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A lawn affair

It was a walk through the Indian weekly village bazaar, a dinner at a dhaba capped with the gig in the discotheque, for the WTA players at Taj Krishna recently.



FESTIVE ENVIRONS: The players check out the spread.

THE GOLDEN Dragon and Chamber Lawns in Taj Krishna donned a very Indian look - a rustic village atmosphere illuminated by lanterns with food being served on chowkis, dhaba style.

The offering comprised a mix of both Indian and continental.

The occasion was the dinner organised for the WTA Indian Open 2003 participants by G.V.K.Reddy, chairman Taj GVK Hotels and Resorts Private Limited.

A sumptuous dinner in a festive environment was a welcome change for the players. Hariyali - the salad bar, Swadeshi khana counter offering dum ki biryani and jeera aaloo, rich continental spread, live tandoor and pasta counters and a Madhushala for a bar counter made for a pleasant offering.

" I like spicy food and try out a bit whenever I get a chance. I liked the grilled chicken, orange sauce and rice this evening," says Natalie Dziamidzenka from Belarus.



MEHENDI LAGAKE... : Mary Pierce gets her hands painted.

The rural theme of thatched huts and chowkis seen in the buffet counter was carried forward to the bazaar where a potter, bangle maker, a fortune-teller and the henna expert provided a glimpse of the Indian cultural milieu.

"This is a good chance to know more about India. It is interesting to see the cultural differences between Europe and India. I have picked up some bangles for my friends back home," observed Martina Sucha of Slovakia.

The kum kum box and lac bangles appeared as ideal souvenirs for friends back home.

Barkat Manniar, the bangle maker from Begum Bazaar designed exclusive lac sets for the players.

"The raja rani sets of the golden and black lac bangles have been popular with the tennis stars. I have also made a Devdas set of glass and black metal bangles on order," he says.

The players appeared relaxed as they bought the lac bangles or got their hands painted with henna while others tried their hand at the potters wheel.

Yet there were some who huddled around Kashiram, the fortune-teller from Kukatpally, his foretelling/prophetic parrot picking the cards of future for the women. "Lots of money, a successful tour ahead, marriage and children, everything is good, the cards said," he says. But the show stealer was Mary Pierce, dressed in a black salwar kameez featuring a subtle zardosi jaal combined with Swarovski, chosen from a boutique in the shopping hub of Abid Road.

Adding some west to the east, the party continued in T2, the discotheque here that incidentally has the Ladies free entry on Wednesdays.

While some of the players retired for an early night after a long day on the court, others stayed on for the T2 special gig.

"I like progressive and house music," says Serra Zanetti of Italy.

The stacks lined up by the DJs on the house comprised Hip-Hop, R&B and mainstream dance anthem featuring chartbusters on the international scene, to go with the event. For the women however, it was time out.

S. F.

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