Monday, September 8, 2008

Some Things Never Change.

Sunday, the 7th of September,2008. At one of the most beautiful tracks that my eyes have ever set sight on, the radio on a particular Renault was turned on. A man with a heavy Spanish accent said to his engineers that drops of rain had started to fall on certain parts of the track. A commentator,with an English accent that always hangs on the verge of annoying me,spoke of how exciting the race was going to be. I thought, 'Isn't it already?'.

A couple of laps further into the Belgian Grand Prix, Papa's boy Lewis Hamilton had closed in on Kimi Raikkonen. After a brilliant start, well-planned pit stops and superbly controlled drive of over 35 laps, Kimi seemed vulnerable. Just as Alonso had mentioned over the radio, parts of the track saw rain. With Lewis hunting him down, Kimi had everything to lose. He would have to control his drive so he wouldn't go skating across the track,for a date with the barriers and yet be fast enough to keep Lewis behind.(Now that wouldn't be difficult for Schumi,but as good as Kimi is,he isn't Schumi right? ) Finally Lewis made his move.He came alongside Kimi,but cut a chicane to take the lead.Apparently,he backed off to give the lead back to Kimi. I started to release the breath that I'd held in for the last five seconds,but froze!Both the drivers went from left to right,swinging across the track,just before the powerful Mclaren got ahead of Kimi. And it seemed to me,that Kimi's front wing 'touched' Hamilton's rear wheel.

I stood up,looked away from the TV and turned to see the huge portrait of Lord Krishna that sat in the middle of our living room. I prayed,from the purest part of my heart.My eyes were moving towards the Ganapathy idol,when Steve Slater went bonkers in the commentary box! I turned back,to see Lewis lose control of his car.Kimi and Lewis exchanged the lead a couple of times and then the race turned into what looked like an action scene from a movie.Kimi seemed to have trained very hard to perform a 360 degree spin. I pulled on my hair till a couple of strands came off and curled around my fingers. I yelled, "Mom, You've got to see this!". She came running and after about 3 seconds,she said "Don't worry, Lewis will crash".You see, we think she's good luck for Kimi. I was chewing on the nail that I'd bitten off, when all the excitement and fear died. Kimi lost control,but this time there was no escape. He hit the barriers,hard : with only two laps to go.I fell into my chair,unable to believe what had just happened. On seeing Lewis take the chequered flag, I turned off the television set.

Mom was upset. Me? After replying to a couple of 'proud' Mclaren fans and changing my status on the networking sites that i frequent, I shut myself in my bathroom and tried to accept 'reality'. This race meant SO much to Kimi. His favorite track,he'd won here thrice over the last three years and he had worked so hard to silence the mindless critics who were out talking about how his career would never see another victory. As I sat on my bathroom floor( This because my father would certainly not appreciate me being upset for a 27 year old Finn) thinking of what Kimi was probably going through, I felt a tear roll down my cheek. I was crying. Crying for a man whose numerous engine failures and tyre ruptures,just a couple of years back(2002-2006 in Mclaren), would amuse me. Last I cried in my bathroom was on the day of the Japanese Grand Prix,2006,the penultimate race of the year,when Michael had a good chance of winning his eighth and would be final championship title.He was in the lead with 16 laps to go,when his engine blew. Alonso took the race and the title that year. I cannot explain in words, the agony I went through. I cursed Lady Luck and obviously, the man i hated the most back then,Fernando Alonso. I felt things had never been that unfair,ever! Now,even if I wasn't as upset as I was on that sickening evening, I let my tears run loose and cried my heart out.

I had assumed that after Michael left,I could sit back,relax and simply enjoy the sport. But no. I started to suffer of a headache induced by all the sobbing.After thinking about poor Kimi,I sat to think about myself. While watching the sport, my heart is always in my mouth, I have my own rituals of praying at regular intervals and so on. Once a race is over, I'm either so elated that I could burst a bunch of blood vessels, or , I go into depression. When Schumi was around, topping an exam..winning an event..maybe even winning a lottery wouldn't come close to the joy of seeing him jump on the top step of the podium. Yes, other sports do this to me too. Take for example, the ManU-Chelsea and Germany-Spain matches that took place a couple of months back.And of course, THE Wimbledon final where Roger played Rafa. As nervous as these matches have made me, they haven't brought me to a state of nervous breakdown,that any ordinary Formula1 race can,with utmost ease.I've lost count of the abuses that I've hurled, the strands of hair that I've lost, nails that I have chewed on and swallowed,perhaps, and all the mindless arguments I've had with my friends.

I had thought of this many times before,but today I made my decision.Lady Luck wasn't going to favour those who I supported. I was punishing myself,watching these races. I figured,I was simply too addicted to a sport that would one day result in me being carried out of my home in a stretcher. Yes, I'd decided that I wouldn't watch F1 again. I'd probably read the results in the papers, but no torturing myself again. No more F1. Period.
Three hours later, I get an SMS that tells me, Lewis has been penalized and demoted to third, for cutting across the chicane and not handing the lead back to Kimi properly. Massa has been declared the race winner.
So hey, who doesn't come across failures,right? Stuff like this happens all the time,don't you think? We should never give up. Not until we taste success! Now I look forward to seeing a place that I absolutely love. In about six days, its MONZA baby!!!

Ferrari uber Alles!!!!!


Srivatsa K R said...

Hey gal...awesome write-up ve given perfect descriptions of what happened on sunday evening...even i felt the same way (not as much as you did for sure)...and you ve explained them as it happened...

I knew before that you were a F1 fan..but, today I came to know that you are "A die-hard" F1 fan...Hats off to you..

would definitely want to meet you some day.. ;)

Nakki said...

Good work i say. Gave a better report on Sunday's happenings than anywhere else.

Being passionate abt a sport is really good. It teaches a lotta things in life.

keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

I didn't understand what's so amateur in this blog!
Nice write-up, though it's from a genre I less know about :)

Akshata said...

Sorry, cannot articulate further. :)
Keep it coming.
Hail Kimi.

soda said...

good jaab i better than to undereshtimate urself soooo much :)
oh and btw u can ask a certain someone *ahem ahem* to gift u those strands of hair that u sure that certain someone wudnt miss a couple of strands of hair from his head :D

waj said...

Wow, a real Adrenaline producer!!!!!!!

To be Honest, when I saw the length of the blog, i thought I shud give it to Insomnia affected ppl(coz.. i thought it'll definitely make me sleep)

But I had to read it (at least to critisize it)

Once i started reading it, i really didnt come to know when it got over!

I felt like i was in Belgium watching the race live!

okay coming to criticism part:
1.Why didnt U write blog in a way which would have helped me to Critisize U
2.why was it so short'n'sweet, why wasnt it long'n'sweeter?
3.why did U tell me NOW that U write blogs(from now on U'll get at least one hit to Ur Blog, if it is updated regularly ONLY)
4.What the hell r u doing in an Engineering College when U have soooo much of talent in writing & sooo much interest in sports

coming to serious critisism:
Biting nails is not appreciated

Delin said...

I'd say 'truly impressive'.... and wud still feel that it ws an understatement !

Cpl of more such posts, n even I'd end being an F1 fan, I'm sure!


Somebody Else said...

That, dear girl, was so wonderfully written, I wish I could articulate that well about a sport. Alas I patronise more pedestrian sport such as Cricket. And it made me want to watch F1 a little. :)

Soda's comment is fodder for thought though. Makes sense. You want us to ask for ekshtra strands for you, ma'am? :p

Merin Mandanna said...

NO,I'd love it if you both never told/asked ANY-one about anything. :P
And thanks,loads!:) To get that from you is...all a first-time-blogger can ask for! ;) :)

gautam dn said...

OHO! I am the PROUD mclaren fan huh..I am the one who sent you the message ...and YOU made me read this...I really can t believe you...i STopped insulting your face..and you made me read this...another biased version of events from a ferrari fan..; Finally Lewis hamilton gives us an interesting race...and these boring snobs who stick to rulebooks somehow overturn the results..if a sport can be decided by a few old DUDEs...its just sad..on the track the best racer won....but on paper it says that the baby massa won...the mclaren( hamilton) vs ferrari battle continues though sure no one felt like penalising KIMI when he crashed into SUTIL because cmon he s just FORCE INDIA...HAMILTON is gonna win...and then hes gonna turn around and show the middle finger to those FIA opinion...YOUR a ferrari a mclaren fan..its nothing personal ..and note, i havent attacked schumi...just FIA ( which is actually Ferrari)

gautam dn said...

and after you ve read all that please give me HOUSE..please!

Merin Mandanna said...

I figure i owe you a 'thank you' , for not attacking Schumi? :P lol.

gautam dn said...

The euro mentality is not something i just invented on the spot...Ive read it in many articles...This mentality is very well known...the jealosy towards the british in the sporting arena...esp with football...ppl are now saying its been extended to lewis hamilton...i ve got links to prove it...and most racing greats like niki lauda, jackie stewart and so on...are firmly with mclaren...mclaren have the data to prove ham backed off...and are gonna appeal...and hamilton has done some amzing comebacks this year...and tottally deserves the championship...remeber the rain races...remeber one particular race where he lost a lot of time in pits and traffic but still made up and won...hes going for the kill unlike massa who was happily cruising around in the last race...

gautam dn said...

last year in MONZA it was a mclaren one two...alonso and hamilton..i cant believe im sayin this...but i wish alonso was till in merc...he would ve been close to hamilton...amazing driver...fernando alonso and fernando torres are aweseome...and i used to hate alonso....

nihalv said...

Im feeling i walked into a merin-gautam arguement here.
First off,claps all around for the excellent writing skills and ability to depict something of that magnitude with such aplomb.
Loved the article and would love if one was written every other minute :p
I'm not gonna talk about the silly FIA thing because it tramples over the sheen of the write-up itself.
My heart sank when i came to the part where you were done with F1,but then a timely msg saved from yours truly saved the day.:D (as usual).
Aye,good stuff anyway,and looking forward to more.
P.S-Spa wasn't there in ' its not three times in the last three years that Kimi won :p

siddh said...

You know those rounds in some reality shows where they make a person surprise the other member of his team with a hitherto unknown skill, though they both know each other so well.
Well, this seems like one of them :) You really left me astonished. That your post would make a person so aloof from the F1 world, who's seen it only through your eyes, actually feel and live the moments as you potrayed them, would mean you have done a fantabulous job :)
I especially loved the end. Very metaphorical (Whether you intended it that way or not:))

Keep going Merin, I would absolutely love to read more of your posts.

siddh said...

PS: I read your post the day you sent me the link and was ready with my comment also(yeah, even before we chatted:)). I didn't send it though because I wanted to talk to you first. Anyway,since that will take even more time now, I finally decided to post.

siddh said...

I did read the same day but I didn't post my comment. And something else about that day... me and my Sidzoo were looking at entries from people who wanted to get into Scholars' Avenue when I showed him your post without telling him its you. His reaction was "Awesome, we should take this person. I am giving a thumbs up" :)

M Ramya said...

mer..! its one thing to speak about what u love, totally another to put it into words. ur write up is very impressive, like these articles written by distinguished writers i read in well known magazines. i had told u i wont read the F1 stuff but once i started i couldnt stop reading! truely an "adrenalin pumper" as someone said.

M Ramya said...

and i loved reading all ur comments too:).

Merin Mandanna said...

:D Thank you! :)