The home stretch

Hi All, Pooja here. After asking each other countless times ” Are we there yet?” we finally made it to Delhi on 6 June 2010 . It took us 51 days to travel through 15 countries and we completed our journey at 5:00 pm at Qutub Minar, Delhi. The journey from the Nepal – India border to Delhi took the following course.

Kanpur Connection – After stopping in Gorakhpur for 1 night we headed to Kanpur via Lucknow. The drive was tiring because the traffic was appalling! It took some time to get used to oncoming vehicles on our side of the road. Overtaking an army of trucks, which wanted to drive in the fast lane at a speed of 50kmph was not easy either. However, within an hour or so we got used to the mayhem and started enjoying the drive. In Kanpur we met with Mr Vinit Jain, who sponsored the jerry cans for our trip. He made our stay in Kanpur memorable with his hospitality and presented us with a beautiful painting, which he made himself along with a poem that he printed on a card.

During our stay we attended the Rotary club meeting, where we were felicitated by the members and were given an opportunity to speak about our trip. Times of India, Kanpur did a feature on us as did other local newspapers. I must admit that giving interviews is not nerve racking but posing for pictures reminded me of the day Tushar and I got married ( photographers with big camera lenses directing our poses:)

Taj Mahal, Agra – We arrived in Agra the next day and I got a wonderful surprise. I was expecting my mother to come to Qutub Minar,Delhi where we would finish our journey but she came all the way to Agra a day before. At night we all drove around the city in the hope of seeing the Taj Mahal at night but were told that due to security reasons, the Taj is not lit at night. Back at the hotel, for the first time in the trip I sat next to the pool side restaurant and ordered a cold coffee ( oh! the joy of a nice smelling hotel.. courtesy my sister’s friend). That night was very special because we were 1 day away from completing what we had set out to achieve 51 days back.

6 June 2010 – We were joined by Tushar’s family in Agra on the 6th and before we set off for Delhi, we visited the Taj Mahal. At the Taj parking a guy came up to us with a newspaper in his hand and said to Tushar ” is this you sir?” ( a write up about our trip and our picture was in the local newspaper). It was the first time we got spotted and its not happened since:) . On way to Delhi we stopped in Palwal for lunch, which was organised by Octave events. The local media was present and we got an opportunity to speak about our cause.

5:00 pm Qutub Minar, New Delhi – 6 June 2010 – After 1,500 litres of petrol, 51 days, 15 countries, 9 timezones and lots of exciting experiences we finally switched off our engine at 5:00 pm at Qutub Minar. Its really difficult to express how we felt at that time. All I can say is that we couldn’t believe that the car that we drove in London was with us in Delhi…it was surreal. There were lots of people and reporters at the venue to welcome us and it took us a while to realize that Goofy, Tushar and I had arrived in Delhi in one piece:)

Media - One of the reasons why I have focussed on the media coverage in this blog is that we are trying our best to raise awareness about the reasons behind our journey. ” For the love of Dogs and Animals” and ” For the love of Driving and Discovery”. We featured on Zee News, Star News, Sahara, CNEB and also came live on India TV. Media is a great way to raise awareness about charitable/social causes and hopefully we have managed to motivate some people to tie their personal interest of sports/adventure/arts with a social cause. ( One thing Tushar and I figured out is that sometimes the media may not be interested in the charitable aspect and one has to keep on reminding them not to edit the parts that are really important in the context of the journey)

Friendicoes – Tushar and I visited Friendicoes yesterday. We met Mr Gautam Bharat, co founder of Friendicoes who showed us around the Defence Colony shelter in Delhi. He told us that at any one time they look after 1,000 animals at the Delhi and Gurgaon sanctuary. They never refuse treatment to an animal ( a camel was recently treated and released at a sanctuary…so its not just dogs and other pets that are cared for at Friendicoes). We are still in the process of raising funds for Friendicoes ( a part of the donation raised has already been transferred to them) and we will be giving them all the donations received by the end of June. If anyone would like to contribute please click on the Donate Now link on our website or alternatively cheques can be made in the name of Friendicoes SECA, which can be couriered or collected.

This is not Good bye – Thank you all for your support and encouragement throughout our journey. Tushar and I have been keeping very busy these past few days with the homecoming but will continue to update the blogs. We will now start focusing towards writing a book and are hoping that a publishing house will take interest in our journey and publish our book.

Goofy – Goofy was my dog in Delhi. She lived with my family for almost 13 years. I decided to name the car Goofy because I knew she would get us through all the challenges during our journey. Her spirit lives on in our Jeep and in our memories:) Goofy the Jeep is waiting to be shipped back to London. She has to travel to Bombay first though. Will fill you in about that soon.

Till next time…which will be soon

Thanks for reading

Pooja

34 Responses to “The home stretch”

  1. Sharan says:

    Well done guys – what an achievement! I am sure you will be richer for it in many many ways for the years to come. I hope you both had loads of fun and by the sounds of it, there will be many stories to tell. Congratulations.
    Love- Paul and Sharan

    • Tushar says:

      thanks masi, we are still not over the fact that the journey is over and we have made it to delhi. the experiences were great. see you in uk:)

  2. pallavi says:

    Hey guys….its great to visit this page n come face to face with a blog waiting just for you (seems like that to me : )
    In this one what again stood out for me is how sensible and sensitive n so grown up yet simple your thougths are- u think simply and write it down so beautifully not missing any in betweens! just love ur writinglove the alluding to media…to what they can miss…love the portion where u guys were spotted at Taj …(pure superstar materials!)…love the way u guys have always acknowledged small gestures….love your story …and love you two ! GodBless u guys…ur book will be a bestseller…Trust me.
    missed being part of the historical end…(of one phase atleast)….will see u soon…maybe once swati is back or before….busy with some stuff at home.
    Wanted to ask how r u guys feeling now…? at some level u must be missing the journey …huh? or is it just too good to be home ? bye for now….catch u soon!

    • Tushar says:

      hey, we both are loving the homecoming and are relishing everyday now. but a part of me wants to be on the road. it is already getting hazy and feels like something that we did long long ago. not easy to escape from the travel bug…

  3. ram says:

    well done both of you,great going.i can imagine how you felt when you crossed the border into india.i get very teary,never lived in india but been visiting almost every jan/feb (was born and grew up in africa)so enjoy,well done once again and see you when you get back to uk for a well deserved cold beer or two
    be safe and keep smiling
    ram.

    • Tushar says:

      yes ram, the feeling was amazing when we crossed the border. cannot really put it in words. looking forward to meeting you in uk soon:)

  4. H V Kumar says:

    Wonderful home-coming! You can look back on this trip as one huge personal accomplishment, something that will keep many English winters warm. We feel great that you have overcome all the formidable challenges of nature and man.

    • Tushar says:

      thanks kumar. the homecoming was just awesome. i know one thing now that no matter where the journey begins, it should always end in india:)

  5. Mohini says:

    Welcome home! I think we need to go shopping for sunglasses right?

  6. Woo Hoo!! YOu have completed the road-trip. Congratulations folks!!!! :)

  7. Ram says:

    Dear Tushar and Pooja,

    Heartiest congratulations and well done! I am one of your unknown admirers, following you through all the way from start to finish – I got to know about your mission from a connect in FB. First of all thanks for taking us right through this ardent but admirable journey. Second, cheers for the cause and your luv for animals. I wish I followed you behind this entire trip. I am sure it is not the achievement but the travails through the entire stretch which will live in your memories and fans like me for the years to come. God Bless…………Ram

    • Tushar says:

      hi ram,
      thanks for your kind words. as you rightly stated, its the journey that will live forever in our memories. we enjoyed every aspect of the journey including the blogging part of it. we are working on a book now where you will be able to read all about the journey right from the beginning.

  8. Vijay Yadav says:

    Hello Tushar and Pooja
    Congratulations for ur arrival to ur home.
    I wanted to meet you people but things didnt allow me. well! where can i give my cheque which i wanted to give you directly? I can drop it and i can post it also.
    One more question, can I (or along with 3-4 people) go to mansarovar lake on bike from India? What will be the complications,…..like visa, temprature, roads(path may be)? I want to make it possible.
    Please be in touch because I might need ur help and guideness in future. 2nd, I like and respect the entho you people have and i dont want it to be out of my reach.

    • Tushar says:

      hi vijay,

      going on a bike to mansarovar is possible. very difficult but if you are going with 3-4 bikers it can be done. you can drive from india to nepal to tibet and go to mansarovar. getting permits for china is a complicated and expensive but with proper planning its possible. best time to go is between april and august i think as temp is mild and snow has melted. roads are extremely extremely bad so be prepared for that. u will need spare tyres and parts. all this becomes easier if you have fellow bikers with you.

      thanks for your kind offer to donate. you can make a cheque in the name of Friendicoes SECA and post it to to the following address:

      Tushar Agarwal
      5, Osho Drive,
      Mandi Road,
      Gadaipur,
      Mehrauli,
      New Delhi – 110030

      if you are in delhi, why not drop in to my home (above address). we can have a chat about your plans also. please email me on tushar.agarwal@londondelhibyroad.com

  9. RAM BHARGAVA says:

    I am still regretting that how i missed all the news about you when you was here at kanpur and missed a chance to welcome you.

    The more i read your blogs the more i believe that your upcoming book on this memorable journey is going to be a blockbuster.

    • Tushar says:

      thanks ram. i am trying to get the video from india tv and will upload it and send you the link as soon as i have it. thanks for your wishes about the book. i hope it becomes a reality soon

  10. Harish Sharma says:

    Hi,

    I missed it even I was living very near to your desitnation qutub minar actually my home is hardly half an kilometer away from qutub minar i can be there within minutes but unfortunately I couldnt. coz I had no idea where you guys will be ending your journey…. & see I have been in touch with you guys from somewhere around march when I saw the news on yahooo…. & since then i have been reading all the blogs… seeing all pics……& all was very exiting…..though some peple find this ridiculous some says it’s nothing new but I do understand the moto behind this. that’s why I salute you two…..

    do take care….
    have a nice time ahead…….
    Thanks
    Harish

    • Tushar says:

      thanks harish. our journey was just an adventure journey which we though would be more rewarding if we could do serve a social cause also. thanks for understanding this. it would have been nice if you could visit qutub but i guess you missed the blog in which we had sent the details. we are still in mehrauli and can meet up sometime.

      keep in touch and thanks for your comments;)

      • Harish Sharma says:

        really?? that’s fantastic le me have your contact details so that I could meet u guys….in mehrauli? do u live over there only?

        thanx
        H

  11. Balan says:

    hello,

    i read all your blog from the day one. its so exiting. CONGRATULATIONS to both of you.
    you have done it.
    frankly telling, i started reading you blogs only after seeing in times of india about your London to Delhi on road expedition. i never read your older blogs as i was immersed in seeing pictures and reading your blogs. to-day i just wanted to see how you planned your journey, after reading from the first page, i was stunned. you both have the GUTS,
    i expect from you both a WORLD TOUR ON ROAD in another 2 to 3 years.

    what is your answer Thushar?

    • Tushar says:

      balan! thanks exactly what i want to do now. a round the world tour is the next challenge and the next dream. i hope hope hope that it becomes a reality. it will be longer, more difficult, more challenging and more exciting. once the book is out, i will start looking into it. so the answer is a big big YES!!!

  12. Sanjay says:

    Sigh, a tear rolls down.

    Congratulations you guys :-)

    I hope the media coverage does wonders to your cause.

    Thank you very much for sharing your trip – I’ve never been this excited to read a blog!
    Your adventure has been truly exciting; it enters my everyday conversations, leaving the same mark of awe in the listener.

    Whether you find a publisher or not, I want to buy the first copy (or at least one from the first print).
    I do ask, though, that you include plenty pics!
    In fact, sell a picture book too?!

    • Tushar says:

      hi sanjay, thanks for such lovely comments. we are in talks with a few publishers now and hopefully the book will become a reality soon. im so happy to know that you have enjoyed the blogs and even shared it with others. we will be including lots of pics in the book. we want to make it entertaining and informative. you will be one of the first to get the book whenever its out. thats my promise:)

      • Sanjay says:

        I’m sorry I just read your reply!!!
        Haha, for this massive adventure you’ve accomplished and the breath-taking stories and pictures you’ve shared along the journey, it’s even more amazing that you’re personally replying to your fans :D

        I really look forward to the book man, and hopefully seeing you both in London once you’re back!

        ((Btw: have you already sent Goofy back?))

        Enjoy the motherland, and let them feed you ’til you pop!!

  13. Rajiv Goel says:

    All three.. Pooja, Tushar & Goofy did a splendid trip which shall be a memory to last.
    Well yes pooja, it cannot be a good bye.. We await a nice hardcopy of this journey in shape of a travel book with all the pics & blogs which shall be seen & read by generations to come.
    A couple like you started on a journey & later on established the brand Lonely Planet which every one is heard of.
    May be another brand in making.. i.e. Goofy and the road.
    All the Best in Life & May God Bless.

    • Tushar says:

      hi mama, thanks for such kind words. we have started working on the book and are looking for a publisher now. the title goofy and the road sounds exciting. thanks for the suggestions and thanks a lot for your blessings:)

  14. Kumi & Janice says:

    Very very well done guys… you made it!!!

    It must feel amazing to have completed the trip of all trips. So much drama, excitement, and fantastic experiences – they should make a Bollywood movie about you two!! And it’s great to see that you made it all without any references to extra spicy Nandos! ;-)

    We look forward to seeing you both back in London and having a toast to all of your accomplishments!!

    Have a great time back in India… you deserve it!

    • Tushar says:

      hey dude
      thanks for your wishes. its a great feeling to have completed the journey successfully. dont know about the bollywood movie but hopefully a book should be out in the near future. we are back on 5th july and will surely catchup at nandos then:)

  15. amiya says:

    i am thrilled, pls send me guiedline for a road journey across the countries. i am very much interested to travel other countries by road

  16. Adyut Hari Goel says:

    Hey bhai sahab and bhabhi ji..
    Hope you are enjoying back there in london..
    And do you realise that within a fortnight or so One Year of the commencement of trip will be completed..
    Its been a reaaly good time
    We raised a toast at Palwal…Now I am eagerly waiting for the day when we will again raise a toat at The Launch of The Book…
    I hope the title will be “London Delhi By Road”
    Always yours
    Adyut Hari Goel

  17. Vijay Yadav says:

    Hey very very congratulations to both of u.
    You people deserve it and much more infact. Well how is Goofy now a days.?
    Tushar you remember me !!! I came to meet you at your b’full home and took a drive also…..
    well… thnxx again and dont forget to send the updates about you book …
    take care

    • Tushar says:

      hi vijay,
      ofcourse i remember you, hope all is well with you, well we have sold goofy now. book is with the publishers and hopefully we will get some good news soon.
      will keep you updated
      take care

      tushar

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