Revellers celebrate India’s win on Park Street in Calcutta on Wednesday. Picture by Amit Datta
If Misbah-ul Haq missed a catch from Sachin Tendulkar today, many missed the match itself because of either the call of duty or travel plans made earlier. The Telegraph tracks the team that worked or travelled while the nation played on Wednesday.
Rajdeep Chanda, 27, CESC mains engineer at the Central Calcutta district distribution centre on Prinsep Street
Why he missed: On a big match day, no consumer wants a power cut in his locality and Chanda was monitoring distribution.
Thoughts: Chanda knew that his was the most important job of the day. Chanda and his colleagues were assigned two-and-a-half hours extra duty on Wednesday. A fault in electric line today will require immediate attention. No one will want to lose a moment of the match, said Chanda. There was no TV or Internet connection in Chandas office. He was staring at a screen — that of a computer, where the complaints flashed as soon as they got reported into the system.
Rajib Das, 34, a traffic police sergeant
Why he missed: Das kept riding up and down on Jawaharlal Nehru Road to ensure smooth flow of vehicles.
Thoughts: This is our duty. We cant retire early even if the vehicle count is less, he said. Das could see that the number of vehicles on the streets was far fewer than on a normal weekday. The sergeant with the South Traffic Guard took updates from people who were carrying radio. When others reeled off figures, Das, too, was crunching numbers — that of vehicles he had caught till then.
Sarvesh Gupta, 40, senior pilot with Jet Airways
Why he missed: Gupta was flying a Calcutta-Guwahati-Calcutta plane.
Thoughts: Even mid-air, he got some score updates from the air traffic control personnel. Apart from giving me details on the flights route, they also gave me updates on the match, said Gupta, who left home at 2.45pm to report at the Calcutta airport at 3.50pm. Till the plane took off, Gupta was kept abreast of the match by his seven-year-old son Rishi, who sent him text messages. I feel terrible but my priority is to fly, the pilot said.
Partha Chakraborty, 29, fire-fighter
Why he missed: Routine work of standing by for emergencies.
Thoughts: When millions were waiting to know who will wield the willow first on Wednesday, Chakraborty was standing on a queue in the fire brigade headquarters. We call it fall-in. We have to check the equipment of a vehicle, he said.
Pradip Kumar Chuan, 45, Metro Railway motorman
Why he missed: He was carrying passengers in a train as people were rushing home to see the match.
Thoughts: We are the heart of Metro Railway. If the players are doing the job, so are we, said Chuan, who has been driving Metro trains for the past two years. Work comes before everything else, he said.
Sayantan Mookherjee, 25, a software engineer working with an IT behemoth in Sector V
Why he missed: He was busy working on a critical project.
Thoughts: Sayantan knew he would have to miss the match as he had work to deliver. Till the last World Cup, I was in college and never missed an India match. But life changes once you are out of campus, he sighed. He, however, tried to make a few adjustments. A large screen has been fitted in the cafeteria. I delayed my lunch to coincide it with the toss and the first over of the match. At least something is better than nothing, he said.
Subedar Yadav, 28, guard outside the main gate of a city hotel
Why he missed: Yadav screened every vehicle that was entering the star hotel in Chowringhee.
Thoughts: Yadav, who hails from Uttar Pradesh and rarely misses any news on Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Sachin Tendulkar, was not complaining. I am just doing my duty. Even if India loses, we should be courteous enough to congratulate them. After all, its a game, he said before the outcome was clear.
Samir Pal, 34, ambulance driver
Why he missed: He had to bring in a patient from Murshidabad to NRS Medical College and Hospital.
Thoughts: I know this is a crucial and an important match for India, but what I am doing is more important. With the emergency service for the past 15 years, I cannot take off even if my heart wants to, the Behrampur resident said.
Nishant Agarwal, 23, travelling on a long-distance train
Why he missed: Agarwal, a final-year student of KPC Medical College, boarded the Rajdhani from Sealdah at 4.50pm to meet his friends in Delhi for a trip to Amritsar.
Thoughts: Boarded the train with a heavy heart, though he was going on a five-day trip he and his friends had scheduled a month ago. I tried to defer my travel by a day but tickets were not available. I did not anticipate that India would play the semi-finals and that too against Pakistan.
Upainder Yadav, 35, taxi driver
Why he missed: He was trying to earn his daily bread.
Thoughts: Upainder had been listening to the score on the radio with fellow drivers outside Sealdah station. As Indias score ticked 145/4, the Tollygunge resident said: What can I do? I need to earn for my family. Getting updates on the match is enough. Since so many drivers are taking it easy, it is a good day for me.
Mir, t2 columnist
Why he missed: Mir boarded a flight to London as he is to host the Ananda Utsav there this weekend.
Thoughts: The man who can make everybody laugh with his one-liners was a bit disappointed. It is unfortunate that I would be flying when the biggest match of the World Cup will be on, said Mir.
THE TWELFTH PERSONS
Spare a thought for those with The Telegraph and other newspapers, who were working through the match.