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Fiery food and mad movies (5th November 1999, Rajkot)

On the 5th of November we headed out to our first One-Day international on tour. Yes we had done warm up games and yes we had done Test matches, but One-Dayers promised much. Simply in terms of the excitement at the stadium from a capacity crowd. It also meant that we had to be on our toes live reporting and commentating for the duration of the game. Since I was speaking with Ranjan Madugalle that morning before the start of play it was crucial that we reached the ground early. We reached the ground well in time for the start.

Ranjan invited me over to the Match Referee's box for coffee and biscuits while we did the interview. He was as sharp as ever and it was a genuine pleasure interviewing someone like him. Soon after the interview was done it was time to get ready for the match.

We found our places and got to work right away. Not quite. The lack of an Internet connection meant that Duane had to wait and wait and keep dialing and pray for the best. The best happened soon enough and we were on our way!

A cracker of a match with the Kiwis bludgeoning the Indian bowling ensued. Internet connections kept dropping and Duane had all manner of trouble just keeping up with the scoring. The match itself was reasonably lively, as One-Dayers go. Since the stadium was the only place where there was anything remotely similar to an Internet connection, we once again stayed late and left only when it was time to close up and go to our hotel.

We ordered dinner from a nearby restaurant and waited rather hungrily. We had to order from outside our hotel because our hotel didn't have a restaurant. Since it was unwise to attempt ordering any spicy Indian food, we settled on some simple vegetable noodles. When the vegetable noodles arrived we were both were astounded at the blood red shade. Reconfirm the order - yes this was vegetable noodles. Tentatively we stomached a few mouthfulls and all hell broke loose. Two visitors with innards on fire ran helter skelter to the reception urging anyone who was around to fetch a cold drink. Several Coca-Colas later the fire was put out and normalcy returned.

Not for long. We flick on the television and the most bizarre cable television movie greets us. A story that was loosely bound on a futuristic nuclear settlement on Earth, called Tromaville. Now Tromaville was being attacked by all manner of multiple headed, Technicolor evil mutant minions and it was up to the hero Adlai to save the place. Now Adlai discovers that if he concentrates he can make his hand glow. On further investigation he realises that sticking his hand into the core of the nuclear reactor acted as a clean source of inexhaustible energy! What a riot. We fell asleep laughing.