Kolkata shadowed in Purple
Like so many words in different languages around the world, the Bengali word ‘hujuge’ doesn’t really have an accurate counterpart in English. The closest one can get is ‘fadistic’, a word Bengalis have coined to describe themselves. It means, simply, that people of the state and its capital city Kolkata love fads, get excited easily, and are usually happy to drop all that they might be doing to join the fun.
As always in Kolkata, politics is never too far away from sport. The Knight Riders team doesn’t have the CPI(M)-tainted Sourav Ganguly anymore. Shah Rukh Khan and Gautam Gambhir have embraced the change with tremendous enthusiasm. Mamata Banerjee has been by Shah Rukh’s side from the time the battle (the fifth edition of the IPL) started. A report said that the other day, Banerjee told Khan that he has to win. Khan, apparently, replied that he would.
Fans started pouring in from 8.30am. An hour later, there were close to 40,000 people in the stands. This was one side of the story reflecting the spontaneity with which Kolkata celebrated in the early hours of Monday, long after Manoj Tiwary had hit the winning runs.
The players and the IPL trophy were only scheduled to reach the Eden around noon, leading a road rally from Hazra, around 8km from the stadium. Perhaps the only reason why the procession started from there was its proximity to the chief minister’s residence.
A huge roar drowned the music when the players entered the Eden. Co-owners Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla spontaneously broke into a jig. And in the scrum by the photographers for a good angle, the chief minister took charge, taking the microphone from the emcee.
KKR now belongs to Bengal, she exhorted. Winds of change (poriborton in Bangla) are blowing across the Eden and the state, suggested another. It is debatable whether sport can really be the harbinger of change but those who controlled the Eden show seemed convinced.