Not everybody would have the courage to drive on some of India’s best and worst roads, through 25,000 kilometres and covering every capital in India. Not everyone would have the courage to do the same in 80 days and in a Tata Nano that too when they are above 60 years in age.
Meet Thomas Chacko, a 62-year-old Kochi-based car enthusiast, who has accepted the challenge. He started his journey from Mumbai on May 3 and has been on this trip since a month. During his halt in Hyderabad on Thursday, before he heads to Bangalore, Thomas spoke to Postnoon about his journey so far.
Being always inclined towards motor sports, Thomas loves long drives. But only when he compiled the book Ek Swift Bharat Yatra, in which his friend drove around the country, he got inspired to do the same. But he wanted a tougher challenge than to drive cross country in an SUV.
“I chose the Tata Nano because it put India on the auto map. It is one of the only two cars in India that has a rear wheel drive and a rear engine. Besides, it has the highest ground clearance and is perfect for Indian roads,” claimed Thomas.
Talking about the toughest roads, he said that the roads in Arunachal Pradesh are the worst. “People told me that there are a lot of terrorists in the North East and to be careful with them. But the real problem is not them, but the roads. They really are in a pathetic condition. It’s only when you do you know the meaning of ‘bad’ roads!” said Thomas.
According to Thomas, the roads in Hyderabad are good and some of the best he has been on. Despite being 62, Thomas truly believes in the phrase — you are as old as you feel. “Age is merely a number. My father-in-law used to drive until he was 85. I never let my age get to me. The only thing I get with it is a concession in train tickets. But I prefer to drive,” he quipped. His next big challenge is to head to Ladakh.