Life

Ferrari, vai a casa!

Peter Griffin
Updated: Jan 14, 2013 04:41:05 AM UTC

I handle the 'Life' section of Forbes India. In previous lives, I was an advertising creative director, voice-over artist, RJ, TV host, web producer and content architect, freelance travel writer, columnist, and consultant to NGOs. I've been blogging since 2003, and co-founded the South-East Asia Tsunami & Earthquake and Mumbai Help blogs (which, with other similar initiatives later became the WorldWideHelp group), and the writers’ community, Caferati. I'm a keen student of collaboration and online culture. I also co-curated the Literature section of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival from 2006 to 2012. Aside from Twitter (link below), you could also follow me on Facebook or Google+.

Caro Ferrari,

In India, we love many things Italiane. We scarf down pizzas by the truckload (of course we like some of our own toppings, like tandoori chicken and paneer, more, but we’re sure you won’t mind), and all kinds of pasta too, with a little mirchi thrown in. When we’re feeling all posh, we slurp granitas and gelatos and forget we already had golas and kulfis. We like our cappuccinos and americanos. We adore olives on toothpicks with our daaru, and we’re fond of olive oil. And lest you think this is all about food, we’re also partial to visiting Italy, to take in your beautiful architecture, your art, your music, your scenic countryside. We think highly of your apparel designers (some take the adoration to the most sincere form of flattery), and one way to get Indians to look twice at a new brand of Indian attire (and other things too) is to give it an Italian-sounding name. Which also applies to real estate; you’ll notice a lot of piazzas and casas in the names of new projects, and Italian marble is very hot for interiors.

And yes, you may have heard that the most powerful person in India was born in your country.

So, Ferrari, basically we kind of like your country.

And, truth be told, your racing team has a huge number of fans in India too, going by the all the Ferrari merchandise we see here, not to speak of the fervent Facebook and Twitter posts about you.

Which is why it’s rather strange to see that in our grand prix, you plan to adorn your vehicles with Italian navy flags. “In doing so,” your web page says, “Ferrari pays tribute to one of the outstanding entities of our country.” Strange, you haven’t done that in all the years you’ve been racing, have you? No, wait, there’s a clue! You go on: “also in the hope that the Indian and Italian authorities will soon find a solution to the situation currently involving two sailors from the Italian Navy.”

Could you be referring to the sailors who are currently enjoying the hospitality of the Indian government because they killed are accused of killing two Indian fisherman in Indian territorial waters? [Edit note: The text initially said "killed," but since the matter awaits a court verdict, that has been changed. ~PG] The ones who your government wants released to be tried in Italy instead, because, perhaps, they don’t trust the third world Indian legal system to give the poor trigger-happy marines a fair trial?

Strange then that you choose to bring your high-tech cars and massive racing team to compete in an Indian event.

Why not just boycott the event in protest, if you think so poorly of India in general and Indian justice in particular?

I mean aren’t you worried that India’s timers and racing officials will be not be fair? That we will puncture your tires and put sugar in your gasoline? That Indian audiences might somehow hamper your race? That a win in India might be, I don’t know, somehow less valuable?

No.

Wait.

Money.

Ah.

Scusi. Pardon us. We get it now. You need the points. You've poured a lot of money into the team, and you want to see some return on the cash. After all, you’re still in the running for both the constructors’ and the drivers’ championships. That’s business. Nothing personal.

Right.

We, on the other hand, can be emotional. Sometimes too emotional, I concede, but hey, we’re like that.

So, pardon us for this.

Ferrari, go home! Ferrari, vai a casa!

(Thank you, Gaurav Sabnis, for your post, which brought this to our attention.)

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