As Harbhajan Singh on a hat-trick ran in to bowl at Dale Steyn, thousands of spectators at Eden Gardens were on their feet and screaming their lungs out.
“Aaaaahhhhh” turned into “Ooooohhhhh” as the ball went past bat. The scream subsided for a while, to be replaced by thundering applause for the Sikh who once again became the Turbanotor.
The Eden crowd at its best has a primal scream that rises and rises without ever reaching a crescendo. The Eden crowd at its best does not sit on its hands, it jumps up and down and claps till palms are red.
The Sunday Eden crowd was one such. It was nowhere near a full house - but it did not seem to matter that 30,000 or less sat in a space earmarked for 43,000. Those who came had one thing in mind: make the most of Sunday.
Kingshuk, a first-year student of Kalyani Government Engineering College, went from one end of Block F1 to another pleading for the Mexican wave. “One more time please. I can't come tomorrow. I have classes," he said.
“So why are so many men here?" asked Eric, 39, from north Sydney, in the city on business, referring to the lack of women in the stands on Valentine's Day. Although he, and his friend Darren, admitted that what they were really missing was beer.
Lovers had indeed not descended on Eden in droves, though, as one young man pointed out: “It's the cheapest way to spend seven hours together," omitting to add that this would be in the company of several thousand others.
The few women who did make it seemed to enjoy themselves. Nilanjana and Chinki, her sister, came with in a big group. “This is the best way to spend Valentine's Day," Kallol, Nilanjana's friend, said. “We're sharing it with the 11 people on the field."