Thursday, June 08, 2006

22 hours, 43 minutes to go...

Don’t go by the clock in the title… The World Cup really kicks off at midnight of 13th June, as the Samba magicians start their campaign against Croatia.

I watched Da Vinci Code yesterday (at a 11:50 show – which ended at 02:45!) and hitting Fanaa tomorrow (for a 10:30 show), to get my body-clock into the late night mode! Given that 5 of Brazil’s 7 matches are past the witching hour, I need all the practice I can get!

Brazil’s largest support base – Calcutta, for those infatuated with Beckham – is all geared up for the big event… with doctor’s certificates advising a month’s bed rest, train tickets to send those pesky kids and the wife off, projectors hooked onto to TVs instead of laptops et al!

I still remember vividly the last World Cup, when due to some unforgivably bad planning, I was due to take a flight back from Bagdogra to Calcutta on the day Brazil was supposed to take the Empire! I was scheduled to land in Calcutta 15 minutes before the kick-off. Hence, plans were made to watch the match in the airport coffee shop. Lest that becomes too full, I had also procured a Jet Airways Gold card (I was a lowly Blue then!) so that I can take position in their lounge! Somehow, I thought Gold cards would have precedence in the lounge seating!
Anyways, when I landed up at the Bagdogra airport, I realized – to my complete delight – that the flight had been delayed till about 2 hours AFTER the scheduled end of the match.
No reason was given.
None was asked for – as all the passengers scrambled back to their homes, hotels, coffee shops, lounges and own personal heavens – and when we eventually boarded the flight with glowingly fresh memories of the The Free-Kick, it was only natural that we were welcomed on board by Capt. Mukherjee and his crew!

P.S. For the lines I wrote on that flight, scroll down an inch!

P.P.S. For a completely amazing site on the Beautiful Game, check out what Nike has to offer!

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