We were standing in the line for buffet when Prof V turned around and exclaimed, “I’ve got Sachin’s plate. See it says ST here at the back of it” there was a little stir among the delegates in line! Seeing the hesitation, I quipped, “I have Kumble’s, mine has an AK at the back.” We beamed at each other, stepped out of the dinner line, did an impromptu happy jig. By now some of the delegates standing around us were turning their plates to see what was written behind theirs. A foreign delegate who stood next to us interrupted our jig and asked if she could exchange her plate for Sachin’s, as she had no engraving on hers. Prof V looked rather glum now, his smile suddenly fell, but “in the name of the great Indian hospitality” he proclaimed “I’ll give it to you” and handed his plate to her in style. She was delighted. I had to fight hard to keep a straight face and not burst out laughing, giving the both of us away!!
We were at the Mumbai Cricket Club that night for a conference dinner. (This is how Prof V and I were acquainted and later became friends.)
We had arrived early for our dinner, or so it seemed! There was nobody around, the hall was empty, we chose the central table. About 5 of us and Prof V. Tired from a long day of listening to presentation after presentation we were waiting for dinner to be served, and call it a day. Our brains had officially switched off for the day!!
As the wait for the dinner seemed to prolong Z, who was sitting beside me, & I started this random conversation about the Sachin-Kumble and the table. In minutes, our table was buzzing with a story. We were delighted to be seated at the table assigned to the Captain and Vice Captain of the Indian Cricket team. When a junior, a new admission that semester, thought this serious nonsense we were cooking up to be true, our zeal increased. T added, the table gradually was nicknamed SK, another scholar googled and said, it was instituted during Sachin and Kumble’s term. Y said the table was rosewood and teak! All of us had such a new lease of life as the SK story grew in leaps and bounds! The new admission believed it all 😉
When the junior said he was a Sachin fan. I stood up immediately “you should be sitting here, not I, junior😀. Z could you give me yours since I see that has an AK on in. You now I am the fan.” Z obliged, and in a matter of minutes the three of us had rearranged ourselves around the table. By the time the food was being served and we were standing at the queue, Z and I, and the rest of us, (by now we had divulged to the new admission this was all a joke) had temporarily forgotten about our SK ramble.
In all this while, we hardly noticed Prof V! We were pleasantly startled when he staged his impromptu act 😊😇 at the buffet line. That kind of a sense of nonsense coming from a Prof who has a reputation of being a serious and scary guide to his supervisees was a brilliant gesture. We were delighted. The tablemates, including the junior stood by him to make his act a success. He had at ST, I had an AK, junior said his said an RD, for Dravid. He was getting a hang of the department😊. This was turning out to be one magical evening, and an unforgettable conference!
Jokes apart, ever since I can remember cricket, I have been a Kumble fan, people around me knew that I cannot be disturbed when he is out there in the field.. Ever since I can remember I have given treats on the days he has had a good haul and a spell! I was on cloud 100 when he took his 10 at the Kotla, busy distributing sweets to all and sundry, in between attending congratulatory calls (it was as if I had won taken the 10 that day). Like the euphoria, I was badly shaken up when he had to ball with that bandage around his head; or that time when his ball slid into Saba Karin’s eyes. One of the reasons I still harbour a little anger towards Dhoni is because I feel, Kumble was forced to retire for Dhoni to take over in the middle of a series! Haw!
Now all that is a thing of the past! I am beyond over the top happy today that he has been named the Head Coach!
Doing a jig! and going to buy silk!
featured pic: Before we came up with the SK Table story, everyone at the SK table were trying our hand at making and breaking bottles structures.
Linking to Friday Reflections Imagine you have a touch of magic, and can make impossible things happen. What would you do?