The mere presence at the venue is exhilarating. Moreover, for a person from a placid town like Rolla, where one hardly sees more than five people on the street, this was quite a sight. And for a person who is there for the first time, the experience is fantabulously mind-blowing, even though only six cars ran the race.
On Saturday morning, we (i.e. Ajay, Prashanth, Raj, Vishnu, Prabhanjan, Shiv and Me) piled into an SUV and left for Indianapolis. Spirits were running super high. We reached Indianapolis at about 6 PM. Since we had to reach Purdue University for our night halt, we could allot about 3 hrs for seeing Indianapolis downtown. Moreover, everybody in the trip had the trip objectives clearly laid out.
Objective one: F1
Objective two: Have Indian food
We visited the Indianapolis state park, cycled around the river, and after about 1 hour, left for the Maharaja Indian Restaurant which was supposedly one hour away.
We reached the restaurant after about three hours, thanks to all the wrong exits we took. The restaurant had closed. The time was 9:30 PM. We all were famished and infuriated. After some phone calls and furious discussions, we decided that we just can't give up now. Desi food meant a lot more than sleep and fatigue. We left for another Indian restaurant, a few blocks away. Luckily, we found it in a little while and soon we were treating ourselves to a sumptuous north Indian Thali. Guys could be seen smiling after a long time. We reached Purdue University at 2 in the night.
Morning came and after a quick breakfast, we left for the Indianapolis motor speedway, at about 8 AM. We reached the place at about 10:30, armed with Indian flags. By US standards, this was a massive crowd.
As it always is, the scarlet fever was the most predominant. There were many Indian flags fluttering too.
For the entire race, we never got to our seats in the paddock. We were too excited to sit in one place and walking up and down the aisles in the paddock, clicking photos. We got nice pictures of Rubens Barrichello and Schumacher. But when our boys spotted Narian, they went totally berserk.
The absence of the 14 cars was a big disappointment. The audiences were not told about this at all. It was only after about two to three laps that we heard the news, amidst the 'boos' and the 'bullshit..bullshit' chants.
After the race, we were on our way out of the city, when we spotted an Udupi restaurant. Amazed by our stroke of luck, we rushed to the restaurant. The buffet was divine.
Then, we sped on the freeway for 6 hours and reached Rolla at about 2 in the night. The F1 discussions haven't ceased yet...
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