What distances is the Terrano bridging?
In this busy, information-buzzing, work-oriented world, people often tend to lose touch with those who are important. Distances develop between people, sometimes physical, sometimes emotional, and sometimes a combination of both. In a world where people are rapidly losing real relationships in favour of virtual ones, the Nissan Terrano will attempt to bring people together, road-trip style. Share your personal experiences of emotional and/or physical distancing at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we just might take you on a road trip to bridge that distance.
“It’s been seven years since I last visited dadi,” said Ashutosh in a voice that was a mixture of sadness, nostalgia and hope. “I just haven’t gotten the time to go to Vadodara, and she refuses to set foot in Mumbai.”
Ashutosh Lobo-Gajiwala is a 24-year-old Mumbai-based tech entrepreneur. After graduating from college, he nosedived into the tech world, working on several projects before diverting all his resources, mental and otherwise, into an upcoming social and informational opinion aggregating platform. The last few years, he ruses, have been “hectic”. There was college and all its peripherals, and then, the fully involving exercise of trying to build a business in today’s attention-deficit and ever-dynamic world. “I have barely had time for myself,” he says.
Ashutosh grew up in Vadodara, with parents who were both doctors. “My parents were constantly on call, so I spent most of my childhood with my grandmother.” When he was 12, however, his parents moved to Mumbai. He visited Vadodara as often as every quarter, but with the onset of college life, these visits reduced annually till they became zero. “It’s not only the visits that stopped, so did the phone calls,” he says with a hint of guilt in his voice.
When Ashutosh read about the “Bridging Distances” concept, he was immediately inspired to take that critical first step to re-forging his relationship with his grandmother. “Repairing the damage I had caused to my relationship with my grandmother and going for a road trip – it was like killing two birds with one stone!” he exclaimed.
Ashutosh was excited about driving the Terrano. He likes compact SUVs because they offer the elevated driving position of an SUV without being too big to conveniently drive around the city. He also felt that they were better highway cruisers than sedan. “I just feel more secure in them,” he quips.
Ashutosh, along with the Autocar India team, set off for Vadodara on a cool November morning. The roads were empty, and Ashutosh took complete advantage of that from behind the wheel. He fell in love with the engine almost instantly. The Terrano’s K9K-series 1.5-litre turbo-diesel produces 110hp and a meaty 248Nm of torque. There is plenty of torque available before the turbo kicks in, so traffic situations are handled with ease. The fun, though, starts once the turbo is spooled up. There is a distinct surge in power, leading into a most meaty mid-range. The power delivery feels muscular. Build speeds through the gear, and then you can slot the stick in sixth and just cruise.
Ashutosh kept a steady pace all the way to Vadodara, complemented by Gujarat’s great roads. 400-odd kilometres flew by before we knew it.
We entered Vadodara around lunch time and were forced to snake through traffic and dodge criss-crossing two-wheeler riders. “This is where the compactness of the Terrano comes in handy,” grinned Ashutosh with that ‘I-told-you-so look’ on his face.
Ashutosh had not told his grandmother that he would be paying her a visit that day. A surprise, he decided, was the best way to go.
He was quite nervous and excited at the same time as we approached his grandmother’s house. When she opened the door and saw him, she was so shocked, she did not react for a few seconds, until she embraced him with tears in her eyes.
Ashutosh and his grandmother spent the rest of the day catching up, during which time the tears of joy converted into resounding laughter. When he finally had to take her leave (work in Mumbai beckoned), he left with a promise to keep in touch regularly.
“I’m sad to leave, but I am happy to be driving back,” he chuckled as we started back for Mumbai.