We have been told we are lucky. It’s just five below as of now. They say, a week ago it was fifteen. Back home in India, one gets a fair inkling about the weather outside by the chill factor indoors.
Here the two are different worlds. From heated hotels and stadiums to the bone numbing howl of the wind outside — it’s just a step but it seems Biblical in proportion as one crosses the chasm between heaven and hell.
Huge mounds of snow are piled on sidewalks and each moving car looks like its been through a chimney — covered as they are with the grime of churned up snow.
While most of us have not been to London or New York, somehow those cities are familiar on account of extensive exposure on television and in the movies.
But Moscow, despite being such a familiar name, is an alien city indeed. Hardly any landmarks jump out from the bank of memories.
The Kremlin might be different but as of now it’s all real strange. The cold makes it all the more so.
Watching a bunch of Russian boys struggle over a football while keeping precarious balance, just adds to the feeling of alienation.
Thankfully, the matches are indoors where even yours truly can saunter about in a t-shirt.
World number 11!
Russia is ranked number three in the Davis Cup nations ranking. But while one has known the fact for some time, it still does not cease to surprise that India is number eleven in the world.
Given that Somdev Devvarman is our highest ranked singles player at 128 and Rohan Bopanna is a distant second at 416, it is kind of bizarre for the country to be ranked so high.
The secret is in the way the ranking is calculated. It considers results for four years and points come in for only winning with away ties and beating better ranked countries aiding the cause.
Still, one can’t get over the fact that India is actually 11 in the world. Of course, the 22-match unbeaten streak of our veteran warriors Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi does contribute significantly to this achievement.