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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hyderabad gets ready for Tendulkar's birthday bash

Hyderabadis could not have asked for more. With another Indian Premier League (IPL) match scheduled in Hyderabad on Sunday, Uppal stadium is all set to host not only a major IPL Match,Mumbai Indian (MI) vs Deccan Chargers (DC), but also the countrys cricket sensation Sachin Tendulkar on his birthday on the same day.

Frenzied cricket fans have ensured that not a single seat of the huge Uppal stadium is currently available with the tickets sold out a week prior to the match. This will be the fourth time that the stadium would be packed to capacity (in a match not involvingIndia).

The first IPL for which Uppal stadium was chock-a-block was when Hyderabadis thronged to catch Sachin in action when MI played DC in 2008, the second houseful show was when Saurav Ganguly and Shoaib Akhtar pulled the crowds when Kolkata Knight Riders played against DC (again 2008) and the third time when the Chennai Super Kings captain and reigning superstar M S Dhoni played against the Hyderabad team the same year. Looks like its going to be a big bash at Uppal this Sunday.

Fair loo service : Speaking of the IPL, here's an intriguing anecdote shared by a spectator at the Uppal stadium of just how smitten we still are with fair skin. During last Saturdays match, a foreign couple went around looking for the washroom and when they found one, it turned out to be a men's loo, the ladies washroom located on the second floor. So, while the man took his loo break, our lady too requested the guards to be allowed to use the facility. Lo and behold, not only was she allowed to use the loo, the guards even ensured that nobody entered the mens washroom as long as the lady was inside. Now, there is nothing wrong with a little chivalry, but a curious spectator asked the guard if an Indian woman would have been given the same royal loo treatment. Well, at least the guards were honest as they mumbled a shy No. Guess they were only taking the atithi devo bhava concept a tad too seriously, or were they?

Turbulent times : Now enough has been written about fake pilots and how travellers are turning extremely suspicious of men in the cockpit. And the result of this unholy suspicion has led to air-hostesses arming themselves with more than snacks and beverages as they go around fielding questions from curious/worried passengers on pilots manning the aircraft, including their work experience, number of hours of flying apart from, of course, their designations. So after budget airlines turned the aircraft crew into vendors, as they went around selling coffees, teas and cashew nuts, the fake pilot scam has resulted in them hardselling not just sandwiches, but also bio-datas of the pilots. Travellers share that mid-air jerks and turbulence are hastily being equated with the pilots experience (or the lack of it). In one instance, a Hyderabad-bound much turbulent Sunday flight had passengers demanding to see the pilots experience certificate and even raised questions on his familiarity with various domestic sectors. Fielding all these queries were hassled crew who took great pains to explain the turbulence was due to poor weather and not of the pilots doing. The fake pilot scam may become old news after some time, but these are surely turbulent times for airline staff that has turned into a mid-air crisis management crew.

Beating the ban : For every government rule, there are a dozen ways of breaking or manoeuvring your way around them or so has been established repeatedly by the brainy citizens of the country. Turning no-parking zones into packed parking lots or the ban on public smoking going up in smoke are only minor examples of how things work despite a ban/prohibition. So it is hardly surprising that the citys junior college managements have found a way to beat the no summer classes diktat of the state government. The student-friendly policy to ensure young minds get some rest during the harsh summer months has not really yielded a relaxed vacation as summer classes have moved discreetly to districts. Parents are now renting out houses to put up their children for the vacations so that they can go for the all-important summer coaching. While the government rule applies to even districts, college managements share how vigilance in non-Hyderabad centres is not as strict as in the capital. And if its business as usual for junior colleges this summer, guess who is the unlikely beneficiary of this rule-bender? House owners in districts who are busy letting out rooms for quick bucks this summer.

Once a superstar, always a superstar : In politics, they say, there is no age for retirement and that is rather obvious in mana state or even the country with the grey-haired outnumbering the younger lot in great numbers. But it appears that even in tinsel town there is no age for actors to superannuate. And we arent really talking about Amitabh Bachchan here but many yesteryear actors who ensure they hold on to the superstardom halo they once enjoyed. Awards and titles keep the spotlight on them. A recent award ceremony had Vijayashanti win the silver screen empress honour, which was a tad strange because she is clearly nowhere among the reigning divas of today. With Secunderabad MLA Jayasudha too winning an outstanding artiste award, it possibly wasnt just films that won the two ladies the honours; the actors themselves ensure they remain star-like. So, a big fan of a long forgotten superstar narrates writing endless letters to the out-of-work actor with a simple request an autograph. Endless calls to his office, his secretary and even his driver yielded no result and the fan is still awaiting a scribble on a piece of paper.

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