The Telegraph
Saturday , March 7 , 2015

World Cup trumps Holi

- Manoj Kar

Paradip, March 6: The festival of colours is undergoing a low-key observance in the township with the ICC World Cup cricket frenzy throwing a spanner on the joyous annual event.

The India-West Indies clash today added to the excitement of the Holi celebration. Still, a majority of the local people shied away from taking part in the celebrations outdoors. It was either confined to indoors or on the premises of residential colonies.#"Holi is a much-awaited annual festival, but we have decided to skip it. The excitement of watching cricket on television at home is too tempting to resist. Hence, I have stopped visiting friends' houses to play Holi," said local resident Arjun Panda.

"I went to a couple of neighbour's houses and sprinkled colours. Pleasantries were exchanged over sweets and cups of tea. Our celebration was over by 9:30am and I was glued to the pre-match live telecast. Though I am confident of Team India maintaining its uninterrupted winning streak, everybody has aspired for a competitive match. We are in entertainment as the Caribbean team is gifted with prowess of swashbuckling Gayle and hitting stroke-making expertise of Sammi and Russel," Panda said.

"Revellers nevertheless hit the streets armed with sprinklers, enjoying the Holi festivity. But, they were outnumbered by those making an indoor observance of the festival," said Sriman Mishra, a PPT employee.

"Nobody is in a mood to miss the exciting clash. We began our celebration early and winded it up before noon to watch the match," said college student Ramesh Mohanty.

Despite a comparatively drab observance, a section of youths made it a point to take pleasure in both cricket and Holi.

"We assembled at the community youth club at Nuabazar and celebrated Holi. We also enjoyed live coverage of the World Cup match on the television installed in the club. We enjoyed watching the Indian bowlers go on a rampage, as the West Indies wickets tumbling down at regular intervals," said cricket enthusiast Dipti Prakash Patnaik.

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