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Mischief Gal

Fun with penguins

A visit to the beach, and goodbye to another city

Members of Bangalore Royal Challengers' Mischief Gals cheerleader squad at a beach in South Africa
The gals chill, in more ways than one © UB

In the midst of all the excitement of the IPL, I just wanted to update my diary about something a little bit away from cricket. Something a little bit wobbly, a little bit waddly, and a lot more mischievous. After the histrionics on the cricket field, it was time to get out of the stadium and catch the penguins on the beach.

We had heard about the penguins before we landed in South Africa. But with all the practice, the travelling and acclimatising to different hotels, we never got the time. Finally, on the morning of the 23rd, the gals all got dressed early and away we went for a leisurely walk to the beach in the hope of catching the penguins at play. But what we saw was absolutely breathtaking.

Hundreds of penguins huddled together, their thick fur fluffing in the strong sea breeze; they presented an absolutely adorable spectacle. Portly and potbellied, they sidled over the sand flapping at adversaries with their flippers, while some others were busy chasing and taking a tumble or two in the sand. The noise was deafening. Who would have thought that cute little penguins could create such a lot of chatter. I tell you, these penguins were worse than us women!

We had a whale of a time chasing the penguins, taking tons of photographs posing with them and generally letting our hair down for some pure beach fun. The only irritating factor was the freezing cold from the rain, which had lingered all week. So this was definitely not like sunny Florida with beach hats and suntan lotion. But it was a fantastic experience overall.

After our beach sojourn we took a walk along the promenade, where we came across a lot of local peddlers selling everything from authentic African wares to junk jewellery. It had always been my dream to buy a Zulu warrior mask, and luckily I got one at an incredible bargain. The other gals bought other things like wall hangings, folk art, handmade wooden salad bowls and tongs. Our mothers would be so proud of us!

The fans here have been nice, and sometimes when we go out for walks they come and request to be photographed with us. It is a nice feeling. What I have realised is that even in South Africa the concept of cheerleading is quiet alien, and people are quite caught with the idea of cheerleaders in cricket games. Maybe cheerleading is just an American thang!

Last night's dinner was also pretty good, at a Cuban restaurant right around the corner from our hotel. It was an early night, as we had to pack all of our gigantic bags and head to the airport early next morning. Now as I sit waiting in transit, I can feel that we are leaving the memories of one more city behind us.

Rebecca Lee is part of Royal Challengers Bangalore's Mischief Gals cheerleader squad

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