Wednesday, February 21, 2007

An Evening Among Celebrities

When I came to know that Harsha Bhogle was going to conduct the final of our company quiz and 20,000 people were going to watch it, I had thought I would be tongue tied on the stage. In reality, however, it had the effect of loosening my tongue so much that I blurted out stupid answers to questions with negative marks and ended up with zero marks after the quiz.
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But that came later. Before that, when the stadium started filling up with people in the afternoon of 17th February, I had come to know how big the audience was going to be. When I saw the stage being prepared for Sonu Nigam’s show, I understood what the magnitude of the function was. And when Mandira Bedi walked through the ground towards the stage and I ran alongside her for a hundred metres and yet could manage only one shaky photograph, I realized that I was nervous.

But it was fun! Being nervous didn’t prevent me from enjoying the function. Throughout the quiz Harsha kept joking and tried to make us feel at ease (the result of that, of course, I have already written). He seemed to be overjoyed about the fact that Sourav Ganguly had won the Man of the Series award a little while ago “proving everybody wrong” as he put it. He even cracked a joke at coach Greg Chappel’s expense.
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The quiz wasn’t very easy, and we really never had the chance of coming first or second. Maybe we could have been third with a little luck, and since we didn’t have it, we were fifth among six teams. The first two teams were really good and the winner had been all but decided halfway through the quiz. I was representing Hyderabad in the quiz as I had been selected before my transfer.

After the quiz, as the evening progressed, the crowd went berserk with a sparkling presentation of song and dance performances from the competitors in the cultural events. The whole thing felt like a dream when the spectators sitting all over the small Bangalore stadium suddenly decided to switch on their cell phone lights and wave them in unison.

Even before the celebrities had arrived, the crowd had been cheering the athletes as they participated in their respective events. The sports events, which had been held first after the glittering opening ceremony (what a terrible waste of balloons, I must say… some poor bird must have had a nasty shock while flying) had ended by 6:00 pm and the quiz had started soon afterwards. That was when the galleries had become really full.
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However, the list of celebrities whom I saw that evening does not end here. The sports prizes were given away by Kapil Dev. He also gave a short speech. There was also a short speech by our chairman who is a celebrity in his own right.

The spectators were becoming restless waiting for Sonu Nigam, the star performer of the evening. However, his appearance got a bit delayed due to some schedule slippage. Also, his performance proved to be an anticlimax. He had hardly finished singing three songs when the authorities of a hospital next to the stadium demanded that the volume of the music be reduced, hearing which Mr. Nigam promptly thanked everybody and was gone in a jiffy. The function was quickly wrapped up with a magnificent display of fireworks.

Although we lost the quiz, this evening was one of the most memorable events of my life. This was our first function. I hope I will get a chance to win the next one.


  1. Thats really awesome and I can see that you had a lot of fun, better luck next year representing Kolkata?

  2. Jemon aamar wish nie jaaoni!! Tar opor aabar mandira bedi r mesmerizing spell!! But surely better luck next year.

  3. Sugata,
    It looks like you had a gr8 time there:-)

    What a 'gorgeous' picture you have posted:-) She walked in beauty like a starlit night.....:-)

  4. @shreemoyee: If I go next year I'll be representing Kolkata no doubt.

    @anonymous: Thanks... Issh! Jodi tomar wishta niye jetum!

    @abhijit: Ahem, that picture isn't all that great. She looked much more beautiful than that.