Fancy a "Beckham free-kick meal" or a Ronaldo hair-cut? Hotels, night clubs and even hair saloons in Chandigarh are looking to cash in on the football euphoria gripping the city as the World Cup kicked off.
Chandigarh administration-run five-star hotel Mountview is all decked up for the month-long soccer mania and is offering special dishes named after soccer jargon and its mega stars.
A huge football, designed by the students of the government college of arts here greets the guests and the exhaustive menu has Ronaldo's Cooler, Beckham's Free-kick, Parallel Pass, Johannesburg Secret, Long Shot, Back Dribble and Striker Chicken.
"We eagerly waited for the kick-off, my staff had been preparing for the occasion for months. We have designed a special menu card in the shape of black and white FIFA football and we are offering special dishes named after stars like Ronaldo, Beckham and Rooney," R.P. Singla, general manager of hotel Mountview, told IANS.
"We have installed special LCD television sets to beam matches live and we are offering special discounts during the match hours. Though on the first day, the response wasn't very encouraging, we expect fans to come in a big way as the fare warms up."
Other hotels, including Taj, have geared up for the event. The night clubs are not far behind in offering unique menu coupled with special attractions.
"We have renovated the entire premises and tried to create an ambience of African safari. Besides offering special dishes and drinks, named after famous footballers, our staff will be seen in jerseys of World Cup teams," Pragyan Mahajan, manager of a leading night club here in Sector 35, told IANS.
Expecting huge rush, Mahajan said the hotel has installed new wide-screen LCD sets and is playing special numbers to enthrall the customers.
City youngsters are sporting the hair-cuts of their favourite players.
"Youngsters, who want a look-alike hair-cut are flocking to my saloon. Hair styles of Christiano Ronaldo, David Bekham and Kaka are in vogue," said Azeem Ahamad, director of the leading chain of 'Stylo hair and beauty lounge' here.
"Some youngsters have come asking for a football like hair-cut with different shades. In fact we are also offering them special packages during the month," stated Khan.
Fourteen-year-old Shivangi Sharma, a national football player and Class 10 student here said: "I am happy that the World Cup is coinciding with our summer holidays, now we can watch all the matches. All my school friends have decided to gather at a common place and create a stadium-like atmosphere at our home."
Ankit Sharma, an engineering student, is equally excited. "Football fever is on and we are very happy that we are part of it. Besides watching all the matches at some night club, we have organised a separate football tournament in which six amateur teams of Chandigarh are participating. It's so much fun."
Owners of sports shops in Chandigarh have seen a surge in the sale of footballs in the last few weeks.
"Football sale is at an all-time high. Every day we are selling at least 25 footballs whereas normally we sell the that number in a month," Sanjeev Sharma, a shopowner in sector 22, told IANS.