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Clash of Two Titans: Orchestra v. Cricket

Both of South Mumbai’s stadiums will host mega events on one evening, each of a different kind.

The Brabourne Stadium will host Zubin Mehta, one of the world’s finest classical music composers along with Andrea Bocelli the Italian classical crossover tenor who without witnessing his audiences has awed the world. Mexican soprano Maria Katzarava will join them in this feat which will be performed for strong sophisticated crowd of 25000. The event will celebrate 80 years of the virtuoso Mehta, which will be attended by the elite of Mumbai. Two roads down at the Wankhede Stadium we have the IPL cricket game where 35000 fans of our second religion Cricket, will watch the Mumbai Indians take on the Royal Challenger Bangalore which should be a cracker of a game. This is scheduled to be one of the last games to be held in Mumbai due to the acute water shortage plaguing our state.
Come evening and the crowds will congregate at Churchgate and then split to view two drastically opposite events, both of a dramatic kind. Some might feel it is highly unfair and borderline thoughtless to compare these events. A concert of Zubin Mehta along with Andrea Bocelli is a one of a kind spectacle which is probably be the last time Mumbai will witness these maestros perform together. Elderly crowds, women in gowns and music of the tenor will revere through the stands. Whilst next door we will have the little maestro dressed in cobalt blue supporting his Mumbai team along-side the team owners all bobbing their hands and heads to some flashy Bollywood beats after every sixer, wicket or over.

Such a clash of cultures our city has to offer us. Masses will attend the game, many of whom have never heard of these western classical maestros nor will they realise that these world-renown artists are performing a stone’s throw away. To the contrary, the concert attenders will view a sea of blue dressed fans all crowd and line up at a stadium next door to watch the cricket and with the hope to get noticed on live telecast vigorously dancing!
Both events promise to be hair-raising – of a different kind. Both are sure to bring tears to eyes and many will leave their stadiums with heavy hearts. As much as want to believe that both these events are Mumbai, we must question how much or how little does the Brabourne Stadium Mumbai know the Wankhade Mumbai, vice versa?
I shudder to imagine the consequences if some of the crowds swapped stadiums! We would have old Parsee ladies cladded in her finest saree and hand fans stand serpentine ques and five body checks to get into Wankhade Stadium whilst a hardcore cricket fans with Mumbai painted all over their faces prance into the Brabourne Stadium expecting to yell out all their frustrations in life during the game, only to be ushered to their seats in a civilized and dignified manner.

Whilst both events transcend into the busy corners of Churchgate, you will find me standing on top of my car bang in the middle of the two taking in the music of the Israel Philharmonic orchestra performing at the Brabourne Stadium with a hope to catch a ball flying my way from the Wankhade Stadium.

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