The day it rained red

The day it rained red

The day it rained red

It looked like the rain gods, on Saturday, were conspiring to ruin the party for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The skies opened up exactly an hour before RCB was to take on Kolkata Knight Riders. While the rain reduced the match to a Ten-10 affair and RCB romped home victorious for the first time on its home ground this season, it was hard to miss the spectators who were in their colourful best and in spectacular attires. They were having a party of their own.

Die-hard RCB fans sporting red tees were seen on MG Road as early as 2 pm for the
4 pm match, oblivious to the black clouds hovering over them. All roads leading to the stadium were slushy, with ankle-deep water, forcing people to wade through the dirt. Dressed in raincoats and armed with umbrellas, they were seen running across the road to get to the stadium in time. The only sullen faces around the stadium were those of vendors selling merchandise. The rains have been ruining their business.

Those in the lounges were having a good time. Sukumar, an employee of Indev Group which is housed in the Kempegowda International Airport, was dressed in an attire which resembled that of a king. “I change my avatar and costume for every IPL match. The idea is to grab people’s attention and inform them about the rich cultural heritage and history of Karnataka,” explains Sukumar.

He said that it always takes a lot of effort and time to dress up, “My wife Suma is very supportive. Although, it is tough to walk around this way, it gives me a lot of satisfaction because I am conveying a definite message,” he added.

It is a one-year job contract that has brought Finland-based couple, Jari and Kirsi, to Bengaluru. Jari too was seen dressed like a king with earrings and jewellery in tact. The couple also had the map of Karnataka etched on their faces. “It’s amazing to be dressed this way in a king’s attire. I could never do something like this back in my country. And IPL is an absolute stunner,” said Jaris. His wife Kirsi pitched in, “We have ice hockey in Finland. But the atmosphere at IPL matches is not just surprising but energising in a lot of ways.”

There was among the crowd, people who came in early and waited until the rains receded and those who came in late as well. Arvind, an employee with Microsoft and his friend Viren, who runs his own business, observed that just sitting in the stadium during a match is a treat in itself. “The format is short and this is the only time you get to see all the world class players at one go,” said Viren while Arvind added, “IPL is a spinning sensation.”

Sixteen-year-old national swimming champion and class twelve student, Malavika who represents Karnataka at national swimming tournaments, had taken special permission from her coach to watch the IPL match. Malavika said, “I don’t watch cricket at all but here at the IPL, I like to observe the players, their batting styles and how they bowl. More than merely watching the game, I analyse it.” Her father Vishwanath stated, “I am more of a Test cricket person but IPL has its own charm.”    

Poojitha, a young professional, who has just returned from the US and is currently preparing for her UPSC exams, took time off to attend the match with Pritam. The duo were dressed in red and said they had planned to spend their Saturday evening at the match. “Nothing can replace the excitement of Test cricket. IPL is a show business and the cricketers playing for IPL are good entertainers,” observed Poojitha and Pritam.  
US citizen Robert Hess, who is in Bengaluru on work, said that he and his family have been following the World Cup and IPL matches very closely. “Cricket is a great sport and instills a lot of enthusiasm in spectators. Every ball is exciting and every move, thrilling,” said Robert. His son Sam, who studies at Indus International School said, “I’ve opted for cricket in school. I’ve learnt how to play the sport only here.” Robert’s wife Sue and daughter Sophia were also seen soaking in all the red. “Rain or no rain, we’ve just come here to have fun and we’re enjoying every moment,” they concluded.

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