Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
Two days since Race Day and I am still in the buzz of the Bahrain Grand Prix 2012. And what a show it has been. Until even that morning, there were people skeptical how everything would pan out but we really, really must pat ourselves on the back and congratulate Bahrain on pulling off one of the finest shows we have ever seen and an even more thrilling race!
Dearest dearest CP, HRH Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, thank you sir for your unwavering commitment to ensuring that we had this. Thank you for all you’ve done for Bahrain. You are and always will be the hope for Bahrain. Congrats also to HM the King and HRH the Prime Minister on an event well done.
Secondly, big hearty congratulations to the team at the Bahrain International Circuit, who have been working day and night for the last year, to ensure that this grand prix was absolutely fantastic. And trust me, you guys put up an insane show. I remember calling Mohammed Shareeda (of the BIC) at around 11 one night the week of the F1, and he was still knee deep in work. Go on, hug yourselves, you guys deserve it.
Special mention also to Ali Haji and his team at the racertimes, for the second by second live twitter coverage the activities got. You made us proud. And shout out also to Maryam, Fahad and the entire team at the Information Affairs Authority who have shown their strength and caliber during the lead up to the Bahrain GP, during the event and now and everyday for all their efforts.
I was honestly and pleasantly surprised at the huge turnout we saw at the Bahrain International Circuit. I headed there on Saturday with the family and really had a ball of a time. Good line up of activities which are fun for the entire family.
I absolutely loved the pogo stick guy; I can’t remember his name though. He was beyond hilarious. And some amazingly awesome stunts on the pogo stick and the uni-cycle. But more than anything, it was his rib-tickling sense of humour that made him so good.
I was also fascinated by the mini-band that was full of westerners but were playing Kolaveri, that was pretty cool. I didn’t get to see much of Shaolin monks so can’t comment much on that.
Navi, hmmm. Quite the Micheal Jackson he is. But I wasn’t too thrilled about his dance moves. But overall, with his singing and his stage antics, he had a large number of people, myself included, screaming and swooning for MJ.
Even though I was upset that it was the Red Hot Chilli Pipers instead of Peppers, must say they really know how to up the tempo. They were really good and I loved that guy’s accent. They were really good with the bagpipes and the show girls added the fun and sassy element.
The carnival atmosphere and the attractions, especially for the kids made this quite the family friendly event!
Day 3, we headed to the Circuit in three cars, friends and siblings and their friends and siblings. No surprises there that there was a long queue to the entrance. And an insanely large number of people inside. What really struck me was the sheer amount of ethnicities I found: Bahrainis, Arabs, Asians, Europeans, whites, blacks, browns, men, women, infants and even people with casts on their legs walking in crutches; there were people of all ages and from all backgrounds at the BIC.
The race day was indeed the ultimate. I am not a race fan but this race had me at the edge of my seat, with my fingers in my ears though. Yeah, I know, earplugs but I didn’t have them. The race was nail bitingly exciting.
And our seats in the main grandstand right in front of the start line only added to the excitement. We caught Bernie doing the rounds before the race, we saw the buzz of the teams before the flag off and the applause when the race started made me proud.
The standing ovation when Vettel crossed the finish line was truly humbling. But the moment I celebrated was the when they brought out the banner “UniF1ed..We Did It Together’ cuz indeed we had done it together.
I personally know a number of people who have been working round the clock to ensure that we were able to show the world what we are capable of. On Twitter, on TV, on Radio and basically on every platform we got, we have been trying to explain why this is a chance Bahrain deserved and why we should have this and in that moment, to realize that our efforts might have made a difference was truly a humbling experience.
While it was a huge disappointment that LMFAO was not going to be there, the local DJ wasn’t that bad. He had a good choice of tracks and really got the people in the groove. And my kiddies had a ball of time dancing the night away and that really made me happy.
For me though, truly the moment that stood out is when we got to meet and say hello to the cutest prince of all time, Prince Nasser. My sister went bonkers really. But I do really want to meet the Crown Prince someday.
I am really looking forward to next year, though I hope we’ll see less fashion disasters at the race. Some of the clothes and make up and heels made me want to pull my hair out.
Also, there was one incident that truly showcased the spirit of Bahrain. My friend lost his phone, I texted the number saying it was our phone and to please contact us. and in less than 5 minutes I got the call back and that person, Hussain, a young Bahraini chap found us and returned the phone to us. And that is one of the many reasons we love the country so much.
During the F1 weekend, we were also able to dispel a lot of rumours because a large number of journalists came into the country and saw it for themselves. And slowly but surely, with each passing day, international journalists are getting more clarity about the situation here.
So, Bahrain! We have every right to be proud. Every one told us we couldn’t, we faced roadblocks (no pun intended) at every level, and yet we did it and boy, we did it fantastically well. Bahrain has been and always will be the motorsport capital of the Middle East. Let’s continue holding our head up high, working for our home and clearing the misconceptions held by many along the way.
It is true. UniF1ed, We did it together. One Nation in Celebration.
Tuesday, 10 April 2012
Different people are born to do different things, some people are born to sing, some are born to change the world. But I was born to dance. Yeah right. If only. I am a pretty good dancer if I may say so, but it has taken me multiple years of hard work to get to this stage.
In fact I am an Indian classical dancer. Trained in Bharatnatyam since the age of 7. Mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi as well. Dabbled in a pinch of Kathak along the way. But over the years, I have developed and built my forte: true blue Bollywood. Call me a show-off, but nobody can do the jhatkas and rock a desi song like I can. I am too full of myself no? But if you follow my blog, you already know that.
But that’s not what this blog is about. This is about the magic of dance. The excitement, the thrill, the insanity of dance. There is no feeling like it. It’s flying, it’s finding that place within you where nothing else matters, it’s when there is no pretence, nothing fake. Nothing’s more real, raw and passionate. It’s that uninhibited joy of letting go, of being free, of being alive!
For me, it’s a release. I dance when I am angry, I dance when I am upset, I dance when I happy and I dance when I am bored. I dance to vent, I dance to celebrate and I dance to drive away the loneliness. My dancing keeps me energized, it keeps me sane and insane at the same time.
It is knowing I belong, it’s knowing that I am in a higher state of being, beyond just existing; it’s knowing I am free. Free of bondage, free of emotion, free of ties, free like the air around me, free like a bird flying to touch the sky. It’s like sliding down a rainbow. Like walking on water. Or jumping on the white fluffy clouds. It’s probably like having marijuana and cocaine together.
I remember performing onstage. It’s been more than a year since I last got onstage. But the high you get onstage is unbelievable. Something that really needs to be felt. The rush of adrenaline makes you move till you are so tired that you need to be carried off stage (yeah, it’s happened to me. Every single time).
People who’ve seen me on the dance floor will tell you I am a mad mad dancer. And people who’ve seen me on stage will tell you I have interesting technique. But at the end of it all, I am truly the happiest when I am dancing, be it alone in my room, in a crowded club or on the stage in front of a massive crowd. Because that is one time where there is nothing else, no one else, everything else and everyone else ceases to matter. It is just me. Alone, wild and free.
“Dancing is like dreaming with your feet” - Constanze