Fame, like food poisoning, can strike when you are least expecting it. I was invited to the United Mutations box at the Montreal Forum to see a special event being a hockey match between the Montreal Canadians and the Indian National Hockey Team. All the Indian team were Canadians save for the goalie who was also a star cricket player in Delhi. The United Mutations were heavily involved with Untouchable Rights in India.
We noticed many of the Indian players vomiting all over the ice during warmups. The team had eaten at Tandoori Palace on Laurentian Boulevard near their hotel The Motel St. Pierre. The curried eggplant was the common denominator amongst the stricken. The team was short 7 players. Since most of our intramural McGill Hockey team had been invited to the United Mutations box we sprung into action and volunteered our services. The Indian team had huge revenue expectations from the match as it was being broadcasted nationally in India and Canada. It required that revenue to fund hockey development in India. So while the Zamboni was cleaning the ice of all the vomit we suited up as best we could with what equipment we could find in the dressing room.
You can only imagine the massacre that awaited us! The Indian national team and its substitutes from the Punjabi Pundits was defeated 24-3. Yes a defeat but I scored a hattrick against perhaps the best goalie in the world Ken Dryden who by the way was at McGill Law School and had seen the Punjabi Pundits play a match. As a hockey player I was full of knobbly knees but laser fast zig zagging erratically so much so the Montreal Canadians team was baffled. Ken Dryden said he was disoriented by my bizarre movements and fooled by the weakness of my wrist shot which he equated with the treacherous knuckle ball in baseball. I was also injured by a Chris Chelios frustration slash to the face necessitating 15 stitches. The blood spilled on the ice causing a riot in Bombay with the Canadian consulate being riddled with bags of urine.
My performance was a point of Indian national pride to the extent I was awarded the Nehru Prize for Valor! We had a fantastic meal with the Montreal Canadians at Ruby Foos on Decarie Boulevard after the match. Mr. Dryden presented me with my hattrick puck and gave me a big hug. What a classy guy! The Canadians also supplied us with the best hockey equipment and a $20,000 cash grant for our expenses. We might need this as some 42 hockey teams invited us to play in tournaments. Throughout the sports world I was referred to as the Bombay Blaster and to those who hated Indians it was the Bombay Bastard. I also received a coaching offer from the Kashmiri Crunchers of the Opiate Minor Hockey League. And yes RKS Films in Bombay was planning a movie on the Punjabi Pundits “Indian Conquerors of the World”.