The Telegraph
Monday , June 2 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

A city glued to telly

Narayan Kumar Tiwari, who sells jhalmuri outside Forum on Elgin Road, was confused over the vanishing act of his Sunday evening customers.

Hum to awak hain. Pehle kabhi aisa nahi hua hai. Raasta ghat ekdum khali hai (I am surprised. This has never happened before. The roads are empty),” wondered Sharma at 8.15 pm.

By 9pm, the Shyambazar five-point crossing, which usually buzzes on a Sunday evening, wore a deserted look.

“On any other Sunday evening, there are several people chatting at my tea stall. Today, there has almost been no business since 7.30pm. I am planning to shut down my shop early and go home and enjoy the match,” said Goutam Das, who runs a tea stall near the crossing.

North to south, the IPL final forced Calcuttans indoors on Sunday evening.

A bandh-like ambience prevailed in the evening on Camac Street, Rawdon Street, Theatre Road and Elgin Road.

Those who were not watching the match at home, chose to cheer the Knights at cafes and nightclubs.

Nandan Pansaria, 21, was at Nocturne with five friends. “This is big. This is the final and KKR is playing. How could we watch the match home without doing some hulla gulla (cheering). So we decided to come here and watch the match,” said Nandan.

Arsalan restaurant, the popular biryani stop at Park Circus, had to decline taking orders after 8.30pm, well before KKR started its chase. “The phone has not stopped ringing since 6pm. People have been ordering in biryani and kebabs. We had to cancel many orders because we do not have adequate people to deliver orders,” said a manger at Arsalan.

The final in Bengaluru brought the Mohtas of Phoolbagan together on Sunday evening. “We are a big family and most of us are too busy with our lives to meet often. But today we decided to watch the match together as a family and cheer for KKR,” said Roshni Mohta, 18, the youngest in the family.

KKR fan Sumit Sur cancelled a dine-out plan with cousins to watch the match at home with friends.

“How could I miss such a match? I told my cousins that I was sick and went to one of my friends’ house at Girish Park, where seven other friends joined and we watched the match together,” said Sur, who works at a private engineering firm.

The way the city was glued to TV screens at home were summed up by a tweet from Himesh Madan at 9.41pm — “Another IPL Record: Entire Nation finishing dinner within 20 minutes at same time. #IPLFINAL2014 #KKRvsKXIP.

Those who were out of their homes also tried to get back between the innings.

A youth in his 20s was running up the escalator at Shyambazar Metro station, heard telling someone over the phone: “Amader batting akhono suru hoyni to? Ami paanch minute-e pouchochi (Has our batting started? I am reaching in 5 minutes)”.