Tuesday, 24 April 2012
UniF1ed..We Did It Together
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.