I have a dream.

Even before I moved to Bangalore, my brother had been entertaining me with stories of his go-karting experiences.

"We went go-karting in the rain and now I have fever." He boasted to me over the phone one day, while I was still living in Delhi. "The fever doesn't matter. I had so much fun. It's twice as difficult in the rain. I beat everyone as usual."

(The fever turned out to be dengue and my self-proclaimed Manly Man relative was hospitalised.)

The first weekend after my arrival, he went go-karting with all his friends. I was invited too, of course (or maybe there's no 'of course' about it), but for a reason that is too complicated for this blog post, I couldn't go. My brother returned, groaning with pain, and looking extremely happy. He regaled a sulky me with tall tales of how he once again whooped everyone's arse and took special pains to describe the sheer intensity of the awesomeness that is go-karting. He rounded it off by telling me that it was going to be a very, very long time before anyone went go-karting again.

But then, last Thursday, when I got home from work, he asked me whether I'd like to go go-karting on Saturday morning.

"It'll just be you and me." He warned. "And we'll leave early. By eight thirty, nine."

Excitement doesn't even begin to cut it. I was ecstatic. I'd never been go-karting before - "How do you reach the age of 22 without having go-karted?" asked a friend of mine at one point - but I knew I'd be good at it. I'd be a natural. I had an undiscovered talent burning inside my body. I am uncertain about nearly everything in life, including life, but I was not uncertain about this.

We left on Saturday at 10.30. Just my brother and I. He rolled two joints before leaving the house. One to smoke on the way there, one to smoke on the way back. After an intense (on my part) discussion with SIL (who hates go-karting and refused to accompany us), I decided not to smoke up. This is because I am completely useless when I'm stoned. I can't move, I can barely think. Not the ideal conditions for leaving my brother choking on my dust.

It took us an hour to get there. The place was on the Bangalore-Mysore road. It's called Grips Gokarting (and Bowling, but who cares about that?).

Here are some photos, including a google view (so you can appreciate the bends), of the track.

See the bend marked out with the red circle? That bend was my downfall. I'll come to it later. 

We went to the lady at the counter and paid for six rounds on the 12 Something. To enlighten my reader(s) (hi, Dad!), there are different go-karts that have different levels of power. 6 is the lowest, there's a 10, and I think 12 was the highest. It's not measured by Something (S), obviously, but I can't remember what the units were. I was put into my go-kart, told not to touch the engine at the back unless I wanted to come away with second degree burns, and I fastened a potentially lice infested helmet on my head. Was I ready? Oh yes I was. 

I took the first lap slowly, trying to familiarise myself with the track. I took the second lap a bit faster, and the third, even faster. My brother was out-lapping me shamelessly by this point. He continued to do so. By the time I finished my sixth and drew up, shamefaced, he was standing in the pit stop, looking incredibly smug.

"I'm finding the car really hard to control." I said. "It's really heavy. The wheel. And stuff. It's too heavy."

"Loser." But for the next six rounds, we got the 10-S. 

This was even worse. It was much lighter than the 12, and I could go faster, but my god, I just didn't stop crashing. That hair-pin bend (see third photo) was extremely difficult for me to take. Unless I was driving slowly, I couldn't make the corner without crashing into something. And I refused to drive slowly. 

"Take it slow," advised one of the men. "It's only your first time. You're going too fast around the corners."

So occasionally I tried taking it slow, but then my brother would flash by, and he'd have the audacity to look over his shoulder at me, yes, actually look back, while driving extremely fast, and flash me a toothy grin. At which point, I would lose my cool, scream something insulting, and put my foot down on the accelerator. I'd start off well, which gave me confidence but then it would go downhill from there. This is how my thought process went:

Aha, this time I've got it, look at the way I took the last turn, a little faster, ok, come on, move your ass the other way (note: while taking a corner, you need to shift your body in the opposite direction), come on, faster, faster, fasterfasterfaster, FASTER,  oh shit, oh wait, oh nooooo. NOOOOOO. 



"You've been here many times," the man who lifted me out of one particularly bad crash said sternly to my brother who was doubled up with laughter. "This is only her first time. She'll learn."

You could tell my brother didn't think so. 

"Come on. I'm good for a beginner." I insisted at one point. Okay, many points. Throughout the day. And the days that followed. 

"Trish, for a beginner...you suck."

We must have done more than 30 laps, alternating between the 10 S and the 12 S, and then muscled our way in to join a few other people for a race. Well, my brother did. I think he'd just gotten bored overlapping me by this point and wanted some challenge. 

I was coming second only to him for a couple of laps until I crashed into the hair pin bend again. And there I stayed until someone noticed and came to help me out while a bunch of strange, badly-dressed men zoomed past me. It was highly irritating.

I was slightly cheered up by the fact that the person who helped me noted the steering wheel on my go-kart was defective. There was something wrong with the spring, making it especially hard for me to turn.

I repeated this over and over again to my brother on the long drive home. He was too busy making up songs about how much my driving sucked to really pay attention. So I gave up (the after effects of the joint we'd smoked helped my agitated mind - the death of a dream is always difficult to come to terms with) and contented myself with watching my brother suffer from road rage before we were halfway back to town. 

I proudly displayed my bruises to SIL, attempting to show her the gusto with which I drove, until my brother came in and spoilt it all, implying the injuries were marks, not of my indomitable spirit, but of my general incompetence. 

Wait, did I say this was the death of a dream?

I was wrong. It's just the beginning. 


And until that day comes, I'll just sneak his car out at nights or something. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Practice, as they, maketh perfect. And, even more so, if you can get your brother to pay for all the practice... no?