BENGALURU: RCB fans are making pandemic-tailored plans – virtual match parties, blood donation camps, releasing anthems – all to cheer their favourite team on ahead of IPL season
Prathamesh Avachare has been clocking in late nights at work these past few days, and not because he’s a workaholic. He’s an ardent Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) fan who doesn’t mind working till 3am if he can watch his favourite team play uninterrupted once IPL matches begin later this week. And he isn’t the only one making pandemic-tailored plans to cheer his team on and keep the fan spirit high.
Avachare, who co-founded ViratGang – a fan club with 90,000 followers on FaceBook – is busy organising ‘watch parties’ for RCB-Mumbai Indians match on April 9. “We wanted to recreate the infectious vibe that watching a match in a stadium used to provide. So we’ll have 20-25 fans for each match and all of us can record our reactions together on Zoom,” says the Nasik-based 25-year-old.
Covid-19 was a turning point for members of Bengaluru-based Bleed Namma RCB, which organised a blood donation camp, in association with the Kadala Theerada Bharghava movie team, on Sunday.
Around 150 fans donated 60 litres of blood. “The Covid-situation inspired us to take up a social cause. We thought that a requirement for blood might be the need of the hour. We might plan another drive after 5-6 matches,” says Sagar Siddu, who donated 350ml of blood.
Musicians Raghu Dixit and All Ok, actors Brinda Acharya and Disha Poovaiah, also attended the event. Had there been no pandemic, the club’s members would watched the game at the now closed Ee Sala Cup Namde cafe in Jayanagar.
Members of Namma Team RCB, on the other hand, are considering watching the match together in limited numbers (not exceeding 25) at a pub in the city. “But we are waiting for government orders,” says founder Preetham Karigar. The group is known to have turned up at IPL matches with 30ft x 8ft and 50ft x 30ft hand-painted banners.
Forty-three-year-old ‘Superfan’ Sugumar D, who got his moniker for watching games at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in extravagant costumes, says he’s been receiving invites to be a part of many fan-made anthems, including one by NoduMaga YouTube channel and will be out on April 8.
City-based composer and guitarist, Hemanth Jois, got 20,000 views on the day he released his song on his YouTube channel. “I express myself through music so I made this song, which I composed in 2019. You hardly find any hard rock songs in Kannada so I hope this anthem gives people the push they need while working out,” says the 29-year-old.The song is about the team’s fans who support RCB irrespective of their performance. “I shouldn’t say this, but we’re used to losing,” he laughs. “But we’re loyal fans and never give up on RCB.”