Many of us would have enjoyed one particular unforgettable meal at one point of time or other. Mine 'happened' in 1999. In fact, I had won that meal! Connect cricket to a meal. Let me share how that happened.
Our office team, had won the final of a cricket tournament in a thrilling last ball finish. It was an unbeaten 48 from my blade that had secured victory. I was taking strike with 3 runs required to win from the last ball. The connection of bat to ball was so-so and we could manage only two. Two unforgettable runs! It was a tie. We won because we had lost lesser wickets. My partner Ravi perhaps ran the fastest two runs of his life and even now wonders how he completed them comfortably, at full stretch and landing on his tummy!
My innings won the 'man of the match' prize that included a little trophy and something surprising to go with it. It was a letter from the sponsor, a popular 3-star hotel, offering a free lunch for two. It was a rare offer! A fortnight later I went to the hotel with my family consisting of my wife and our two young kids. My request about the kids' inclusion was happily agreed by the manager when I showed that prize-letter. Thanking him, we settled down at a table. A buffet system was waiting for us. It was a Sunday and surprisingly, the other tables were bereft of customers.
The number of food items completely left me awe struck! I did not know where to begin. Once I began, there was no end... or so it seemed, much like that innings! The number of trips I made to the serving table became my family's teasing topic for some days. But I never cared. For, the gastronomer in me was on song, hitting boundary after boundary!
I fail to recall the name of the cuisine on the label. It was not the south Indian, pictured above. This was verily different. Each recipe had its special taste that tickled the buds. They say the freebies tickle more, but I disagree. IT WAS REALLY, REALLY DELICIOUS! Caught in utter vegetarian delight, we forgot to count the number of recipes - there must have been more than twenty. What salads, what ice creams, what curries, what desserts, what what what.... sorry, I cannot remember all names on those individual labels either, because I was engrossed in encouraging a fight between the hand and the mouth.
I never had dreamt that it was going to be such a magnificent meal, one that would also be the squarest to be remembered for long.
My family enjoyed as much as I did. The young kids' relished those variety ice creams, which they recall fondly, but suddenly remember my trips to the serving table! Happy memories and enjoyment of relishing the 'prize' still lingers on even after many years. It was a unique prize that is remembered more than the little trophy [read link below]. My innings on the dining table was comparable to that on the field! I had remained not out, there, but here at the table, I had to declare the innings closed!
Read here, http://mymiscelany.blogspot.com/2007/05/how-we-pose-for-pictures.html how I received the prize from the chief guest and about people posing for cameras - a brief note.