A student had bunked class. A clerk had played truant. A shopkeeper had concocted a cock-and-bull story for his bossy wife and a youth sold a white lie to his girlfriend to be in the same sweaty serpentine queue with strange people.
And they laughed heartily as they talked about how they made their way and admired each other's ingenuity.
Shoved now and then by the mounted police, these faceless people, brought together by a common passion, had to be inside, Sir.
For just being inside would insulate them from all the ills of their daily life. Inflation, unemployment, marginalization, ideological disillusion, political cynicism, diminishing role models...
In the end of it all, some returned home with a ticket in their pocket and a smug smile on their lip.
Others dragged themselves back. But it was not over yet. As is with life, there always are a few more stones to be turned.
And the match-morning, they would invariably be inside! Having begged, borrowed or stolen there passage.
And once inside, they do wonder, Sir.
They give Harbhajan his spunk, mojo and bragging right back.
They turn Butterfinger into Goldfinger and make Laxman take blinders and do strange things with his willow.
They send nostalgia permeating through the air. They talk reverently about Dravid and indulgently about Azhar. And moan how they miss Kumble.
Sir, they infuse new life in the corpse and make Test cricket jump off its bier and pirouette!
There must be something about these people. Let's have more Tests at Eden, sir.