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Michael Schumacher

December 30, 2013 1 comment

Legendary Formula 1 driver and multiple champion Michael Schumacher is in coma after a ski accident. The 44-year-old German suffered a blow to the head …  Full Article

One can get a sense of Schumacher’s legend in Formula One racing from the words of Damon Hill (former Formula One champion and ex-rival of Schumacher) –

“He is incredibly professional. If you had to go for a heart operation you’d want somebody who was the Schumacher of the heart surgery world to do the job, because you can rely on him…. He laughs as he considers the dominance of his old enemy. Fortunately Michael wasn’t like that in 1996! The fact he is still winning makes me feel a lot better. It’s not so bad to be beaten by the best driver who’s ever lived. Nobody really knew that then. I was first into the arena, the first Christian thrown to the lions…”

My only personal connection with him is the sketch below, which I drew more than a decade ago and which remains one of my favorites till date. To an extent he is also one of the inspirations behind my passion for driving.

Michael Schumacher

I hope he comes out of his coma, like a champion, which he has always been. A few of his quotes which I like:

“In sport there is never any moment that is the same as the other. I have been in Formula One for 12 years, and out of that I had one year with the perfect car. .”

“Never think that success is down to your own performance alone. If you start listening only to yourself you take the first step back towards the bottom. The flowers of victory belong in many vases.”

One of his famous taxi stories [Source]:

Seven-time formula one world champion Michael Schumacher shocked a cab driver by taking over the wheel in order to be on time for a flight.

Schumacher flew into the aerodrome at the Bavarian town of Coburg on Saturday and took a taxi to the village of Gehuelz, 30km away, to pick up a new puppy – an Australian Shepherd dog called “Ed”.

But when the 38-year-old, plus his wife and two children, caught a taxi back to the airport they were short on time and, after a polite request, cab driver Tuncer Yilmaz watched in wonder as Schumacher took the wheel.

“I found myself in the passenger seat, which was strange enough, but to have “Schumi” behind the wheel of my cab was incredible,” Mr Yilmaz told the Muenchner Abendzeitung.

“He drove at full throttle around the corners and overtook in some unbelievable places.”

Mr Yilmaz was well rewarded for the unusual journey – on top of the 60 euro ($100) fare, he was also given a 100 euro ($167) tip.

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Because Ahmed has the best memory

December 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Five boys were sitting at the far end of the bench. They were dressed in weatherworn clothes, all caked in mud. Their leader said something fast. The others groped through their pockets and pooled their funds: six marbles, four bottle tops, a painted twig, a blunt penknife, and a few coins. The money was separated out. Three of the boys started arguing, shouting at one another. Their argument broke into a scrap. One of the older boys suddenly turned on the smallest. They fell into the dirt, punches flying. The leader pulled them apart. He handled all the coins to the youngest boy, whose shirt had been ripped in the fight, and sent him off toward the cinema.

The others began playing marbles.

I asked why only one of them was going to the cinema. The leader glanced up, his sienna eyes catching the light.

“We only have the money for one to see the matinee, Monsieur”, he said. “So we send Ahmed. We always send Ahmed.”

“Why him?”

The leader flicked a marble into the dirt. “Because Ahmed has the best memory,” he said.

An excerpt from In Arabian Nights- A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams.

Reflections of an Expat

December 25, 2013 1 comment

It’s the fifth Christmas for me away from my home country, India. I often think about how can I describe these five years in Belgium. I could never think of an elegant way to describe them. I’m currently reading the book “In Arabian Nights – A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams“. It is about a British man, married to an Indian woman and their life in Morocco. Tahir, the main protagonist of the book, describes his experience of settling down in Morocco. He says –

Settling into a  new country is like getting used to a pair of shoes. At first they pinch a little, but you like the way they look, so you carry on. The longer you have them, the more comfortable they become. Until one day without realizing it you reach a glorious plateau. Wearing those shoes is like wearing no shoes at all. The more scuffed they get, the more you love them, and the more you can’t imagine life without them.

Probably, I can say the same for my years in Belgium, and I guess you too.

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