'Buddy, yo're forgettin... Lance Armstrong comes from our countree'
'Well... if you got Armstrong... we got strong arms'
'Bullshit! U sure you wanna do it? There'z laat of embarrassment ya'll be facin'
'Laat? Woh toh tumko padegi... angrez ki aulaado... we'll see'
Those were some of the last exchanges between the Indian and American HR Managers. Excuse me!?! Which HR Managers are you talking about?
Well, it's the HR Managers working for AccentPuncture Consultants (ApC), a global organization with more than 20k employees across 30 different countries. ApC was in the process of hosting its first ever cross-continent 'sports event' for its employees. The venue was India.
...and the managers in question were throwing their pre-race tantrums. To be specific, they were talking about the cycle race that was to take place in a few days between an Indian representative and an American representative from the ApC.
That was an introduction, a prologue.
And now, it's time for the report. This comes directly to you from our journalist - Cheepad Kumar - who covered the sports event. He was well assisted by our cameraman, Jayantilaal.
Date: 12th November'09
Start Time: 9 a.m.
End Time: 11:20 a.m.
Location: New Delhi, India
Distance: 15 km
Route: Kendi Po Colony to the ApC premises
Participants' Description: Stig Heckeler, a senior consultant with ApC America, and Tukaram Janjeera, a janitor from ApC India
- The event was very prestigious. Forget ApC, the participants were, in a way, representing their countries.
- Due to the non-availability of the racing space, the contest took place on the road... in the middle of normal traffic. This is what had been told to the world; however, in reality, the Indian HR Manager wanted to make the full use of home conditions. He knew his racer would be skilled enough to handle the adverse traffic situations... and, at the same time, the American racer would not even start the race... forget about the completion bit.
- Stig, the racer from ApC America, represented his university for a couple of cycling tournaments. There was nothing else to speak of his cycling... till the ApC race of course.
- The Indian racer had been coming to office on his cycle since long... and so... somehow... by default... he became the first preference for the event. Smart choice, you think?
- One day, before the race, the two participants had been shown the route, the pit stops and the finishing line. Stig was happy it was a simple straight-line route, and he did not need to memorize stuff.
- The participants had also been warned about the impending traffic conditions. They both knew traffic would be playing a big role in the event.
Participants (in their gear): We clicked the photos of the two participants just before the race began, but ApC did not want us to publish them. We have not been given any reason for the same. Anyways, we've cut the heads to at least show you the gear. Left is Stig in his cycling jersey... and a pair of shorts under it. On the right is Tukaram posing exclusively for us... looking ever so relaxed. Note that he changed into a brown pullover after we clicked the photos. Maybe this green one was his 'photo' pullover. His lower half was covered by tight and ill-fitting pants. It's good that Jayantilaal didn't capture the pants.
Helmets: The ApC made it compulsory for both participants to wear helmets. Stig asked for a blue helmet that would match his cycle. On the other side, Tuka did not want any helmet. He could not quite understand why he needed a helmet. Anyways, after being forced to wear one, he picked a helmet from one of his scooterist friends. Left is Stig's; right is Saif Ali Khan's. Kidding! Of course, Tukaram's!