The judgment grew stronger as we closed into Jaisalmer the day after. This beautiful city always has me smiling, polished tarmac, vast open stretches of badlands and the prepossessing sky show every morning and evening. Having had enough time to rekindle with the city, I escaped the herd with our Adventure 7 for a quick tour. I say a quick tour because we were required back at the hotel for a briefing at 12. For what, you ask?
Dune bashing. That’s right. Standing at the centre of the circle was Vinod from the Mahindra Adventure team, giving out some pro guidance on how to drive and manoeuvre the terrain. Our tyre pressure was dropped, vehicles were loaded with a carton of bottles each, as we followed the leader into the dunes.
There are some moments when you don’t connect the dots; when you don’t look for words; when you stop reasoning. You just let yourself submerge in the surroundings because the experience around you seems fictitious. That was me, for the next few hours. Even the waves of sand that you see as you make a fast-paced turn. You could imagine yourself surfing the wave with the Thar, riding the current, bouncing off the ridges. And the ease with which it does it all, spectacular stuff. It’s got the right balance of weight, an amazing formula of a relatively short wheelbase with high ground clearance, great approach and departure angles, big wheel wells to loosen up the sand entangled on the underside, this is where its rugged appeal is accentuated. One word – dramatic.
Just like my last time at Mahindra’s off-road academy, I was left wanting for more. The Thar has surprised me, twice, with its off-road brilliance and as I said, there are many of us who don’t understand off-roading. But that’s for those who haven’t experienced things the way Mahindra Adventure imagines them. I’m definitely signing up for the next one!