Sunday, 3 July 2011

Part 2: Life as a Motorsport Mum (F1 style!)

Tonight we're linking in to part 2 of an article put up by Gridwalk Talk...
It totally belongs to them, all the Copyright is theirs. Please make sure you drop by their site for a look at the complete article! :D Please enjoy it via us too though! :D

 by LukehMuse
Soon the Chandhok house could change a tyre in 7 seconds, cook meals for the entire rally workshop and all the JK drivers of 60 people and provide JK Tyre t-shirts and caps of all sizes to all the homeless people of India. If the children’s school needed a new venue for excursions they were taken to Vicky’s workshop and taught to change an engine in one hour. Kingfisher beer was given away as freebies to the teachers!
Vijay Mallya, Karivaradhan, the Singhanias, mechanics from the UK, race car drivers, rally drivers and engineers were regular visitors, who broadened the horizons of the family. Go-karts, dirt bikes and cricket equipment were littered all over the house and finally Chitra made a secret tunnel underground from her Pooja room so that she could escape for a while.

The weather bureau regularly checked the diesel, petrol and testosterone levels around the Chandhok home for excess air pollution. After 17 years of intensive training Vicky wanted the entire household to wear racing overalls as the household uniform. The maids immediately quit and Chitra got a medical certificate from Dr. Cherian to be exempted from this rule, so finally this dress code was not enforced.  Only the cook Raju seemed to be thrilled with his fireproof overalls from the UK and refused to return it!
The millennium year arrived and the heir to the Chandhok throne had to be crowned. Indu had abdicated to Vicky and Vicky handed over the family steering wheel to Karun in 2000. Zooom – the Chandhok family bank balance went from very comfortable to dangerously low! As Karun drove faster and faster the bank balance dived down equally quickly.

Chitra prepared a graph and hung it in the family room. A black line marked Karun’s increasing speeds and victories. A red line marked the downward swing of the bank balance. Then the family were saved by sponsors in yellow, blue and white so there was a 3rd line drawn on the graph marking cash inflow from sponsors. Indu and Indra performed Havans and propitiated the motorsport Gods. Vicky would meditate daily at 4am in front of the graph and Karun kept driving faster and faster. Then Suhail proudly announced to his parents that he was “the good son” of the family. His entire cricket expenses cost only as much as one tyre of Karun’s F3 Car! Therefore he wanted to be included in the graph as the least expensive line in green $ sign. Next, Hardy of JK Tyre wanted an exclusive line in yellow on the graph because their company had been the main sponsor who had saved the Chandhok Racing Lineate. Immediately Vicky posted a sign under the graph saying Graph Sponsored by JK Tyres. The graph became the Holy Grail of the Chandhok family.

Chitra’s family watched the 22 years of her marriage to Vicky with a mixture of surprise, shock, admiration and finally deadly silence. But Chitra had slowly changed without being aware of it. She had become a Chandhok. If her family were zooming about in cars or playing Cricket she was relaxed. If they sat at home and watched TV, she jumped up in concern, checked their temperatures and called Dr. Cherian for emergency treatment. Sometimes her comments on F1 were sensible and the family smiled at her approval.

Then arrived the announcement that Vicky was to be made President of the FMSCI (Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India). Chitra began to wonder – would they live in a White House and would she be First Lady? No Way! Only more phone calls, 24/7, at all odd hours from Nazir Hoosain, Max Mosley, Bernie Ecclestone, Kushru Madan (A jew, a German, a Britisher and a Parsee – sounds like the beginning of a joke!). The staff would barge into their bedroom at unearthly hours and announce phone calls from Burnee Saar or Maxi Mosee Saar!

“Ma, what is FMSCI?” asked Suhail. “It’s like the BCCI for cricket and your father is the President” said Chitra. “Oh, lots of talk and politics!” commented Suhail and walked away. But secretly Suhail watched his father Vicky on the ASEAN Really and announced proudly – “FMSCI is not so bad, they have made history with this ASEAN Rally.”

For MMSC’s Golden Jubilee Souvenir Indu asked Chitra to write an article. “You have 3 hours, 15 minutes and 32 seconds to complete it,” he orders “Your time starts now!” he said and punches his stopwatch. Well, readers, this is what you get to read when I am given such little time, no fuel and no sponsor. Not even a pit stop was allowed. Hope you could catch a small glimpse into our lives as one of India’s racing families.
Chitra Chandhok

You can follow Chitra Chandhok on Twitter as well as Karun, Vicky and Suhail. Again I can only send a huge amount of thank you’s to Chitra for providing this and I hope you all enjoyed reading it just as much as I did because it really is a love glimpse at quite a life so far! I met Karun myself last year at Goodwood Festival of Speed and he’s a really, really lovely bloke and Chitra is an absolute laugh on Twitter so it seems the loveliness runs through the family. Getting the opportunity to share this has been a real delight through so I hope you guys reading enjoyed it too.


Want to see karun off the F1 circuit? Check him out in this clip on 5th Gear!
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