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Day 1 : Eastward Bound on Drive With MTV Season 2

by Ragini Puri
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So the 12 finalists for the Nano Drive with MTV Season 2 assembled in Nagpur to set off for the epic trip. Why Nagpur, you wonder? Because Nagpur is famous for its oranges and MTV and Nano people love oranges. So they thought why not flag on the trip from Nagpur! Haaha. No of course not. Nagpur was chosen because the city lies squarely at the geographical centre point of India. The city has a Zero Mile Stone from where distances to other cities were marked during the British rule.

Zero Mile Marker

Varanasi just 729 kms away

The distances of many cities which are measured from here are marked on the pillar erected at this zero mile monument, which also includes four intricately sculpted horses, all made of sandstone. This monument, though now in a slightly dilapidated condition looks beautiful in old Google images, sure sign that it has seen better times in the past.

The Monument in an almost rundown condition now
The beautiful Zero Mile Centre from the days of yore

It was indeed a very novel idea to flag on the drive from Nagpur. I for one never knew something like Zero Mile existed, despite my penchant for geographical trivia. Plus, even if I had given the concept of geographical centre of India even a passing thought, I would have most certainly come up with some city in Madhya Pradesh as the probable geographical centre, given the state’s location in the country map.

So, the 21 day trip was to start from the Zero Mile, but only after the 4 teams – each comprising of 3 members – had rummaged around Nagpur city, trying to find their Nano cars. And not just find the cars but also find it in record time, as the team that found their car first was to get a choice on the part of the country they wished to travel to – North, South, East or West. And here was the tricky part – tracking down the cars involved a treasure hunt! The four cars were in different Tata showrooms around the city, and the four teams were given a clue each which if deciphered correctly, would then lead them to three more clues hidden at different locations and the final clue was to eventually take them to their respective Nano car.

From the expressions on the faces of all us travellers there at the Zero Mile, it looked as if it was going to be duck soup, winning the treasure hunt, that is. All the four teams, which had been grouped beforehand, were raring to go. My team included Nishank, a filmmaker from Delhi, and Anamika, a dentist from Chandigarh, and all three of us too were all charged up to seize the day! But as the day progressed and the morning turned into afternoon and then late afternoon, it turned out that the clues, coded in really tough Marathi language, (so tough that even the local Marathi speaking crowd had a hard time deciphering it) were too hard for everyone to decode. Eventually, with the help of some local crowd (cute girls enamoured by the MTV crew) we eventually tracked our car down – a beautiful pearl white Nano, which was to be our home more or less for the next 21 days on the road! And with the discovery of the car we also discovered that we were headed east! 

Pearl White Tata Nano
And we become Team NanoEast

While Nishank and I were quite happy about going east (mountains, you see!), Anamika initially did not take too kindly to the result. She had pinned all her hopes on going south (where the pit stops included Goa too) but we had already lost the Battle of Goa to Moumita, Divyanshu and Reema! And these three had already been christened Team NanoSouth! Despite that, backdoor attempts were made to win them over and convince them to go East instead. But who in their right mind would want to give up the beachy delights of Goa! It was not to be and so after a little sulking even Anamika came around, back to being her boisterous self, excited at the prospect of the travel and adventure that lay ahead. 

Eastward bound

 By evening, the 4 teams were flagged on after much photo ops and fanfare by MTV VJ Nikhil Chinnapa. So thus ensconced in our pearl white Nano car, Team NanoEast set out to win over the East! And our first pit stop was to be the Tadoba Tiger Reserve. Did Team NanoEast get to spot tiger? You will soon find out! 🙂

In the meanwhile,  for those interested – our Day 1 adventures are captured here in this small video: –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBs-wLfS_yw

Hope you liked this write-up, do share your thoughts! 🙂

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