Well to be honest, I'm not a cricket fan or at least I thought I wasn't.
Abhijit, Kaushik and I went to an exhibition opening at Akar Prakar Gallery (my newly discovered neighbours). It was a kind of tribute show for the highly respected Bengali artist, Paritosh Sen, who passed away earlier this year. Firstly, Akar Prakar is a great space. It has an open outdoor courtyard and a covered colonnade around two walls where some of Sen's works, self-portraits, were hung. The two small galleries inside were filled with portraits of Sen, by artists from the Kolkata art community. It was obvious that Sen was remembered with much love and humour.
My Akar Prakar neighbours are regular patrons of Azad Hind Dhaba ... my local favourite, so Abhijit Lath invited some of us there for some food. It's very cosy, I think there are only about 8 tables. We were under the TV screen with the entire staff and several passers-by at the other end of the room glued ... it was India batting, 298 - 4 needing 60 runs. Australia 300 and something.
Over the course of our dhal, chicken bartha, mutton dopiaza and roti, we watched Tendulkar hit these majestic arcs out into the spectators until it was just 5 runs with 3 balls, 9 wickets. Then the last guy got stumped, it was over and out and Ponting had a smug look on his face which is why I don't like cricket. And because I was once on a flight from Sydney to London that unfortunately was also taking the Australian Cricket team (circa 1983) to the UK. It wasn't that flight where David Boone allegedly drank 50 + cans of beer and broke all air travel-related beer consumption records but I think whoever was on that team and that flight came close.
I wished India had won.
I had my first taste of paan after dinner. It's an amazing combination of aromatic, sweet, bitter, chewy and momentarily mouth numbing with a wonderful fresh aftertaste.
The first thing I saw this morning ... a man riding a motorcycle, his daughter on the back in her school uniform. She is holding on to him by his earlobes.
And the last thing tonight ... a cow walking down the street but not the regular white cow you see in India. Abhijit said it was one of those new jersey cows.