10th,May,2014 was as usual yet another agonizing wait this year too for our railway tickets to our hometown to get confirmed. We had booked tickets for Kerala as per earliest booking date falling 2 months back. However even after all that pain, Indian Railways still chooses to keep itâ€™s users hanging by their teeth even at the last moment.
The IRCTC screen was screaming stillâ€¦.WL1 (Waiting List 1)â€¦and thatâ€™s how it was even a week prior to that.
Clock struck 9 pmâ€¦.I decided to give Indian Railways the royal kick!!! Cancelled all onward and return tickets toKerala and decided to ride the chariotâ€¦..my XYLO. It was a split decision and was welcomed by all at home, and the next day we were on the road at 9 am heading towards Kerala.
We took the Mumbai-Pune-Kolhapur-Bangalore-Salem-Coimbatore-Palakkad-Wadakancherry route to reach our destination Kuttancherry in Kerala. We broke our journey at Bangalore for the night and headed for Kerala around noon to reach our final destination by 9pm the second day.
Now coming to the scorching 1500km traversed across 3 states in 2 days on our Mahindra Xylo was simply â€œdriving blissâ€. The sights and sounds experienced along the way were unparalleled only next to walking. Even sitting in the comfort of a AC Railway coach, you donâ€™t get the pleasure of watching our beautiful country that close. Also you rule the roadâ€¦so you decide where to stopâ€¦for even just gazing around. All this a far cry from being just another railway passenger being towed away by a silly engine across the landscape.
Further in Kerala, we decided to stay a few nights in forest cottages at Rippon in Wyanad district famous for itâ€™s lush greenery and wildlife. Again our Xylo effortlessly traversed north Kerala into Calicut and then uphill on to the Wyanad hill range. Other than gorging into luscious â€˜Kozhikodan Chicken Biriyaniâ€ and fish enroute at select hotels, we wound our way several hairpin bends and found our way on to Rippon mount by evening. Our decline into the forest cottages was a sheer drop of mother earth at around 45 degrees downwardsâ€¦something that I was unsure whether our Xylo would do. Our path was blinded by thick fog/mist and depreciating light, and the road was as good as a river bed. Again Xylo did the trick to its perfection and we reached safely amongst excited hotel staff who welcomed us with a special lookâ€¦.WHY?.. That was the first day, after many many months fog/mist decided to descend on the forest cottage resort.
Back at Kochi after few days, we were joined by my uncle and aunty. During our stay there, a chance visit to south Indiaâ€™s largest mall, LULU MALL with my uncle and aunt in our Xylo brought out a sudden decision. My uncle who is Retd from the Armed Forces was suitably impressed in that ride that he came up with the suggestion of whether he could join us back to Mumbai on our Xylo. For me it was a YES-YES-YES all the way.
Next day, by 12pm we were cruising out of Kochi towards Trichur- Palakkad- Coimbatore-Salem and finally reached Bangalore by 11pm after mandatory â€œbladder breaksâ€/ â€œchai breaksâ€ enroute. Our journey was smooth except for the fact that the roof carrier started to come off itâ€™s moorings, and hence our luggage on top was precariously perched, so much so that I had to take a call to repair the same immediately or drive slower. As time was not on our side, we decided the latter. However, not once during these tense moments did our braveheart â€œXyloâ€ give up.
Slowly but surely it ensured that we all had a comfortable ride. A quick nap of 8 hours at Bangalore at our friendâ€™s place was enough for us to get back on the road towards Mumbai. Following the same path of Hosur- Nipani- Kolhapur we cruised slow and steadily to reach Nipani around 7.30pm. After a nice dinner there, we decided to skip Kolhapur halt and move on the same night towards Mumbai. This was one stretch, I must say again our Xylo did not ditch me considering the poorly lit national highway, and very few pit stops, we cruised along gingerly to reach Pune by 3.30am. A quick refuel and some garam masala chai was enough for both mind and machine to get back to the last leg â€¦..onward MUMMMMBBBAAAAI. Surprisingly the Pune Expressway was crowded than normal with huge trucks and buses, hence our descent to Mumbai was slower than normal. We finally touched base at Goregaon at my brotherâ€™s place at 6 am to wish him Good Morning!!!
I have to admit that all this was not possible, had it not been for our braveheart Mahindra Xylo. Jokes apart, I never had to open the bonnet even once anywhere along the 3500km traversed across four states. Further not a single puncture and no overheating or AC issues. All this I can attribute to the loving care this Xylo has got from few good men and women from G3MOTORS at Malad and Mira Road. Santosh Rajane and Priyesh needs a special mention for their timely support to the vehicle whenever the same came in for servicing. Both have been empathetic to my needs and have always the suggested the best for me and the vehicle. Other names that I can recollect are Ganesh Shetty, Chetan, Amol, Kavita, Sudheer, Vijaya .
I wish them and your team as a whole to greater success in making such braveheart chariots like the Xylo fromMAHINDRA more endearing to families like us.