Blog: Dave LeggettLittle pleasures

Dave Leggett | 12 May 2004

My daily post seems to bring an ever-increasing load of junk mail and irrelevant press releases that are destined for ‘file in (recycling) bin’ treatment. But there are some things that come regularly and put a smile on my face. One is Autocar India. The Indian perspective on its growing auto industry is enough in itself to make it worth a look. But the real icing on the cake is the refreshingly offbeat subject matter and written style. Below are extracts from an article by one of the publication’s writers, Rishad Saam Mehta, who has been on the road for the last 34 months and some 50,000 km working on Autocar’s very readable ‘Driving Destinations’ series.

Here he’s describing some of the privations of being on the road rather than in the office:

‘While my colleagues have access to a sparkling and fragrant WC in that corporate building, I’ve been driven to desperation by dysentery to take a dump at an ungodly hour in the middle of an elephant corridor in Assam.’

From his published Driving Destinations series, at Tanglang Pass (5328m), Ladakh, in Mercedes E-class, camping for the night:

‘Last evening I was in a jam. I was sitting at the wheel of a Merc, dressed in a flimsy T-shirt and a pair of shorts. Daylight was fading fast outside and I was parked at a shepherd’s tent at one of the world’s highest mountain passes. I couldn’t master the courage to switch off the engine as the heater would have stopped working, dropping the temperature from 20 deg to the –5 deg outside. All my woollens were in a backpack on the back seat of a Maruti 800 parked 500 metres away, and it took me twenty minutes to coax myself into stepping out…doing that 500m dash in my thermal underwear. My two co-travellers were rolling in delirium, enveloped in the cruel embrace of Altitude Mountain Sickness under a couple of 3kg blankets inside a shepherd’s tent nearby, which smelt as if some very amorous mountain goats had had a vigorous romp inside. After I pulled on my woollies, I had to join them (my colleagues – not the goats) there, because despite it being an olfactory disaster, it had a bed and warm blankets.’


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