The only time I met Narain Karthikeyan, I didn't like him.
I was reporting a go-kart event and met him briefly for a soundbite. He was... oh, I don't know... a little cocksure? Perhaps he didn't think women journalists were particularly well informed about car racing, and perhaps we aren't... whatever, but something was a little off.
Now it really bothers me when I dislike someone and don't know why. With the result I hadn't been following Karthikeyan's career with any particular interest. And so surprisingly, when the news came in that he would be racing for Jordan this season, I found my heart billowed with joy.
My patriotism I'm delighted to report far outstrips personal prejudices - oh, to think we could hear the Indian anthem soar out over the grandstands at an F1 race in the next couple of years! He won’t be winning in a Jordan, I don’t think, but come silly season, and who knows? He could have a chance to actually race in a competitive car. He's burning a trail that will make it so much easier for Indian racers after him.
Karthikeyan even wears the Indian tricolours on his helmet. For that, Narain,
sau gunaah maaf.