Noida: Tania Dua Khosla (52) and Ritu Mehta (49), residents of Noida, are two friends who share the dream of travelling the world together. Both of them are successful entrepreneurs in their own right, running individual fashion apparel and accessories business for 20 years. However, in 2012, when Uthaan's Women Car Rally was about to take place, Ritu decided to participate and also encouraged Tania to do the same. This is how they embarked on their journey. Since then, this duo of Tania (Driver) and Ritu Mehta (Co-Driver/ Navigator) have participated in several rallies together.
Says Tania, “Driving and participating in car rallies was always my passion. However, I was extremely occupied with my business. I couldn't spare any time to pursue my passion. But after meeting Ritu, things changed and the spark ignited again.”
While talking about their adventurous journey and achievements, Ritu says, "We have participated in several car rallies, starting from Uthaan Car Rally in 2016, in which we won as second runner ups. All of the rallies hold special importance for us. The Isports Car Rally fetched us the FMSCI driving licence. Taj car rally brought us to the third level in our category. We bagged the first prize in Royal Rajasthan Rally 2017".
Their other achievements include getting a podium finish in Central Motorsports and in coupe Des Dames in Desert Storm in 2018. In 2019, Malwa Motorsports in Indore, they won the first prize. The year 2022 has also started with a bang for the duo by getting on to the podium in Central Motorsports plus ending up as Winners for INRRC (Central).
Recalling the early days of driving in the car rallies, Tania says, “Age is just a number. Today, I am 52 years old and when I first started to drive, I was 40. I drive a Thar 4X4.” Both Tania and Ritu are blessed with supportive families. Tania has 12 years old twins while Ritu is blessed with a 25-year-old daughter and a 21-year-old son.
Tania and Ritu have embarked on several adventures together. They told CitySpidey about their longest desert rally in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan’s Maruti Suzuki Northern sports Desert storm rally, which lasted for 5 days in 2018 from Bikaner to Jaisalmer. In this rally, these offroaders went to Sam desert, Thar desert, Dune Climbing, Dune Bashing and also got stuck in the desert. Some of the other cities they have travelled to include Agra, Indore, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Chandigarh and Indore.
Their journeys and rallies have not always been easy. They have faced life-threatening situations but their resilience has helped to tackle even the worst of things. Once in Indore, their Thar 4X4 couldn't take a full left turn and go close to the edge of the cliff. Immediately they got down & put big stones near tyres so that it didn't skid. Tania says, “Whenever I have faced such an incident, I have never been negative. I try to keep my mind calm, alert with a belief that I will find a way out of this situation." These adventurous ladies have also won accolades such as 'Most courageous woman award' from The Uthaan rally.
The biggest support pillar for these ladies has been Tania's mother Nirupama Dua. Tania says, “Since the day I started doing car rallies, from day one, my mother has helped me a lot. She has been a big supporter of mine. She takes care of Ritu’s kids too while we are out. Our rally is a party time for everyone."
Ritu won an award in 2019 in the Parliamentarian rally as a Navigator to for M K. Jain, an ex congress MLA. While explaining her role as a navigator, Ritu says, “I have to keep track of Time, Speed and Distance. A navigator has to synchronize all three. A navigator is someone to help the driver with maintaining the pace.”
Though car rallying is their passion, the duo is fond of other sports such as river rafting. Their other interests lie in peaceful hotel stays and soothing themselves with soulful music and trying a varied cuisine. Both of them indeed know how to live their lives to the fullest.