Yuva Bharati what, you ask?
Okay. I know. This is cheating. But yes, the Yuva Bharati Krirangan does exist. It’s commonly known as the Salt lake Stadium. And this post is not about the Salt Lake Stadium per se but also about other playing fields in Calcutta, specially the Eden Gardens.
When we were children, cricket was a game played in winter by men in whites. Dad was a member of something or the other and we used to get tickets to see the match. Yes, ODIs were unheard of, we used to turn up with cousins and all to watch the test cricket and spend a few blissful days having a picnic under the winter sun. There were no restrictions, we carried our water and food and cold drinks and enjoyed ourselves while watching the India versus England (or whatever) match!
How carefree and innocent those days were.
Now we sometimes go to the Eden Gardens, usually to watch an IPL. Don't even ask! Nowadays they play cricket all year found and wear anything but white. Not only do you have one day internationals (ODI), the popular format is T20 where the game is played for only 20 overs. In the days when everyone is a hurry, the pace is fast and furious! there's music and much entertainment, even cheer-leaders who do a gyrating dance whenever a four or six is scored.
We sit in an air conditioned box and enjoy the food and beverages in the club house.
But every now and then you will find me escaping to the stands in the sweat and grim to enjoy the real atmosphere and energy of the stadium.
It is indeed amazing!