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By Hitoishi Chakma

In an interview for F1 Racing magazine in January 2008, Lewis Hamilton said, “…I hope I can make it as exciting again for them [the readers] as it was this year no controversy, I hope, just good, clean racing.” BUT 'controversy' he did make, and the championship he did win.

Last year Lewis - a rookie - came to Brazil, the last race of the season with a seven point lead in the driver's championship, only to lose to Kimi Raikkonen. This year the same seven point lead, and the same Brazillian GP. Bad memories from the previous year must have had Hamilton under some pressure. But the only threat to Lewis's F1 Championship victory, Felipe Massa, the position he was in was even more dubious. Massa not only had to win the Brazil race but also had to hope for Hamilton to finish beyond the fifth position. When it comes to sticky situations nothing gets stickier than this.

These days F1 races are always fun to watch because they most often end in a nervy, frenzied sort of way. Like this year's Belgian GP. Kimi Raikkonen lost his nerves and aided by a drizzle during the last few laps of the race, traded places with Hamilton just three laps away from the finish. Both the drivers in a span of about thirty seconds traded places a couple of times, spun and then just when everything was looking good for Kimi, he crashed! The finale of the 2008 season was testament to an even nervier ending. And again rain had a part to play in it. In the last lap of the race Hamilton, then in fifth position, got overtaken by Sebastian Vettel from team Toro Rosso. That threw Hamilton in the sixth place and essentially took away the F1 Champion title away from him. Just when everything looked good for Massa's taking and Hamilton's losing, Timo Glock of Toyota, who was ahead of Hamilton, started losing time due to his dry weather tyres in the wet condition. And for all that makes a soap, Timo Glock gave his place away to Hamilton in the very last corner rendering Hamilton the World Champion for 2008. Hamilton made F1 history with this World Championship win. He is not only the youngest driver to be the World Champion but also the first black driver to win the Championship.

Though the 2008 season ended in quiet a bizarre fashion, since Massa is the one with the most race victories, this was a good year. Rookie driver, Sebastian Vettel, emerged to be of substance. The races were not dominated by only Ferrari and Maclaren. BMW, Renault and Toro Rosso were able to get pieces of the meat. And Fernando Alonso amazingly proved, with his Renault, the great racer that he is. During the start of the season, it was quiet ludicrous to think Fernando winning a race or two with his Renault. But he did win two races and finished on the podium quiet a few times. Also F1 got glamour hit with the introduction of the Singapore GP, which hosted the first ever night race and it also seems Lewis got himself a Pussycat Doll. This is what happens when a Brit turns into a sportstar! But the biggest disappointment this year was probably Kimi Raikkonen who did not quiet live up to his potential.

Now the real question is, did Hamlton deserve to win the championship, acknowledging the bizarre fashion in which he won. The answer is; he 'did' deserve the win. A fine driver with a racer's heart like his deserved the championship. But so did Massa, for exactly the same reasons.

By, Pavana Khan

If I ever stand lucky enough to be a queen of a far far away kingdom, I would...Oh do so many things! It would be a rare blessing if I am actually so fortuitous as to have such unique an opportunity that I can bring about changes in this world fraught with imbalance, inequality, threats and misery.

Royalty would be in my veins. A distant dream...but what if it really came true!!! I would transform the whole world into a fairyland. My fairyland would be devoid of evil, pollution, and poverty it would be a world of equality and of course a place where lovely dreams would turn into reality !

Everything would work the way I want. “Grant him his/her wish!” I would request my attendants who would be goblins. There would be no smoke emitting, roaring vehicles as everyone would be a fairy and could utilize their wings as means of transportation. There would be rivers flowing with rich molten chocolate, honey and nectar and the hills and mountains would be cottony marshmallows. There would be no dearth of sweets and candies. The buttercups and pansies would be edible and the crunchy snow would be scrumptious icing. The cows would deliver strawberry, chocolate and vanilla flavoured milk, yogurt and ice-cream. The clouds would be the source of supplying cherry, pomegranate, guava and grape juices. There would be no ships but glassy boats to ferry the lively animals across. Clothes would be provided by jute, cotton, coconut and palm trees. As a queen, I would love to please my citizens with natural amenities and provisions. It would be a world full of laughter, love and unity - a peaceful abode as everything would be provided and every need cared for. There would be no scope for jealousy, misery or unhappiness. The words 'war', 'feud', 'enmity' would be alien words in that magic land.

I would be treated with regal elegance. Breakfast in bed, parties every night, all meals, would be a lavish assortment of every possible delicacy. Of course chocolates, candies, jelly beans, marshmallows, toffee caramel and other sweets would be my constant companions. Velvet slippers, thousands of dresses, ball gowns, t-shirts, night suits, frilly skirts and many types of clothes would abound my wardrobe. Everything would be so unique, magical, and unbelievably fun!

If I am empowered and become a queen and am able to fulfill my dream of transforming this reckless earth into a world of enchanting beauty I will consider myself to be the blessed one of God. It would be enthralling to live in a jade green clean land full of love, fantasy and magic. This dream of being a Queen is a dream I have cherished since I was three years old and first started to understand those 'Cinderella' stories. I hope it comes true one day... and then let this new story, start like “Once upon a time when Queen Pavana ruled................................”


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