Day 3.

31 12 2007

28 Dec 07.

Refer this for details of the match.

My boss is a MCC member. He applied in the ballot for a table at lunch and was allotted the third day. We accordingly donned jacket and tie on a day where the temperature was due to hit 37’c and rocked up around 1230 at the members’ entrance to meet with his assortment of mates.

This was my first visit to the Members’ Dining Room after the refurbishment. As concrete, glass and steel structures go, it certainly is up there among the best.

There is also something to be said about being able to watch cricket in airconditioned comfort while sawing away on the sole vegetarian item on the menu, ricotta and spinach in a kozhukkattai shell, served on a bed of clarified butter (ghee to you and me) infused with finely chopped chives.

As you’d expect, this dish had an exotic French name, but I was not able to liberate the menu in the interests of this blog.

One is supposed to leave at the door one’s plebeian impulses before entering the hushed surrounds. Clearly no one told me, for, when Zaheer bowled Symonds I erupted with a cheer that would have been at one with the tricolour wavers in the erstwhile Bay 13.

If the MCC was a dictatorship, I expect I would have been taken away and quietly shot for this gaffe.

As Zaheer was reflecting on what might have been (it was a no-ball) and Jumbo closed his eyes and rested a palm on a fevered brow, I was copping it from my table mates-all Aussies to a man.

Let us draw a curtain, gentle reader, over this unfortunate episode.

Post coffee, we went out and sat in comfortably padded seats. This was more like it. We were part of the crowd, were bathed by the same warm air, were uncomfortable under our collar and ties, and got booed each time the Mexican wave went around. Perfect!

All that was required to complete the experience was waistcoated waiters in white gloves bearing flutes of champagne. However the MCG’s strict liquor laws prevented alcohol beyond the confines of the Dining and Long Room.

However all I needed was my coffee at 5, and surprisingly, they had run out!

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The Curry munchers are here.

18 12 2007

That paragon of tabloid muck-raking, The Herald Sun, wrote that the Indian team landed to a ‘hornet’s nest’. Certainly did not seem that way when I passed the nivaas-sthaan of Anil’s boys, the Langham, en-route to work. But for the doorman in his khaki-beige clobber, not much stirred.

For those among the Indians on my floor who had not clapped eyes on the living gods of India (nadamaadum deivam-s as we have it in Tamizh), not much work was done. They spent a good portion of their billable hours riding the lift down to the concourse and the Southgate food court to see if they could gain darshan and ensure release from the cycle of birth and death.

And they were rewarded.

Irfan Pathan accosted one of them (!) with a ‘Bhai-saab money exchange kidar hai?’. Irfan was duly escorted to the money bin manned(?) by the Indian girl who I always thought was how Soundarya would look like had she lived to hit her late thirties.

Another one of my bhai-log saw Irfan-bhai and Wasim-bhai together.

By now you can be sure all pretense at work was being cast aside. Two of them stood watch at the doors as the bleary eyed boys boarded the bus at 4 pm for some nets-cool dude Yuvi in the last seat of the bus, earphones in place.

Incidentally, they were all amazed at how wasp waisted our ‘boys’ were. Here we were, proud of our 32″ waists, maintained despite idli, dosae, garam samose, aloo-ki-tikki, gur-ki-chikki and there were the boys, none over 26″ measly inches. Maybe they should have brought along ‘porgya’ Powar, if anything to make us feel better.

There were hurried consultations. Would the ‘boys’ be headed for the nets at the Junction Oval? Which tram? Route 3 and 67 along St.Kilda road?

Luckily sane heads prevailed. Someone placed a call to the MCG and found that the ‘boys’ were practising indoors and ‘sorry guys, I don’t think this one is open to the public’.

And so the caravan rolls. Odds at the TAB for India winning are quite attractive. An outlay of a buck will fetch you eight if the boys deliver. If I was a betting man, I’d be tempted. I remember the story of the Indian punter at the ’83 world cup who placed a bet of STG1000 on odds of India winning at 50:1.

He walked away with more than Kapil’s devils did.

There’s a thought.