IPL 10

For a poor loser like me, chance of crashing out due to rain was killing me: Gautam Gambhir

Karnataka has given us Mysore dosa... I think they can proudly add Chinnaswamy’s drainage facility to that list, the KKR captain wrote.

“Worn out 70-year old.”

“Felt as if I owned half the planet.”

“Numb.”

These are some of the phrases Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir used to describe the gamut of emotions he underwent as rain almost washed out the crucial Eliminator and potentially his team from the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League.

“As it is, I am such a poor loser and the possibility of crashing out of a tournament due to rain was killing me,” a candid Gambhir wrote in his captain’s diary on the official Kolkata Knight Riders website.

“I checked the equations and timings again and again and again,” he elaborated on what he was going through during the enforced break. “I was so furious that it made me numb. One part of me said you cannot fight nature. The other half shouted, ‘Why KKR?’ I’d admit that my mind also took me back to the losses against Punjab and Mumbai. One win there and we’d have been in top two and wouldn’t have had to go through this torture. I don’t know how God decides his checks and balances for human beings but I was feeling really hard done by.”

Kolkata eventually won the knockout match against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Chinnawamy Stadium in Bengaluru by Duckworth-Lewis method, a match that went on till almost 2 am. Opting to bowl first, Kolkata restricted Sunrisers to a modest 128, before overhauling the revised target of 48 in six overs.

Had the match been completely rained out, Sunrisers would have gone through on account of their higher position on the points table. No wonder Gambhir was as worried as he was. However, soon after the rain stopped, the match could continue, thanks to the new drainage system at the Bengaluru stadium, which makes drying the ground swifter.

Such was the efficiency of the drainage system, that Gambhir called it one of Karnataka’s proudest contributions to India, after the Mysore Dosa.

“Rain stopped and Chinnaswamy’s magical drying facility took over,” he wrote. “Karnataka has given us Mysore dosa besides a lot in other areas. I think they can proudly add Chinnaswamy’s drainage facility to that list.”

But Gambhir was very sporting about the result, expressing hope that there will be a more ideal solution to rain-curtailed T20 games. “I felt real sorry for Sunrisers as such losses are tough to take,” he wrote. “I hope someone takes note of rain-affected matches and comes up with a plan B.”

After a match, Gambhir was all praise for his bowlers for restricting the Sunrisers. “A lot of credit to the bowlers. They set the game up for us,” Gambhir said at the post-match presentation ceremony. “The bowlers restricting the Sunrisers batting to 128 was brilliant. There has been times when we’ve lacked intensity. And every run we stop on the field is one less to score and all 11 players were up for that,” he said.

However, Gambhir was disappointed with the batting effort, despite the target being only 48. “We should have been more sensible with the batting, though,” Gambhir said. “It was a much better wicket than we played RCB on. It was coming onto the bat nicely in our innings. I think if you target 160 you will get a good score. You can’t just go on looking for 200 every game.”

With the crucial Qualifier 2 set for Friday evening, Gambhir will be hoping for a better performance from his team and that the rain stays away.

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From catching Goan dances in Lisbon to sampling langar in Munich

A guide to the surprising Indian connect in Lisbon and Munich.

For several decades, a trip to Europe simply meant a visit to London, Paris and the Alps of Switzerland. Indians today, though, are looking beyond the tried and tested destinations and making an attempt to explore the rest of Europe as well. A more integrated global economy, moreover, has resulted in a more widespread Indian diaspora. Indeed, if you know where to look, you’ll find traces of Indian culture even in some unlikely cities. Lisbon and Munich are good cities to include in your European sojourn as they both offer compelling reasons to visit, thanks to a vibrant cultural life. Here’s a guide to everything Indian at Lisbon and Munich, when you wish to take a break from all the sight-seeing and bar crawling you’re likely to indulge in.

Lisbon

Lisbon is known as one of the most vibrant cities in Western Europe. On its streets, the ancient and the modern co-exist in effortless harmony. This shows in the fact that the patron saint day festivities every June make way for a summer that celebrates the arts with rock, jazz and fado concerts, theatre performances and art exhibitions taking place around the city. Every two years, Lisbon also hosts the largest Rock festival in the world, Rock in Rio Lisboa, that sees a staggering footfall.

The cultural life of the city has seen a revival of sorts under the current Prime Minister, Antonio Costa. Costa is of Indian origin, and like many other Indian-origin citizens prominent in Portugal’s political, business and entertainment scenes, he exemplifies Lisbon’s deep Indian connect. Starting from Vasco Da Gama’s voyage to India, Lisbon’s historic connection to Goa is well-documented. Its traces can be still be seen on the streets of both to this day.

While the Indian population in Lisbon is largely integrated with the local population, a few diaspora groups are trying to keep their cultural roots alive. Casa de Goa, formed in the ‘90s, is an association of people of Goans, Damanese and Diuese origins residing in Lisbon. Ekvat (literally meaning ‘roots’ in Konkani) is their art and culture arm that aims to preserve Goan heritage in Portugal. Through all of its almost 30-year-long existence, Ekvat has been presenting traditional Goan dance and music performances in Portugal and internationally.

Be sure to visit the Champlimaud Centre for the Unknown, hailed a masterpiece of contemporary architecture, which was designed by the critically-acclaimed Goan architect Charles Correa. If you pay attention, you can find ancient Indian influences, like cut-out windows and stand-alone pillars. The National Museum of Ancient Art also has on display a collection of intricately-crafted traditional Goan jewellery. At LOSTIn - Esplanada Bar, half of the people can be found lounging about in kurtas and Indian shawls. There’s also a mural of Bal Krishna and a traditional Rajasthani-style door to complete the desi picture. But it’s not just the cultural landmarks that reflect this connection. The integration of Goans in Lisbon is so deep that most households tend to have Goa-inspired textiles and furniture as a part of their home decor, and most families have adapted Goan curries in their cuisine. In the past two decades, the city has seen a surge in the number of non-Goan Indians as well. North Indian delicacies, for example, are readily available and can be found on Zomato, which has a presence in the city.

If you wish to avoid the crowds of the peak tourist season, you can even consider a visit to Lisbon during winter. To plan your trip, check out your travel options here.

Munich

Munich’s biggest draw remains the Oktoberfest – the world’s largest beer festival for which millions of people from around the world converge in this historic city. Apart from the flowing Oktoberfest beer, it also offers a great way to get acquainted with the Bavarian folk culture and sample their traditional foods such as Sauerkraut (red cabbage) and Weißwurst (a white sausage).

If you plan to make the most of the Oktoberfest, along with the Bavarian hospitality you also have access to the services of the Indian diaspora settled in Munich. Though the Indian community in Munich is smaller than in other major European destinations, it does offer enough of a desi connect to satisfy your needs. The ISKCON temple at Munich observes all major rituals and welcomes everyone to their Sunday feasts. It’s not unusual to find Germans, dressed in saris and dhotis, engrossed in the bhajans. The Art of Living centre offers yoga and meditation programmes and discourses on various spiritual topics. The atmosphere at the Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Sabha is similarly said to be peaceful and accommodating of people of all faiths. They even organise guided tours for the benefit of the non-Sikhs who are curious to learn more about the religion. Their langar is not to be missed.

There are more options that’ll help make your stay more comfortable. Some Indian grocery stores in the city stock all kinds of Indian spices and condiments. In some, like Asien Bazar, you can even bargain in Hindi! Once or twice a month, Indian film screenings do take place in the cinema halls, but the best way to catch up on developments in Indian cinema is to rent video cassettes and VCDs. Kohinoor sells a wide range of Bollywood VCDs, whereas Kumaras Asean Trades sells Tamil cassettes. The local population of Munich, and indeed most Germans too, are largely enamoured by Bollywood. Workshops on Bollywood dance are quite popular, as are Bollywood-themed events like DJ nights and dance parties.

The most attractive time to visit is during the Oktoberfest, but if you can brave the weather, Munich during Christmas is also a sight to behold. You can book your tickets here.

Thanks to the efforts of the Indian diaspora abroad, even lesser-known European destinations offer a satisfying desi connect to the proud Indian traveller. Lufthansa, which offers connectivity to Lisbon and Munich, caters to its Indian flyers’ priorities and understands how proud they are of their culture. In all its India-bound flights and flights departing from India, flyers can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options, making the airline More Indian than You Think. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalised by Lufthansa to the extent that they now offer a definitive Indian flying experience.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.