TATA SAFARI STORME - I AM EXPLORER


TATA SAFARI
I am Dharti,
I am Ambar,
I am Agni, Jal and Toofan,
I am One, but Strength of Many,
I am Me, The Tata Storme Explorer,
I am the One and Only!

I read and re-read the above lines on the poster hanging on Mr.India's office. We were sitting waiting for him in his oval-shaped conference room, which had a speaker box on one end ( from where we'd hear him ). The Tata Safari Storme Explorer was Mr.India's personal favourite and he endorsed it quite heavily - on TV, on Radio, on Net, on Billboards, every pubic place you can imagine. He never seemed to appear personally on those advertisements, as he always wore his invisible-bracelet. But everyone was quite familiar with his magnetic voice and we'd instantly know that, though invisible, he's very much present in all of them. And the jaw dropping maneuvering stunts that we saw, were also done by the man himself. In fact, several journalists were once invited to report the live shooting of one such dare-devil stunt. They couldn't spot the driver of the vehicle ( even with their powerful zoom-enhanced cameras ), as the Tata Safari Storme continued to mesmerize and overwhelm them continuously for hours with its unbelievable mind-boggling acts. Mr.India was behind the wheels, proving the words written on that 'poster' so true! Storme was indeed an incredible machine, and with Mr.India driving it - it was a power packed dynamite combo.


The Three Explorer Babes!

The Mr.India's Angels ( i.e our super gal's group ), had gotten an urgent invitation to meet with Mr.India himself, and we all were gathered for that. We considered ourselves the most dare-devil adventurous group, hence, we had named ourselves as Mr.India's Angels. The three of us i.e Shana, Mona and myself Dana had been bitten by the detective bug when we were teenagers ( having seen the movie Mr.India ), and since then we've been solving lot of mysteries in our neighbourhood, on our own. With time we were getting better and our achievements had even found their way to the pages of the local dailies. That's how Mr.India's PR noticed us and sent for us. There was a serious mission ahead, and according to Mr.India, our group was being considered for the job. Could we have asked for more? This was going to be the most thrilling assignment yet of our lives.

Mogambo's evil son Zogambo was rising, and rising quite fast. He had established himself as THE DON of all dark and underground places, the world over, creating quite a nuisance. Now he had menacingly expanded his empire as well, that included several overground intrackable terrains. These terrains ( sometimes rocky, hilly, deserted, steep or even thick jungles ) were not reachable by mere foot and were very difficult to navigate by ordinary vehicles too. For Zogambo & Gang it was easy though, as he had built a vast intricate system of deep underground tunnels, connecting all these various land-points across continents. The land-points held his father's incomplete mission of Inter-continental ballistic missiles, which currently were being powered with dangerous nuclear heads, whose blueprints Zogambo had managed to smuggle and was thus building his own brand of missile weapons in bulk, rapidly.

His demand was to be declared, the undisputed DON of this world, or be blown off, add to many other monetary/political demands. He had secret dealings with various governments of different countries too, in instigating one against the other ( also supplying them with his duplicate brand of dangerous missiles to target each other ). Currently, he was on very friendly terms with two of India's most hostile neighbours, and on their insistence, had placed a very dangerous missile trigger in India too, in the remote inaccessible land-point of Satora range. Merely pressing a button on that trigger, would wipe the whole country off the map. This trigger was also the most important one, as it was connected to others in different land-points, all over the globe. Zogambo's latest demand was for India, to hand over all the disputed areas to these hostile neighbours immediately. He hated India and Indians, and more so Mr.India who had finished his father Mogambo. Likewise, he wanted to finish India too as a revenge. The danger was very real and time ticking fast. We were awaiting more instructions from Mr.India on our course of action on how-to de-activate this trigger. Diffusing it, would make other triggers inactive too.

"Welcome Angels!", the voice in the speaker box distracted us from our thoughts, and we turned towards it - in full attention.
We greeted back at the familiar voice of Mr.India, as he continued, "As you all must have already been briefed why you all were invited here, I take it you understand that this job is very urgent and crucial. We believe your group is most ideal for this particular operation, based on all the good things we've heard about you till now."
We were thrilled on hearing that, and felt very proud too.
"In front of you on the table, are the required maps you'll need of this remote region, and guidelines to help you. You'll also have to keep a look out for the Pahadi-Danavs that infest the region. They guard the Satora hills land-point. They can smell humans from miles away and loves the taste of human blood. Zogambo has a special scientific gas-emitter that emits a certain gas which covers the zone just above the land-point, which fades away human-smell, hence the Pahadi-Danavs cannot attack them." Mr.India halted a while before continuing, "But the other parts of the region are not covered, hence humans never dare to go that way. However, you all will have the famous Mr.India invisible bracelet device, that I believe will further help, especially against these Pahadi-Danavs, though they'll be aware if you're near them, through the human smell. No one has ever worn this gadget except me. You all will get one each and on wearing it, you will become invisible to the world. Only the three of you will be able to see one another while wearing it."

Will we be able to see Mr.India too with it, we all wondered at once. As though hearing our thoughts, Mr.India spoke immediately, "No, though its similar technology it has a slight modification. Hence, you'll not be seeing me with it. Now, get ready for the task ahead and good luck."
With that, the speaker box went dead. Mr.India's PR man came in and gave us our own invisible bracelet devices. We took the maps/guides and headed out. The PR followed us out and handed us a set of keys.
"You'll be driving this," he said, as he pointed towards the SUV that stood. It was the Tata Safari Storme Explorer.
"Wow!" All of us gasped, looking at the beauty. But on this mission it'd become the mean beast too, especially on the rough road that lay ahead. Boy! Our adrenaline was pumped up even before we started. We couldn't wait anymore! Zogambo, Pahadi-Danavs here we come!!

TATA SAFARI
The most trusted companion in our mission - TATA STORME EXPLORER !!!

"Come on, let me drive too. You've been driving since morning. Not fair. Give us chance too," That was Shana complaining. We were out on our mission, all prepared, and it was true that I was driving the big SUV without a break. I just loved the machine and all its components. It was class of its own - simply majestic! It was always my dream to drive it, and my dream having come true, I didn't want to give up the pleasure of driving it so soon. The vehicle was a dream machine. Mr.India had filled its back with more sophisticated weaponry that we might need too, on this particular mission. Though I think, the invisible bracelet was our single most biggest weapon. And we all were wearing it. That was the fun part. While driving through the city ( heading for the hills ), we gave the other drivers on road quite a scare by wearing and removing it. We'd all appear and then vanish suddenly before them, while the vehicle still moved in the congested traffic.
"People will become suspicious, so lets not play," Mona warned, after which we decided not to confuse the Delhi public anymore. But now, miles out of the city, we had put the bracelets back on and were enjoying the surprised look on the occasional villagers that we passed. For them, it was a vehicle moving at full speed without any passengers - like a Ghost Vehicle!
"We'll have to slow down ahead, as the tricky ride will soon start," it was Mona again. She was carefully studying the maps and guiding us. Before that though, we halted a while for lunch and I let Shana take the wheels.

"See what you got us into," Mona exclaimed frustratedly. Our vehicle was submerged in the shallow waters that flowed from the nearby Satora hills. We were travelling a while now, with Shana behind the wheels, and came upon this shallow stream that we had to cross.
"Its clearly written in the guidelines that we should stay on the right all the time, but you moved left, and now we've landed straight in the deeper part of the stream, all thanks to you. You should've let Dana drive instead. This kinda terrain is just not for you! You're just a city chick."
Shana was close to tears. Mona's rebuke could be mean at times, specially when things went wrong. The vehicle was not moving an inch, and all her bravery show of driving big cars were thrown out of the window.
"What did I know? I thought the Safari will handle it okay. It does promise big things, don't they on TV?" Shana tried to defend herself.
"That doesn't mean we try to drive it in the middle of the ocean. Gal, grow some brains! You'll definitely make those Pahadi-Danavs eat us alive now. We are in their territory remember? Jeez!" Mona rolled her eyes. She was fuming, clearly irritated.
"Hold on guys!" I thought it was better to interrupt, else the two might start pulling each other's hair out any moment, "I think we can get us out of this mess."
"How?" Both of them asked, all at once. There looked at me incredulously, as if I spoke something alien.
"Hmmm...let me think," I replied, as I tried to figure it out.
We were indeed stuck deep. It'd take lots of careful maneuvering to get us out. The rocks beneath the water were uneven which made it very tricky. As I pondered, I heard Shana let out a loud blood-curdling cry just then.

"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat on freaking earth is that? Its coming right at us. OMG! OMG!" She looked terrified out of her wits. Her eyes were wide open, looking ahead of the car. We looked at the direction she was gaping at, in a frozen posture. A giant being was coming towards us, thumping the ground. It was huge. Our SUV would be the size of a cockroach in his hands.
"Its the Pahadi-Danav!" Shana answered her own question, which she had shrieked a while ago. The giant looked ugly and menacing, his yellow teeth gleaming in his dark brown hairy body. It had two sharp horns on its head, which had grisly black hair jutting out messily. And it was coming at us.
"What do we do now? He has seen us. Oh! God help us, help us. Where do we hide? We're stuck! OMG!" Shana was muttering, her teeth clattering in fright.
"Don't worry, we have the bracelets on. So he can't see us. Be calm and lets wait it out. Clearly with him heading for us, I think its best we should play dead for the moment." I tried to put up a brave face, though inside, I too was in jitters.

Within moments, the Pahadi-Danav stood just next to our SUV. We could see his hairy legs as thick as a tree-trunk with long black dirty toe tails, outside the window. He was breathing heavily that made the waters of the stream ripple hard and leaves of nearby trees shake. And before we knew it, our SUV was picked up and we were in mid-air. We were hanging several metres up in the air, where the giant held us in his claw-like hand. The Danav had the SUV in his hand ( plucked between his thumb and index finger ) just like a toy car, and we could see his fiery-red eyes looking through the windows curiously. His nose flared as he tried to sniff. He could clearly smell us, but could not see us. And it puzzled him. We just hoped, he didn't throw away the SUV or we'd all be dead.
All of a sudden, we then heard a loud thunderous growl coming from somewhere behind him, and this Pahadi-Danav ( who held the SUV ) got distracted with its sound. We saw another Danav coming towards us. It looked female in its appearance, but was as huge. Immediately, we felt our SUV landing in a thud, as the Danav quickly kept us back in ground and ran towards the female Danav, shaking the whole ground like an earthquake. We saw them hop off together, the air echoing with their roaring mating-growls, that made all the animals in neighbouring jungles hide deep in their burrows. With the Pahadi-Danav now gone, we were relieved and finally breathed freely.

"Hey, look," Shana said again, "that Danav put our vehicle on the right side of the stream, instead of where we were earlier. So, we can move the car now. Wow! Thank you so much Danav ji." She smiled happily, all her earlier fear now gone. The Pahadi-Danav got a new fan in Shana, it seemed.
Yes, indeed we were placed on the right side, that made the vehicle move smoothly once again. We couldn't thank the female Danav enough for distracting her partner with the mating-growl. Else, we wonder what would've happened to us.
"I think its their mating season," Mona said dryly , "and anyways, you better let Dana drive now. We don't want that to happen again. We still have an important task ahead."
We switched our seats quickly, while inside the car itself, and I took the wheels again.


The infamous Pahadi-Danavs guarding the land-point of Satora Range

"Yes, that's it," Mona said excitedly, pointing towards a peak. She had a powerful set of binoculars in her hands and was studying the terrain carefully. "I can see a flag like thing. That's got to be the land-point!"
We were deep in the jungles of Satora hills. It was the most remotest part on planet earth, without a shred of human existence. The journey so far had been incredible. We faced some serious altitudes challenges that we had to cover, to reach where we currently were. Due to the SUV's capacity to climb heights at almost 90+degrees and good suspension grip, we overcame them with ease. But the peak Mona was pointing at now was clearly a dangerous one. It had a narrow rocky, and uneven raw lane with thousands-feet deep deadly drops on the sides. And it was also a place prone to serious landslides. We doubted if we could take the vehicle ahead through it. But we had to try. The width of the lane was just half-an-inch more than the SUV itself and we had to be very careful. One wrong move and we'd be history. With caution, I started the vehicle again. I was never so nervous in my life. But the SUV didn't let down, it gripped tight too.
We moved the vehicle almost at snail's pace, up the steep narrow uneven un-cemented lane. We were not aware that, far away from the land-point, we were already being spotted. Zogambo's men who were patrolling the land-point, had gotten alert on seeing the approaching vehicle, and they also sent some of their guards down the hill to inspect the intruder.
"I think its best we put our combat armour on," Mona said. She was very sharp and alert all the time, and most intelligent of us three. While the other two got their armed vests and belts on, they slipped the same around me carefully as well, as I continued to drive slowly.

"Hey, is that a man I see coming down?" Shana interrupted. I halted the car, trying to see what Shana was pointing at.
"Yes, its a man alright. I think we have been spotted. He is coming down towards us." Mona said alarmed, "We have to be very careful now."
"Look! I see more," Shana said again. We spotted several more armed men coming towards us. They were still at a distance though.
"I think we'll have to abandon the vehicle for a while," I said, "Its good that the vehicle has attracted their attention. Let them come towards it, and we can go to the land-point meanwhile and get the trigger, while the SUV will keep them occupied."
We saw a line of men coming towards the SUV. They were all carrying guns, taking various positions and spreading out. But because we were wearing the invisible Mr.India bracelets they could not see us. Armed with the weaponry, we crept out of the vehicle and dashed into the woods. We trudged ahead towards the land-point while the guards moved closer and closer to our vehicle.

TATA SAFARITATA SAFARIWith the Mr.India Invisible Bracelets we carried out our mission incognito

What followed next was no less than a scene straight out of a thrilling action movie. Swiftly, we reached the land-point ( through the jungles, after having abandoned the SUV for a while ), that was now being guarded on outside only by three of Zogambo's men, others having set out to inspect our vehicle. With us invisible, the guards could not see us and we took our positions. Athletic Mona went from behind them and quickly inserted the strong sedative-injections on two of the guard's necks, who were unaware of the movements we were making around them, while Shana took on the third just in time before he spotted the other two. This instantly made all of them them unconscious and collapse on the floor. We then went inside to the interiors of the land-point. It was a complexly built sophisticated structure, inside the hollow cave of the hill. It had several flights of steps that led below to the main chamber that housed the trigger. Mona read out the structure directions from the guidelines she held, while we tried to find the chamber through a maze of pillars and corridors.

"That must be it," She pointed out, when we approached what looked like a glass capsule. Inside were several monitors and blinking buttons. On top was a transparent glass cabinet that housed the trigger inside. It was exactly like the photo-copy we had, for reference.
"You stand guard outside, while we'll go inside and diffuse it," I instructed Shana, "Signal us if you see anything suspicious or approaching."
Shana nodded nervously, while Mona and myself went inside the capsule. Mona kept reading out the guidelines, while I opened the cabinet and took out the trigger.
"It's code is in the one of the monitors," Mona said.
We tried to read each of the flashing monitors, trying to find the correct code. They were displaying a series of complicated numbers and alphabets, that looked like some algebra math problem. We had to spot if it flashed out any words or sentences. That'd be clue to our code.

"Be quick," We heard Shana, whispering from outside urgently, "I think I'm hearing sounds of someone coming this way."
Both Mona and myself looked up, alert. We hadn't found the code yet. We kept reading the numbers and alphabets rapidly, hoping we'll find the clue. Then as though a miracle the words "Destroy India" flashed on the screen, twice, in between the numbers.
"That's the clue, that's the clue, but we have to punch the opposite according to the guideline," Mona said excitedly, as though she found a Eureka moment.
I wasn't so sure, but punched in on the tiny qwerty keyboard attached to the trigger. Punching "Destroy India" would activate the missiles and destroy India and also perhaps the rest of the world in a ripple effect, but punching the opposite i.e "Donot Destroy India" would de-activate the trigger completely. As soon as I punched the code, to my surprise, all the monitors shut off instantly, and buttons stopped blinking too. Everything was dead silent. It felt eerie.
We then heard noises approaching us, loud and hurried.
"They are coming," Shana said again, in panic mode now.

Taking the trigger, we quickly darted into one corner. Indeed, someone was approaching hurriedly. We could hear footsteps.
"Don't breath, don't breath," Shana said, breathing the loudest herself.
"Whats going on? Where are all the men?" We heard someone say, as a slide door opened. It was a tunnel door, that opened from opposite end of where we had entered the land-point from. We saw one medium height man walk in, and going towards the capsule. It was Zogambo, we knew instantly, because the name was tatooed on his forehead. He was bald too, exactly like his notorious father, and wore the same suit.
"Where's the trigger? What's happening?" He noticed the missing trigger. Two other men rushed in, through the same slide door. They looked around holding up their guns.
"Whats going on? Where are the others?" Zogambo yelled furiously.
We knew we didn't have anymore time to waste. All three of us winked at each other, our signature Angel's wink, and swiftly took on one man each. I striked Zogambo from behind, like a bolt of lightning. Shana and Mona took on the other two. With our deadly sedative-injections deeply inserted in all their necks, it was a satisfaction to see the enemy of our country ( and also the world ) lying so life-less, helpless within seconds.

Taking the trigger, we sneaked out. When the rest of the guards arrived the scene, Zogambo would be long dead. We headed back down the hill towards our vehicle. Finding nothing of suspicion inside, the guards had left it and were heading back hurriedly towards the land-point to check if anyone got there instead. We got inside the SUV and slowly moved out of the place, on reverse gear. Once we reached the highway, we sped like mad.

TATA SAFARI

"Can't believe that reporter called us again for the interview. He's been hounding us ever since we appeared on international TV," Mona was saying.
We all were sitting relaxed on the SUV ( now ours for keeps, gifted by Mr.India himself ). Many diplomats from different nations were calling us, congratulating us on defeating Zogambo's plans and literally saving the world. We had become famous overnight, due to our successfully completed mission. We were awarded, and also being invited for news bytes appearances, interviews, reality shows, movies etc. For a while we responded merrily, but alas, we got tired of it all and decided to escape. Hence, we drove far off from the city, and now parked our SUV leisurely on an exotic undisclosed location, as we basked in nature's raw beauty all around us.
"There'll be more of them. That's why I've switched off my mobile," I said. On cue, the others instantly switched off theirs too, and we all burst out laughing!
~~~o~~~

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TATA SAFARII am Explorer - Runner-up!
Tata Safari Storme Explorer
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14 comments:

  1. Superb story!! Way to go, Nandini!

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  2. That was a lovely story Nandini...All the best.

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  3. I'm sure the tat Safari Storme would've taken you across the stream too... it is a great one for off-roading.
    Nice post with Danav ji there... :)

    Arvind Passey
    www.passey.info

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  4. The Mr India and Zogambo twist was quite creative. Best of luck.

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  5. Wonderful post Nandini. All the best for the contest :)

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  6. hey!! all the best for the contest :) you have quite an imagination...and nice idea to combine it with mr.india :)

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    Replies
    1. thanks for reading @preethi :-)

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  7. My Wishes for the contest

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