The best thing about global sporting events is that they bring people and cultures together under one umbrella. The FIFA World Cup in Russia is no different. Moscow has turned into an unending party where cultures, cuisines and flavours from across the world came together. Though India failed to find representation in the World Cup, it found a fanbase among the foodies visiting Moscow.
Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian flavours to the ongoing World Cup here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.
Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, "Talk Of The Town" and "Fusion Plaza".
Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread. The restaurant event started offering a 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID. The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are diehard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli's team can go the distance.
"I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift the trophy, I will invite all Indians who have come here to watch the World Cup for free dinner at both my restaurants," Prodyut told IANS.
"We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point," he added.
According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA's official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.
Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.
"After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full," Prodyut said.
There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.
"I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy," Prodyut said.
Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.
"We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are Bengalees, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal," she added.
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