Monday, October 31, 2011

Mayawati in fifth gear!

Maanana padega - Behenji delivers! What a track! And what a race! I have been to quite a few international F1 circuits since my husband is an F1 fanatic. But the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Mayaland took my breath away.True confession: I went as a sceptic and was braced for disasters, big and small. But the two days spent in Noida were absolute eyeopeners. And I am not talking about just the Formula One event. Whether Mayawati ( India's original bag lady) or her brother make 30% on every deal cleared in her state is not relevant for now. Show me one neta who is 'clean' and I'll show you a miracle.Everybody takes cuts on everything - directly or through relatives. But not everybody delivers. Mayawati delivered big time. And going by all the massive projects coming up on both sides of the superb expressway, Noida is the place to invest in. As a real estate tycoon I met at a post-F1 party boasted, "I have already trebled my investment." I went gaga at the sight of Mayawati (you can keep your Lady!)! Vettel received his magnificent silver cup from our Behenji, but refrained from spraying her with the celebratory champagne. So impressed am I with Mayawati, I shall propose erecting her statues all over India... with or without the famous handbag!
*************
This appeared in the Sunday Times, before the race.

Vroom Vroom – Force India Vs. Farce India

It’s back to the same old, sadela story : Why Formula One ? Which India are we living in? The argument remains a constant. It’s the peg that changes.This time the peg is Formula One. Voices raised against the Indian debut of the world’s most exciting motor sports’ event are asking, “Do we need such a sport in a country that cannot offer potable drinking water to its citizens?” The answer is obvious : No. We don’t need Formula One in India. The operative word being ‘need’. Extend that to other sports and what do you get? Exactly the same answer. Do we ‘need’ cricket, tennis, badminton,hockey,football, weight lifting,archery? Can we really afford to spend millions on creating infrastructure to host international competitions?What about our pathetic track record?Have we forgotten the CAG debacle already? Why are we screwing up our priorities? Who cares a damn about those speed demons racing around a 5.137km long track at insane speeds? Why are we backing a race that only attracts the elite? How many people in India even own cars? What happens to the swanky Buddh International Circuit at Noida once the race finishes? What’s in it for us?? Valid questions. But we could pose exactly the same queries when it comes to any desi khel and khiladi. So, let’s drop it.
We have become experts at self-flagellation. And we happily allow ourselves to be flogged in public by anybody with an opinion. A lot of negative stories have appeared in the foreign press about the ‘inappropriateness’ of it all. It is either an ‘How dare India break into this prestigious circuit?”, or a snigger- snigger, “ Oh well…. the natives are restless again,” reaction. Most of the reportage has focused on the obvious contradictions and contrasts, and have been written by people assuming a lofty, judgmental tone. It’s the familiar ‘ Bechara India Story’ getting rehashed for the umpteenth time. The point being missed is this : It is not what Formula One can do for India.Rather, it is what India can do for Formula One. Let’s get that straight. India has the upper hand in this game. We have the numbers. And we have the dosh. At a time when Europe is reeling and facing one of its worst financial crises, India is the obvious destination to tap. And the canny man who runs Formula One like an old fashioned despot – Bernie Ecclestone – knows that. European circuits have been done to death. And even die hard fans are slightly bored. The last time Formula One was seen as sexy was when Singapore introduced the night race, with a circuit that snaked through the island state. Singaporean authorities were smart enough to extract their pound of flesh from the deal . F1 turned out to be a win-win situation for the hosts and for Bernie. The sponsors were left in a happy space , too, and got back more than they’d bargained for, given the high visibility generated by the event. Singapore tourism received a big, fat boost and everybody went home grinning. How India leverages this opportunity to its best advantage, depends on us. Let those foreign journos trash India for staging this extravaganza. Let a few countries issue travel advisories telling their folks to stay away. The truth of the matter is, F1 bosses know precisely why they are here – to make money. More money. F1 has been languishing for a while in its old avatar. No superheroes have emerged after Michael Schumacher retired ( and then ‘un’-retired). Much was expected from the wonderboy,Lewis Hamilton, who failed to deliver. And the new-ish kid on the block,Sebastian Vettel may be a devil with his hot wheels, but lacks charisma. Besides, all eyes will be on his team mate Mark Webber ( the Grand Prix Championship works on a complicated formula ) who is expected to bag the top slot at Buddh. That leaves our boy Narain Karthikeyan racing in front of a home crowd. Besides, strange bedfellows, Vijay Mallya and Subroto Roy, who have combined forces for their rechristened team which features Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta.
Who will make it to the podium? Will the Buddh International Circuit throw up a brand new star… not an F1 race driver, mind you, but India? Will we be able to pull it off with the required panache and prove critics wrong? We have beaten Russia to it ( the Sochi Circuit built at a cost of 987.3 crores will be ready in 2014). And experts say, the Buddh track with 16 corners, 60 laps and an expected speed of 315kph, is one of he best in the world. But as we all know, F1 isn’t just about speed.Or cars. It’s a turbo-charged entertainment package.This one comes with Lady Gaga. It rocks!
************
I haven't forgotten - Ra.One review tomorrow...

21 comments:

Ashwini Sane said...

M'am, You should have just driven down towards UP then you would understand how bad the roads are and the standards of living. Development is good but not lop sided.You cant sell cake when the people cant afford bread.
Even Lady Gaga had to tone down her crazy get up.
The foreigners are there for the money, nothing more and nothing less-just like you mentioned.

Appu said...

Ra.One - All Time Blockbuster.
Ki mein jhoot boliya?

Jogeshwar said...

Noida may be the place to invest in. Investors may have doubled or trebled their capital but what about the wage labourers. UP has a population of 2 million just under that of Britain, France and Germany combined. Overpopulation places a huge strain on poor social services and infrastructure. No wonder why labourers are migrating from UP to other states.
Formula one of late has been struggling for audience, car manufacturers pulling out with only three remaining Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault. Indian grand prix may turn out to be a win win situation both for India and Formula one.

pradeep kumar said...

mayawati may not be narender modi, but she is a very strong leader. F1 track is good but i lament the colossal money wasted on the park and the statues built by Mayawati.
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TheBluntBlogger said...

I loved this post shobhaa and hell am waiting for the review :-)

चंद्रमौलेश्वर प्रसाद said...

‘Behanji delivers!' and a spinster at that :)

venk@t said...

So so excited for your Ra. One review :)

kakaka said...

Mayawati will be replaced by a Muslim soon as the chief minister. And don't give me this crap that i am spreading communal hatred. The population of UP alone is more than that of half united states of America. and yesterday i found out that they have a fertility rate of 3.5. almost sub Saharan Africa.
are you kidding me...Delhi university will have a cut off of 104% next.
to me it is shocking that states with high Muslim population have high fertility rates and imams don't allow family planning in India.
guess what Bangladesh has a fertility rate of 2.03 and Iran has that of Sweden 1.8. how come the imams don't allow family planning in non Muslim countries but permit it in Muslim states.
cut out your nonsense of F1 etc.
For some one who has lived abroad i cannot fathom how we will accommodate 1.65 billion people in this country. The moment i step into India, i cant stand it the crowd, the people., the naked children running around defecating.

While i was in India, i had grown immune, but this crowd will keep increasing and make it unlivable.

glimpses said...

madame aur mat tadpaiye...ra.one ka review ab please dedijiye

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Arjun said...

Well...its entirely a private enterprise, and we know what private enterprises are capable of, not just in terms of raising capital, creating successful businesses, but also the not so beautiful, such as evading taxes, swiss banking etc. Within the peripheries of the race circuit, which was officially the private space oh so beautiful, the outside, which was the motorway/expressway was so beautiful, again a pvtly developed space. A look at the public spaces, the administration and policing, well that tells you a different story.
Its all so well and easy to give away parcels of land to pvt enterprises at throw away prices to develop, and then entice the janta at market rates. The doubling and trebling of investments is just a means developed by the rogues to get you aligned with them capitalizing on your aspirations. No well meaning economics or great governance here.

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pradeep kumar said...

i hope greater noida gets more exposure after this event.
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raj said...

I M happy ke appne noida UP per comment kiya. Up Bharat ka sabse barda state hai .jaha Kee jansankhia Bharat Kee jansankhia ka 6va HISSA mean Bharat Kee population 121 CRORE hai or up Kee 21 CRORE . Magar population or state area ke hissab se arthik package jada hona chiae JIS Kee mang UP sarkar ne central govt se 80000 CRORE Kee MANG Kee thee Magar mila nahi. UP ME Jo BHEE devopment bhar hai state govt ke apne paryass se bhar hai. Bharat me pichhle 65 saal me Abh tak congress Kee sarkar pooore Bharat me rahi hai . Congress sarkar KO Jo kam devolpment ke liye karne chiae thee liye nahi .Magar Abh state govt BSP Kee sarkar kuchh development kat rahi hai to congress BSP ka kaam badnaam kad rahi hai . JIS system KO pichle 50-60 yrs se khrab Mar rakha usko Theek karne me kuchh to samhe lagega , jaha hath me KOI jadooo Kee sardeee (magic stick) to nahi Jo sabh kuchh jalde se Theek Ho karva. App logo Kee baato KO ignore kare pls

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