I always turn to the sports pages first, which records people’s accomplishments. The front page of a newspaper has nothing but man’s failures.
– Chief Justice Earl Warren
Today Narain Karthikeyan beat Michael Schumacher in the first qualifying times, at Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix. If you don`t know Narain, read on chances are you are a man and know Sania Mirza. No, she is not related Mirza Galibh.
Indian sport is going through a honeymoon phase. No, I am not trying to relate Narain and Sania here…Narain is already married and Sania has just started looking for the Mr Right who would be six-feet tall and yet would understand her.
In recent times, the twosomes have made an average Indian proud. I say ‘the average` because, I consider my self an ‘average Indian.` If you are not impressed by the exploits of these two sports men – one a Formula One driver and the other an upcoming tennis player…there is nothing to worry. Chances are you are extremely intelligent…. which leads us to the fact that you are a foreigner and thus don`t care about sports in India.
The two met recently. Don`t ask me the place. I did not arrange it. And the two had a conversation, which was overheard by an enterprising journalist called JV Rajan. That awesome journo even had the gall to record the conversation.
Everything below this line is as true as any of his other posts can get.
Narain: Hey Sania!
Sania: Hi Brother!
Narain: Now, that`s an insult. Why did you have to cut me out right at the outset? You know that I am married and won`t try anything stupid?
Sania: I thought you were quite fast. So I needed to be faster.
Narain: I am fast only when I am in a car. Haven`t you heard me talk in all those interviews I have given since making it to the Formula One? I can barely talk.
Sania: My other tells me that those that don`t talk…are the most dangerous.
Narain: Anyways, congrats on your recent success.
Sania: And hey…congrats to you too. You did not do that bad either.
Narain: Thanks. So what is up?
Sania: Even though I love this new-found celebrity status…sometimes I hate it.
Sania: The other day…one gossip magazine published my mobile number and ever since I have been getting calls. One psycho called, and when I said it was wrong number…he ends up asking me “Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone?”
Narain: Smart chap. Why don`t you quit tennis. You could be normal like all others.
Sania: That is one option, but without a tennis racquet, I am like a fish without a Formula One car.
Narain: What has a fish got to do with a Formula One car?
Sania: Sorry…I thought you would be impressed with my analogy.
Narain: Some of my own friends are pretty impressed with you.
Sania: Really? And I thought only the men were after my looks.
Narain: No, these friends are men.
Sania: Oh…I see.
Narain: I am married you see. Now, I cannot run around the trees with the pit-babes.
Sania: That`s actually good for you.
Narain: What about you? Any boy-friend?
Sania: Yeah…I am looking for one. And in all probability I will keep looking for one….you know…once you are a celebrity…you cannot really give the name of your boy-friend.
Narain: One of these days somebody is going to catch you and your Mr Right in his/her mobile phone and sell it to Mid-Day. Like they did to Kareena and her boy friend.
Sania: I will be careful. Thanks for the warning. I wanted to ask you about your Formula One cars. If I want one, can I have it?
Narain: You could…but only after I crash. Which, I am sure to…considering the 300+ km/hour speed range that I have to stick to.
Sania: That`s cool. Aren`t you scared of going fast?
Narain: No not really…just that once you touch the 300kms/hr speeds…your hat keeps flying off and you got to use one hand to hold it.
Sania: Is it safe to be driving with one hand?
Narain: I always did the same in India. What can work on Indian roads can definitely work on the F1 tracks.
Sania: That`s really neat. What do you think is the plus point of being a celebrity?
Narain: Hmmm….I guess once you are a celebrity…when others get bored in your company…they think something is wrong with them. For example, they never suspect me.
Sania: Same pinch! It happened with me also. Now, all my friends think I am too cool for their comfort.
Sania: Narain, what advice would you give me to improve on my success?
Narain: I would suggest you follow what Ralph Charell once said: “Avoid the crowd. Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.”
Sania: But I don`t play chess!
Narain: I know…you nose-stud… I am asking you to be a tennis player…and not the racquet or the ball.
Sania: Are you telling me that you just try to be the driver, and not the car?
Narain: Precisely. And that is what has made me India`s first Formula One driver.
Narain: Ok…I need to go now. Got to race.
Sania: Sure. Bye.