Thursday, December 16, 2004

Afternoon at the Golf Club

If you want to experience firsthand the phenomenon of "time standing still", stand on the sidelines as a golfing star poses for a large group of media photographers. As he practices his swing in slow, very slow, motion, you’d think there would be enough time for each of the camera-artists to capture every imaginable angle. But no. Inevitably, one of them will have missed that crucial micro-second when said golfer’s lower arm was at a 43.74 degree angle to the upper, and so the process will have to be repeated. And again. And again. There are many photographers, all perfectionists; they are all masters of their craft.

I was at the Delhi Golf Club for most of yesterday afternoon, waiting servilely at the back of a long queue of soundbite-seeking television journalists who naturally had to be given preferential treatment over us "print press" types. Jyoti Randhawa was there to launch a new range of golf equipment; his stock has risen enormously in the past couple of days with the win at the Volvo Masters in Kuala Lumpur, and I had to interview him for a profile. Won’t dwell much on that here; how much can one write about an interview that began with me saying, "You’ll have to bear with me, my golfing knowledge isn’t really - heh heh - up to par." (Actually, it didn’t go badly at all, the guy was very pleasant, very relaxed.)

Of course, as mentioned, I had to wait until the TV journos had done with him. One of them coolly whisked him away from right under my nose and dragged him onto a golf cart so she could conduct the interview while they circled the greens. (Have sworn off writing journalists’ names in my blog for at least a month, so am not divulging any more.)

I hate press conferences, hate waiting for anyone or anything, and yet I had a reasonably good time yesterday. Strolled about, contemplated the greens, made faces at the hissing resident kittens and the scraping PR people, read the quaintly funny instructions on the notice board (one, exhorting members not to pilfer the club newspapers, actually said, "otherwise we will be constrained to attach Wooden Batons to each paper, so they will not be taken away!"), overheard the conversations of young ladies who had mastered the lost art of making a multi-syllabled word out of "Pa-pa-aa!" in the manner of Audrey Hepburn in one of those ultra-chic ’60s films (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, How to Steal a Million).

Lovely place, the Golf Club. Maybe I’m just betraying my ignorance here, but it’s always such a pleasant surprise to be reminded that places like this do exist in the heart of a city one otherwise thinks of as just a confusion of unconstructed flyovers and unruly traffic. Felt that way when I rediscovered Lodhi Gardens a few weeks ago too.

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