The Nissan Terrano is on a mission to bridge the emotional and physical distances between people.
Sunil Singh meets me with just one, cabin-sized suitcase in hand. “Where is the rest of your luggage?” I venture. “What luggage?” comes a surprised reply.
Sunil has spent the last 14 months on an off-shore oil rig off the coast of Gujarat. He is a structural engineer heading a team of other such engineers who were making extensive renovations to this rig, bringing it up to date with modern standards and upping its safety and efficiency quotient. He has not stepped foot on the mainland in more than one year.
Sunil is originally from Lucknow, a landlocked city, so he feels a deep yearning for dry land. Even more, he feels a deep yearning for his wife back home. “We’ve Skyped over the last year and chatted on the phone, but that is nothing compared to physically being with her,” he muses.
“Wouldn’t you rather just fly home then, and get there so much quicker?” I enquire.
“You see,” he chuckles, “it has also been 14 months away from my second wife – my car.”
Sunil is a driving enthusiast, lover of time spent on the road. His preferred choice of vehicle has always been an SUV, owing mainly to the commanding driving position and the ability to tackle bad roads. He has always owned big SUVs so far, but the increasing urban congestion in Lucknow is forcing him to downsize.
“The chance to drive the Terrano came at a very opportune time,” he says with a smile. “It will be the perfect test drive for me.”
We set off, Lucknow-bound, with a distance of nearly 1,200km to cover. Sunil puts his one small bag in the boot, pointing out how tiny it looks in the large boot. In the driver’s seat, he height-adjusts his seat, tilts the steering down and settled in, slots the gear into one.
Issue: 210 | Autocar India: February 2017
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