iconimg Saturday, September 05, 2015

Rohit Bhaskar , Hindustan Times
Greater Noida, October 27, 2013
Journalists, owing to the nature of their work, aren’t the most liked people around, in fact many are downright loathed. If there’s one species of the fourth estate, especially in an Indian context, that’s particularly disliked it’s the breaking news-chasing television news channel scribe.

One look at the proceedings on Sunday and you’ll understand why.

Niki Lauda is one of the F1 paddock’s most distinctive faces. Even in this crowd of who’s who of the world, he stands out in his signature red baseball cap (the sponsors may have changed over the years but the colour has been a constant).

A triple world champion, the man who fought for a title 42 days after being trapped in a blazing inferno (a priest even performed his last rites after that crash at the Nurburgring in 1976), an aviation and business pioneer who ran a profitable airline long before every would-be entrepreneur tried to follow that path.

He’s one of Austria’s great cultural icons and can rival Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Mixed up http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/10/F1-PIC-2.jpg

So it came as some surprise when the 64-year-old was confused for a cricket loving Aussie.

A television reporter with one of India’s leading news channels must’ve in all likelihood ran one of those last-minute Google checks that many of his brethren swear by.

Only, that his short-sightedness was a tad too literal. So Austria became Australia.

“You are from Australia, so do you follow cricket?” queried the scribe.

Polite & gentle

Lauda politely corrected him, “I’m from Austria, not Australia.”

A lesser man would have peppered his answer with a few curt remarks, but if you’ve accomplished all that Lauda has you tend to look at the funnier side.