The Telegraph
Friday , April 5 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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The Darling, The Dad

SRK with Deepika Padukone & SRK with Suhana

Four months before their Chennai express pulls into theatres, Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone take Eden Gardens on a rollicking ride on ‘Knight Express’

Meet SRK the Daredevil! One foot already on the railing of his BL box balcony, SRK is propped up first by son Aryan and then held up by the rest of his entourage as he cheers loud and long to celebrate KKR’s comfy win against the Delhi Daredevils in the first match of IPL-6 on Wednesday evening. The Baadshah’s promise if KKR clinches the tournament again? “I will tell my children to help me and I will do a double somersault from the railing,” smiled Shah Rukh, Deepika Padukone by his side. That’s not all, Aryan and Suhana’s dad drove home the point of who was Don: “I have brought up my children so that they can keep saving me from all the madness I do. Otherwise what is the use of feeding them and getting them educated, if they don’t hold on to me when I get on the railing?!” No wonder wife Gauri was nowhere to be seen!

A tug at the collar, a roll of the biceps, arms in the air... that his team is the defending champion this IPL season was evident from SRK’s body language. Well, pretty much all of Eden Gardens walked in with the same swagger and went home on a bigger high. In the SRK box, t2 spotted Madhu Neotia and Usha Uthup (picture far right). “My kids insisted that I had to wear purple. The ambience at Eden was just exhilarating. When I met Shah Rukh, I was struck by how good-looking he is up close. And he’s maintained himself so well! I was also impressed by how he kept conducting the crowd to cheer, just like an orchestra,” said Madhu. Usha marvelled at the massive turnout. “I wish I could sing Kolkata Kolkata for the crowd,” laughed the lady who SRK calls “tigress”.


Our DP wasn’t the only Deepika by SRK’s side. Deepika Singh — better known as Sandhya on the STAR Plus soap Diya Aur Baati Hum — joined King Khan to give away one of the prizes. The lady in red was the star attraction in Block K, where she was thronged by autograph-photograph hunters for four hours! “Sandhya Ma’am” obliged smilingly. “I am a Delhi girl, but today I am supporting KKR. I am overwhelmed by the love and affection the crowd has showered upon me, that too in a cricket ground, when a KKR match is on!” Deepika Singh told t2.

young knights

The floodlights, the foot-tapping beats, the painted faces, the coloured hair and, of course, the Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo gold-and-purple banners set the tone for the evening. The euphoric atmosphere in Eden is sure to make the most serious person burst into a jig. I was extremely excited as I went for the match with my sister, aunt, uncle, cousins and their friends. As die-hard KKR fans we were dressed in purple and had KKR painted on our arms.

When Shah Rukh Khan entered the stadium all of us forgot the match for some time and kept waving at him insanely. The music and the microphones went silent post-10pm. That was quite a let-down as KKR was winning and we wanted to cheer our lungs out.
Thanks to the presence of stars like Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Imran Khan, Deepika Padukone, Parambrata and, of course, SRK on the balcony behind us, many of us had our eyes glued to them most of the time. Shah Rukh just could not stand still and encouraged the crowd to dance with him.

The definition of a cricket match has certainly changed and it’s not only cricket anymore. It’s a lot more. I had a fantastic time. So will you. So go and have fun!

Rupsha Bhadra,
Class XII, Modern High School for Girls


Six of us, including my brother and his friends, went for the match. Five of us were wearing KKR jerseys, my brother was supporting Delhi!

I knew Gautam Dada would play well today. I call him Dada as he is like an elder brother to us Calcuttans.

I could not stop cheering when Brett Lee took Unmukt Chand’s wicket. First ball, first over and he was gone. (Sunil) Narine was the real star. But the best moment was Gambhir Dada’s six. We were good in bowling, batting and fielding but we will have to keep this form for the rest of the matches.

I loved it when Shah Rukh Khan took a walk around the stadium. He was so happy. I was sitting in Block H and could see SRK and Deepika on the big screen.

Nand Desai,
Class IX, Nopany High



"We get so much happiness and so much love from this City of Joy. I have experienced a lot of niceness and goodness in life but what I get in Calcutta, what KKR gets in Calcutta and all my friends and children and the whole family, we feel so happy. I think we owe it to the team to share some joy, some energy in our small way. I’ll try my best. I’d like to come for every match."





“I had a shoot and I came directly from there. The best thing about watching a match at Eden Gardens is the ambience. Whether it’s a fall of a wicket or a six, the way the crowd erupts is amazing! The best part about IPL is that it has been able to pull a large crowd. I love cricket. Even 10 years back I used to play para cricket and win around Rs 30! That’s a very fond cricket memory for me,” said Hawa Bodol actor Rudranil Ghosh


“I love KKR because they provide so much entertainment! The moment Brett Lee got a wicket with the very first ball, I knew we would win... and see, we did! I have been an ardent fan of SRK…. I have watched Baazigar 17 times and Anjaam 12 times! His energy level at this age is marvellous,” gushed actress Koneenica Banerjee


“Last year, I remember playing here for Pune Warriors India in a friendly but this time I am totally rooting for KKR; after all, the city comes first! One thing that draws me here is the atmosphere. Eden Gardens and IPL have two different charms. IPL is like a carnival and coming to Eden Gardens is a pleasure. I mean look at the field, it’s so divine! I have been there on the pitch so I know how it feels,” said Hawa Bodol actor-director Parambrata Chattopadhyay as he cheered KKR from the Rose Valley box

“Brett Lee’s wicket set the mood! I feel KKR’s bowling was very good. Take Sunil Narine, I haven’t heard much of Narine post-IPL. And yet, today he was back in form. I wish he settles in Calcutta! The love for cricket, the spirit of Calcutta and most importantly watching a match at Eden Gardens pulled me here to watch the first match of the tournament,” said dermatologist and t2 columnist Sachin Varma, wife and twins in tow

text: Pramita Ghosh