Cricket-crazy Kolkata readies for India-Australia semis
As India take on Australia in the World Cup semi-final on Thursday at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), the streets of Kolkata -- some 13,500 km away from the historic venue -- will remain deserted as fans stay glued to their TVs and smartphones to catch the action live.
With working professionals and other denizens parked in front of screens, the usually bustling eastern metropolis will literally put up the 'No horns please' tag as vehicular traffic goes off the roads.
Though not a holiday, this cricket crazy city would gulp down every bit of the contest beginning at 9 a.m. and in turn skip work or in intervals peep into TV sets to soak in the clash of timber and leather at the SCG.
Others who do not have an option of a sick or a casual leave will resort to smart phones to keep track of the live scores and updates.
"I have office tomorrow, will be keeping track through live apps on my cell phone, like cricbuzz, hotstar etc," said Ratul Ganguly, a young professional from Baguihati.
Pradip Dey, an employee of a market research firm, is keen to watch the match notwithstanding the work pressure.
"There will be a lot of work pressure tomorrow, but I'l take short breaks in between to watch the action live," Dey told IANS.
City restaurants also have planned it big to cash in on the mega event with special screenings and food platters.
Edesia will be serving the tortillas in the breakfast buffet, while at Bakstage, sports enthusiasts can see the action on three giant screens with the accompaniment as special cocktails and snacks on offer.
Dugout, the sports bar, will do the same as well.
On the flipside, owing to the Class 12 board exams, educational institutions like National Gems Higher Secondary School, will refrain from screenings on the campus.
"The board exams are on, the prime reason why we will not have live screening tomorrow at our school," confirmed Tithi Chakraborty, an assistant English teacher of the school.
True to Kolkata's legacy of food, several confectioners like the Gandheswari shop in central Kolkata have come up with edible models of bats, balls, Indian cricketers and the trophy fashioned from sweets.
"We have made edible models of bat, balls, World Cup and bails. We have also made 2.5 feet replicas of Mohammed Shami, Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni," said the shop'd owner Pradip Halder.
The confectioner had crafted, using 'sandesh', a two-and-half feet tall replica of Argentine football legend Diego Maradona kicking a ball during his 2008 Kolkata visit.
A few mobile prayer vans will move around the city, urging and collecting wishes and prayers from the fans for India's win.
The Indian jersey has picked up on its sales too. Maidan market has been literally painted blue with the local made jerseys hanging all over. - IANS