Since Tuesday, It has been raining incessantly here in Mumbai. The monsoon (though late) will now hopefully deliver upon its promise, providing the much needed lifeline to tens of millions of farmers across India.
Here at GDC basecamp, the countdown has started. It has been a wonderful experience for us (as facilitators) to create a platform for you all to share so many amazing stories. When we started the journey, we had our doubts. We wanted to reach people who have the passion to travel and for whom a trip on the road was all about discovery. We also wanted to touch people for whom automobiles are a passion and not a mere symbol of status or just a means to get to point B from A. How on earth are we going to find them in such a short period of time, we pondered.
India never ceases to surprise!
I am sure all of you will cherish this experience and savour the after-taste of the adrenalin rush. Thank you for putting your trust in the system. Yes, we have had glitches along the way, but all of you patiently stood by, and gave us a helping hand. Now it is our turn to ensure that the Jury listens to all your suggestions, as they get down to short-listing the most likely candidates.
Ultimately 3 couples will be chosen to create three unique travelogues, as they embark on a new journey of ‘discovery’ on behalf of all of us. We hope you will follow their journey and cheer them all along the way, to the end.
Kudos to the TGDC team for the fun and excitement created round this campaign. This thrill and excitement enticed me to go back to my old suitcases and trunks and get out those 20 year old transparencies and give them for conversion into digital format. I was filled with nostagia and brought back the old memories of all the incidents and events during the various travel expeditions.
We have tried sharing this with all travel and driving enthusiasts who are closely watching the happenings at TGDC or are partcipants.
And yes, let the best couple win!
Narayan & Radhika
Posted by Narayan & Radhika Mallapur on 07/16 at 03:31 AM
Hello to TGDC team,
I am really happy that Team TGDC has come out with such a fantastic idea. I want to discuss something with you guys. And that is my idea of participating in this contest. I saw the advertisement on the first day of the promotion. And instantly filled up the application. Traveling and Photography has always been my passion and I have never missed out an opportunity to live my passion, in fact, being from a middle class family, I had to create such opportunities through my daily routine. Also, I never knew what blogging was, but after participating, I learnt what blogging is and have created two blogs also.
But as the days passed by and lot more people joining in, I observed, that most of the people who have joined come from a high-profile background, whether its family or their job, they have an advantage of taking a vacation whenever they feel like. What we call costly high-tech gadgets, are within their easy reach. They are in touch with their family members via e-mail and their blogs are read by all their colleagues, unlike us, where we had to teach our parents on how to send e-mails and sms’s. Blogs to our colleagues are like-jargons.
This is what I wanted to bring to your notice. That bringing this idea, you have given dreams to lot of people like us, only to shatter them later. I dreamt of taking this vacation and my parents were happy when I described them this. But now, i see there are lot of people who are much better than me in blogging, not do not have better writing skills than mine. There are lots of people who have cars and have traveled a lot, though they do not have a passion like ours. There are lots of people who have SLRs and high-end Digicams, though they do not have the vision to see the real beauty like we do.
I don’t know what will be the outcome of your selection/short-listing, because you brought two different classes of life on one platform.
The decision will be tough for you, so All The Best to the team TGDC. May the best person win!!!
Posted by Vinny K Williams on 07/16 at 03:58 AM
Your dreams are very precious Vinny. This event is too ‘puny’ to shatter hopes and dreams as big as yours.
If you are bitten by the bug, you will find any means to get out there and make your own discoveries. It can never be about money, fancy cameras or cars - never was!.
Hope GDC has re-ignited the fire inside you. That is all that matters in the end - whether you have it inside you.
Posted by Sandip on 07/16 at 04:40 AM
Vinny K Williams, your words touched my heart deep.
I reciprocate some of the views you have expressed therein, though I would differ on some others.
Yes, I too have grown up in a middle class environment and have been striving to ‘get there’ ever-since through my academic and professional years.
Yes there is a class divide in our country and people (from both classes) frown upon you as you ‘scale the wall’ to get on to the other side, inspite of the fact that you are not doing it with ‘Dad’s money’.
And the real credit for all this goes to our beloved parents who have sacrificed so much and toiled so very hard to nurture us to a stage where we can’t imagine traveling in a Non A/C car even.
In the end I go by what TGDC qouted you -“This event is too ‘puny’ to shatter hopes and dreams as big as yours.”
Posted by Tirthankar Basu on 07/16 at 04:56 AM
Hi Team GDC,
I’m usually very verbose and convoluted in my words but I’ll keep it short here.
Congrats for coming up with one of the most unique marketing concepts I have witnessed in the past 6 years since my love for marketing has developed.
Seriously. You have not only managed to achieve numerical success in terms of teams and applicants but you have gone to the next level - of becoming a brand close to the heart. GDC is coffee-break discussion across offices, GDC is hated, loved, and followed by the right people across the internet, the challenge has made people look beyond their normal lives and genuinely attempt something new.
And for that last point alone, GDC is a true winner. For making more than 1000 couples across India to wake up, get out of the normal rut and try to do something they’ve never done before, GDC deserves applause! I’ve seen photos of couples who look they’ve never seen a blog or a digital photo before, couples who’re way past their “youth” in age but still want to get back there, couples who’re young but unsure of their capabilities; every kind of team has sprung up in this challenge!
You’ve not sold a product or a service or a contest here. You’ve managed to sell a dream. Rest assured that the 1000+ couples who’re in this challenge will not take their eyes off the final 3’s travelogues - in a way it’s like living their own dream.
And all the best to everyone!
Posted by Joseph Radhik on 07/16 at 05:00 AM
India never ceases to surprise….because no one ever tried to ask, listen….Kudos to your idea!
Just one fallout - each & every participant has gotten SO involved & has put their heart out in documenting & writing & reliving their travelogues, a lot of hard work has already been done even before being shortlisted…....its sad that only 3 couples stand a chance to be heard & the other stories are going to just stay in the realm of the world wide web….without a climax
C’est la vie
Posted by Shama Deo on 07/16 at 05:05 AM
As I mentioned earlier, I just consider that to be one of the challenges for me… The fire is still there, infact, after writing my comment here, I called up my elder bro(Sunny Williams) and asked him to complete his application as its just 1-day to go and his Travel plan and Links are still incomplete.
So, I know you my skills and my passion will leave TGDC with no option than shortlist me(LOL!) and I will do the best job. But its just that, I wnated to let TGDC of such a fear also.
I am happy that TGDC is all ears to everyone. Will surely say, Great Job Everyone… see you soon!!!
Posted by Vinny K Williams on 07/16 at 05:06 AM
Our sincere thanks to whole of GDC team to coming up with such a brilliant idea. This contest made us re-visit all of travel, driving and adventurous things that we had done in our life. It also made us realize what we are missing in monotonous routine of daily life. As you said, it surely re-ignited the fire burning inside each of the couples who have applied for this contest. Let’s hope that this fire continues to burn for everyone and it does not get affected even if they are not part of final 3 couples.
Best wishes to everyone, GDC rocks!
Posted by Neelesh & Arti on 07/16 at 05:36 AM
I fully agree with Shama Deo.
The Countdown has begun!!!!!…..
Thanks to TGDC for creating such a superb atmosphere.
India will be Festooned, Expressed, and Portrayed or thought about like never before.
“Fasten you seat belts, last minute checks on everything!!!! Ignite Vroommm here we go!!!! Along with the Car (a truly powerhouse), a camera in hand, zipping and look around the beautiful places, Capturing all those breathtaking views, scratching your head watching the sky, reflecting those beautiful scenes to words”. Just cant wait isn’t it…?
And Ultimately “Keep your fingers crossed”.
All the Best to everyone…May the best couple win!!!
3 Cheers to TGDC!!!
Hey TGDC Team,
The irony is- apart from thrill, Love for Nature is the traction behind any expedition/discovery and technology most often than not, keeps Nature away!!
Think about it!!
May the best ones win!!
All the best to all!!
Posted by Anubhav & Surabhi on 07/16 at 06:01 AM
Well, I am amazed at the response you have got, TGDC campaign. And I appreciate, who so ever had thought about this idea. This social networking/marketing thread has gone way ahead and has bound a lot of people together.
I agree to people here, we also did a lot of hard work on our application, spoke to people we haven’t spoken for months, and it was good, cajoling people for votes and testimonials.
Updated our blog properly, put some more photos out there, changed the blog template, etc etc.
And, not saying, this all did re-ignite the sleeping bu in us, for driving and traveling.
Thanks for this and many more things…
Posted by prem-shikha on 07/16 at 07:12 AM
I think more than anything else, it was nice to know so many people who are as passionate about the outdoors as we are and TGDC helped us all get a platform to express our outdoor love.
Thanks for that., I hope we can all keep blogging about this and more of our jouneys,
Why don’t you guys start a community forum or something of the people who participated in this contest.
If not being the final three, we all can atleast keep in touch through a common link and know about latest adventures in each others lives…:)
Good Job, TGDC Team!! I followed you closely evolving this site and event from Day-1. A lot of hard work has gone in this, and it shows. Keep it up!
Posted by Rishi Kapoor on 07/16 at 08:43 AM
A warm hello to the TGDC team! You guys rock man…and you have got us rocking also!!! We came to know about this contest very late (5 days back!!), as we were travelling. But being hard core ‘never-say-die’ types…we have still given it a shot!! And in the last few days of our joining, we have garnered 104 votes ....and still growing. Not bad, I would say!! Just wish we would have known about this earlier…..our vote bank would have crashed your site then!!
Posted by Abhijit Shukla on 07/16 at 09:34 AM
Hello TGDC Team,
Kudos to the entire TGDC team, who have slogged and worked hard to churn out a competition like this. We had never thought that something like this will be coming to India and that too “not-for-the-celebrities” :D.
The last few days, since we applied for TGDC, have been very different. Tiring, for juggling between our office work and pleading for votes. Dreamy, for all those dreams and wishes coming back to us. Thrilling, for the nail-biting tensions of votes and popularity. Believing, in friends and family for all the support they gave us. Inspiring, from all those people, who don’t even know us and have voted and are still voting for us through forums and social networks.
Thank you for giving us this opportunity! Its worth all the efforts.
And may the best couple win!
Posted by Ritesh & Kosha on 07/16 at 11:06 AM
Hi Team TGDC,
Great stuff and hats off to your idea, the concept design, this website and above all the enthu that you all have put to get this up and running… and rocking too!
Last 2 weeks have been amazing. It has been fabulous to see so many great profiles. To say the least, it has been humbling to see 1,000 other passionate couples- thanks for getting us all together. We should probably form a yahoo group or a blog where will continue to share our travel experiences.
It has also been a great experience to get back in touch with our extended family and friends - thanks to this amazing concept. What’s more mind boggling is the support you get for “campaigning” from relatives and close friends.
Very early on, we had initially decided that we would participate in this contest, just for the fun of it, as opposed to “expecting to be one of the final-3”. 3 out 1,000 - the probability doesn’t work for any of us. Even for the best of profiles with high vote count, it’s still a 3 in 50 chance at best. Despite all these facts that we all are well aware of, it is heartening to see so many people give their very best to this contest - this can only be true passion, nothing short of it!
Thanks team TGDC for getting all of this far. It surely is not the end of the contest; the most important stages are still ahead of us. Irrespective of the “final selection to top-3”, most of us would probably follow the entire contest very closely till the end.
PS1: We just realised, if we don’t get through to the final stages, we will have a lot of vella time - not sure, if too many people would want to meet us anymore after our hard campaigning
PS2: We are also thinking of getting new email addresses - just in case we were labelled as “report as spam” by a majority of our “To List”, over the last couple of weeks
PS 3: We have relinquished our political ambitions. Asking for votes is a tough job!
Hi Team TGDC,
Great stuff and hats off to your idea, concept design, this website and above all the enthu that you all have put to get this up and running… and rocking too!
Last 2 weeks have been amazing. It has been fabulous to see so many great profiles. It has been humbling to see 1,000 other passionate couples- thats for getting us all together. We should probably form a yahoo group or a blog where will continue to share our travel experiences.
Its also been a great experience to get back in touch with our extended family and friends - thanks to this amazing concept. What’s more mind boggling is the support you get for “campaigning” from relatives and close friends.
We had initially decided that we would participate in this contest, just for the fun of it, as opposed to “expecting to be one of the final-3”. 3 out 1,000 - the probability doesn’t work for any of us. Even for the best of profiles with high vote count, its still a 3 in 50 chance or so. Despite all these facts that we all are well aware of, it heartening to see so many people give their eveything to this contest - this can only be true passion, nothing short of it.
Thanks team TGDC for getting all of this far. It surely is not the end of the contest, the most important stages are still ahead of us. Irrespective of the “final selection to top-3”, most of us would probably follow the entire contest very closely till the end
PS 1: We just realised, if we don’t get through to the final stages, we will lot of vella time - not sure, if too many people would want to meet us anymore after our hard campaigning
PS 2: We are also thinking of getting new email addresses - just in case we were labelled as “report as spam” by a majority of our “To List”, over the last couple of weeks
PS 3: We have relinquished our political ambitions. Asking for votes is a tough job!
Posted by Aditi and Anupam on 07/16 at 12:36 PM
Thanks to all of you for your kind words. This has indeed been a humbling experience for us at Team GDC.
Posted by Sandip on 07/16 at 01:32 PM
Good luck to all the contestants!
Great work guys. Quick response.
Posted by Ram & Rakhi on 07/16 at 07:24 PM
Dear Mr. Sandip,
The Great Driving Challenge has indeed been a unique Challenge, undoubtedly one of a kind and by far the best Challenge, we have come across while driving around the country side. At the outset, we take this opportunity to formally Congratulate the think tanks of the TGDC Team, for having created such a versatile combination to Challenge both ‘Brain and Braun’, not only in the actual threesome flag off, but also during the preliminary elimination rounds. We saw the advertisement appearing in the Times of India Newspaper right on DAY ONE. Our initial reaction was one that of confused bewilderment and it took us quite a while to come to terms with the advertisement. Immediately after assimilating the contents of the advertisement, we took to surfing through those nostalgic memories, reminiscing the daredevilry, heroic and daring impromptu car driving escapades, we had voluntarily experienced during yester years, spanning three decades. It was a wonderful experience to relive many hair-raising situations, as though it just happened moments ago. We thank you and your dynamic team for giving us this Opportunity to enjoy the pulsating excitement once again, which would otherwise have gone awry and into oblivion, but for your hosting this Challenge.
We are a Happy-Go-Lucky Couple, hailing from God’s Own Country, now in Chennai, having efficiently managed to retain the drive, passion and fire within us, keeping our quota of adrenalin intact for special opportune moments, which we are sure, will definitely crop during the 10 day driving sojourn. The Challenge puts to test our creative and innovative skills in recapitulating what the eye, the ear and mind perceives in Mother Nature’s bountiful natural and captivating habitat, into crispy, juicy interesting blog episodes, putting the reader at awe. The Challenge has drawn all couples possessing the innate quality of adventure together with a flair for appreciating and eulogising nature’s flora and fauna that may perchance come their way; to flaunt their skills, in an effort to emerge ‘THE BEST FROM THE BEST’.
To be brazenly frank and truthful, this Challenge has instigated us, off course with the strong support, encouragement and persistent persuasive techniques adopted by our two dynamic sons, we were left with no other choice, but to venture out of our self imposed hibernation and begin to learn, understand the rudiments of blogging. Our special thanks to our loving sons Sandeep and Rahul and obviously also to the long tacit indirect hand of the dynamic TGDC Team facilitators. We are proud to state that, but for this Challenge coming our way, we would still be speculating to begin doing blogs. In automotive parlance, it is called ‘Starting Trouble’. Having overcome the first obstacle, it was then a gigantic effort to remember all the minute details and present it in a manner that would entice even seasoned bloggers to atleast give it a perusing glance.
The Challenge brought about its share of operational hazards, so to say. It was a wonderful Opportunity for both of us to scurry into every possible crevice of our home, in search of addresses of our friends, well-wishers and above all our long lost friends. It was a Herculean exercise to locate, identify the whereabouts of our dear forgotten friends, we did manage to get their phone numbers, called them and briefed them about the Challenge. At first, there existed a veiled animosity, for not having kept in touch, together with our sudden call, which they perceived to be based on a rather selfish need based mode. All our PR skills were put to test, while phone call bills rose, the veiled dissention turned into a whimper. We had to make special crispy mails, explaining the entire gamut of things associated with this Challenge and had to sound pretty convincing enough for all of them to agree to cast their votes for us. It didn’t stop there. We convinced them to invite their friends and their friend’s friend to vote for us and thus began our slow and steady rise in votes. We had to also explain to a lot many friends how to read our blogs and then articulate their testimonials. Infact, this exercise brought about a paradigm shift in our friends, who normally call to communicate, transforming themselves to computer savvy individuals. Our heartfelt thanks to the TGDC Team for enabling us to make a perceptible change in our friends communicative orientation. We are ever grateful to you all for having enabled us to revive lot relationships.
We do very well understand the painful process of elimination, but if it is taken in the right perspective, then according to us, in the ultimate analysis, non of us – I mean all the prospective participants, other than the chosen trio have in effect not become ‘Losers’; rather in our perception, we are all ‘WINNERS’ in our own right. You and your TGDC Team have given all of us a lot of positive energy; to hope against hope; inspired and motivated us to boost our self confidence and esteem; made couples to plan, think and draw out Plan of Action for the 10 day trip; given a sense of healthy competition in respect of garnering maximum votes available at the individual’s behest; and a lot many more intangible attributes, which were hitherto lying dormant. A million thanks to you all, may well be an understatement, for all the hidden goodies the Challenge has offered as a natural fallout.
The diciest aspect of this Challenge is the Selection Procedure that you and your team are going to adopt. While a free and fair methodology needs to be necessarily put in place, there lies a tremendous responsibility on your able shoulders, to sit on judgement between seasoned aspirants with a lot of driving experience in Indian conditions, coupled with teamwork, camaraderie and matured rationale behaviour vis – à– vis excited, ill-experienced frolicking naïve youthful upstarts, with all the wherewithal up their sleeves. The rather thin line of separation, only makes your job all the more tougher, in separating the ‘rice from the chaff’, delineating the lesser fortunate couples, from realising their cherished dream. In an effort to bring in transparency, irrespective of whatever yardstick you use, the primary focus should invariably be on assessing with an objective mindset, rather than a subjective mindset, with regard to the aspirant’s projected deliverables and associated latent mileage that would accrue, by virtue of the extensive publicity it has so far received. Nevertheless, we will not attempt to palliate our subdued anxieties in this regard, but content ourselves with the wishing that the elimination process will definitely take into consideration, the core skills that are a prerequisite to achieving Success and the Stated Purpose of this Challenge, resisting all forms of premeditated outcome and result.
In retrospect, we are of the firm opinion that all prospective participants are essentially ‘WINNERS ALL THE WAY’. There are ‘NO LOSERS’ as stated earlier and we hope and pray that this experience is given a new fillip, the next time it is staged, wherein the ground rules could be altered to select atleast one couple, from each of the Indian States and Union Territories, thereby giving fair and equitable representation to the cross section of the Indian populace. More the Merrier Concept will bring in its share of excitement and popularity.
May Absolute Wisdom in its entirety, prevail upon you and your team, to select the worthy trio for the final 3,000km / 10 day rendezvous on wheels.
HAVE A GRREEEAAATTTTT DAY !!!!!!!!!
VIJAY & GEETA
Posted by VIJAY & GEETA on 07/16 at 09:04 PM
Are you listening ?
I just updated and edited my Profile with uploading new snaps and the page Goes under Moderation ! what is this ? on the other hand your count down has begun and i am unable to do anything here and my friends get a -Ooops !! this is ridiculous ! you are running your website half-heartedly with mediocre quality.
Posted by Dr KS Anand on 07/17 at 01:24 AM
The rules remain the same since Day 1.
We are very fussy about profile pictures; and any time it notices a significant change, the system automatically puts applications back in moderation queue. I just checked and your application has been cleared already.
We have tried to run this campaign in a squeaky clean manner, but surely that has led to some inconvenience. Hope you will appreciate.
Posted by Sandip on 07/17 at 02:23 AM
Hey guys its a lot of thrill and excitement in this competition, also this fun filled game is really a relaxing time among the bsuy schedules and work… Expecting that i could also win this challenge and moving forward
Posted by Charles on 07/17 at 03:10 AM
There would definitely be many people, but for us, it is Sandip, so it is. Thanks Sandip and you all for this fantastic thing. You have re-ignited the flame and I appreciate you for that.
Posted by prem-shikha on 07/17 at 09:06 AM
Hoping to be in the challenge further.
Anand & Nischala
Posted by Ananda & Nischala on 07/17 at 10:28 AM