Thursday, August 19, 2010

First RCB Fan Meet-Up, Mumbai, 2010

Surprises aren’t always pleasant; sometimes they are just mind blowing. As I was gearing up for the first RCB meet-up at Colaba, I received a certain call, which made my sleepy eyes light up with excitement. That was Disha Shetty informing me about a latest addition to the list of participants: the new addition was, of course, none other than Siddhartha Mallya!! Before I could let it sink in, I found myself imagining how the meet-up would be, and most importantly, how lucky the Mumbai RCB gang is! 

I was super excited owing to a number of reasons. Firstly, this was my first meet up. Secondly, being new to Bombay, I know very few people, and hanging out with people sharing the same passion was something that I was looking forward to with bated breath. The new twist in the tale introduced by Disha sent the excitement meter ticking!! 

Celebrities are never on time is the usual assumption. But contrary to popular belief, Mallya Junior turned up way before time! As Disha and I walked up to him, introducing ourselves, we could see how happy he was to see two RCB fans in the house! Little did he know that there was a bunch of chirpy fans who would be pouring in a while. 

The meeting kick started in trademark Royal Challengers style. There was beer on the table, and Mallya Junior insisted that we sip beer as the proceedings began. Although he was a little surprised that we chose not to taste a home product, yet he was polite enough to excuse us and let us have juice instead. Then started a conversation, which we wished would never end. He shared with us his vies on player retention, who is the ideal player for the CL, who is in great shape, who’s not et all. However, what emerged to be the most interesting part of the event was all the inside-scoop he shared with us.

Going by the way he spoke, the man does have in-depth knowledge of the game, and he knows for sure, the nitty-gritty of the business he is into. The ease with he discussed the sport, chipping in with facts and figures, the fans were charmed and bowled over. With some off-the-record scoop and future plans like altering the jerseys, who-goes-in-who-faces-the-axe kind of stuff, the meet-up was refreshing! 

He posed with the fans, and when I asked him about the meet-up he said, “I am never lost for words. If today I am, it is because I am overwhelmed by the turn out. And considering the fact that this is Bombay, I have to confess that such a huge turn-out was least expected. It feels great though!” 

What followed was a stint of an awareness campaign, with the RCB fans sporting colourful stickers on their jerseys. These stickers courtesy an NGO called Corner Stone, had some thought provoking slogans printed on them. A march and a photo session leter, we were a bunch of happy youngsters. Community Managers Natasha, Nidhi and Ankit along with chief blogger Aneesh also joined us. What a awesome day it was! I not just got a chance to break away from the monotony of home-workplace-home, but also got to know some of the RCB fans in town and most of all, made a lot of new friends! If this is the way the meet-up would turn out to be, I am GAME FOR MORE!!!! :)