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‘Wide Angle’d!

A classy evening for Kumble's book launch reveals why, around dressing rooms, he wasn't just feared for his bowling. And an RCB secret!

The occasion




Two decades of Anil Kumble making models out of mammals and Indian cricketers through his photography celebrated by launching 'Wide Angle'- a book of candid memories. The Magnolia at ITC Royal Gardenia provided just the right setting.


 


The credit goes to..


 


Dinesh Kumble (Anil's elder brother) for stuffing a camera into Anil's bag on his first cricket tour, saying, " Just keep it. You might want to get back some memories". Little did he know he'd be paid back in kind-getting a cricket bag full of photos to sort out and compile into a book! 


 


Mamatha Reddy, the designer of the book, who's spent a good part of the last 365 days doing just that, and deservedly got a special mention in Anil's speech.


 


Oh, and Anil's wife and kids for agreeing to spend all their vacations in only wildlife sanctuaries and game parks. (I have a suspicion they didn't have a choice!)


 



 


Photo courtesy Chief Photographer Ashish Parmar


 


Star Quotient


 


Dazzling. B S Chandrashekhar and Ravi Shastri caught up on some old memories; Shane Warne's presence made it a 'super spinners' evening; Syed Kirmani was ever willing to chat with young and old alike; and the commentators for the game today, Ian Bishop, Brad Hogg and Russel Arnold showed up too.


 


Not to forget the entire RCB team along with Sidhartha Mallya who were there for their capain.


 


Anil's family, including mother Saroja, wife Chethana, and brother Dinesh with his wife Romila were the real stars though, making sure every guest had dinner and was at home. Such grace. 


 


Tussle of the night


 


Narayana Murthy vs V G Siddhartha.  


 


The announcement of the auction of the first copy of the book (signed by all RCB players) sent the crowd into a tizzy. 


 


The funds generated were to be given away to the Jumbo fund for wildlife conservation under the Kumble Foundation and bidding began in earnest. 


 


Robin Uthappa tried his hand with a bid at twenty five grand, but after the bid touched a lakh, it was the founder of Infosys against the owner of Cafe Coffee Day as the auction garnered 'oohs' for the price tag.


 


Narayana Murthy revealed his naughty side, quietly raising his hand with a wry smile and bidding Rs.10,000 more every time the count went past two. Siddhartha duly responded, raising the stakes Rs.40,000 more than Mr. Murthy to arrive at a round figure.


 


Back-and-forth they went, and finally, it was Siddhartha's bid for four lakh rupees that did the trick.


 


Next time you're at a Cafe Coffee Day, ask for the book.  


 


   


 


Photo courtesy Chief Photographer Ashish Parmar


 


Anil 'Joe Louis' Kumble


 


When quizzed about whether he was ever considered intrusive in the dressing room because of his photography, Anil replied, (Joe Louis style-"He can run but he can't hide") "Well, I told the cricketers they would have no privacy as I would be around all the time!"


 


Rahul, sitting on the stage during the presentation, nodded with a smile about being perpetually asked to pose in the dressing room, but said, "In retrospect, when I look at these photos ten years after the tour, they are invaluable. Indeed.  


 


Why you should get the book 


 


Back in the late 80s during an India U-17 training camp in Kashmir, a mountain man was requested to click a picture. So thrilled was he to have the opportunity to get his donkey on film that he shot only  Anil's (who was perched on top of the animal) legs! The photo graces the inside cover on the back of the book and is downright hilarious. 


 


On India's tour of England in 2007, Anil didn't insist on being the cameraman for once and five Indian cricketers in their whites and resplendent blue flags got captured in front of the Lord's balcony with the Indian flag proudly fluttering on top on a beautiful, sunny day. I saw the photo and had a lump in my throat, the I'm-so-privileged-to-have-watched-these-fine gentlemen-play-for-India sort. Can you guess who the cricketers are?


 


RCB Magic Potion?  


 


Having revealed his greatest moments as an individual (There were two. Go figure!) while playing for India, I asked Anil for an RCB special. 


 


He said, "Making it to last year's final", stopped, smiled, and elaborated, "Actually, before the match against KKR (when Ross played that blinder), we had a team meeting. There was a feeling that players were carrying baggage as far as expectations were concerned. We sat down, and every player opened up about what was bothering him. Having gotten it out of our heads, we walked out of the meeting knowing we were going to be a different team from that day on. And it showed smile "


 


Ah, so it wasn't Getafix the Druid after all. 


 


A preview of the book can be found at http://wideangle.canvera.com

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Latest comments

i got the book recently, and loved the book, awesome job Anil!!! i wish you autographed the book....i am die hard fan of you hope my dream of meeting you comes true....
Sreeluu on 18 Jun 2010, 11:46 PM
@KunJan: Thanks.

@Poshin: Yeah, I guess that's what you pay for twenty years of the inside stuff in Indian cricket. On film.

@Gajee: Thanks! :)
aneeshsurender on 19 Mar 2010, 07:29 AM
wonderful article
gajee on 19 Mar 2010, 02:27 AM
Wildlife and cricket photography, that too by Anil..Sounds exciting and certainly a book to own.

However, as of now, it is beyond the reach..Some day I will buy an autographed copy :))
Wizardprince on 19 Mar 2010, 02:04 AM
seems to be one hell of a splendid book......got to put my hands on the book asap
PrinceDravid on 19 Mar 2010, 01:51 AM
It costs nearly 6000 INR!
Poshin on 19 Mar 2010, 01:45 AM
Nice post! Wish i could grab a look at the book!
KunJan on 19 Mar 2010, 01:00 AM