ADVERTISEMENT

A Kabaddi Night; Packed Arena, High-Octane Action & Rahul Dravid!

Gaurav Kalra writes about experiencing a Pro Kabaddi game live, engaging, exciting and made just for the fans.

Updated
Sports
2 min read
(Photo: Pro Kabaddi League)

“Full Charge Maadi”
“Full Charge Maadi”

The Sree Kanteerava stadium is a coliseum. As the Bengaluru Bulls charge into the arena, the decibel levels threaten to bring the roof down. There is not a seat to be had. Every raid ignites the fans. In here, the formula as we knew it is inverted. The Bulls won’t be tamed. They are the hunters.

I have spent my professional life covering sport. Had you told me a couple of years ago that I would witness a Kabaddi match that attracts such a rapacious response, I would have scoffed at the suggestion. But on this Saturday night, it was real. It was loud. It was here, in front of my eyes, assaulting my ears.

Rahul Dravid with his sons at the Sree Kanteerava stadium(Photo: Pro Kabaddi League)
Rahul Dravid with his sons at the Sree Kanteerava stadium(Photo: Pro Kabaddi League)

“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the son of Bangalore, Raaaahuullll Drrravvviiid”

Yes, he was there too. Smiling sheepishly when the big screen cut to him as an adoring audience applauded. I watched him for a while, this man of such sporting pedigree, and you could tell he wasn’t there just to be there.

He inched forward on his ringside seat, he gasped in admiration as a raid was completed, he turned excitedly to his sons to explain what had just happened. He knew what he was seeing was a skilled sporting contest. Fast. Aggressive. Such fun.

(Photo: Pro Kabaddi League)
(Photo: Pro Kabaddi League)

Suddenly Kabaddi is cool. As you enter the stadium, the face painters jostle you to get into the spirit by getting a dash of colour on your face. The Bachchan baritone is pelting out.

Le Panga.

The concoction is compelling- its quick paced, the scoring is easy to get, it takes less than an hour for a match to end in that time the contest is almost guaranteed to ebb. This, the most traditional of sports, is actually almost by accident pre-designed for the demands of the modern world.

Back to the arena and the Bulls are thumping the hapless Telugu Titans. Their captain Manjeet Chillar is raiding. “Dus Kabaddi, Nau Kabaddi, Aath Kabaddi” resonates in the arena. If Virat Kohli is the city’s adopted cricketing son, Manjeet can claim a similar embrace in the Kabaddi season.

It is an illuminating evening for a cynic. A powerful demonstration of how sport has the power to engage, excite and create a sparkling connection with its most vital stakeholder- the fan. I leave the arena humbled, with the clarion call ringing in my ears.

“Full Charge Maadi”
“Full Charge Maadi”

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

ADVERTISEMENT
Published: 
ADVERTISEMENT
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
ADVERTISEMENT