Motoring isn’t all about racing and rallying and going to office and to the shopping mall with your family. It is also about the sheer fun of driving and of a feeling of that rather expensive commodity — freedom. That was an expression car-makers of America used to great effect in the 60s and 70s.
In India, and specifically in Calcutta, motoring is also all about safety. Safe driving brings you back home, as the advertisement legend says. To stress this point, Guide India Publication has brought out the fourth edition of its Car & Driving book and is also organising the Run for Fun, a family treasure-hunt-type rally in the city on November 16. IBP Red are the sponsors and there is Rs 35,000 in cash to be picked up.
It is all about the basics of driving, about solving 10 puzzles to 10 popular destinations in the city before venturing out from the Territorial Army Institute ground on Outram Road around 9 am, then picking up quick points (1,000 of them to be earned).
What the judges will see is how well-versed the motorist is with his city, to test whether the participants have the essential theoretical knowledge of driving in a city and whether they drive cautiously on the roads, obeying all traffic rules. Hidden cameras along the routes will monitor how the motorist drives, and there is negative marking. No speed, no deadlines, just plain good driving and fun.
The organisers allow upto four per car (no modification needed) and a maximum of 200 cars will be flagged off.
While this is fun in itself, the bonus probably will be in the ‘Car & Driving’ book that each participant will get. It is a gem of a handbook, virtually a must for wish-to-be or new car-owners and a detail that has been designed for Indian conditions and roads. Few books like this exist, at least in this part of the country.
The technicals and other aspects of the drive event will be handled by Rotary Club of Calcutta (Inner City), Bengal Motor Sports Club, AAEI and Bharat Scouts & Guides. Popular places like Landmark and Family Book Shop are selling forms.