Monday, October 11, 2004

In Cricket stadium with classmates

It was the first time I had been to Chinnaswamy stadium, Bangalore. The occasion was the 1st test between India and Australia. We had booked the tickets for the 4th day of the match (Saturday) via the mobile booking system. Indian batting performance on the 2nd day had damped our hopes. In fact, I thought the match could get over on the 3rd day and so my 300Rs (100 per head) for the tickets would go down the drain. By the end of the 3rd day it was clear that we will get to see both Aussies and Indians batting.
We reached the place by 8:30am. There were people on the road distributing sunshades, 4-6 cards and painting faces. At the gate was the heap of water bottles which were taken from the spectators, as bottles were not allowed inside. They can be used as missiles at the players. Inside the stadium, people though were making paper rockets and throwing it on the field. One guy got applause for creating a rocket that traveled a great distance. After we exchanged the SMS with tickets, we were off to the C-stand to see that most of the good places were already occupied. We moved the chairs and got ourselves into a good place. Aussies were practicing. Indians were not to be seen. C stand is the stand where the cameras for the 3rd umpire runout decisions are kept, not the ideal position to watch a cricket match in stadium. The best position is the straight camera position. Along with me were 2 classmates of mine, one of whom I was meeting after 5 yrs (i.e. after I left my college, I was meeting him for the 1st time.) We had nice flashback talks when the drummers of the stand arrived and started blasting. The atmosphere was splendid. Lots of Indian flags were being waved. In the neighboring A-stand there were a few Australian supporters in the yellow shirts waving the Aussie flag. As soon as the match started, there were loud claps and drum beat speeds increased. The first thing we missed was the replays. The ball used to fly away and no clues for us how close were the appeals and how close the fielders were when they stop the ball near boundaries. Bhajji bowled well and made the crowd happy. He finished the Aussie innings after lunch. He came to field near us and encouraged the guys to shout and encourage them. The same was repeated by McGrath when he came to field. The pigeon made a “Namaskara” to the crowd and got loud cheers. From where we sat, the catch Yuvi took to dismiss Warnie was very clear and everybody appreciated the sharp response of Yuvi. The Indian batting was horrible. Umpires sending 3 of the top 4 batsmen back to pavilion through lbws earning the ire of the public. There were posters like “Umpires suck”, “Umpire for sale, real cheap”. The local boy “Wall” stood tall and ended the day on 47*. We got a nice day of cricket, though not for India. We had bajjis, cokes, chips etc as our food.
All through we discussed about the adventures in class, the girls of the class, lecturers, the companies where our guys are working etc. After tea, we prepared the list of our classmates, with the roll numbers. We added attributes like marital status, company working in etc. That was real timepass stuff. Interesting finding was - 2 of my classmates have chosen to be different. One is a journalist and another politician. All others work in software and hardware.
After the match we decided to see “The Terminal” after dosas and coffee. The movie was okish. I reached home by 10pm. So that was the great Saturday for me. Sunday went as usual, watching TV, sleeping, talking etc.
India lost the match by 217 runs after the tail wagged and frustrated the Aussies for more than a session on the 5th day.

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