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Of Maradona, madness and meltdown

December 7, 2008

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During a media interaction on Saturday afternoon Diego Armando Maradona said, 'there is only one God in this world.'

But his fans in Kolkata refused to take him seriously as they gathered in huge numbers to see their rather short, square-chested 'god' in flesh.

Maradona was supposed to visit the Missionaries of Charity (Mother House) at 10 am on Sunday morning. He arrived an hour late (the crowd growing in number every minute) amid thunderous applause and a vociferous chant -- Ma-ra-do-na, ma-ra-do-na.

I was too small to witness Kolkata's exuberance during legendary Pele's visit to the city.

Heard how my grandfather had waited for hours near the ground where Pele took part in a match to see his 'idol'.

However, during the initial years of my career, way back in 1997, I had a chance to cover Pete Seeger's Kolkata tour. I had seen a 3000-strong audience at the city's Nazrul Manch swaying to Seeger's heartfelt Guantanamera.

Text: Indrani Roy Mitra | Photographs: Ashim Dutta

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