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Following Sudhir across the country

April 7, 2011

Today we began day 1 of Sudhir's bicycle ride from Kolkata to his home town in Bihar. we woke up at 4 am, and he began his journey at 5 am. We shot out of the back of our SUV as he trailed behind at 10-15 kmph on his cycle. First, he crossed the famous old Howrah Bridge, then through the outskirts of Kolkata, then he stopped at the famous Dakshinishwar Kali Goddess temple where he had promised he would stop if India won the World Cup. 

Then we got into the real rural heartland with rice and wheat fields, and then ultimately the road went through serious forest. He rode along, smiling all the time, waving to people on the sides of the streets who recognized him. Mostly they yelled "World Cup!" at him and he yelled back "Congratulations to you too!" (in hindi of course)

He's a folk hero of sorts now that after India's win he's appeared on TV a lot and even Sachin has mentioned that Sudhir is the biggest cricket fan he knows. People on the streets recognize him without fail and when they see us filming him they gather around in groups that grow quickly. The standard crowd response is stare into the camera as if in a trance or simple ask "Yes. What channel?" We say "documentary" and they nod, and I'm sure that a lot of the time they don't know what that means.

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