India Tour 2012
KP - Genius
Apologies in advance if you are easily offended.There may be passages below that some may consider to be in bad taste but I feel that I have to include in order to provide a true account of our tour.
If concerned please press 'EXIT' now.
The journey to Mumbai was excellent, using as we did the services of the Premier Arab airline, Emirates, rather than their inferior competitors from Beswick,Manchester, whose name means "UNITED" when translated into English.
On arrival we obtained a pre-paid taxi costing 580 rupees,or £6, to our hotel in Churchgate the Chateau Windsor. A mind-blowing hour long journey through the sheer madness that is Mumbai traffic ensued but eventually we arrived and Tremers and myself were warmly greeted on the rooftop garden of the hotel by Freddie , beer in hand.
Many friends are here with the various different tour companies. Posh Margaret will be at all four games with Howzat Travel. Steve Higgy is doing Mumbai and Calcutta with the Barmy Army tour company. Gullivers are also here with their usual gaggle of pensioners, including a very posh school head master from Sherborne who once declined a job application from Tremers.
The numbers on these trips are worthy of scrutiny.
Howzat have brought nearly forty on their tour. Gulliver's the same amount.
The Barmy Army took just two people to Ahmedabad and have brought only five people to Mumbai.
Either times are hard indeed,or perhaps this may be fallout from the 'Savile' affair.
Corridor of Uncertainty fanzine certainly think so.
They are running a mock advert in the latest issue viz:
"THE ARMY NEEDS YOU!
Due to recent unforeseen events we are looking for a new mascot.
That mascot could be YOU!
If you can sing a bit,captivate and audience,wave a flag,sing a bit more,drink beer, wave a flag and do some more singing then this could be the job for you!
( Dressing up is fine,but any resemblance to paedophile DJ's dead or alive is strictly prohibited )
Ring Army office on 0208-I-WANNA-BE-THE-NEXT-JIMMY "
Hilariously,the Barmy Army group are staying at the same hotel as Gullivers , although Gullivers have charged their punters an extra £1000 for the same package.
Costs for the two game tour for each person seem to equate to Gullivers £3900 and Barmy Army £2900 whereas our own modest outlay thus far amounts to about £900 each for flights and accommodation.
Personally therefore I would always prefer to make my own arrangements although I have suggested that a highly-leveraged merger takes place between the two tour groups with the resultant travel company being called " Gullivers Army ".
Special discounts available for Elvis Costello fans!
Needless to say this suggestion has not gone down at all well with the Barmy Army!
In Mumbai we have been delighted to be re-acquainted with yet another "Steve from Nottingham", a talented mate from previous tours.
Steve finished second in ' Crete's Got Talent ' singing Cliff Richard's " Summer Holiday " in his younger days but now specialises in arranging extras for Bollywood movies, and selling luxury holidays in Europe - well, almost.
When quizzed it turns out he actually sells time shares, and his favourite clients are fat people.
We asked him the secret of his pitch.
" We'll it's not a pitch really, more of a hustle. My favourite clients are fat people. How do you get a fat bird into bed - a piece of cake! "
Before you ask, I have not purchased a time-share in Crete or anywhere else.
Steve was recruited into the Addis Army on the spot and celebrated by throwing up violently in the toilets of a Chinese restaurant the next night.
The Test Match was now upon us but before cricket we had to navigate breakfast in the Windsor, which consisted of eggs any style but served in a chaotic fashion by the trainee waiter, who would have given Manuel a run for his money.
As the incorrect food and drink items flowed back and forth from the kitchen,Tremers decided to enliven our experience by reading out an item from the Mumbai Mirror Problem Page, written by "The Sexpert".
Q. " I am 25 and masturbate on the pillow. Unfortunately the other day our domestic help saw me. Now , when she comes to clean the house, she like to have a good sniff of this pillow. Should I have sex with her?"
A. " Sniffing the pillow does not mean she wants to have sex with you. Maybe she is checking whether it needs a wash.The decision is yours. "
This suggests a whole new meaning for the name " Wankhede Stadium ".
Wycombe, Rebekah Wade and Andy Coulson eat your heart out.
With journalistic standards like this, clearly there may be a role yet in India for Lord Leveson.
Needless to say Tremers is greatly amused and keeps the cutting.
The "Sexpert" thus becomes a routine part of our daily breakfast ritual.
As do plaintive requests from the hopeless trainee waiter for us to give him positive feedback on the room's Guest Comment Card to further his career. We have had to check how to spell the word 'unemployable'.
Day one of the Test started as expected.
A ludicrous queuing system into the ground taking nearly two hours, we lost the toss, India batted and seemed to be going along smoothly until Monty started his revenge. He would finish with five wickets and India with a low score of just over 300.
In the ground we were seated in full sun on the lower level with the majority of the Indian support and with each boundary the noise level increased and the dervish-dancing around us got wilder.
These excellent seats were obtained thanks to Tremers new policy of arranging complimentary match tickets for us all on overseas tours.
This wise move saved each of us the princely sum of £6 for the entire game.
Cameras are banned from the Wankhede Stadium along with newspapers, water and just about everything else but we have managed to smuggle in Freddie's giant camera wrapped up in a towel. As he eagerly unwraps this he discovers to his horror that he has brought an incompatible lens. Oh bugger, or as Lofty would say, bollocks.
Day two began with usual breakfast chaos and more " Sexpert" from Tremers and as we walked to the ground along the busy coastal main road, Marine Parade, we were treated to the magnificent sight of an elephant plodding majestically past us in the slow lane, rider atop. Given the heat, pollution and traffic mayhem perhaps it was not surprising that the poor thing did not look entirely happy in its work.
India were dismissed quickly and after a stodgy opening stand between Compton and Cook, Pietersen strode out to the wicket like a colossus and showed what England had been missing.
A brilliant innings, probably his finest, and he destroyed the Indian spinners, giving the lie to the theory that he cannot play left arm spin bowling.
On day three Pietersen continued on his merry way, crashing the ball to all parts and he would end up with 186 before finally giving it away. Once again, as I have been saying since the twitter hiatus, he has made the difference that has won England a memorable victory.
Truly the man IS a genius.
In contrast Stuart Broad, the co-author of the idiotic twitter site that caused all the ructions, has played like a tw*t. Rubbish bowling, poor batting, and disinterested fielding.
He also ran out Decco, sorry, Matt Prior, who was batting well.
With this event the largely Indian crowd around us celebrated in manic fashion.
As a particularly loud and blaring horn shredded our eardrums Tremers pronounced:
" That sounds like my arse last night ".
Yes, you guessed it. He got the shits after only two days.
India came in to bat late on day three and incredibly lost seven wickets in no time.
Mad celebrations from all the England fans this time, but Stuart Broad stood fielding disconsolately in the outfield not being trusted to bowl, and looking in his floppy hat like a Flowerpot Man with depression. One can only hope that he is mercifully rested for Calcutta.
To wind up day three we invited most of our mates round to the hotel rooftop for a social drink which quickly got out of hand as the supply of normal Kingfisher Lager had run out and we were treated instead to bottles of Kingfisher Red - weighing in at a modest 8 percent proof.
The duty manager Iqbal spat out his dummy after a few rounds of this poison had been administered and closed the bar. After being summarily ejected, we adjourned to a nearby pub to continue and were serenaded by Frank, aged 78 from Aberdeen, who entertained us all with his rendition of that well known Scottish classic " How can ye buy Willie Waddell " before leaving without paying for his beers.
Scottish Independence cannot come too soon for me.
To be honest after the thrills of day three, day four was a bit of an anticlimax. England wrapped up the game in just over an hour, but did not come to celebrate with the supporters, which was a disappointment for many.
In the evening we celebrated at the five star Taj Hotel with far too many Jack Daniels and Gins.
Security in the hotel has been tightened up for obvious reasons but we did glimpse the England players supping champagne by the pool in a cordoned off area. Kevin Pietersen appeared somewhat distant to the other players and seemed to be tapping something out on his mobile phone. Maybe it was a text message to Stuart Broad congratulating him on his great bowling.
Henry Blofeld was in the bar dressed in what looked like a second-hand pair of pyjamas and his voice got louder and louder with each glass of wine he slurped down.
When we had collectively got through about two hundred quid on shorts, we reconvened at the Alps Bar, an old favourite , where we met Decco, Andy, Steve Higgy and most of the Barmy Army crew for more beers and a lively sing-song. There were also a group of highly inebriated Bristol Rovers supporters in the bar and I must thank my good friend Tufty for teaching me the ' Blackbird Song ' in Sri Lanka as this enabled me to engage with this motley group. Or so I thought. Next time, Tufty, please make sure you also tell me that this is in fact a Bristol City song, as they tried to kill me when I asked them to sing it for us.
Well I think that's enough for now we are due at Bollywood early in the morning to star as extras in one of Steve's epic blockbusters so I will sign off. More from Calcutta for anyone who wants it.
Love to all, Midnight xxxx