NIGHT CURFEW! LOCKDOWN! IN the midst of all these restrictions, I managed to reach Mumbai airport to catch my flight for Dibrugarh in Assam. With all safety guidelines in place, I landed at Dibrugarh and headed via Asia’s longest bridge, the Bhupen Hazarika Setu, to Bomjir where my journey to explore Arunachal Pradesh commenced. The drive had been curated for journalists to explore the state from behind the wheel of what is perhaps the perfect companion for such journeys — the Mahindra Thar. Even better, rallying legends Hari Singh, Sudev Barar, Lhakpa Tsering, Gaurav Gill and Garima Avatar were joining in on the drive.
WE WERE SUPPOSED TO TAKE THE HIGHWAY BUT... FOUND IT SHUT
At Bomjir, I was handed the keys to a Mahindra Thar diesel manual, part of a long convoy of Thars and Scorpios. Hari Singh briefed us about the day’s plan and then took the lead in a petrol automatic Thar. We headed first to our lunch stop Ramku village and then towards the town of Yingkiong to reach our destination for that day, the town of Geku. It was a 172km-long drive, with a perfect blend of smooth tarmac, off-road trails and slush. Driving the Thar there was an absolute joy, and the view outside was spectacular. The cool breeze, the drizzle and the company of enthusiastic journalists with their relentless banter on the radio kept spirits high.
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