Yes, it is the most anticipated day for any Kolkata youth to watch his hero take on the home team at the Eden Gardens on 05 May, 2012. The war will rage in the hearts of the people – city versus city boy. The supporters are strife torn. Their hearts are cheering for Dada and his men, yet it is the ‘Kolkata’ Knight riders who will be facing the warriors of Sourav Ganguly.
The scene at the NSCBI Airport was quite unassuming with regard to the high voltage clash between the Knights and the Warriors. No one even cared to glance at the host of international superstars of the Pune team. That changed when it was turn of the Prince of Calcutta, Sourav Ganguly. The seemingly empty airport premises suddenly turned into a fanfare with chants of “Dada” and reporters flashing their cameras at his blue BMW sedan. That was a clear indicator of where the roots lie for India’s most successful overseas captain. It is the people of Bengal that have showered him with love and affection even during his worst days. The tinker of smile on his face made it evident; yes he was happy to be back. Maybe not for the home team yet he is back to where he belongs.
He will take the field hoping to take a stride forward for the diminishing hopes of a youthful Pune team. The average Kolkata boy won’t be much affected with the fortunes of a team owned and managed by Sahara group of business people. But his daily quota of adda won’t be complete if there is not a dose of heroics of Dada. When he comes out to bat, the loyalties would be split for the staunchest of KKR supporter. The God on the Offside has not been much visible in this IPL but what better venue than his ‘home’ ground to redeem the title. Its true KKR has been doing well since the last season, but the support last time was scanty. This time though, Gambhir has managed to win hearts of few with his own form and the winning streak of the team, yet it will not change the reaction when Ganguly hoists up a huge six, right over the bowler’s head. “Bapi Bari Jaa”- yes, that’s how the ball was described when it traveled out of Dada’s willow for a stunning six, and there can be no doubt that such scenes would be eagerly waited for.
KKR is sitting pretty at the second place, but it is not so hunky-dory for the Pune Warriors. They are languishing at the bottom of the table and it is a must win game for them. The ‘home’ advantage that they will have will certainly provide a morale boost to the team. An ardent KKR fan would be divided tomorrow regarding his support. That’s the magic of this man, Sourav ‘Dada’ Ganguly. An entire city can forget its name, its player, its team to watch one single man play and thrash around the bowlers at every part of the ground. This is the sensation of Dada; when he is on KKR is gone.
However there will be a fraction of people who will play safe and would not risk watching such an encounter or would want rain to play the spoilsport. The typical feeble minded people who cannot risk the loss of KKR or the dismal form of Ganguly will hope rain gods wash away this encounter. Cricket lovers and fans of the Maharaja of Bengal would want a full on clash between the two teams and the stylish southpaw coming up on the top.
The stature of a man like Sourav Ganguly does not call for any introduction. He looks far ahead and like a true warrior battles till the last breath. The people love him for that and that is why he is exceptional. His fan base is diverse, people still run out on the field to touch his feet. The respect that this man commands takes it much beyond support for home team or regional teams. Hence tomorrow Mr. SRK, do not be surprised if it is only “DADAAAAAAAAAAA DADAAA….” buzzing out loud across the Eden Gardens and ringing the victory bell at ‘home’ for Sourav Ganguly and his boys.