How I got a chance to interact with Narain Karthikeyan: Experience
To summarize, the dude is as humble as they come, has an infectious smile, and has a small stature which made his contemporaries underestimate him.
BHPian Ashwin Morey recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
One fine day or rather one fine night I get a WhatsApp pic from my close friend (brother from another mother) – a group of 5-6 guys doing cheers together at a party somewhere, followed by a very cryptic message “You know at least 2 guys from this pic”. Intrigued, I scan the pic and notice that one of them is of course my friend and I continue to scan till I notice… him! I zoom in and zoom in to ensure that I am not dreaming and that indeed he is who he is. I slowly typed the name and replied to my friend and Pat came to his reply “Bingo”. And that’s exactly how fellow BHPians the chain of events start unfolding, leading me to meet the legend, the fastest (or at least one of the fastest) Indian – the one & only Narain Karthikeyan!!!
What started as a WhatsApp message less than 24 hours ago (at the time of writing this I guess I am in the 19th hour) actually got converted into a lovely and delightful meet & greet with Narain.
My friend is in the media industry and often hobnobs with celebs of all kinds, always giving the offer to meet & greet anyone that I fancy (Bollywood, cricketers, rockstars, popstars, TV and whatnot). Needless to say that none of the celebs from other spheres have interested me enough to take up on any of his offers, up until today! Obviously, if I were to say no to meeting Narain then I might as well leave this forum and stop calling myself a BHPian or a true petrolhead.
Anyways, to cut a very long story short, the very next day i.e. a few hours ago I went to the media house office where Narain sat down with 20-30 people surrounding him and gave a long interview followed by motivational tips, followed by obligatory pics and then followed by felicitation (Puneri Pagdi and all). Amidst all this chaos I was in one corner wondering who amongst us is more patient – me who is waiting for all this circus to get over so that I get some quality time with him exclusively OR he who was patiently acknowledging and obliging everyone with his humble mannerisms and sweet smile. In the end, I figured out that he is the clear winner because after everything he will still have to endure one last fanboy – yours truly
So after an hour of all the chaos, I finally managed to have my first close encounter when my friend literally pushed me on centre stage to get some exclusive pics. See now, up until then, I must have played a thousand conversations and pictured this moment in a million different ways but alas I am no Dr. Strange to view a million scenarios and predict the only one where we all win and the world is saved. When it came to the penultimate moment, I did become nervous and froze and mumbled & blabbered God knows what. But after those initial anxious moments, I regained composure thanks to the infectious smile and top-notch humility of the guy in front of me. I even managed to mention that I am a Team BHP member and I bet all my fellow BHPians will be delighted to hear about this encounter. Two things happened immediately – His eyes lit up at the mention of Team BHP and second, he gave me the widest smile at that exact moment. It felt to me that he finally found some common ground with which he could associate me (maybe up until that point he must be wondering who’s this that they have sent up on stage) and maybe now he understood why I was so eager to meet him and be with him.
From thereon it kept going smoother, we exited the office together, took the elevator together, went to a restaurant together and ended the day by sharing light snacks at the restaurant. This entire second leg of the encounter was a private affair with my friend and me and a couple of other blokes and of course, the legend himself hence couldn’t really muster the courage to click some pics at such a private gathering and truth be told this second encounter was 4-5 guys sitting in a causal setting, in a relaxed manner and it was intimate as it can get so was focused more on chatting with Narain.
To summarize, the dude is as humble as they come, has an infectious smile, and has a small stature which I suspect must have made his contemporaries underestimate him giving him a chance to outsmart, and outshine them. He is brilliant, he is intelligent, he has a deep study of his art (it is an art come on) and his passion is at another level. All in all a great meeting with an absolute gem of a person, a true legend and I savoured every moment of it.
Enough of talking, here are pics that I can share:
Here I am giving some ‘gyaan’ to him
Here is him pretending to keenly listen and winning the patience game hands down
Here is us finally agreeing that he is the legend and I am the nobody
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