked the driver to drop me to the airport as quickly and safely as possible. Surprisingly enough, there wasn’t a lot of traffic on the way and I reached the airport just in time. Checked in my luggage and headed towards the security check and guess what I forgot something after all – my laptop charger. All the packing and unpacking in vain, face palm!
I somehow picked up the pieces of my broken heart and reached the gate, way before time. The gate was unusually empty with only a handful of people waiting and then I noticed the display which read 45A, flight to Indore on time, my blood rushed to my head faster than the fastest car on earth, as my boarding gate was 42A and it was almost closing time. I’m sure I ran faster than Usain Bolt and reached the gate in record time. To my best fortune, the flight was slightly delayed or else I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of writing this travelogue for sure. At the same time, I saw a few familiar faces waiting to board the flight. It takes three hours to reach Guwahati from Mumbai via air, making it India’s ‘longest domestic flight’ covering 1201 nautical miles or 2224 kilometres in one go.
We had a rather eventful flight as one of the female passengers suffered an epileptic seizure which created an emergency/panic like situation. Thankfully Dr. Javeid Khan a dentist (one from our motor head clan) and a pediatric doctor on-board took matters in their hands and controlled the situation with grace. Our flight was about to be diverted but the able doctors on-board prevented that from happening. Finally, we landed at Guwahati and were transported to our hotel in a bus. Since we landed almost an hour after we were supposed to – we were pretty late and we missed the lunch time at the hotel. So we reached the hotel at 4:45pm and were asked to order some in-room dining. After that very satiating lunch, some rest was in order. We were asked to report at the reception at 7:30pm as we had to be transported to the dinner party venue which was 30 kms. away from our hotel. We were welcomed at the Spring Valley Resort with ‘Thekkara’ (interesting name I know!) – A melon based drink with flavors of Assam in a glass to say the least.
To our utmost surprise, Mr. Rajesh Goel, VP Sales & Marketing, was there to welcome us journos. He asked all of us and let me quote him to ‘use and abuse’ their vehicles and give every kind of feedback we possibly could. An eclectic band Naaz played Hindi and English covers for us which was very enjoyable. Worthy mention is for the guitarist who played the guitar as well a harmonica. Drinks, dinner and music pretty much summed up the evening in few words. Post which, we all hit the sack and called it a night. Stay tuned to know how Day 2 unfolded for us…
Words & Pics – Amit Shelar