martes, 11 de mayo de 2010

O mistério do 42 / The mistery of 42

I didn't write this text, I only translate it and to do it right I post the bibliographic quotation. And I suggest the reading of this book, you will know a more personal Ayrton Senna.

MARTINS, Lemyr. Bastidores - O Mistério do 42. In his: Uma Estrela Chamada Senna / A Star Named Senna. São Paulo. Editora Panda. 2001. pp. 116-119. ISBN: 85-87537-20-2

Ayrton Senna received the number 42 by mere chance. Happened in the entry of the junior category, the first for kart drivers, when the Paulista Federation provided the number according to the entry order. Ayrton had sympathy for that figure at once, to the point of identify a lot with it and be identified by it. He was called 42 by all the Interlagos kart drivers, and the more he won races and beat records the more he incorporated the 42.
One time he told me that, even when he didn't know why, felt like having a cabalistic relation between 42 and win. He admitted that identity could have born due to the first victory. So much that was disappointed when he couldn't use it in the kart world championships in Europe, in which the licenses were raffled and he couldn't surpass the runner-up.
Went back to the Brazilian kart and kept on wining with the 42. The day of the 1976 Paulista Champ's seize, a mechanic that we only knew by the nickname of "Japa" came close to him and, in a tone that the driver define me later as mystery and pleading, asked him to abandon the number 42. Ayrton didn't feel the courage to reply. Was paralyzed hearing Japa justify the reason of such appeal:
- 42 is shi ni (shi is 4 and ni is 2), which in Japanese pronounced together, formed the word "death".
That revelation intrigued the driver, what made Japa embolden to go on with the explanation:
- When a Japanese turns 41 years, enters the yakudoshi, a fateful period. To skulk the ominous phase, the birthday boy needs to have a huge spontaneous party as present from his friends and give it back with the same pomp when completing 42 years.

Ayrton Senna told me the story in 1989, when I praise his tight relationship with the Japanese Osamu Goto, the engineer responsible for the powerful Honda engines that gave him three F1 world championships, driving a McLaren.
- Why do they call you the more Japanese driver of the circus? - I asked him, when he was three time champion in 1991.
- Must be because I believe in their work and I effort to return on the track.
- And in the beliefs? - I needle.
- Well... that I respect.
- Even the yakudoshi?
- That is inciting... But I still have ten more years to reach the 41. Until there I resolve if I accept the party and give one back.

On April 28th, 2000, in the Indy training on Rio de Janeiro, I found Japa. He was, logically, twenty and some years more old, but he looked centenarian, an ancient, the long hair serried in a blue cap broken and bleached. He was who recognized me. Waived at me from a distance with short smiles and simple head expressions. After a while, I recalled the 42's story, looked for him at the circuit, but didn't see him anymore that afternoon.
After the race Japa showed up again, and then I was quickly to meet him. Maybe I fool myself, but the feeling was that he was already waiting for me. Politely, started to talk about the subject I bore in mind and still hadn't brought on.
- What a shame, but what happened was wrote - he said.
Of course he was referring to Ayrton Senna's tragedy, but I still didn't realize of any tie between it with the yakudoshi. Since Senna had died with 34 years. He, however, didn't give me time to throw my reply and made me a revelation and a prophecy:
- Shi ni, 42, death. Remember?
- Yes I do.
- Well, Ayrton stopped in the 41st win, didn't reach the 42nd.
Still I tried reasons using the coincidence logic, but again polite and mannerly, Japa passed the prediction.
- It doesn't matter if the 41st win is reached. When achieving, it will be with a great... — made a pause as if looking for the right word and carried on — ... sadness.
Disbeliever, because I don't think in witches, but they do exist, I remembered of Michael $chumacher that at that time, with 40 wins in his career, was four races that experienced an inexplicable bad luck stage. But Schumacher, finally, reached the 41st win and matched Ayrton Senna. It was in the Italian GP of 2000, at Monza, where the Italian fans, the tifosi, had prepared an exited reception.
I remembered about the yakudoshi again. Associated Schumy's exploit to the party he received from the Italians. I wouldn't know of more capable friends of a homage such noisy and sincere than the tifosi. For the prophecies, Michael $chumacher was saved, he had broken Japa's oracle.
Really, on September 10th, 2000 the German dumped the win's yakudoshi. That day I hear Japa's voice on my ear: "The 41st victory, it doesn't matter who reaches it, will be with a great sadness". $chumacher's won happened at a Grand Prix in which six drivers had a violent accident after the second turn, and the world watched, live (and with the sadness foresaw by Japa), the tragic death of a fireman, beaten by a wheel.
Fifteen days later, Schummy compensate the party that Monza's friends offered in the Italian GP win, with the 42nd victory in the United States GP, at Indianapolis. After that he didn't lose anymore. He won the Japanese GP, the Malasian and the third world championship, liberating Ferrari of 21 penitent years without a driver champion.
I'm still in doubt about Japa's prophecy and the coincidences of yakudoshi and 42 (shi ni). But his things still disturb with my faith: Why do I never was able to ask Japa's name and never thought of photograph him?

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