How many times have you pinched yourself and said ‘well I didn’t expect to be here’?.
In fact up until I was about 25 I thought I would meet a nice man and I would settle down and have children who would go to school in the suburbs of Perth. A bit earlier than that, I thought I would meet a farmer and settle down and have children, who accompanied me while I rode motorbikes on the farm. Earlier than that I was to be a nanny in Canada.
And when I WAS 25 and thinking about the life in Perth, I was living in Chile. So yes, I guess the adventure bug had bitten pretty early on.
Eden Gardens is a big old stadium in Kolkata, and is the home of the Cricket Association of Bengal plus arguably the spiritual home of cricket in India. For a couple of months for the last three years I have worked there.
At capacity the stadium seats 67,000 extremely noisy and passionate people. The weather is balmy to hot, and humid so it is no hardship to be outside in the evening. And these people love their cricket. The cricket of choice for most people these days is T20, where two teams each bowl overs of 6 balls twenty times. The team who is not batting is bowling and fielding. Five day test matches are still played and loved by cricket fans, but T20 is an easy and accessible way to enjoy cricket.
When I was a child I went to the stadium run by the Western Australian Cricket Association – the excellently abbreviated ‘WACA’ (pronounced ‘wacka’) with my family. We sat on the grass, and I looked for the faces of the people that manage the scoreboard from the inside, and that occasionally look through the holes to watch the game. The scoreboard is big, the faces tiny and doll-like.
Anyway, so here I am unexpectedly inside the manual scoreboard at Eden Gardens cricket stadium in Kolkata. There is no reason for me to be here, apart from the fact that I like the view. Kolkata Knight Riders are playing Royal Challengers Bangalore in a must win match. The stadium is packed. There is a breeze blowing through the scoreboard which makes the heat and humidity a thing that only people outside the scoreboard have to bear.
To get to it, you have to climb the outside stairs to get up to the top of D-Block, wade through some spectators and then approach from the side. Inside it is three stories tall with a ladder joining the floors. I havn’t measured it, but the size of the scoreboard itself would be about 10m (h) x 25m (w).
These days there is an electronic scoreboard, actually two electronic scoreboards, a linear scoreboard and perimeter LED boards. The manual scoreboard is a back up, and a nod to history.
I stick my head through the hole in the scoreboard and wonder if anyone can see me.
* * *
If you liked this blog, don’t forget to recommend it to your friends and / or subscribe to Agatha Bertram’s enewsletter. Enewsletters are sent once every two to three months with blogging highlights that you may have missed.
You can also keep up to date on Instagram and Facebook – links below.
If you have come across from this month’s ‘Unexpected Places’ Travel Link up, you can get back here and read some excellent posts from very unexpected places.
Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi says
Life takes us on the strangest pathways doesn’t it?
Hi Emma, sure does! And long may it continue :). Thanks for commenting.
Love this story — definitely an “unexpected place” to find yourself in!
Thanks, and yes very unexpected. The scoreboard guys were all quite happy to see me up there, which was nice.
Jessi (Two Feet, One World) says
How cool! I’m a cricket nut so I loved this post – unexpected indeed! Thanks for linking up 🙂
Ha! Yes, I’ve gone back to my cricket roots i.e. being a cricket supporter. Thanks for commenting.
Katy Clarke says
Ooh would you believe I just walked through the crowd coming out of the Oval Cricket Ground near where we live? I used to live right near the MCG in Melbourne too. In both places you can hear the roar of the crowd when a match is on. It’s quite exciting isnt it? I reckon it would be amazing in India! Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles
I might be a bit peculiar in that I love crowds. When Adele played in Perth (and other cities) recently there were impromptu parties in the streets around the concert venues, which must have been a bit of fun. And yes, the noise of a cricket match at Eden Gardens is unbelievable. Makes the hairs on your arms stand up. Thanks for dropping by #farawayfiles
Erin Gustafson says
Ha! What a fun memory and great perspective of the match! Thanks for sharing with us at #FarawayFiles – always love your adventures, cheers from Copenhagen, Erin
Thanks Erin. Yes – its like an insiders secret. Even the seats next to the scoreboard are great viewing – but they’re also the cheap seats. Thanks for dropping by #farwaway files.