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Australia Invades India! Hotel Overrun!

Australia CricketI arrived back at my hotel after a grueling day at my client’s site, hoping for a light snack, a quiet bit of reading and early to bed .

I suspected I wouldn’t get my wishes when we tried to pull into the driveway. There were khaki-clad AP State Police everywhere. Our car was minutely scrutinized, even though I was in a hotel car.

The unloading portico was crowded, including a couple of fairly large trucks and a pair of large, shiny-new touring buses.

I still didn’t pay too much attention to the change, I was too tired.

As soon as I pushed my way through the crowd and into the lobby, I saw some of what was going on.

All Was Chaos

Stacks and mounds of big green bags, all the same size and shape. Porters madly sorting and muttering while several well-built and athletic young men supervised (after a fashion).

The Australia National Cricket Team had arrived in Hyderabad.

As near as I could tell from the number of hotel officials present, and the tenor of the language, unloading and sorting wasn’t going as well as the team’s roustabouts wanted. But order was slowly emerging from the chaos. I ran up to my room and got my camera, then hurried back down to get some pictures. After all, it’s not every day that Australia invades somebody, nor are they often greeted with such open arms when they do.

The Australia-India cricket match series is a Really Big Deal here!

The whole ambience of the hotel was different from the usual; more upbeat and electric, with many, many watchful eyes around. The number of blue-uniformed hired guards had doubled. The metal detectors were actually being paid attention to. Hand-wand checking of everybody was in progress at the entrances.

And lots of AP State Police were in attendance. A colonel with his swag-stick; several other officers, conferring over near the tea salon; and more automatic weapons than I ‘d seen since the last show of The Longest Day.

Every floor has at least three guards; two in blue, checking stuff, and one in brown, sitting in an out-of-the-way corner near the elevators, watching and holding his Tommy gun in a firm grip.

I decided I should actually behave, just this once. I’m not allergic to bullets, only to the holes they leave in tender flesh. I don’t even mind being shot at too much, it’s being hit that would be significantly off-putting. So I figure, why risk it? I smile, show my identification when asked, and otherwise am a model citizen of the world.

About like always, of course…

Dinner was a zoo, with so many new residents in attendance. It was German food for the most part, a gentle reprise of the Oktoberfest celebration from the previous Saturday. I went over to the Indian food section first, and enjoyed a very zesty Tamatari Murgh with all the trimmings. Kingfisher beer washed everything down nicely, and after the requisite dessert (or six) I decided I should restrain myself and go on to bed.

On my way out of the restaurant I met up with Ruchi, the floor hospitality manager in the evenings. I commented to her about all the excitement, and she told me it would be even more chaotic tomorrow, when the India National Cricket Team arrives. Oh Joy; even more frowning men in brown. With bandoliers of cartridges and the weapon to use them. At least it would be interesting to see if any fisticuffs might break out in the lobby between the two “warring” factions.

I wonder what the breakfast scene will be like? These athletes are often early-risers; I suppose I’ll just have to show them the power of the ol’ American elbows at the serving line…

Enjoy the (Funny Game) Heat!

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