So. We had an IPL worthy cricket tournament…

The society I live in, comprising six towers of around 20 floors each, is one that takes its celebrations really, really seriously. Consequently, every festival whether it is Ganesh Chaturthi (five days of a Ganapati installed on the premises, with all the aarti in grand style with professional Maharashtrian folk aarti singers, entertainment and cultural programmes every evening and full dinner for all), Diwali, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, all celebrated in great style, the lead up, I was told, was to the annual Cricket Tournament which was to be a big shindig. For months before hand, teams from the various towers would practice their batting, bowling and fielding, and such like, and both women and men from the complex, there being men and women teams competing for said trophies. For the casual, unsporty onlooker, read my goodself, walking circles of the walking tracks every evening, it was good entertainment value to see people who by rights had no business being on a batting pitch, given their current out of shapeness, but what the heck, its the size of the fight, metaphorically speaking of course, not the size of said player that matters. For days beforehand, hectic strategising, etc, fights breaking out for use of the tennis courts and basketball courts for cricket practice, some non attendees at practice sessions being roundly ticked off in public and so on, and the cricket fever was building up to a crescendo.
Finally, the notices were up on the notice board, entry passes were distributed, detailed instructions for the participants, rules and regulations and details of the programme were nailed into the softboards in every lobby for residents to pour over and ponder.
Me being a new resident, metaphorically speaking, it has been five months now and slowly people are beginning not to edge away from me in public and actually deign to exchange a few words with me without being terrified whether I bite, I had no idea whatsoever as to what the entire excitement was. Until I experienced it.
Returned home from meeting dear friend now settled in Hyderabad and down on a flying visit to Mumbai, and I heard IPL music waft in through the window. I peered out to the see the ground next to our house, used by cricket coaching camps morning and evening, converted into what seemed like a mini stadium with a proper boundary, seating all around, a platform, banners, hoardings and loud, DJed music. The child was on hot coals, all dressed and ready to go down. “Come on, dont waste time, the match has started,” he yelled, hauling me off, unwashed and uncombed down to the ground. Residents, dressed in their sporty best, mainly white tees and jeans, with caps and huge sunglasses that covered half their faces were trickling into the ranks. We entered, the child promptly found a couple of same sized friends to run around with and disappeared, I soaked in what was probably the closest I would come to a real cricket match in the stadium.
The teams were attired in proper colour coded uniforms, a colour for each tower, red, blue, yellow, white, maroon, black. Complete with cap and the player’s name at the back. Vuvuzelas, flags and such like handed out to the audience. A professional commentator was holding forth in English and Hindi. A television crew with full set up, multiple cameras, cranes for field shots and such like was telecasting the match live on the local television channel. And there were cheerleaders. In costume. Of the little cloth and more skin variety. And said skin being of the Caucasian variety. And strangely enough, no one was paying them much attention, the dancing mascot tigers got more attention from the children running around.
Did I even mention the food yet? Nope. Hold your horses and keep the pail out for the salivatory overload which will no doubt ensue.
One entire side of the ground was reserved for the edible stuff. Popcorn, Candyfloss, softdrinks for the kids, chaat counters, dabeli counter, pav bhaji, mini pizzas and such like to keep us fed and in good strength to holler vociferously all cheering stuff for the teams we had pledged support to. And to further soothe our traumatised larynxes we had full Indian and Italian buffet spread out post the match.
Award giving ceremony with mandatory celebrities handing out, hold your breath, proper crystal trophies, magnums of champagne uncorked and sprayed. I detest waste of good champagne, have I said so before, no, then I say it now. That stuff would have been better appreciated has it been poured out into them glasses and chugged down.
Much fun was had by young and old alike, with the very young doing their best to run around in circles, get lost, have panic stricken parents go get announcements made for them at periodic intervals. Next year, I’m going to participate. When mission 10 kg down is done. Yes. No point in causing earthquakes when all I try to do is block a boundary.

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About Kiran Manral

Author of The Face At The Window, ( 2016), Karmic Kids, All Aboard (2015) , Once Upon A Crush (2014) and The Reluctant Detective (2011).
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5 Responses to So. We had an IPL worthy cricket tournament…

  1. Sraikh says:

    Sounds like fun times. I am curious though, who pays for the entire shindig.

    A Collective fund from the residents?

    Like

  2. Kiran Manral says:

    Sunita, fund plus sponsors. This is society where brands and services want visibility within.

    Like

  3. j's mom says:

    so ur building team won or nt? N did u meet Rohini ”the friend frm hyd”? If yes thn plz ask her why mamma is not sayng so? 3+ mnths…leaves a blog reader worried….

    Like

  4. hi Kiran, i was trying to find your yesteryear’s ganpathi post, couldn’t find it. after i wrote out mine just now, i could think of your story only. would love to read it once more if you can point me the link. It transported me to a place i would love to visit again. much love – Chao

    Like

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