My back story
I’m blessed with a wide variety of network of people – my girlfriends from my residential complex, their husbands, growing children, my friends through my cooking interest, my husband’s friends through his interest in automobiles, my children’s friends through their various interests and then a variety of people that I meet everyday at various places like parties, markets, get-togethers etc. This is one thing that has made my life very interesting, exciting and full of possibilities. Perhaps being just by myself, following my own way of living / thinking and not trying to know people of different kinds, I would have limited the scope of my growth drastically. Yes, there are things that I am great at and that give me immense joy, but I would have missed out on some other wonderful things that are out there in this world, waiting to be explored and enjoyed.
One such thing is the world of cars.
I was never really too much into cars. My exposure to cars was limited to the Fiat that my father had, that too bought much later when I was in college and then the various cars that my husband has bought. I was a passive occupant of the cars, looking at them at means of getting from one place to another, just a technological advancement meant to make our lives easier and simpler. I looked at them as things you had for the sake of comfort, a tool that was perfect to make lives of customers easier. This was despite the fact that my husband was an automobile lover, with long chats with friends about performance, power and features. And then my son got massively interested in the world of speed and technology.
My son, the lover of mechanics and design
In fact so interested he got that he took up Mechanical engineering in college to understand the mechanics of engines. He designed several prototypes of engines for this various semester projects as part of teams and individually. He even designed a custom aircraft engine for his third year project that was appreciated by the Head of his Department.
He followed it up with a summer internship at Honda motors where he had the time of his life! Observing the working of engines closely, noting their mechanics, learning about their design and engineering – all this thrilled him so much that I couldn’t help but get infected by his enthusiasm. I feel that was the point where my affair with cars started as well. But more on that, in a bit.
So, back to my son. My son Aditya is a car lover. Since he is currently in the final year of engineering and busy with his final project (again involving car engine designs at a leading automobile company), he is not able to visit us back home very often. But earlier whenever we used to visit, he would spend hours in our car, updating some features, installing some systems and inspecting everything fully. In fact he is so good at it that all our friends would come home asking him for advice and tips! Here is Aditya’s latest picture where he realized his deep and long cherished dream of flying an aircraft, after a master-class on aircraft engines!
My affair with cars
So like I mentioned earlier, my true tryst with cars started when I got infected with my son’s enthusiasm. The more I saw how happy he was while studying and learning more about them, the more I wanted to be part of his happiness. The more he told me about things he learnt and people he met through his various projects on car and aircraft engines, the more I realized that this is a vibrant world full of exciting mysteries waiting to be unlocked. A person like me who previously thought that cars were appliances to go from point A to point B started believing that cars were actually magic wands that could make any of your wishes comes true!
Yeah, yeah, well something like that!
With newly acquired gadgets like smart-phone and i-pad, I started learning a lot more about cars. Slowly, I was finding myself getting enmeshed in this fascinating world and accessible information on my fingertips made it much easier. I started spending time on websites of various car manufacturers and learning about their various offerings. I started sharing this information with my husband who enjoyed these conversations with me and then included me in his chats with friends. Sitting their talking to those boys is a fun experience, I tell you! I also discovered that many of my girlfriends were already into cars or found my discussions interesting. The car-loving gang (or CLG, as it is known in our apartments) grew prosperous.
But there were limitations that I began noticing as I got deeper into the field. Say, I learn about the new pick-up truck from Tata, called the Tata Xenon, and start a conversation in the CLG about it, I wouldn’t get much response. On the contrary if I happen to mention it to my relatives in the US, they would have lots to say, given the fact that a lot of people there drive pick-up trucks. Similarly if I try to talk of a SUV to my girl gang, they would not have anything interesting to offer me as most of them own hatch-backs or even luxury sedans in a few cases.
This meant that I had to constantly sift my topics, not being able to find the people for each category at all times. In fact this was not all. I found several other limitations too. Below is what immediately comes to my mind:
- A very limited set of people to interact with, and mostly from same backgrounds. Even if I add my husband’s friends and those of my children, most of us come from fairly similar context hence not with much variation of discussion on different cars, designs and most importantly – experiences while traveling in their cars. For example: Nobody in my circle would ever talk about backpacking!
- I had to wait for the next CLG gathering, which was mostly on Sunday afternoons; or had to make calls to friends who may or may not be available for conversations if I wanted to talk about something specific related to cars that I recently found or loved.
- Plus, there was added logistical challenge of physical meeting / telephone conversations – everything costs money!
The more I became aware of these limitations, the more I longed to break these barriers and open the world of knowledge and networking about cars. But what could I do? Where could I go? How could I solve my issues?
Guardian angel listening?
As if there was somebody up there listening to my string of questions, one day something showed up on my Facebook page. It was called Car Connect.
Before I proceed, let me tell you a little more about Car Connect, courtesy their ‘About Us’ page:
Some people are passionate about her, some love her to death while some can’t stand the thought of being away from her even for a single day. What does your car mean to you? Tell us in your own special way. If we are impressed, you earn bragging rights and a badge. Time to gear up and make your car proud.
Magma understands your passion for cars. That’s why we bring you a portal that lets you enjoy the ultimate car experience. You can share your car experiences, compare the latest cars, find cars that fall right under your budget, be updated with the latest and changing trends of the global automobile industry and above all, interact with like-minded people who share a passion for cars just like you. So tighten your seat-belts and enjoy the ride, courtesy Magma.
Now, what excited me was Car Connect’s various fantastic features like:
- My profile: I got a chance to create my unique profile where I could catalogue all my likes and dislikes about cars, where I could mention my dream trip and what’s more? I could share all my wonderful car and long drive experiences as well.
- Linked to Facebook: Facebook is the Maharaja of social networking and I truly am a patron of it. Since the time I joined it, I have discovered friends from around the world who I knew at various stages of my life – school, college, various cities and occasions. By the sheer fact that Car Connect uses Facebook profiles to log in people, it opens a plethora of networks to various people through individual Facebook networks. This is the best way to find out and connect with car lovers from around the world, because more than often they are all on Facebook!
- Share experiences: If my road trip experiences were liked by other car enthusiasts like my, they could like it on, share it on their Facebook page and we could connect with each other!
- Badges: There are various badges offered to you once you become a part of the Car Connect family. Based on your involvement on the portal and experiences shared by you, you keep upgrading your status on the network. Your current badge helps other users identify you and helps you reach out to many more car lovers too. I have recently started listing all my car experiences and am totally getting addicted to this magical world!
- Getting listed in most ‘popular’ Car / Long drive experience: If other users of Car connect love your stories and shared experiences, you can show up on the home page as the forum hero!! Trust me it is great to be there amidst a group of people who share your interest in cars and be recognized among them, by them! Wow, I love this feature!
Other Car Connect features
- Long drive options: Car Connect allows you to select starting point to see all route options. The list of experiences shared by various connoisseurs is a great starting point as you plan your travels and adventures!
- Compare cars: If you’re looking to buy a new car or upgrade your current one, Car Connect is there for you too. You just have to enter a few specifications and it draws up results for you instantly with its extensive market know-how. This is what the compare page looks like:
- New car advice: Looking for a new car? CarConnect feature provides a platform for the users to compare their desired cars. A detailed information including the specifications and features would be sent to the user in a PDF format. This will also include various user reviews and useful links related to the selected cars. Here’s a sample.
- Car news: Here’s a one-stop for all news you wanted on cars. Constantly being updated, Car Connect lists interesting happenings in the world of automobiles in one place for you.
- New launches: In addition to all of the above, you can also find information on new cars being launched in the market. This can really help your decision making process as you plan to buy or upgrade your car, and stay in the know-how of what’s happening in this rapidly changing industry.
My connect with Car Connect
So far, my journey with Car Connect has been simply fantastic! In my realm of things that make my life interesting and thrilling, it has added a wonderful new feather. In fact if I was a boring one-dimensional bird earlier with a smug misconception that I have all avenues for fun, Car connect changed that perception by making my life much more colorful, and not only that it now has added a whole new vibrancy to my life by introducing me to wonderful people, experiences and possibilities! Something like this, if I may add:
Well, when you’re done admiring my artistic accomplishments, do visit the Car Connect website to be a part of the family! We all welcome you and are looking forward to sharing our experience with you 🙂