You really don’t look 34” is the first thing we say to Mavrick Cardoz when we meet him outside his apartment building in Mumbai. He laughs it off, explaining that he gets that a lot. “I really am 34, though,” he says. “You can check out my licence if you want!”
Mavrick is a tour leader for European tours. He is the guy who handles a busload of Indian tourists who have purchased a package tour for Europe and the guy who will stand at the head of the aisle, mouthing off a spiel about some monument they have just passed. As you might expect, Mavrick spends a lot of time on the road (not driving, though). He is out of the country, leading tours, for most of any given year. In fact, there are times when he has led five-six tours back to back, and not come back home at all in the interim.
The last year had been particularly busy. His tour company merged with another one, increasing the influx of new customers much more than the influx of new tour leaders. He has been in Europe for 16 months straight, with barely a few days to spare between consecutive tours. Oh, being from Goa, this extremely fast-paced lifestyle did not suit Mavrick well.
He was all set to return to India, when he came across the Nissan Terrano Bridging Distances post on his Facebook feed. He was to go to Mumbai first thing when he landed in India, finish off all his accounting at the company’s office and then, finally, go back to the tranquillity of his home in Goa. He wanted to make it back in time for his parents’ anniversary. They were completing 30 years of togetherness, and Mavrick really wanted to be there for that.
But to make that journey by car –that would be splendid, he thought. Mavrick has been a bit of a car nut ever since he was a little boy, and driving was one of his sweet pleasures in life. He hadn’t been behind the wheel of a car in all of the 16 months he had just spent in Europe, and we understood his agony. When he saw the Terrano, he immediately jumped in the driver’s seat.
We set off early from Mumbai, skipping the traffic, and were soon on the open highway. True to his bohemian Goan mindset, Mavrick set a leisurely cruising speed and stuck to it. “I am a very relaxed driver,” he told us. “And I like cars that complement that.”
As we gobbled up kilometre after kilometre, Mavrick was really impressed by the gearing on the Terrano. Once he had settled in sixth, he barely had to change the gear position at all. Even if an errant trucker caused him to shed some speed, the car could easily pick up in its tallest ratio and be back to the erstwhile leisurely cruising speed in no time at all.
Mavrick was also really impressed by the efficiency the Terrano returned. “When you live in Goa, you start taking fuel efficiency very seriously, because the petrol pumps are few and far between.” The Terrano, we calculated, returned an impressive 18kpl on the highway.
We dispatched the Mumbai-Goa run in one day. Mavrick’s parents live in their ancestral home way down south in Goa, in a village called Galgibaga. This village plays host to a turtle nesting beach, and is the very definition of quaint and tranquil. Mavrick hadn’t informed his parents of his return. He walked into their house, with a tiny, candle-crowned cake in hand, announcing “Happy Anniversary, mummy and papa!” His parents, it goes without saying, were overjoyed. It had been a very long time since they had seen their son.
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.