I flew down to Coimbatore in December 2012 to drive with Narain. Yes, Narain Karthikeyan, the legendary Formula 1 driver from India. I was right next to him as he drove his twin seater at a mind-blowing… oops, body-blowing 260 kmph for full five rounds of the racing circuit there on the outskirts of Coimbatore.
‘Can I take my camera with me,’ I had asked before we started.
He smiled and said gently, ‘Yes, if you’re eager to buy a new one.’ I promptly shelved the idea and focused on enjoying… oops again, on preventing myself from being literally blown out of the car despite all the belts and harnesses!
Well, it on that very day in Coimbatore that I saw, for the very first time, a real racing car being dissected in front of my eyes. The circuit surgeons gently pried open the skin and peered deep into its mind and heart to try and find out why it wasn’t intent on purring the way it was supposed to… Narain himself was there stroking it lovingly until it decided to act well.
‘This doesn’t look so formidable when the back and front parts are kept a few feet away,’ I told myself, and thought, ‘Sitting next to Narain is an honour, but I wish I drive one some time in my life.’ This wish came true in September 2013… but then that is another story that happened in Kuala Lumpur.
15 September 2013