Ranjit Reminisces: Catches And Curry At The Chinnaswamy
The initial process of obtaining tickets to a cricket match in India appeared arduous. The concept of online ticketing platforms that we take for granted in the western world, such as ticket master, are oblivious to many locals in Bengaluru. I long yearned to experience the heart pounding atmosphere during the carnival of cricket in the subcontinent.
Through members of my family residing in Bengaluru I finally came into contact with a gentleman called Chandresh who requested that I meet him on the day before the match at 10am local time outside the ground. He arrived fashionably late on his motorbike and it would have been naive of me to expect an apology as lateness is an unwritten custom in these neck of the woods!
Chandresh took me on an unofficial tour of the ground so that I could hand pick my seat for the upcoming One Day International (ODI) match between India and Australia. Indeed the best view to watch the game from is the same view you see on television, i.e. behind the bowler’s arm. Therefore identifying my desired seat was a formality.
Consequently I opted to purchase the hospitality package which can be likened to living the life of a Maharaja (Indian Prince). There was a three course meal included courtesy of the Taj group of hotels. As such a plethora of South Indian dishes (e.g. Dosa and Idlis) were readily available to delve into. Furthermore there was access to western style toilets! It sounds all unrelated to cricket thus far. However the panoramic view of the pitch from this sector of the ground ensured that I was not going to miss any key match action.
To the right side of my stand at the Link Road end of the ground there was an absence of seats. Instead the common man congregates here on benches to create a partisan atmosphere in celebration of their most revered Indian cricket idols. Auto rickshaw drivers and market street sellers are only too willing to sacrifice additional income for the crash, bang, wallop festivities on show as batsmen use their long levers to provide them with catching practice!
Whilst the equivalent of a man and his dog would come to watch a test match (five days duration) in India, it is the polar opposite for ODIs and Twenty20 matches. The shorter the more exhilarating as far as the local cricketing public are concerned. To put it into context they are drunk on limited Overs cricket! Anybody wish to join the party?
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