It’s exciting to renew my association with Hindustan Times readers but I am not sure about the timing. Two ducks in a row, one win and one loss is not a frame of mind that amateur writers like me would want to write. But a funny story encouraged me to get going.
Two days before the tournament, we were at our hotel in Abu Dhabi having dinner. Besides me, there were my KKR teammate Manvinder Bisla, Ashish Nehra, Mithun Manhas and KKR’s assistant coach Vijay Dahiya. Vijay bhai and I decided to have duck a l’orange which I am told is a French dish. The duck was done really well. Vijay bhai and I had our fill but still a substantial amount was left. We were pestering Bisla to have it but he was tucking into his Chinese dish. Vijay bhai has his way of looking at things and in his typical way told Bisla in chaste Hindi, “Yaar duck yahin khaa ley, nahin to match mein khaana padeyga,” and we all burst out laughing. I must admit I laughed out the loudest.
Once again Vijay bhai’s timing was immaculate. What he meant was it was better to eat duck for dinner than scoring a duck in a game!
Vijay bhai’s sense of humour was on the money but little did I know that I’d be the one on the receiving end – paying the price of having duck for dinner and then getting the compliment back twice over in two games. Wife is a God-fearing vegetarian. She says this is the sign from above and I too should go vegetarian! I am contemplating.
I was always a decent student. I used to dread mathematics. The worst time was when the school was breaking for a vacation and I’d get results of my mathematics exam. Invariably it used to be a low-scoring affair (not as low scoring as last two games, though!). And that would kill my vacations.
The entire family would be on my case to brush up my mathematics skills. I felt exactly the same as KKR got a 4-day break after losing the last game to Delhi. Trust me four days after a win feels spa-like but after that loss I felt like a banker who has had auditors calling on him. My auditors are my internal demons that eat me up all the time after the team loses.
Besides batting and gym most of my last four days were spent in the room, ordering room service, watching sport on TV and also listening to my current favourite song by Arif Lohar “Jugnee Ji”. It’s an old song that he and others sang at Coke Studio. I have got stuck with it. Those who know me would tell you that if I like a song it stays on loop till I discover its successor.
Talking about successor, someone in our team was suggesting that IPL has found Chris Gayle’s successor in Glen Maxwell. Well, these are early days for Maxwell to be bracketed with the West Indian Big Cat. Some of my friends in the Mumbai Indians tell me that Maxwell was a real livewire in their dressing room and first one to offer to do a 12th man’s job if he wasn’t playing. I love such personalities who are selfless.
I am also very happy for one of my favourite actresses Preity Zinta. For long I have seen her sitting in the stands cheering her team with equal zeal whether they won or lost. This year her team is on a roll and Preity is enjoying. And for a change she doesn’t need to ponder about what to wear on a game day to bring her team luck. Personally, I think she looks the best in red Punjabi salwar-kameez.
Stepping out for dinner now. Thinking of having chicken ton, a Lebanese dish. Let’s see if it works.
Kaizen Media Solutions
The writer is the skipper of Kolkata Knight Riders