Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cricket frenzy grips city

I took Saturday afternoon flight to Jaipur and returned to Kolkata by evening flight the same day. I was in the Pink City for about three hours. I spent an hour in a meeting at the Civil Lines.
There weren't many passengers on the Jaipur flight due to the Cricket World Cup Final match. The Jaipur-Kolkata return flight was again a low load flight with hardly 20 passengers on board, confirming Rajasthan too is a cricket crazy state. At the time of boarding the plane India had lost the wickets of Sehwag and Sachin with few runs on the board.
After some time when the plane had taken off, the pilot announced that India had scored 125 runs for the third wicket partnership. The passengers spontaneously clapped in relief. The next score announced on flight the passengers again clapped in elation with the air crew staff joining in this time.
Later, when the flight captain announced that India needed 80 runs in 80 balls to win the match there were requests from the passengers to put the commentary on the public address system. The pilot did try to oblige couple of times but the sound wasn't very clear.
After the flight touched the Kolkata runway, the pilot announced that India was well poised for a win and soon there after he gave the good news of Dhoni hitting a six to win the cup. The plane was still on the runway when five or six passengers threw caution to the winds and started dancing. The warning by air crew members to stay seated with safety belts on fell on deaf ears.
As soon as the gate opened all the air staff members standing to receive the passengers were euphoric and said "We have won". I think the whole country was singing a same tune. But what I saw on the flight was nothing compared to what I witnessed while on my back home from the Dum Dum airport.
It took me about two hours to reach home and I saw a group of young men burning a Ravan like the ones during Dussehra. People were shouting from their cars while others thronged the thorough fares in groups singing, dancing and carrying colourful banners and posters in boisterous celebrations.
Others in groups were carrying the Indian Flag and replica of the World Cup made of bamboos. Even at the Rajarhat crossing my car was stopped and a group of boys applied abir tika. People on bikes were shouting Jai Ho and what not.
It seemed India had won a war.
ess bee

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