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2008 Azlan Shah Cup
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Contrasting slogans and Chak de Tunes lit up the t (4/26/2008)
--K.Arumugam
In an otherwise dull and drab day on the turf, where the Indian girls had nothing but pride to play for when they took on France, a group of Indian students with their boyish buoyance lit up the stadium climate much to the joy of one and all. Striking feature of Saturday, the penultimate day of the ongoing Kazan Olympic Qualifier, could well belong to these motley group of young hearts, for whom many terminologies of hockey are new, difference between a stroke and penalty corner are new vista, having never seen a hockey match live in their life time before.

Today, they were again in good numbers despite India did not give them much to cheer about in the last three days. As Indian girls started scoring as early as third minute, their spirit went up and with that a refreshing stuff for which college campuses are known for. Some of them could borrow microphone from the handful Netherlands Antilles' fans and blew Chak de India tune from their mobiles. so many people did the same and the tune blared in full bloom. For an outsider, and if you are not in the stands, it appeared as if the tune is displayed in the public address system.

But more than the tune what caught the attetnion was the variety of slogans they made. From irrelevant Simon Go Back, Jai Shivaji Jai Bhawani, Angrezon Bharat Chodo, Ganpati Bappa Morya, Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai, and it went on and on.

Whatever we knew on India, whatever we remember, we shouted" said one. A large number girl students also were seen on the stands

These students also showed enormous friendliness to other teams, whoever they can access. Some players of Netherlands Antilles for example have become close to them, as the players and the fans seat together, no seggreation hassles as we come across in India.

Most important thing is that the gates are free in hockey" said one of the elated students who could hardly believe entry for international event could be free.

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