Destiny’s ride

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A Hindi movie of the early nineties, ‘Dil hai ke manta nahi’, turned out to be immensely popular. It had a simple, flowing story which revolves around two young souls. Pooja and Raghu (portrayed by Pooja Bhatt and Aamir Khan). Depicting a journey that is fraught with danger, excitement, drama and more, the story evolves as Pooja runs away from home. She is in love with an actor who is wooing her to fulfill his ulterior motives. Pooja’s father, a wealthy businessman, is aware, and keen to save his daughter of the trouble. On her way to Bangalore, Pooja comes across press reporter Raghu, as she boards a bus to meet her lover. The two ride the same bus. While Pooja is out to meet her lover Raghu is out to cover an assignment. The journey that follows is eventful, and draws the two closer. Pooja and Raghu eventually come to like each other, and fall in love.

The bus that Pooja and Raghu ride during their journey of the Tata make. It together is of Tata make. It seems to be a LPO 1510. Albeit in luxury guise with considerable rear overhang the bus in the movie depicts a luxury coach. Its considerable rear overhang suggests that it seats more people. The LPO 1510 couls seat up to 52 passengers depending upon the configuration of the seats.

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In the movie, the bus is shown negotiating the picturesque ghats of National Highway four (NH4). It may be safely assumed that it is powered by a Tata 697 series engine. This engine was popular with bus operators in the mid 80s and early ninetees. It eventually went out of production, and replaced a Cummins engine. The 697 series however made a comeback in 2001, albeit in a revised form. The revised 697 range was turbocharged and Euro compliant. It was re-introduced in medium commercial vehicles, and made them price competitive. The Tata LPO 1510 chassis proved to be a popular choice with bus operators. In 2008, at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre, a Long-Distance Variant (LDV) of a CNG LPO 1510 bus chassis was also launched. The LPO 1510 forward control bus platform was eventually upgraded to LP/LPO 1512. The LP/LPO 1512 continues to be a popular choice with bus operators. It continues to find favour with private and public bus operators.

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