The places where moments reside

F1 : The most memorable experience of speed

F 1 - a two letter name to the outside world but a lot more to those who follow it religiously every year…Its more hooking than drugs or anything of that matter. The sound of the deafening engines sound like the chants of arti in a temple, the efficiency of the pit crew puts even specialists behind. 11 years ago when I started watching it, 5 years back when I was jealous to see my friend watch the US Grand prix from the grandstands, I told myself….one day I am gonna watch it…LIVE…

For the past 18 months I followed each and every development damn close…the news, the construction, the nod, everything..the feeling was just like being promised a long awaited present. The excitement reached a peak in april when the deadline came in july. Each and everyday passed like ages. Getting the approval for tickets was not easy task from home with the cheapest ones being sold out and parents not agreeing to such a a huge amount “just for a car race”?. It was not cricket. But who cared? I don’t watch cricket so never cared. Nevertheless it was left to me , “do as u feel like….its your money”. I just closed my eyes and listened to my heart. It said, “ Buddy, this is the moment you had been waiting for all these years. It’s a lifetime opportunity. Think of all the legends you have admired all these years. Think Ferrari - your fav. of yesteryears, think schumi, the god , on whose retirement you left watching watching f 1, he`s back, in india, in the f 1 car, think Force India- your fighters, the team who has been giving you reasons to celebrate for the past 2 years with points, the only team who is draped in the colours of india, the only team who can make your wildest dream of hearing the national anthem on the podium possible. Plus you`ll be a part of history. Something achieved rarely. Think speeds @ 320 kms. I opened my eyes and said “YES”.
Tried talking to the others also , but it was just me. Side by side my buddy ashwin kept the pestering on through messages, “ go for it. Duniya ki kyun sun raha hai?? Paagal hai kya?? Abbey tickets khatam ho jayenge , yeh chance dobara nahin aayega.” The day I decided to book the tickets I called him online and we spent 2 hours looking at the layout of the track and deciding on the best view and stand. The final selection burned a hole in my pocket but it was worth it, more than worth. The excitement and passion had reached such a crescendo that I packed my bags and left for delhi just 2 day after diwali. The race meant something to me. On the day of the race, it felt like Katrina was about to propose to me. More than me, it was the others who were pushing me to go. First it was the call from the parents, then friends. Armed with a camera and a 4 gb card inside, I set off to the most memorable day in my life. Everything went off smoothly until the bus started moving. I left at 12.30 with the race scheduled at 3. I thought that I had plenty of time…I was so wrong….. that day it felt like the whole country wanted to see the race…damn the jams. It was all crawling at a snail`s pace. The media frenzy about f 1 30 days before the race had created quite a frenzy. They were first expecting another CWG mess, but the astounding track just turned things around and the rush just built up.

The jam went for kms and kms with no end in sight…it looked like the country was having only one thing on their minds that day – speed, and I was cursing beneath my breath whenever I was the time on my watch. Never ever in my life had I watched so many broken down cars on the roads…45 , some with punctures , overheating engines etc. I reached the venue just 25 minutes before the start of the race. Looking at the watch, capturing snaps of the huge crowd (never expected 95000 to turn up for the race) , scouting the entrance gate, sprinting to the gates, getting frisked at the gate, allowed entry , searching for the seat…it was all like a super marathon against time. I never ever wanted time to slow down this much before… Carrying a force india flag just sat down on my seat and tried to gauge the happening damn quickly. When I was outside the gates, all I could hear was the live commentary and thought that maybe the race had started but when I finally got down to my seat I realized that the warm up lap was about to start in 5 mins. My mind just went into overdrive…what should I do?? Should I capture the crowd ? Or the track ? Should I just close my eyes and soak in the sound of the f 1 engines? Should I start clicking from the camera? Pics or videos ? Majority what ? Should I look at the track or the giant screen infront of me showing the rest of the track? Should I listen to the voice of steve slater whom I have heard for so long ? Should I shout on top of my voice on the sight of the first car ? What about the earplugs ? 

So many things were running through my mind…I was going totally crazy because I knew that this was one moment I had waited for so long.. I wanted to savour each and every moment. For the probably first time in my life pretty gals took a backseat and all I thought was F 1. For them it might be just another outing , for me it was passion, a chance whom few get to be a part of history. The loudest cheer went off when the cars started lining up on the grid for the start of the race. Whatever I had watched for so many years on the tv screen happened on the giant screen right infront of me….the teams clearing the track, the safety car pulling up behind…the magical 5 red lights coming up and the golden words “ And when they go out , The Indian Grand prix is a Go !!” . That moment just brought tears into my eyes.. When the roar went up on the green light, I just joined in on the top of my voice….emptying my lungs. The race started and so did my work with the camera…zoom in, out, in, out, video, pic…. The various combos and permutations just kept on going on as I did not decide what I will capture…all I wanted the cars and speed.. the giant screen in front of me served as a perfect zoom in spot for every details, the track and happenings captured without zoom. Was a tough job capturing a car in a single frame but luckily got some rare shots as well…3 cars in a single frame… Filling up 3 gb of camera, decided to give the camera a rest and just watch the race with the eyes…I knew I had captured enough memories to keep me happy for this lifetime. Soaking in the environment after the race ended, realized one thing – u have favourites when u watch it on tv, when you watch live you have only one favourite – the race.

Made a 4 hour travel back, terribly exhausted but the most delighted ever. Have kept the 3 day tickets safe and even the earplugs… when I think of the season 2012 I remember one line..I`ll be back….which stand I don’t know? With friends or someone else , I don’t care , but for…. The race, to hear the national anthem before the start of the race, to see the drivers parade, to see force india get a p 1 so that the world can hear the winners anthem, to enjoy speed @ 320 kms again… this blog and this experience would not been possible for 2 of my buddies- Ashwin, for pestering me to go for the tickets , to tell me to savour the moment inspite of not making himself to the track, for being super excited after the race , for reminding me to the fact that I was going to be a part of history and to Mohsin – to tell me to forget somebody and concentrate fully on the race, to live the life fully during those few hours. Thank u guys specially and everyone who was either friendly or jealous…I just loved that Sunday….
F1 : The most memorable experience of speed F1 : The most memorable experience of speed Reviewed by Shwetabh on 3:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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