Says Former Indian Cricketer and current President of CC&FC Arun Lal, emotionally, “I have the most cherished memories of the Club from way back in 1978 when I became a young member…I would really want to map this Club on a Worldwide basis as some great Cricket establishments are not aware of CC&FC’s grand and redoubtable legacy, by sheer weight of its long-established heritage and tradition the CC&FC’s existence for more than two and a quarter centuries speaks for itself…” says Lal earnestly.
Ms. Sanaya Mehta Vyas, who is the Club’s second Lady Committee Member and the first one to head the Entertainment Portfolio has the formidable job of organizing the Club’s landmark 225th year festivities.
Part of the year-long celebrations, on Thursday 23rd February commenced with an evocative Saxophone recital by Marteen that set the mood perfectly for Cyrus Madan to compère the evening’s proceedings. These commenced with the Felicitation of Former Club Presidents, eminent sports personalities such as Olympians Keshav Dutt, Gurbux Singh, and Dr. Paes and Leander, and soccer stars like Chuni Goswami, Shyam Thapa and Pronab Ganguli among others. Cricketing legends Saurav Ganguly, Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Doshi, Arun Lal and Devang Gandhi and tennis (Enrico Piperno), bridge and rubgy players as well as the Club Staff, who were all present and misty-eyed, were felicitated here.
This was followed by a lively tete-a tete between Former Indian Cricket Captain Saurav Ganguly and Arun Lal. In an unconventional chat the two recounted some witty and lively moments from their time together regaling the audience with some never-before told stories. An incident that greatly amused the gathering dwelt on Lal and Ganguly having shared a room on one occasion on the second floor of a Hotel where there was a break-in into their room at the dead of night by a shrouded and menacing intruder that literally robbed them both at Sword point! While a visibly shaken Lal quavered nervously to Ganguly to awaken, Ganguly scared out-of-his wits had crept behind Lal and clutched onto his shoulders with trembling fingers while the intrepid rogue calmly set to looting both! That incident having put both Cricketers to an oath never ever to take rooms on anything short of the seventh floor or upwards thereafter!
Usha thereafter effortlessly had the dance area packed to capacity as all jived, twisted, waltzed and freewheeled to her songs while she engaged them in Tamil, Malyalam, Bengali, Assamese Punjabi et all , chorusing “why this kolaveri”, “ mera lal gawachcha” to “ Daaaarling akhon se aank char karney do” in various sharps and flats!
The Bar replete with everybody’s choice kept the Members’ spirits high till each in their own pace and time headed to a sumptuous and indulgent spread of a gastronomic dinner over a Thai, English and Bengali bill-of-fare.
The décor of discreet chandeliers and the stage with a canopy of a hundred interesting lamps with a wonderful club-shaped cake complemented the subtle ambience. For once unanimously, every Member felt genuinely happy, pleased, content and indeed overwhelmingly impressed with the Evening in its entirety.
Truly again, every member felt the pride and honor of belonging to this noble fellowship that is called lovingly, The Calcutta Cricket & Football Club!
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