It was a Sunday I had waited for, for a very, very long time. Two days almost. I woke up at the crack of dawn, around 12:30pm, buzzing with excitement at the impending high-action drama that was to follow. High-action on the part of my favourite sports persons, not me - I was only going to be adjusting the body into a comfortable supine position most conducive to telly-watching.
Cooked a quickie pasta lunch for the Sister since she has strange food cravings every fortnight or so and simple daal-chawal just doesn't cut it. Finished Facebooking for a bit and got down to business.
I had a packed schedule to adhere to. Beginning with the Bahrain GP.Expectations ran high and there was a palpable tension in the air of the Haji household as various family members seated themselves in accordance with their F1 loyalties. Self assumed comfy left corner slot in the McLaren stand. Cousin Suhail and Br Ozz occupied opposite right corner slot, being the Ferrari faction. Sister and mother looked disgusted and left because we made them turn off 'Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani' and switched to Raceday.
Feeling glad that BMW did so well in qualifying, I put my faith in ze Germans thinking McLaren and BMW would sweep the podium. After all, two little red spots on the radar could be overcome, non? NO! Goddammit.
Lights on, lights off, Go, Go, GO! Except Mr Hamilton remained stationary, while the rest of the field whizzed past. Massa took over P1 right from the first turn and so it remained till he came home with the top podium place. Iceman Kimi made it a comfy Ferrari 1-2. Sigh. Hamilton added to his already incredible start by trying to mount Alonso's Renault from behind (see pic)! What was this? Delayed vengeance for last year? Gadzooks! Ferrari had a thumping victory, BMW walked in tall and proud to take the lead in the Constructor's and all of a sudden Self was feeling very hard done by. Good on you, Heikki, but McLaren's been looking dodgy in these past two races.
Moments of the race:
1. The start that ended it all.
2. Impressive BMW driving and speed throughout.
3. Hamilton's screw-up with Alonso. ("Racing incident" indeed. Hmmph.)
4. Superb driving from Fisichella in the Force India team, and the great battle between him and Hamilton for three or four laps before Hammy finally managed to over take him. And really, Lewis, there was no need for your juvenile hand gesture to Fisi. Why the hell should he have moved? You were racing.
5. The Button and Coulthard tussle.
6. Fisi finishing one place ahead of Hamilton. Haw haw.
7. Superb racing by Alonso, again.
Other exciting occurrences during that evening were extraneous to the actual race. A sudden shriek from the materfamilias jerked our attention to the fact that the inverter was spontaneously combusting and that disturbing smell of burning wires was spreading through the domestic territory. In addition to this, and for dramatic effect, thin wisps of evil, black smoke were emanating from said inverter. In a frenzied manner, all of us family members started yelling our opinions on the matter and speculating on the best method to combat this hazardous phenomenon of flaming electronic devices. For a longish time nothing of any actual use was proposed until better sense prevailed and it was decided to nip the problem in the bud. Or plug. We used our 'kaanoon ka lamba haath' personified by Ozz, who stood on tiptoe on a chair, grappled with the main switch and finally managed to kill the inverter. With the result that all the power in the house was also killed. Hence ending our mouth-agape-viewing of the Bahrain GP. Truth be told, I didn't give a bloody damn any more. I learnt soon, from various taunting texts and jibes that Ferrari had reigned supreme and McLaren indeed 'had gone red in the face'.
Cut to an hour later, helpful electrician had restored power and semblance of sanity to household and the TV was ready to entertain us again.
Onwards to Hyderabad where the second of three ICL finals was taking place. With great enthusiasm, the entire Haji family plus Cousin Suhail forgot past divisions and sat down as one to cheer on the Lahore Badshahs. The Lahore Badshahs had to win, 'and of course they will today!' was the general consensus.
Nyet. Nothing doing. Scores level in the last over. Both teams at 130, and the match was to be decided by a bowl-out. Ha ha, say the Hajis. The Pakis are so good at bowling, it's a cinch. (I myself was having internal, horrified flashback of T20 India-Pak bowl-out...) And so it went. The Hyderbad Heroes kept their heads at a time they needed to. Their bowlers did what presumably all bowlers across the world, from indoor drawing-room cricket, to gully-cricket, to net-practice to international level cricket bowlers are supposed to do, viz. hit the stumps. The Lahore Badshahs screwed it all up in the end. Zero out of three hits. The Heroes got a healthy three out of four hits and it was all over. Poor Inzy, having to apologize over and over and over for his team's infuriating performances. Ah, well, still can't help loving them. 'Hai jazbaa-e-junoon toh himmat na haar' etc.
Saving grace: Abdul Razzaq won Man of the Series, a trophy woth Rs 1 crore and a cheque of Rs 40 lacs.
In the meanwhile I learnt that ManU had just barely drawn with Middlesborough, giving Chelsea a very good chance to take the top spot of the EPL. Grrr. Rooney came in with a late equaliser or else it was another huge upset in keeping with the day's events thus far. So now Man United are only three points ahead on the table at 77.
Later on in the night (the damn Sunday just wasn't getting over), I managed to catch Rafael Nadal lose the Sony Ericsson final, 6-2, 6-4, to Davydenko. I mean, I like Nikolay, but I wanted Rafa to win, okay???
A few hours later, in the middle of the night, Sister, Ozz, Suhail and self were playing spades. Girls versus boys. We drew at one game all after a sensational landslide victory in the first round. It was not a good feeling.
All in all, this Sunday was a write off. As Skinny rightly mentioned, I was in a 'talk to me and I'll kill you' mood.
Pics stolen off: formula1.com, EPL site, ICL site, espn
Remembering (and Re-Introducing) Vinod Khanna
18 hours ago