Eighty minutes into a scruffy encounter between Kerala and West Bengal at Manjeri's Payyanad stadium, amidst a billowing mass of humanity, the fans have not stopped chanting and the bands have not stopped playing. Seized by a ceaseless flow of energy, the chants become louder and the beats become thunderous as hosts Kerala search frantically for a deadlock-breaking goal in the Santosh Trophy game on a soggy outfield, where the players slipped and stumbled. The self-designated conductor of the band is Bhaskar ettan (elder brother), a spry man in his late fifties in a Castro hat, the ends of his long hair hugging the shoulders. He has elastic wrists that he contorts to his will. Bhaskar ettan used to play the drums for a circus group. "When the elephants played cricket and leopards leapt around," he says, bursting into peals of laughter. He wanted to be a footballer, but now satisfies himself playing drums on the football field around Malappuram, the most football-mad district of the football-mad state. There are other musicians in the 25,000-strong crowd that has converged to the suburb in Manjeri from distant corners of Kerala's Malappuram district (from Ponnani and Vazhikkadavu) and from beyond the borders… Read full this story
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What happens when Santosh Trophy comes to a football-crazed Malappuram in Kerala? have 371 words, post on indianexpress.com at April 24, 2022. This is cached page on Vietnam Colors. If you want remove this page, please contact us.