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, 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, 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.