In delirium: City in grip of cricket fever

Match mood

What’s more, many of them would be offering special prayers in various parts of the City for an Indian victory at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.

Aijaz Ahmad is a BE graduate and has been on job-hunting for more than a year. But he has decided to skip an important job interview for the big game. “I can’t spend my time anxiously in a job interview when there is this big semifinal,” he said.

Interestingly, Aijaz does not have a TV set at home. “I’ll have to find some place to watch the game,” he says.

Software professionals, too, have chosen to watch the high-profile cricketing action come what may. At Wipro Technologies, Electronics City, quite a few employees have taken leave, whereas others plan to watch the match on the internet. Ditto with other software giants. Some software coaching institutes, however, have been more accommodative. They have declared a holiday anticipating low attendance in the classrooms.

At Crane Varsity, a resource centre for scientific and engineering training in Domlur, the afternoon classes are likely to run empty with not many among the hundreds of students willing to attend, one of them, who wished anonymity, said.

Many others have rescheduled their working hours. Employees of Magnasoft Technologies, a geospatial solutions firm near Lalbagh, have decided to work in the early morning shift from 6 am to 3 pm, instead of their regular shift.

According to an employee, they are ready to wake up early in the morning, but cannot afford to miss the match.

In order to avoid untoward incidents, the City police are rather ungenerous in permitting screening of the match in public spaces. Ishtiyaq Ahmad, husband of Shivajinagar Corporator Farida, said his plans to install LCD screens and projectors at places like Chandni Chowk, Shivaji Road, Broadway and Nehru Puram, had been “thwarted” as the police would not give permission.

In a ‘befitting’ manner

Nonetheless, Ishtiyaq says he would support Dhoni and his boys in a “befitting” manner. He has ordered for 500 kg laddoos and as many as 15,000 firecrackers, anticipating that India would get the better of Pakistan.

Besides, moments before the match begins, worshippers for the Zuhr (afternoon) Salah at the Sultan-ul-Masjid, Lal Masjid, and Tawakkal Mastan Shah Dargah will nod in unison to prayers for India’s victory.

Meanwhile, a group of concerned Muslims have appealed for peace and urged people not to “overhype” the match. “We should take it as a match and shun those who seek to politicise it. It’s time we behaved sensibly and didn’t let the game of cricket spoil a friendly environment and benefit the hate-mongers,” Ashfaq Ahmed Shareef, president of the Students’ Islamic Organisation of India (SIO), Karnataka Zone, said.

Homas, havans for India’s victory

With homas, havans and arathis to the images of the Indain cricket stars, the cricket fans have turned crazy and are trying new innovative methods to see that their favorite team wins the World Cup semifinal match against arch rivals Pakistan in Mohali on Wednesday. 

Sri Sai Gold Palace held a sarva dharma prarthana here on Tuesday where Hindu, Muslim and Christian religious leaders participated and prayed for the victory of the Indian team.

Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda also participated in the event.  A bat and a ball made of gold and silver will be presented to master blaster Sachin Tendulkar after the World Cup match.

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