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jaipur, rajasthan, India
retired Army Colonel

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Morning golf at Rambagh………

The winters had slowly crept in this time; and morning golf at our club has become breathtakingly beautiful. Bleak sun sneaking over the Moti Doongri fortress greets you with a promise and brings some respite from the chill. Blue smoke of the night fires hangs low, and dew on the grass refuses to flee in the face of weak sunshine.  Waiting at the first Tee you see the fourball ahead disappearing into the mist. If you are lucky, you get a cup of hot coffee from Biramn who remain busy taking in/out golf bags from his custody. The caddies get quite squeezed-in and their hands refuse to come out of their pockets. Omprkash advises “sab 10 se chale jaao voh khaali hai” but somehow it doesn’t go well with the body and mind. We wait for some more time.  Some feel happy that they are not immediately behind that profound ‘caddie-less foursome’ who remains undeterred by time and space. Walking through a narrow lane towards Tee-2 an occasional snuff emanating from caddies’ shit hole reminds you of a jungle time. If, you are lucky a cute family of partridges will show up, fast bipedling towards another bush. This is the last of bushy undergrowth that we are left with after a merciless gardenisation of our golf course by some thoughtless people. The natural flora and fauna we had earlier which also yielded as an abode to our little wild life like peahens- peacocks, hares and jackrabbits has been erased to pave way for flower beds, and cosmetic plants. I for one miss them a lot. Tee No 6 has become a permanent Tea-Junction and loud shouts for ‘Killoooooooo’ are heard from the distance. Hot tea and rusks are served here by ‘Chhotoo’ and they come escorted by one ‘Seema’. Her gait has an attitude and eyes have a glitter. Of course, she is going to share that rusk of yours, which is difficult to avoid. While you enjoy a soaked rusk in a hot tea, those who are greedy of playing faster and more numbers of holes keep cursing you behind their plastic smiles. Virendra Luna smartly gauging their mind says “you guys please have tea on me and enjoy the break too”.  Seema is a friend of Killoo and enjoys golf cart rides during logistic trips of the canteen. I wonder that out of the whole gang of ‘dirty-dozen’, the  stray dogs; she has been the only smart one to have won a patronage, not only of Killoo but some of the retired senior bureaucrats who are precariously famous for their second love; the animals. The Killoo’s Tea-Hut is a place for morning     gup-shup and reminds me fondly of Chaupal or Nukkad where grapevines get woven and club-politics is cooked.  The golfers shun teeing off from 7th as they see a ghost haunting in Garcha’s Stables who sucks in golf shots and especially if the ball is a new one. Those who are seasoned will play safe much to the left. By now, the first layer of woollens gets removed, caddies shove them into the bags, and you feel much warm and get rid of that extra piece of clothing hampering your swing. But, one keeps cursing the golf shoes which cannot protect the feet getting wet from the moist grass.
 Most of the Golfers will call it off after nine holes to converge on the gazebo for a hot breakfast and settling of the accounts. Burnt toasts with chopped onions and tomatoes with a generous sprinkling of a special masala imported from Indore by Sudhir Kasliwal is an indigenous topping improvised in RGC cuisine with zero calories. Some, on the other hand will order a sumptuous menu so as to make up for their lost money; you guessed it right: the winners would sign the bills. Neta ji will invariably be seen collecting winnings from those who took the bait and me in particular has been quite a victim of his. The chatting prolongs and get louder as Dr Raghvender Chaudhary walks in announcing the last fourball-in. Tirlok, the waiter in distress will have his hands-full for next one hour.


  1. Raj, your post is tempting me to shift from Gurgaon to Jaipur......I still have feeling that Jaipur couldn't be as 'mechanical' and ruthless a place as Gurgaon. Your description of golf is very tempting!!