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Sachin thrills - auto ride almost kills (30th October 1999, Ahmedabad)

The second day of the Test match at Ahmedabad proved to be a special one for Sachin Tendulkar. The press box was abuzz with excitement as the Indian captain scored his first double hundred in Test cricket. All reports filed at the end of the day were more about Tendulkar than about the day's play.

Once again there was a long auto rickshaw ride to get back to the hotel. This time however, the ride proved to be anything but uneventful. First the auto rickshaw ran out of fuel and had to be wheeled to the nearby petrol bunk. After that little hiccup was passed the real excitement began. If the chap who drove us on the first day was merely reckless then this gentleman was a daredevil. He elevated the act of weaving in and out of traffic to an art form and gave everyone on the rode sheer hell. On the highway back to the city there was more than enough room for his antics, but when we made it back into the city it was clear that he had to be more careful. It was clear to us, but the chap at the controls didn't seem to think so. He continued to drive as though life were a thrill seeking adventure game and the inevitable happened. He miscalculated a turn at a junction and ended up in the same spot as another auto rickshaw. At the same time. A dull thud of metal making contact with metal preceded a shrill exchange of choice curses in Hindi. Fortunately for us, we were traveling at slow enough speeds to not be injured at all. The jolt was just enough to get us thinking, without doing any harm at all. All round thanks were given to the good lord who gave our auto driver the license to thrill and we dismounted at our hotel.

At nearly 10 pm, there was not much one could do. I went out in search of a store to buy a blank audio cassette and a much needed disposable razor, but in half an hour of walking could find neither. With tired legs I returned back to my hotel room to type out this diary.