CHENNAI: Remember the times when we would constantly bang our a remote-controlled cars against the walls because of lack of space and an arena?
Well, for anyone who has dreamed of operating one on a track, your moment has arrived!
Located on the 200 feet road of Zamin Pallavaram, is an active sports, entertainment and differentiated dining startup — Take Diversion, which houses Chennai’s first RC track (remote control car racing) — ‘Re-Zoom’, first indoor paint ball arena ‘Re-load’, a fitness programme ‘Re-fit’ and a fine dining restaurant.
The start-up, which has been conducting pre-launch games for two years, went live recently, and its founders Karthik Ramakrishnan and Kartik Vignesh Nateshan are ecstatic about the response so far.
As we enter the 10,000 sq ft premises, the indoor paintball arena grabs our attention. It’s built like a strategic war base. “We are the only indoor paintball arena in the city and we create games within the game!” claims Ramakrishnan. Confused? The traditional paintball games are in the ‘shoot and eliminate’ format. So, a person who gets hit once or twice is eliminated from the game and doesn’t feel that it was money worth spending.
“We have set up hostage situations, bomb diffusion scenarios and war themes to make the game more simulating and dynamic,” explains the 40-year-old.
Vignesh, the 32-year-old co-founder, says that they were looking to provide Chennaiites a niche arena that created an experience for its customers. “The journey started almost four years back when we realised that there are avenues for entertainment in the city…but none for experience when compared to other cities. The existing ones are located far off from city limits and did not cater to every need of the customer — say like indoor game set up, good food and so on,” he says.
We visit the RC track and Ramakrishnan says, “Did you know that Chennai has the most number of professional RC players? They tour across the country for tournaments and races. It’s sad we didn’t have a track here till now!”
He preps an electric RC car that’s ready to tear up the track. We walk up to the viewing podium, with our remote, from which the nature of the track is visible to the player. “Go ahead,” says Karthik and, we begin to press and toggle the remote. A couple of bumps and crashes later, the car’s on track, racing, drifting and turning. “The cars are crash-proof and can go up to 60 kmph to 70 kmph on the track,” he reassures.
Calling themselves amateurs in the sport, they say that RC car racing was unknown to the general public two years ago. “Before we began, we had a list of about 42 games and we shortlisted a few. RC came as a surprise to us,” narrates Vignesh. In their search to know more about the sport, they stumbled upon Joy Rising, a RC car hobby centre in the city. “It’s run by the late poet Kannadasan’s grandson Murali who is a national champion in RC racing. And soon we started travelling with him to different cities to see tournaments and get a whiff of the sport,” he adds.
Today, Take Diversion’s RC track houses over a dozen cars, a fully functional track and the expertise to conduct their own RC tournament. “We recently conducted the very first RC tournament ‘Reverb’ here with professional RC drivers and we are also looking to make it a national event…wherein, after city chapters of the tournament, the team/person/city with leading points, will become the winner…something similar to the Formula racing events,” they explain.
RC and Chennai
Cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and Goa are in the groove, while Chennai is still slightly unaware of the hobby/game/sport. Even if there are people who know about the hobby, there are not many places for them to approach. “At Take Diversion, people can hire and drive the RC car at Rs 150 for
15 minutes. If you decide to invest in a car, then the cost of using the track is less.”
For night lovers
They conduct paintball and RC racing until late night. “We are give the same experience to customers, during the day and at night. We also conduct corporate outings and are planning Chennai’s first paintball tournament for corporates in July.
With the lifestyle of city dwellers changing rapidly, the duo opine that people do not have time for fitness. Take Diversion conducts cross fitness training which predominantly uses one’s own body weight to develop stamina, agility and strength. “We don’t run behind crazy goals. We take the organic path to see end results and so far people love it. We also conduct self-defense classes for children.”
Tennis, Archery, Cricket
Record your game
Paintball players can hire a go-pro camera at Take Diversion, record the whole game, and take it in a pen-drive.
For details, call their office at Pallavaram 65654654