All shippies are familiar with 'home revs' -- when a ship is headed back to home port, engine room boys incredibly manage to add a few extra revs to the propeller RPM to reach home a bit sooner!
I guess the same phenomenon was at work when we started from Kanpur at 6 AM on 12 Nov -- both Jaya and I were keen to reach home after a 3 week absence and when we finally stopped at Barhi for the night, I noted that I had driven 615 km during the day. Taking into account Indian driving conditions, 615 km is a decent distance to cover over a day. This was made possible mainly due to good roads and a good car. Actually, I could have (theoretically) just gone on and reached Jamshedpur during the night of 12 Nov itself but for my self-imposed rule of not driving on Indian roads after dark. Driving on Indian highways after dark (for any vehicle smaller than 5-ton) is suicidal and is best avoided by anyone who has longevity as one of the goals of his / her life.
After spending a night at Barhi (in a seedy hotel -- dreaming about longevity!) we started for Jamshedpur at 6 AM. The roads in Jharkhand are bad and the drive to Hazaribagh and then to Ramgarh was pretty painful. After Ramgarh, the road to Ranchi was reasonably good. The road from Ranchi to Jamshedpur was a mix of bad and good stretches and I had to drive slowly and carefully even on the good stretches because gigantic potholes / craters appeared without warning.
The car took the 'ups and downs' of the road with equal aplomb and I felt satisfied with its design and performance. We reached Jamshedpur by noon. Our first long (over 3500 km) drive in our new Maruti Swift had gone off very well. First impressions do count. Looks like my new car and I are headed for a very satisfying and long-lasting relationship. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Watch this space over the next few years.