Thursday, September 29, 2005

Of Dutch memories and beer

I open my eyes and I am here - trying to write my blog with nothing new to say. What the heck? I will just go back into flashback mode.

My trip to Amsterdam in June was cool. Apart from the time a waitress at an al fresco joint bathed me in beer. Ok, so I am exaggerating a bit.

I had been sent there to cover the IIFA awards. Dining out at an al fresco cafe one night with Ms Doordarshan, Mr Telegraph, and Ms Star News, Toe Knee had no idea of what fate had in store for him. I had ordered a glass of chocomel (chocolate milk) while the others had opted for a fizzier drink.

But in true-blue filmi style, the blonde bombshell of a waitress tripped over the carpet and dumped the contents of a humongous pitcher of beer onto the my poor torso.

For the wet, dripping and stinking scribe, the apologies of the waitress did not help matters. And pray, what did fellow travellers on the flight home think of the stench emanating from Toe Knee's jacket? We'll leave you to figure that one out.

On a more serious note, it's been four months now since that heavenly four-day stay in the capital of The Netherlands but I still dream I am back again, walking around the sunny sidewalks, travelling on those beautiful trams, staring with rapt admiration at boats in the city of canals, window-shopping for miniature windmills, bumping into Mrs Shahrukh Khan (who correctly identified me as a member of the Indian paparazzi and looked the other way) and of course stocking up on Dutch chocolates. That's made me kinda hungry. Does anybody have chocolates to spare?

And those wondering who the damsel standing next to the BMW bike in the picture is - She's Paroma Ganguly from Doordarshan. Paroma and I had just come out from a seminar when we spotted this truly awesome bike outside the hall. And as Indians generally do, we persuaded bystanders to click a pic with the dream bike. We seemed to have touched the bike in the process, setting off the alarm - which explains the flickering lights in the pic. But managed to run away before the owner arrived.

The other pic - well, I was just passing by this non-descript church next to a canal. All churches in Amsterdam are huge so this one is not that great. Am standing next to a statue on the sidewalk - Have no idea who or what the statue represents. There was no self-explanatory caption either. By the way, the picture came out great but if you can't make out the statue in the picture, I blame Blogger not the pic.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Cold Factor

Life sure sucks when one has a horrible cold. Yours truly is having a first-hand experience. Have sniffed a million D-Colds and swallowed a million Vicks and Halls and you-name-it-alls but nothing seems to be working. My nose is still running and I am feeling envious of all the people enjoying a cold-free experience out there. Help...Aachoooooooooooooooooo. Wish this news report were true.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Super Sania goes down to Mighty Maria

Well, it was to be expected. There was no point getting our hopes too high. It's the scoreline I have a problem with - especially the 6-2 score in the first set. Sania actually played better than Sharapova in the first set; she had more winners too (8 compared to 7) but doublefaults and unforced errors let her down at crucial stages. The score in that set should have been something like 6-4 given that the two players seemed evenly matched.

The second set was a different ballgame altogether. The 6-1 scoreline was accurate. The now vulnerable Sania was almost whitewashed by the superior Russian and the end result was never in doubt.

Years ago one guy, commenting on Ramesh Krishnan's performance on the "big stage" lamented the lack of "killer instinct" in Indians. Sania's case might be something of the sort too. In her post-match interview, Sania says she was not a tad bit nervous but I can understand the pressures of playing the top seed on the Centre Court.

There's still time though. She's only 18. It's been a good Grand Slam circuit for Sania this year and hopefully next year will turn out better.

The good thing about the match being scheduled in the wee hours Indian Time was again - my Graveyard Shift - I could be in office and yet relax and watch the match. Had the result been different, I would have been in seventh heaven right now.

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