The inaugural Fl tournament in India seems to have gone off
very well and everyone is singing the praises of the Noida authorities, the wondertlil organizers and marvelling at the incredible amount of parking space at the circuit.
In contrast, Gurgaon has to live down the fiasco of the cancelled Metal I Ica con. cert. While (Greater) Noida is blithely cruising at 360kmph, Gurgaon seems to be chugging back to the middle ages with bottle-throwing, bench-breaking and other barbaric activities. As a Gurgaonite, I think we should claim our place on the world stage by organizing some world-class sporting events. Gurgaon already possom abundant resources and has several natural advantages that we can tap into. This way, we can save the tax-payers’ money and put the local talent to good use as well.
Even those who have not read Hem-ingway or been to Spain would have heard of the famous Pamplona Bull Run. thanks to the movie “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”. Gurgaon should host the Haryana Buffalo Run. Every village in the district boasts prime specimens of the species and Gurgaon has the topography to organize the event to make It even more exciting for the participants. All we need to do Is let loose a herd of hardy Ilaryanvi buffaloes to thunder down the narrow bylanes of Chakarpur village and watch as the buffalo soldiers scatter and dash in panic. Vatoever claims that a humble buffalo is no match for a bull has not en-countered a disgruntled one in the middle of a typical Gurgaon traffic jam.
We can also make a pitch to hold the next World Athletic Steeplechase championships. The main attractions of the Steeplechase an the 38 barriers and the water jumps. Instead of having it in a boring stadium with the same monotonous rounds, the Great Gurgaon Steeplechase can be held on any stretch of an average 3,000m road. During monsoons, the potholes will automatically become water jumps. The police barriers, great iron rods from construction sites and heaps of cement
bags will act as natural hurdles. For the advanced athletes, there can bopiles of debris and garbage in strategic locations interspersed with unnecessary speed breakers. Maybe we can start the first Steeplechase Marathon allowing the athletes to trace their path from Sohna Road to Sadar Bazaar
Those who fall by the wayside will be re-energized with fortified Buffalo milk.
Gurgaon may not have butter-smooth roads to hold the Formula I races, but we have even better off-be.lt track routes that will test the hardiest offroading driver. From the Aravali Hills to the mustard fields off Sector 58, around the Damdama lake, across the dust bowls of Badshapur and the large swampy wastes of new construction sites, Gurgaon has all kinds of terrains. Since the daily commute to work for the average Gurgaonite Is similar to an offroading experience, the event will generate mat enthusiasm and participation from the local community which is so important for the success of any event. For those who don’t have the right kind of four-wheel drive or a racing bike, a friendly neighbourhood mechanic will do some jugaad to spruce up the vehicle in no time at all. Forget FL gear up for the Great Escape to Gurgaon.
By organizing these events with very little additional infrastructure and monetary investment. I am sure Gurgaon can salvage its reputation, make sonic money and get back on the world map.
This is from a collection of articles published in my Village Voice column in Times of India from 2011 – 2013.