Usually, the only time Kolkata publicly shakes a leg (or both) to Hindi film numbers is when Goddess Durga is bid goodbye. Unusually, it does the same in the time of the IPL.
So, when the deejay played Uff teri adaa from ‘Karthik Calling Karthik’ soon after a Knight in purple called Murali Kartik struck, the Eden showed it didn’t have two left feet.
The near full house swayed; in tune if not always in step. The lady in a new Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) shirt and jeans moved her hips gently while for the gent in a red tee (and soon to be shirtless) a row behind, dance meant more violent pelvic contortions.
They grooved when songs from ‘Om Shanti Om’ were played and at Shah Rukh Khan’s gig, gyrated to ‘Aal Izz Well’ — the chartbuster from the other Khan who gives most awards functions and the IPL a miss.
The result was no different when the variety on offer was a remixed version of ‘We don’t need no education’ or ‘We will rock you’ set to a faster-than-usual tempo. Or every time Korbo, lorbo, jeetbo re (the KKR anthem) rang out loud. Even the stern salt-and-pepper handlebar in G block wasn’t impervious to the mood of this Sunday matinee show. He shook head and shoulders.
A groovy kind of Eden wasn’t the only proof of inhibitions being shed for a three-hour programme that was more about sportainment. A middle-aged lady in green with two pre-teen boys wearing the old black-and-gold KKR shirts was throwing water pouches in air as the home team romped to victory. Nobody complained.
The lady was proof that I wasn’t the only parent dragged to a show that is as removed from my idea of sport as Didi (Mamata Banerjee) is from Dada. In purple shirts or black and gold and at least one in the yellow of the Brazil football team, the boys, teen and below, proved this marriage of cricket and Bollywood works for them.
And know what, at least blocks G and G1 didn’t look littered. People queued for food, used the bins and about the only time, the IPL III opener here reminded me of the old days was when the barricade around the stall selling water pouches broke.
Maybe, because the whole thing is less than half-an-ODI long, it was possible to be civil and comfortable on the terraces.