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Tuesday, March 27, 2007


The only saving grace of India's pathetic show against Sri Lanka was watching at least part of the game in Harsha Bhogle's presence. For those of you who know your sport, the voice of cricket needs no introduction. He's passionate about the sport and it clearly shows.

When we booked a table at The Grand Copthorne Waterfront's Piano Bar we certainly weren't expecting celebrity. And with our collective brushes with celebrity (between our table we had a fair bit of media and a fair bit of PR covered), when Harsha was doing the introductory rounds, we just weren't sure how this was going to turn out. In fact, we thought he's do his Hi's and his handshakes and move on. So when Tripta asked Harsha to join us we half expected him to say no. Some folks take celebrity status rather seriously, Harsha clearly doesn't.

He's like your friend next door, the expert who stays grounded and doesn't brusf off any question as stupid enough. A lot of experts in his shoes definitely would. So the questions flowed through the night:
- Why is India batting first?
Pat came the analysis about the pitch and how it would work to our advantage.
- Can Sri Lanka last through the game?
Yup, the cricket line goes all the way down to Russell Arnold.
- Is our fielding good?
No, not when you compare it to the other teams, its just that our standards have been lowered.
- Why are cricket commentators always kissing their mikes?
Sure they seem like they are from another age, but they still have the best sound quality and don't pick up background sound.

Thus, it went through the better part of the night. We had our own live analysis as the did the table next to ours. Such was the charm of his personality that you could see people walk through with a warm smile and a handshake, some of course resorted to donning fake Amrikan accents - quite a spectacle that sounded. There were crazy comments all round, as can only be expected when winners fail to work that spell. In the midst of all of that, Harsha remained perhaps the only oasis of sanity.

What impressed me most about the man was the fact that he sat through it all. I'm pretty certain he did because when we called it quits, soon after Yuvraj's inexplicable run-out, he was still there alert (despite a morning flight), making mental notes of what would go into his show the same morning at 11am. How often does one see that kind of commitment these days? Which is why when you hear him talk you already know that this is one voice in a class of its very own. The kind of voice you hear when passion and vision come together. The insights then can never be better than Harsha Bhogle's.

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