Robin Uthappa: Challenger of the Day
Your questions answered as our biggest six-hitter talks about being offered a baby-sitting job, giving fancy names to his cars and much more!
Photograph courtesy Chief Photographer Ashish Parmar
I hear that your passion for cars extends into giving the ones you own fancy names as well. What do you call them?
Where are you getting these questions from? (laughs) Well, my first car was a Santro, so I named her Sundari, because she was beautiful. My second car, was a passion red Skoda, and I named her Kanmani, because she's the apple of my eye. My third car was a blue Verna, and I'd had two girls, so this time I decided to have a boy, and named it Rajan. If I had the choice to buy a car though, it'd be the BMW X6, even though it wouldn't make any sense for Bangalore's roads!
Your laughter is renowned to be loud, and infectious. What's the funniest moment in your time with RCB that made you roll on the floor, even?
In South Africa last year, we had to take precautionary vaccination and Jitendra Patil (RCB fast bowler) refused to allow the needle anywhere near him. He was so scared that even when the coach threatened to drop him from the team, he refused to relent! We got the whole thing on tape and laughed about it for days.
What's your monthly bill at Subway?
Oh god, close to Rs.4000 I guess! I love the taste of the food and it's healthy. The Chicken Teriyaki rules.
Tell us about your obsession with chocolate. What's the biggest slab you've attacked?
I don't drink or smoke, so I guess it's my only vice! My father and sister can resist it, but me and mom just can't do without it. One time, we got this huge five kg Toblerone bar from Australia, and me and mom would team up, cut huge slices and finish it systematically. It was gone in a month!
What is the one thing you always gift to friends?
I'm a very 'Watch' person. So to close friends those are my gifts. I have a fetish for watches, and own 28 of them. I'm not into particular brands, but I like big watches. The last one I picked up was a Nautica.
Your Twitter page (@robbieu9) abounds with PJ's (Poor Jokes). What's the best one you've cooked up and gotten a reaction for?
The reactions to my PJ's are priceless. They usually go "What the hell are you saying?" or "Oh, really?" or "Ok, that was funny!". This one time I asked them how you'd send a rose to the moon, and everyone was like, "On a rocket", "In a spaceship", blah. I said, "It's simple man. All you've to say is Gulab, Ja Moon! (Gulab is a rose, Ja is go to and Gulabjamun happens to be a famous Indian sweet). I've told this to everyone. (laughs)
You have a reputation for being the best baby-sitter in the team. Tell us more.
When you're interacting with a kid, you're interacting with God. It's very special the way a child laughs, and the questions he asks. Sometimes they ask questions you can't answer! I love kids. Once on a tour to England when I was 16-17, we went over to the house of a friend of the coach. I got on very well with their 7 year old daughter and we played for four hours. When it was time for me to leave, she was crying. They actually offered me money to baby-sit her while they were away for the weekend!
What's the one song you'd like to be played when you go out to bat?
"Eye of the Tiger" is an all time favourite and would be great to listen to when I step out.As would "Chak De".
What do you love most about going back to your coffee farm in Coorg? And how was Dhoni's trip there with you?
Oh, it's such a peaceful place. Telephones don't work, you're cut off from the rest of the world. There's the peace of the wild, and the smell of fresh coffee. Relaxing. I'd met MS at a shoot in Bombay and told him I was going to Coorg. He made his mind up and decided to come. It happened suddenly, and was just ten of us, me, him and some close friends. We did some target shooting on coconuts with air guns. What fun.
Robin, what have you learnt from Sachin Tendulkar during your stint with the Mumbai Indians? asked by ymahesh
I spent a lot of time with Sachin in Australia, even before the Mumbai Indians season. We talked about delaying going after the bowling, and I got perspective on how to do things when you're under pressure. But otherwise, watching the man was education enough. You pick up so much from the guy, whether he's training or talking to you, because you're not just hearing him, you're listening very carefully!
Robin, are you single? And what's your ideal girl like? asked by preeheg
To answer your question about what kind of girl I like, I'm an old fashioned guy, so I definitely like a simple, grounded girl who has a relationship with God. As far as being single or not would go, that's for me to know and you to find out!