F1 memories by child guest Srishti Bhatnagar
Moms usually do not get calls at midnight. Not a good sign and I am not even speaking about the moral issues, but more worried about the graveness (is it the right word? My brother suggested the word) of the news from the other end. So that night when her phone buzzed at around 12.30 am and when she jumped up to attention at the sight of the name of the caller, three pairs of eyes, one of which was mine,stared at her unblinkingly ; disbelievingly ( brother says this is wrong English here- well booo to him). She talked hurriedly to whom she addressed as Sir. Gosh! A Sir? And finally when she was done with the conversation (which seemed to stretch till eternity) she whispered shocked- “ We are going to the Formula one race tomorrow. Institute’s order” (She was the Assistant Professor in the the Jaypee Institute of IT). I was shocked. My brother stammered “you are kidding!” (he always does when he is excited) She just nodded dumbly and immediately a mini pandemonium broke loose. I squealed in delight. For the first time I had that three letter word for my mom- AWE. My brother started excitedly chattering and stammering simultaneously. Papa started grumbling and mumbling. Nothing much conclusive happened after that. I just remember dozing off to a confused, ecstatic, restless sleep.
Jump to next morning, which happened to be total chaos, even before I, the official chaos creator was up awake. I woke up to find mom and papa arguing. Papa was in no mood to waste the Sunday on some pointy nosed carts , racing like maniacs and would rather laze away at home. I didn’t wait to watch the result. I already knew what was going to happen . It would just be Mom, brother and myself and I was right. But Papa gracefully offered to drop us at the venue as were late to catch the chartered bus from Mom’s institute. But that was a mistake! I will come to that in a minute.
And so we reached all washed and tidied up; a bit grumpy though, because we were not allowed to carry our cameras. “We might be violating protocols’ mom had said in an officious manner. Mom and her protocols!
Egad! (that is something I picked up from Archie comics. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?) To my amazement and wonder the road leading to the venue were filled with Audis, Jaguars, Benz, limousines and our poor swift felt totally out of place among all the grandness.
“Great ! all we need are BPL cards” commented my brother. Even My mom who considers herself above all those “show sha baazi “ was surprisingly very much subdued and made Papa swear upon his soul not to alight from the car, come what may. The reason was obviously obvious (can I say that?) Sunday- Lazing away plans- Dress…etc etc! Yes you can connect the dots.
We scurried off after bidding a hasty goodbye to papa, who was wearing a smug smile now that we were gone, in search of the chartered bus to meet Mom’s colleagues. And when we found them, another full on drama was unfolding over there. One of mom’s colleague’s three year old daughter was throwing a mega tantrum. Reason- Kids below five years of age weren’t allowed. She had come all geared up with Formula one accessories-cap, water bottle, t shirt and the likes least expecting that she would be turned away so unceremoniously. And she bellowed screamed and screeched but to no avail. Would anyone believe it? A three year old and F 1 racing? God! Could she even spell formula? Any ways li’l miss pampered brat was finally packed off along with her poor parents (God, save them!) and we were ushered inside the grand stands finally.
The race was yet to begin and we started sizing up our surroundings. The course or the track was vast and seemed to stretch on endlessly. Just opposite our stands across the track was another such and a little bit to our left was what was that now? The victory platform or podium.. . We scowled and glared at mom when we realised that we were the only ones without a camera while people around us showed off their canons and Nikons. I sheepishly took out my cell phone and tried clicking some pictures as it was imperative to collect some proof to show off to my friends. And that was when my brother exclaimed or literally shrieked ‘ SHARUKH KHAN!!!!” Now you see Sharukh other than being a superstar from Bollywood happens to be our family or khaandani deity. So everything else drifted away and only he remained in our focus like those cheap shaadi camera works. Every other thing became a blur. And yes, I do remember a lanky someone called Deepika Padukone somewhere in my visual field but I don’t remember when or where because as they say my sights were trained on The God. It went left as he walked towards left. It went downstairs as he strode down to mingle with the participants. It again came up as he walked to his seat and took his place. But no matter how much you idolise a person, one tends to get bored of continuously staring a person especially if the person does not stare back at you. I shook off my disappointment at not being noticed by the star and tried to concentrate at what was going on. After texting about a hundred smses, a 200 rs coke and a short speech of around 300 words the race finally started. I took on the challenge of clicking a race car in motion and after about four or five attempts got the hang of it and managed to click a couple of snaps. My cheers of joy and achievement managed to make the other kids (the Jaypee faculty kids) notice us and finally we got talking. After that, time seemed to move fast. I have to admit the kids were more fun that staring at a star. Images blurred again and only our stand remained focused, but this time the focus was on the people around me instead of some distant heavenly object. In no time, it was time to head back home but not before some more fun moments at Sagar Ratna where we stopped by for dinner . A fun filled eventful day you can say.
Oh did I say who won and how he won? Well it was one Mr V. (you know how their names are!) And how? Ah! Well I think I got busy with my eye due to some irritation … oh well! Let me confess. I don’t remember! Now come on! I am just a normal thirteen year old girl still crossing over (that’s a term chachi asked me to use ) from childhood. My brother calls me a dim witted neo teenager (not that he isn’t one) but call me whatever, I am just me and I believe in being me rather than trying to be someone else , who I am not. Now did that make sense?
With special thanks to Chachi and My brother Srajan
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