Monday, April 4, 2011

Men in Blue party all night after World Cup triumph

MUMBAI: The victory celebrations didn't end with the ceremony and trophy presentation at theWankhede Stadium on Saturday night. Like most of the country, Team India partied hard into the night, finally hitting the sack only way past dawn at around 7.30 am on Sunday. 

The party was in three stages. First there was an impromptu bash with the Taj Mahal Tower's guests, then a party among the teammates themselves outside their rooms and finally a bigger bash at the Zodiac Grill with family and friends. 

The Indian team had left the Wankhede to reach the hotel at around 12.15 am. When the guests in the Taj Tower came to know that the victorious players were arriving - and being sneaked into the hotel through the backdoor - they knew where to gather so that the Men in Blue wouldn't miss them. And they didn't! 

The moment the players walked in, chants of "Indiaaa, Indiaaa" greeted the team at decibel levels that could be heard as far away as the Gateway. The hotel had been barricaded to not let in outsiders and what followed inside were maniacal celebrations. 

The hotel's leading chef, Hemant Oberoi, had baked a special cake in the shape of the World Cup for the team. The players cut the grand chocolate cake at the Starboard, a portside bar with a maritime theme housed at the lobby level. 

Once that was done, the bubbly flowed. The players and the hotel guests popped the finest of Moet & Chandon Magnum and the party began. Indian and continental delicacies were served and the players were drenched in champagne. 

The party went on in the lobby for close to an hour. 

The hotel receptionists, floor managers, security men, bell boys, attendants and other employees had no choice but to stand and watch the pandemonium as the guests partied with the cricketers like there was no tomorrow. Champagne was sprayed, cake scattered, seats were climbed over; there was shouting, yelling and singing of 'Saare jahan se achcha.' 

Every guest wanted a picture. This, they knew, was going to be their best brush with cricketing glory. The Taj, lit in blue to go with Team India's colour, added to the mood and it was only after the players began making repeated requests for their share of privacy that they were allowed to go up to their rooms in the heritage wing of the hotel. 

Once they reached their floor, the teammates went to their respective rooms, refreshed themselves and came back to party by themselves at the lobby of the same floor. 

It was already 2.30 am by then. That, perhaps, was the first time since lifting the Cup that Dhoni's bunch of world beaters could soak in their moment of truth and let what they had achieved through the evening sink in. They stayed there for around another hour, in their very private huddle, where emotions ran high and tears flowed. 

It was important to get a grip over themselves before moving any further into the night and the players did just that. At around 3.30 am, they walked into the Zodiac Grill, where the Taj had even prepared a dance floor for the team members and their personal guests, including family and friends. 

It was 7 am by the time they returned to their rooms, tired enough to hit the sack. On arrival, they were greeted with congratulatory notes on beds crisply made up with white linen. 

Expectedly, the cricketers, their support staff, coaches and officials of the International Cricket Council had a late meal on Monday, with some placing orders up to their rooms. They then gathered on the Taj Chambers terrace for a photo-op with the Cup before heading to Raj Bhavan for high tea with the President of India. 

It was 3.30 pm when they got into the bus to head to Walkeshwar.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Extraminds feeds

NDTV News - Top Stories

Latest Happenings all around the world Headline Animator