Celebrities get behind wheels at the second ASEAN-India Car Rally

Tuesday 04 December 2012, 10:09 AM by

India's flag bearers in the second ASEAN-India Car Rally comprise of an MP, an actor and a Limca book record holder in adventure sports. Team India would be lead by Tarun Vijay, who is a BJP MP and a travel enthusiast as well. Vijay is multi-talented and has dealt with a lot of things in life. Besides being a parliamentarian, he is an author, freelance journalist and a social worker.

Vijay, who will participate in the rally for the first time told to PTI, "We have a 1000 years old cultural relation. This will open our way to economic and knowledge based relationship and more Indians will start looking towards east then towards west. This is going to create a lot of awareness, especially in countries which were once colonised and were always looking towards the west."

Vijay, a former editor of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) weekly Panchajanya further added, "This will change the complete framework of our relationship with eastern countries, this rally is an adrenaline, giving strength to our ties with ASEAN. More connectivity, more prosperity, more happiness for the people."

Vijay's co-driver in car 8 is Deputy Secretary Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix, Ejji K Umamhaesh. Popularly known as Ejji, Umamhaesh is fond of fast cars and was a speed racer when he was young. He even took part in the inaugural rally from India to Indonesia. In January 2007, Ejji was the sole Indian to participate in the Budapest-Bamako Car Rally, which is a Trans-Europe and Trans-Africa rally that begins from Hungary and passes through Austria, Italy, Spain, France, Western Sahara, Morocco, Mauritania and Mali.

Ejji in 2011 drove 8000 km in merely 20 days to various historical, cultural and anthropological sites in the country. He said, "I had earlier participated in the ASEAN Car rally in 2004, when it ran from Guwahati to Batam (Indonesia) and it is an amazing experience."

The third one in the group is Jyoti Kalash, who apart from being a resident commissioner of Nagaland, is also a film actor and a travel enthusiast. He has a very high academic qualification. He pursued his B. Tech from IIT Kanpur and then completed his MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. He also pursued a diploma degree in acting from the National School of Drama in 1984. Initially he worked into theatre but later started to work in Films and at present has a good number of projects in hand.

Jyoti Kalash said, "I got this opportunity at the 11th hour. I was not expecting this but I got a call from CII. In 2004, it was such a thrilling experience and I am looking forward to the same adventure. The route is almost the same but we will pass through different terrains, different weather conditions and it challenges you."

He further added, “Acting is my hobby. I picked it up in the initial stage of my life. I performed in school and colleges. When I passed out, I did a diploma from NSD. I came in touch with a lot of celebrities such as Anupam Kher and Amrish Puri. I felt close to thisfield. I got my first offer when I did the role of a journalist.”