Red and Gold – really appealing. But Royal Challengers Bangalore was not among my favorite in the first version of IPL. But in the 2.0 version, I got attracted by the great captaincy of Anil Kumble and great performance of the team. I don’t remember exactly when I become a member in the RCB fan club. There are many teams in the world (I am not talking about IPL or cricket, over all sports and leagues) and most have a great and loyal fan base. But RCB is special, as it’s loyal to its fanatic fans too. I came to know about Mighty 14 contest and applied. I was not serious in this contest, as I was thinking this will be very difficult one to get selected, so I did not tried to get votes for me. But I came to know that I was selected for the Might 14 Kolkata. And all was set for a great and unforgettable day in my life.
I stay in Cuttack and I needed to be there in Kolkata to cheer the team in Red and Gold. I quickly booked a train ticket using Tatkal quota and reached Kolkata by the evening of 13th March. Next day I met the other mighty 14 members and Anisha, the community manager at RCB fan club at ITC Sonar, Kolkata. Then we met Aneesh, chief blogger, RCB, who took out some of his time to spend with us and to show us ITC Sonar as our guide. We saw while we are moving though corridors of the hotel, we saw many good lounges, coffee house, restaurant, swimming pool and the gym. And there was a nice pool with lilies waiting to blossom. While roaming around the hotel, we saw many players. I saw Charl Langeveldt moving in the corridors and looking too cool. Murali Karthik was having breakfast in the restaurant area. Also I saw many other players there.
Then we moved out of the hotel to plan our strategy. We went to a coffee shop inside near by Science City. We prepared our strategy over a coffee. All plans set, then we returned back to the hotel for the rest of the process. While we are waiting in the lobby to meet players of RCB, we saw some other players. I even saw Dada (Sourav Ganguly) walking in the corridor while we were sitting in a lounge. Then Kartina checked in and most of the guests of the hotel rushed towards the entrance to have a look at her. Then we see many players including Ishant Sharma and KKR coach Dav Whatmore. He (Dav) was talking with a team official of KKR and looking very polite. Then we went near RCB conference room to meet the team. We saw Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, Jack Kallis, Steyn, Coach Ray Jennings and other playes. Rahul and Anil were looking very gentle and genuine. We also saw, Sid, the junior Mallya. After the meeting gets over, Manish Pandye and Dilllon Du Preez handed over our jerseys. I was standing at the extreme left, so I was the first guy to get the jersey. Manish handed me the jersey and had a hand shake. He said me “Cheer well for us”. The the team headed over for the match. We put the jersey on and had a small photo shoot. Then we started to leave the hotel and move to the Eden Gardens. I noticed, when we 14 all dressed with the read and gold RCB jersey, some guests of ITC were looking at us with curiosity on their face. This was amazing.
Then we started moving to the Eden Gardens. As we were feeling hungry, decided to take some snacks or fast food. We stopped near a small fast food shop and ordered chicken roll. The preparation of chicken roll is different there. They put 3 or 4 small chicken cubes with some onion, green chili, tomato sauce and lemon juice inside a paratha and roll it. Whatever be the preparation process, the taste was good. While they were preparing chiken roll for us, I was watching trams moving on the road. And we had the bite and reached at the Eden Gardens. We rushed into the block and took our seats.
We were just fifteen, Mighty 14 and Anisha, and KKR supporters were around fifty thousands. If we assume there were other RCB fans in the stadium, the number is not going to pass hundred. Anyways we started rocking the stand, when RCB fired few 4s and 6s. Unfortunately RCB was loosing wickets in some intervals, but Kallis was standing strong at the other end. When he scored 50, all KKR fans admitted his legendary and clapped for him. RCB finished with an easy target for KKR. The openers batted really well and put 100 runs without losing any wicket. We decided to leave the stadium in the 19th over to avoid rush. I was bit disappointed as we were losing the match. I was thinking it could have bit better, if the match could come to the 20th over. And it took few time to hear the final roar. This is because RCB bowlers bowled quite good at the end and brought the match to the 20th over. When we were leaving the stand, few KKR fans were laughing at us, few were acting like they were saying all the best for the next games. One guy patted my shoulder and showed me ‘thumbs up’.
Among us Anisha (read what she says at RCB Fan Club blog) was cheering a lot and looking very excited when the guys in red were hitting a four or a six. And the cheer leaders were amazing, they were doing very hard work to cheer all the people. While I was disappointed with this loss, feeling good after the win at Bangalore on 16th March. I was thinking, if this could have happened at Kolkata! Anyways I saw photos of Mighty 14 Bangalore and they are looking quite good, with good photos. Finally, I was watching the match highlights of KKR vs RCB today morning. I saw ourselves clearly twice in that. I guess we appeared for more time in the live. And after all these happened, who says RC is not a religion?