Wednesday, 17 February 2010

More Tests in Eden, please

Have you seen them in queue before the ticket counter, Sir? I have.

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.

Please.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

FAB .. made me emotional.. nothing to beat the eden .. petty politics in the board.. doesnt give a damn on cricketing matters.. EDEN is THE ground in INDIA .. it should also host the WC FINAL not some petty wankhede .. sorry but true .. great post sir ..

Anonymous said...

So proud of you :)
U are at your best when you love something.. & I believe I know that better!!
Best!!

Som said...

Anonymous, I didn't get a ticket in that match. That was closest I came to watching a match in Eden. But the experince of standing in that queue would stay with me forever. I salute the spirit. These people make the game what it is, not Modis or Dalmiyas.

The R said...

super super stuff! love the emotional connect.

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Som said...

The R, on hindsight felt it was melodrama. But then, Eden is special, no?

MADAN MOHAN said...

time available for play - in winters the days are shorter in Kolkata .So we should play under lights .Other wise the tests may end in draw .

Som said...

Madan Mohan, welcome to Doosra. We need to use light for Tests if situation/conditions so demand. I don't understand when they are thinking about playing day-night Tests, why can't they switch on light on gloomy days? As far as I remember, before a bilateral series, both boards have to agree to that before the start of a series.

Som said...

Riya, send flowers to all those Eden fans who cried themselves hoarse. And you know whose account to put it on. Lalit Modi's, who else?

Megha said...

Lovely post, Som :)

Not for nothing do they call the Eden crowd the 12th man for India...

Som said...

Megha, it gives us hopes to see that at a time when crowds from the traditional centres are turning their back on Test cricket, Eden still holds magic. I keep cribbing about a deserted Mohali greeting Tendulkar's 12000th Test run even after Punjab Cricket Association had thrown open the door from day 2 onwards.

Trideep said...

Som, a really great post! I guess all the greats of cricket of yester years love to play at Eden when in India. And the crowd is definitely the reason for it.. There should definitely be more tests at Eden

Som said...

Trideep, thanks. Must be something about Eden. Unfortunately, I'm yet to make my Eden debut:)

Trideep said...

Unfortunately me neither Som..

Som said...

Trideep, that despite me spending 8 long years in Calcutta before Delhi lured me away!

Trideep said...

Ah! then u are more at fault.. Somehow i never managed to be there when a match was on.. And atleast i have been to D Y Patil!

Trideep said...

Btw Som, this is my new link!

http://www.crickosphere.com/

Som said...

Trideep, I have been to Kotla as well but missed the charm. Here thugs rule and bona-fide ticket-holders are roughed up on a daily basis. Sad, since so many people brave so many odds only to be shooed away.

Som said...

BTW, I think I still have that old link. Will correct it now:)

namya said...

I WAS THERE (so what if only for half an hour) :-)

Shridhar Jaju said...

EDEN GARDENS! My last few blogs have all had that label. And deservedly so. A vociferous crowd wildly cheering quality Test cricket on display is so much more better to watch than watching them cheer for the cheerleaders in a Twenty20.

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Som said...

Namya, you are blessed and you now have a story to tell your grandchildren:)

In contrast, my grandchildren, as and when they come, would shake their head in disgust how lazy their grandpa was:)

Som said...

Shridhar, we gentlemen think along the same lines, no?

Ragssssss said...

Oooooo Nostalgia.. You know what I once did??? I went shirtless to the stadium with a big Anil Kumble tattoo!! Everyone thought I was mad!! But I hope you'll understand!

Som said...

Ragssss...madness thy name is cricket. Only we lacked the guts:)

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