Tuesday, January 22, 2008

how can you not love the adelaide oval? it was even good to agarkar! plus what other cricket ground has such pretty pink tents?

we'll be quick with the advice today: drop jaffer. pick bhajji. send irfi to open with veeru. i'm not even kidding. we've picked worse openers this series. remember boring and boring-er? [read: dravid and jaffer] so until someone is smart enough to pick akash chopra in the team or give that poor karthik boy a chance i say open with pathan and veeru as crazy as it may sound.

also win the toss and bat first. we'll square the series.

if the wonderful people in calcutta praying for dada would so kindly do an extra pujo so we could win that damn toss it would be great. and also one for hayden. we could do without him in the team.

adelaide here we come!!!!!!

p.s. how awesome would this look on a tee?

i don't know how many of you watched that test we played in adelaide what three? four years ago? i was a little kid in college back then and very excited about the whole series especially after we had managed to not lose the first test in brisbane, you know the one where dada made that hundred. we like to point things out like that in case you haven't noticed. anyway one of the reasons i was super excited about the adelaide test was irfan pathan. now no one had heard of him back then. he was 19 and the only reason he was picked was because he had recently taken 9 wickets in an under 19 game against pakistan. i had heard of pathan. in fact i sort of knew him. ahem. long story. but you know what we're in the mood to share today so we're sharing. i would go grab a drink or something if i were you. this will take a while.

okay this is sort of embarrassing. the team was in bangalore for a really long conditioning camp and when i say team i mean like the 30 probables. so the team + a bunch of other lame kids we weren't interested in. they were staying at the ashoka and we [my silly friends and i] decided we simply had to go check them out. i remember telling my dad i was going to go to the ashoka for breakfast that morning. he thought i was crazy.

"pa, autograph from dada"

"oho! that also. okay go go. who all are going? oh full claasa?"

he seemed convinced since i told him the entire class was going. of course i meant me, soupie [who ended up not coming for some reason] kb, pooja and two other random girls from the hostel who tagged along for some reason ruining many pictures. we woke up super early and showed up at ashoka all ready to order breakfast only they wouldn't let us eat breakfast.

"this section is bookaad for team india"

we of course pretended to be very offended that they wouldn't let us eat breakfast in that section. "what team???" they didn't buy it but they did say we could order beverages and hang out at this seating area pretty close to the reserved breakfast area so we decided to sit around and drink coffee and one by one we started to see familiar faces. i ran up and took a picture with kumble. even one with parthiv patel who looked twelve. [whatever happened to him? even he did better as a makeshift opener than whatshisface?] we ignored the people we didn't know or weren't interested in and there were quite a few we didn't know. then we saw the bus outside. bhajji was sitting in there by himself for some reason. just him and the door closer guy. we figured that would be a good place to stand since everyone we wanted to see would eventually have to get into the bus to get to chinnaswamy stadium. we stood about giggling and pointing at bhajji and which point he got down and started making conversation with us. we felt obligated to take a picture with him so we did but he now decided we were friends. then someone asked him about this one srilankan girl from the hostel he used to date and he was like omg you'll know her? where is she and all of that. we were very amused of course. a few other players had arrived but we still hadn't spotted zak so we asked bhajji where he was. he wanted to know why we were waiting for zak. someone said something about wanting to take a picture with him. right then this super cute kid came along and bhajji was like "iske saath photo khicho na. yeh zaheer ka chota bhai hai". we weren't impressed of course but the kid stood around grinning for a while before he went and took a seat in the bus. we heard some uncle jee type say his name was irfan pathan khan jr which we thought was hilarious. we asked if there was an irfan pathan senior. turns out there was and it was not his dad. anyway then we saw dada and zak and agarkar and rohan gavaskar. we got the door opener guy to take pictures for us and he took good pictures too. ill never forget meeting dada. he was clearly in a hurry. he walked in with a piece of toast in his hand and a newspaper and got onto the bus. when we asked him for a picture though he got out of the bus and stood around while we giggled. technically kb and pooja giggled. i stood there gaping. i mean it was dada and he had gotten off the bus for us, even though he was late. then the bus left. we followed them for a bit. like all the way up to the stadium. we even went inside. heh. the watchman later told us he thought we were part of the team since we were right behind them and we were driving pooja's dad's car which made us look important. anyway they kicked us out. see i told you this was an embarrassing story but wait it only gets worse. we decided zak was way too hot in person and something should be done about it. we figured if we called irfi and made friends with him he might be able to introduce us to zak and yuvi [ahem this was soupie's idea not mine, the yuvi part that is]

we practiced our best sports journalist voice, came up with a magazine, a fake name, an accent and a speech and we called the hotel and asked for mr irfan pathan jr. it was hard to say the whole name without giggling. i didn't know what we expected but we must have sounded believable because they connected us to his room right away and the boy picked up and asked who we were. soupie and me were on two different extensions talking at the same time. she told him we had come to ashoka the previous day and he said he remembered the girl in the blue striped shirt. it didnt take us long to realise he couldn't talk much english so we switched to hindi. i don't know which was worse but we talked for a while. we asked him how old he was. soupie almost fell off the bed laughing when he said 18. i mean we did not think he would be younger than us. we weren't much older then but still. she asked if it was his first time in bangalore and what he planned to do. he wanted to go watch koi mil gaya. yes that movie with little daroo or whatever the hell that blue alien was called. soupie gave him her cell phone number and we hung up. of course we called kb right away and repeated the entire conversation. kb decided she wanted to marry him and started picking out names for their kids. 'pari pathan' if it was a girl!

a few days later someone called and asked for a 'soutee'. it was irfi. we were like wow this boy obviously has no friends in the team or he wouldn't be calling us. we talked again. some three or four times. we told him we would take him shopping if he wanted to buy "bangalore clothes" for his sister. i don't know whose bright idea this was. of course back then we had no idea he lived in a mosque with his family. his sister probably didn't need the "bangalore clothes". he was super sweet the whole time and very talkative. when asked what he liked to do he said "i like to roam laddat" very endearing. very funny. he wasn't the least bit offended that we knew absolutely nothing about him. i mean we had to ask him if he was a batsman or a bowler!! he said all rounder y'all. heh. soupie decided he was the kid brother she'd never had. kb still wanted to marry him. i was undecided on this matter. i mean the boy was very cute. then one day he called at some 5:30 and asked if we'd all go with him and "his friends" to watch "koi mil gaya" and here's the sad part. back then none of us could go anywhere that late in the evening.,not unless it was someone's birthday or we had made up someone's birthday and had asked for permission weeks in advance. so we didn't go.

i know!!

but he didnt mind. he was still being super sweet. he gave us tickets to the india a vs india b vs india c matches which we went for. it was during college hours so it worked! we cheered for irfi. people around us seemed surprised that this young kid had so much support. we visited him one last time at le meridian. bought him coffee or something and hung out. he was very shy. this was also where we saw cut piece nehra eating like a bakasura at the buffet table and vvs asking the waiter for an apple which the waiter proceeded to throw to him which he caught perfectly, the good slip fielder that he is [dont gasp. i will remove drishti right away] and went on to polish and eat looking super hot the whole time. also bhajji showed up in some ridiculous outfit [pointy shoes, zari and all] out of nowhere, from shooting an ad we later found out, which prompted delhi hottie amit bhandarkar [the boy had such pretty teeth] from saying "abe yaar bhajji, tu shooting pe gaya ya shaadi pe?" much to his embarrassment. and then there was dada who showed up for lunch and saw us and did this half bow type acknowledgment which made me want to cry. "and they call him arrogant!" i remember saying to no one in particular.

later that month they announced the team for the home series against new zealand. irfi didn't figure. we were very upset. he had bowled well in the challenger series. this was the same india a vs india b series. he had even taken his captain's wicket. we were sure dada would pick someone who was good enough to get him out. anyway as fate would have it he didn't play against nz [thankfully because that series was a disaster] instead he played the under nineteen series against pakistan. i don't think it was a world cup but im not sure. anyway he did really well and took nine wickets in this one game after which they picked him to go to australia. we were super happy. our little friend was going to australia. this was huge.

the day of the adelaide test i remember waking up really early. i loved greg chappel back then. as a commentator. wahat? he said nice things about dada. and bhogle and sunny of course. i woke up early enough [we're talking like 4:30 or 5 am] to listen to all the analysis before the game. i remember cheering for irfi and him taking the first wicket. hayden i think it was. his first wicket and the first wicket of the match. i yelled loud enough for my dad to wake up. he was like what's with all the yelling at 6 am and eventually joined me with his lime juice and honey. i still can't believe people drink that every morning. it's gross. anyway we went on to win that historic game. we bunked class throughout that series. we'd watch as much as possible at home before our parents kicked us out of the house. the "pa today 10 o'clock class has been canceled, again" works only that many times. then we'd meet up at the college drive and go to coffee day which would open at eleven. sometimes at 10:45 just for us. we'd be standing outside trying to get a glimpse of the tv screen like those random people at tv shops and they'd feel bad for us and let us in. also they had this lame rule that they could only play music from their jukebox so we had to watch the games without commentary. eventually we convinced all the waiters to turn the damn music off and switch on the commentary. for the last day of the test however we wanted to be comfortable. we went to bangalore club and sat around like retired old unclejees in the middle of the afternoon ordering chicken kababs and watching cricket. we were eventually joined by a few old unclejees. heh. it was much fun and of course we won and my jammy played beautifully. oh how i miss the old jammy. the one i liked so much. and then they had to go and make him captain!

so this is why adelaide is so special to me. it represents all of these wonderful things. most importantly winning.

of course the only negative thing to came out of that match was agarkar now had a 3 yr permanent place in the side just because he took those 6 wickets that day.

39 comments:

The Bride said...

Aw that was such a cute story. And fun too!Irfan Pathan is really cute. Yuvi also - by the way he was fielding near us at Sydney and random Aussie boys kept shouting 'give us a wave Yuvraj' and he wouldn't. Then typically, they turned nasty and started saying the usual semi-racist shit.

So you didn't always hate jammy. One day I will tell you why it was important for me to know that. Why is he called jammy though (sorry like some people, I'm not going to go back and study your blog for the answer)

??! said...

and you didn't keep in touch? you didn't get new number and email? whatastoopid! Think of all matches and team-parties you could have been to!

Anonymous said...

what nonsense! there are storeies and then there are stories
(Yes, I am jealous)

The Nomad said...

This is SOOO COOOOLLL!!! :) :) Sighh ...

Jammy is called Jammy coz his dad works with a Jam brand.

And Adelaide oval ... in addition to the fact that its been nice to us, I have memories of walking in on a November evevning ... no match was on but the place was awesome!Wait ... i must post about that!

The Nomad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anantha said...

thebride: Apparently Dravid's father worked for Kissan. Or so the story goes.

Pri: Next thing you will tell me that you are the gal that blew kisses at Zak at the Chinnaswamy! Pffft!

almostinfamous said...

ok, i admit it your life is way better than mine :)

the best i ever did was an autograph from sunny gavaskar at chennai when i went for that one test we lost against pakistan where everyone stood up and clapped at the end.

also, i shook hands and had some polite conversation with Rajesh Chauhan(remember him?) cause he worked in the same company as Dad.

Nikhil. said...

a 3 day conditioning camp for 4 indian bolwers in mysore infosys...
my mother and her frnds see irfi, munaf, agarkar, srinath and venkatesh prasad... one of my mother's frnds see's agarkar after practice and shouts.. "look at him ya...he looks like an apple...!!"
and as for agarkar...he has not played a single match for india since then...!!

vEENs said...

arghh! I have never met a cricketer in life!
I m so jealous..
aw!! the write-up was so cute!

No wi know you were like Deepika Padukone's senior and now this..
mm!!

Pri said...

the bride: no fool. i was in love with jammy in the 7th grade. like seriously in love. and why is this important?? do tell. also the kissam jam story is totally true. i thought everyone knew.

??! the boy didnt own a cell phone back then. and then of course he went and got super famous.

anon: heh. awww maybe you should move to bangalore.

the nomad: you've been??????? is it as beautiful in real life?

anantha: eouu no!!! she was ugly as hell.

almsotinfamous: bwahahaha omg i totally remember that chennai test. sachin scored a big hundred but then got out towards the end and we lost. wasnt it the same series kumble took his ten wickets? and dude rajesh chauhaun?? seriously? although i did take roger binny's autograph one time. heh. also and this is just to make you even more jealous, sachin tendulkar came to my school in the 9th grade for sports day. i was one of the thousands of fans running around trying to get somewhere near him. i barely managed to touch his sleeve and i had totally lied to everyone saying i shook hands with him. heh.

Pri said...

nikhil: an apple?? dude, whatever works to keep agarkar out.

veens: awww not even local boy srinath? your college needs to invite him for some ribbon cutting ceremony or something.

Kavitha said...

super kool...maybe u should post those pics too for our viewing pleasure ;)

I love Lucy said...

Nice story ya,Pri.
And guess whos opening after all!!

the saint said...

and they opened with sehwag and pathan!

Priya said...

OMG! you're semi-celebrity or something! :-)

The closest I ever got to meeting dada was visiting his restaurant in Calcutta (Sourav's)..unfortunately he was not in town :-(

Neha said...

Sachin 100!! whoooooooohooooo!!!!!

The Nomad said...

Sachin's hundreds are usually like bad omen for us ... hopefully that trend will break in this match!

@Pri: My dude and me are both much in love with the game. The dude MUCH more, so he dragged the very willing me to Adelaide to see the Bradman Museum and later we sauntered into the Oval ... the grounds were quiet and lush green and it was evening and all light and shade and those white birds were there on the ground and there was like a revered silence between the two of us and each of the white picket fence had names of old players on it ... it was just awesome.

Apparently they let weddings take place in some part of it ... Pri, you should totally get married at some such place!!

Later we also look the MCG tour and it was really cool but somehow for me that didn't have the same charm that Oval has.

Phantasmagoria said...

Maybe I should tell you about staying on the same hotel floor with our Karnataka boys. Very rich and famous they went on to become. But no, no, we don't want to take away from this. :D (Besides its not much of a story).

Anonymous said...

Pri,
We watched the finals in Coffee Day. Remember when my heart bled with longing to put Jammy on Pineapple intravenus. You me and the KB sat on our three seater, remote control in hand, music muted and watched. Bangalore Club was another day.
Ahhh our Cricketing years.
Hugs
Hope the boya keep up all the god work.

Anonymous said...

BTW These stories were emant to eb atken to our garves. Next thing I know you'll be Blogging about that fateful night post India vs Aus in bangalore.

Pri said...

soupie: no stupid it was in bangalore club. the final day you're thinking about was the last test which we drew. that damn bucknor wasnt giving anyone out that day. also it was steve waugh's last test and his family came off remember and people were weeping. and yes i remember jammy's haalat. the area around him was beginning to flood with all his sweat. also please to be visiting mummyjee soon. that damn padukone girl is totally trying to impress her. think of yamraj's future and your 'sr singh last test - jr singh' debut test' dream.

Pri said...

sorry sorry. it was such a cute story though. and god promsie no one will ever find out about the um incident you mention.
also woman when will you ever learn to use spell check?

KayB said...

awwww gawd pri!!!! i love remembering all of it, even the sensored stuff!!! hehehe
i cant beleive why we didnt go and meet irfi wen he asked us.. damn it, id be married by now and sitting in adelaide with huge sunglasses and perfectly done hair and nails!
we were insane! this is just a bit of whole lot of crazy stories from us!

Dreamcatcher said...

you're totally crazy, its absolutely adorable. Dya think he'd still remember you all?

The Nomad said...

@ Pri and @ Pri's anonymous friend. What's this?!! Mentioning 'fateful' incidents and not telling about them! Berry berry bad ...

Once again ... this story is SO adorable. Really :)

The Nomad said...

OMG!India is at 524!524. and Kumble at 86 ... I want the dude to go make another century!!!

Aspi said...

That is a terrific idea for a T-shirt! But it would have to be screen printed to be really cool!

Anonymous said...

oh pri i luv u

Pri said...

anon: how much??

Carved Garnet said...

Ha ha... You are hilarious!! This story is so cute. Trust you mad women only to do something like this. He he he.
I remember Kumble also came to school for one sports day. Remember?? Blog about that too.
Our school is way too famous! =P

almostinfamous said...

is it just me or this whole adelaide thing turning out to be a yawn fest?

Anonymous said...

153 metric tons!

Jason said...

I just stumbled on the blog after watching India bat out the remaining overs at the Adelaide Oval

Thanks for the account.... It was hilarious :)

I think girls have it easy when it comes to cricketers.. obviously perhaps?

Keep the cricket stories and anecdotes. Anything and everything will be absorbed by crazy fans like me...

Epiphany said...

nice post....btw can I use that pic(sachin's) on a T?? Thot of asking since it would be your copyright.. :)

Coco Captive said...

U took a pic with Kumble??? I am soooo jealous! Will come back and comment after reading the whole post!

Coco Captive said...

Goodness! U were friends with Irfan???
I am super jealous!!!!!!!!!
Hmmpphhh.. ! :)

Preeth said...

sooper.

plush said...

totally agree with zak being so..ahem...nice...u girls did hav fun eh...:)..

Susa said...

My college was 20 kms from Trichy, which is around 300 kms from the nearest ground they play even under 15 cricket. I didnt even know people could talk to cricketers!