Humour pill for IPL blues

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 12.05.13

KKR might well be out of contention for a play-off spot in IPL 6 but through victory and defeat, the Eden crowd kept its sense of humour intact.

Take the match with Sunrisers Hyderabad. After KKR coasted home, there was this group of youngsters in purple headbands, waving the Hyderabad flag and tongues firmly in cheek, who walked back shouting slogans straight off trade unionists’ lips: “Sunrisers haarlo kyano, KKR jawab chai, jawab dao. (Why did Sunrisers lose, KKR give us the answer).”

So were they supporting Hyderabad, asked a puzzled passer-by. “Not Hyderabad but Sunrisers. Our mothers cook with Sunrise gura masala,” pat came the reply from one of them. The brand of spices has as much to do with IPL as an elephant with playing cricket.

If the humour was vintage, the colourful headgears added a dash of novelty to the stands. At Eden, there were predominantly two types on offer. One invoked the Sri Lankan yorker machine long before his team Mumbai Indians had stepped on the Eden turf.

“Malinga, Malinga — sirf dhaisau rupiya (only Rs 250),” came the sales chant from the hawkers as spectators headed for the stadium on match days. On sale was not the bowler with the off-beat action but a wig supposedly inspired by his equally striking tresses with jute-gold streaked curls that were replicated in rainbow colours.

The second-most popular pick was a multi-coloured mohawk, resembling the comb of a cock. This wig for some inexplicable reason was being sold as “Shah Rukh”. “When we sell it round the year for parties etc, we call it murga,” said a seller from the New Market area. SRK wouldn’t surely have minded had his team’s showing allowed him to stay his cocky self.

Virtual poetry

An evening of poetry reading and music — Kobita Club Houseful — has been organised by an online group, Kobita Club, and Bangla recitation band Mahul at Birla Academy at 5pm on Sunday. On stage will be actor-director Gautam Haldar and some contributors to Kobita Club.

In his effort to keep the poet in every Bengali alive, Surojit Chatterjee of the Bangla band Bhoomi had invited friends in December 2011 to share their poetry on Facebook, with a one-liner: Aar bhallagena tomay chhara (Don’t like being without you). Little did he expect the response. By January 2012, he had to launch a separate FB page — Surojit O Bondhura Kobita Club. By April, they had earned 1,200 likes and come out with virtual magazines like Heshe Khun, Rabi Charit and Jolrong.

Next came the website: to which people across the world began sending poems, sometimes 40 to 50 a day. With over 30,000 visitors and a book Kobitaclub dot com to their credit, the community is going strong. Anyone can join the club, post poems and get “likes.” Though the poems are mostly in Bengali, there are contributions in English and Hindi too.

On Sunday, there will be a chorus rendering of the theme song, written by several members of the club. Beginning with the line bhallagena tomay chhara, the song projects the club as the place where one can express bottled up feelings, hopes and desires.

“There are contributors from the US, South Africa and also nearer home. Some even post scanned images of their handwritten pages,” said Shanoli of Mahul. The band has been trying to popularise poetry by reciting with a musical punch. It joined hands with Kobita Club in 2013. One poem they will present on Sunday is Ek Sukrubare — a club member’s take on Tagore’ s Kumorparar Gorur Gari.

(Contributed by Sudeshna Banerjee and Sebanti Sarkar)