FORMULA ONE FANDOM
After the champagne has been sprayed and the chequered flag has been waved, it is clear why India loves F1 and similar foreign-made extravaganzas. It’s noisy. There are no traffic lights. It’s easy to ogle at the girls. And there’s another reason. It tells us a lot about our politicians. No, not how superior they might think they may be to item girls, which Ajay Maken thinks is the term for the grid girls and the reason why he was not invited. But an F1 provides a splendid environment in which to find out how they behave. For instance, those of us (and in this I include a vast section of the BJP) who are flummoxed by L.K. Advani’s refusal to retire, only have to look at Michael Schumacher’s career. If Schumacher can come out of retirement and drive for Mercedes why can’t Advani go on yet another yatra? Sebastian Vettel or Jenson Button don’t complain, why should BJP’S perennially young leaders? And unlike Schumacher, Advani is kind enough to give them a ride in his Volvo. Now it’s not his fault if the air-conditioning did not work and Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj felt suffocated. Tsk, tsk. And those who’ve questioned why Sonia G is so mysterious, especially about her hospital bills, relax. So is another powerful woman, Lady G. It has nothing to do with Gaga being of Italian extraction, but everything to do with her desi-fication. Tricolour bun, sitar as accompaniment, handicrafts shopping at Dilli Haat. We natives are overwhelmed.
There are other F1 comparisons which will help us understand our ruling elite much better.
Why Rahul Gandhi is never ready. Now we know. It’s performance anxiety. Look at Metallica. They refused to perform in front of disorderly crowds in Gurgaon but were perfectly in tune in more urbane Bangalore for over three hours. Please, people, give the young man some breathing space. Stand back and don’t scream.
What Mayawati really, really wants. She loved that the entire stretch of 5.14 km was named after Gautam Buddha, one of her icons, and that she got the chance to inaugurate it in front of a gobsmacked global audience. But what she would really like is for it now to be used for an elephant race.
Why is Digvijaya Singh in politics. Purely for our entertainment. Just like Mr Bean a.k.a. Rowan Atkinson, who stood in the grandstand and pulled enough funny faces to distract people from the Felipe Massa-lewis Hamilton crash.
Why is Pranab Mukherjee so important. Clearly because he’s India’s Bernie Ecclestone. He’s ageless, he controls the purse strings, and he has quite a temper. Don’t cross him or else.
Why do we need Priyanka Gandhi. Silly question. How else would we notice an appendage like leather-clad Robert Vadra wandering around the F1 after-party dressed as a biker dude? He exists because she does.
Is the Far-far-far Left relevant. Of course. Who else will talk about India’s poverty every time we manage to hold a world class event? Why should we deny ourselves the delights of listening to Shekhar Kapur, the newly minted male Arundhati Roy. You never know: Kapur could go so far left he might even turn right.
IF SCHUMACHER CAN COME OUT OF RETIREMENT AND DRIVE FOR MERCEDES WHY CAN’T ADVANI GO ON YET ANOTHER YATRA?