A hundred pigeons were set free, there was a mad rush to scribble goodwill messages and prayers were held as Kolkatans braced up for their hero Sourav Ganguly's 100th Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday.
With Christmas ushering in the year-end festive season, people of this eastern metropolis were hoping for a special gift for their 'Maharaj' - Ganguly's nick name - in the form of a century in his milestone game.
"Dada, we want a hundred," screamed posters and banners put up at various parts of the city. At the Eden Gardens, which has been witness to Ganguly's emergence as a top notch cricketer, famed sportspersons, celebrities and industrialists penned messages for the 'gharer chhele' (son of the soil).
Among those who wished Ganguly were world champion archer Dola Banerjee, famed footballers of yeasteryears Chuni Goswami and PK Banerjee, city mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya and industrialists Harsh Neotia and Sanjiv Goenka.
The messages would be handed over to Ganguly before the start of the match at Melboune on Wednesday by Cricket Assocation of Bengal president Prasun Mukherjee, who would also present a pair of cuff-links to the talismanic left-hander.