Like most cricket fanatics, Anshul Chopra is superstitious. For the India-Pakistan World Cup semi-final clash on Wednesday, the 28-year-old is making sure his favourite Team India T-shirt is washed and ready to be worn from start to finish.
“I have worn this blue shirt for every India match, and the day I didn’t wear it, we lost to South Africa,” said Chopra, an entrepreneur who will “celebrate” the semi-final with a house party for friends, complete with wide-screen projector, at his Bhandup residence.
Thane resident Aditya Kandala, who has an “unofficial half-day” at work, will watch the second innings at a friend’s house party.
His only condition is that the group must not break any superstitions.
“Everyone knows about these rules, but since no one in the group is as crazy about cricket as me, I will have to make sure my friends follow them,” said Kandala, 28, an accounts manager. The rules, according to him, are simple — if India is playing well, no one can move around the room or change places. If you are sitting with crossed legs, you cannot uncross them till India’s positive streak ends.
Both Chopra and Kandala treat these superstitions as sacred. “During the last match, I made my friend watch the final 15 minutes from the kitchen to make sure India won,” said Chopra.
Businessman Nimit Dalal, on the other hand, is more excited about his grand house party for 30 friends in Bandra. “There will be an eight-feet-wide projector, an open bar, hookahs, starters and music,” said 30-year-old Dalal. For those who cannot make it to Mohali to catch the match live, Dalal believes house parties are the perfect way to simulate the stadium experience of group euphoria.
Meanwhile, pubs, bars and restaurants are cashing in on the fervour, offering everything from free starters and drinks to special dishes such as Dhoni ke jalwe — fish folded in toasted bread crumbs — and free shots every time India sends the ball across the rope.
“I want everyone who comes to The Den to cheer Team India and lead us to victory. Hence, a free shot every time we hit a boundary,” said Gaurish Rangnekar, owner, The Den, a wine bar in Bandra.
Law student Aashika Sadh, 21, has been fervently following all updates on the match. “The match is the biggest event right now,” she said.