Tour Diary: ‘Ek pass milega’? (Can I get one ticket?)
The hopeful question on everyone's lips, from the jaywalker to the bellboy. Plus, RCB's saplings find a home.
Those three words
One of the fun things about being seen with the team is the conversations random people try to strike up with you. At first, this seemed a pleasant proposition before a pattern began to emerge. It became amply evident that everyone thought we owned the Chinnaswamy stadium and a stash of tickets was lying in an secret waist belt covered by the RCB jersey on top.
So almost always, niceties would be exchanged, and the chat would end with, "Ek paas milega? (Can I get one ticket for the RCB match)?"
The difference in approach is where the amusement lies. Here's a collection.
Tactically naive, these boys do their best "This way, Sir" British accent impersonations as they roll your luggage into the room with pomp. Putting on a fake smile that could get jaws into serious trouble, they wait patiently behind the half-closed door for a minute before popping the question.
Of course, it doesn't help that they don't trust you and insist on one ticket irrespective. After some experimentation, the most effective reply seems to be, "Are you sure you have all my bags? One seems to be missing..."
Walking halfway down the road, they spot the RCB jersey, turn around and questions begin to follow.
"Are you in RCB?"
"Are you a friend of Robin Uthappa's?"
"Are you a player in the team?"
After two ayes and a nay somehow trigger a reaction in their heads that I must indeed be the almighty-sent solution to their ticketing problems, they smile broadly, stare blankly and mutter the magic words.
No rabbit for them.
They came, they saw, and truly conquered. Getting off their two wheelers, they'd stop me in the middle of the road and babble while looking in strange amazement.
Some even made the effort to ride alongside as I walked. The direction of traffic wasn't a matter of concern for them, and while they were dreamy-eyed when asking questions about Rahul, focus was quickly snapped into, and the wishful line thrown.
It's here that I discovered how well the wonderfully dramatized sentence of "Rehta toh main aapko nahin deta?" (If I had one, wouldn't I give it to you brother?) works.
Saw them go away happy in the knowledge that at least they tried. Baron Pierre De Coubertin would be proud.
A place to grow
Remember the saplings that were lovingly watered by RCB players and brand ambassadors at the Delhi Daredevils match as part of RCB's 'Go Green Sapling Project'?
The lucky fellas now have a permanent address in the side garden on the path leading to the United Breweries (UB) Tower in Bangalore, following a planting session by the UB Group's top honchos, including Vijay Rekhi, MD of United Spirits Limited (USL), the group within UB that owns RCB.
Each of the delicate fifteen belong to the-what Wikipedia likes to call "The Caesalpiniaceae subfamily of the legume family"-well known Ashoka species.
They will be named after those that watered them first. Known to rocket to great heights, the Ashokas should, by IPL-10, give the UB Tower some competition.
Go on, pay them a visit.