The players are not the only people who are making money because of the IPL. The hawkers, face painters, auto drivers and petty shop owners also find their business booming on match days. As I reach Gate No. 3, I have this young woman, Rani, waving the local team’s flag right in front of my face.
She manages to make me buy her yellow flag after guilt tripping me about how I am not being a true fan. But, I successfully resist her offer to paint CSK on my cheeks. What does IPL mean to her? “On match days, my earnings definitely see a spike,” she says.
As the cops shoo her away, I ask about the things that make her unhappy, “Apart from the rude cops, it would be great if people who spend thousands to get inside the stadium don’t bargain with me when they buy a flag for 50 rupees.”