You don’t need a GPS to track Patra’s house once you get down to Ichhapore Railway Station.
Kolkata: Shib Shankar Patra is one among thousands of die-hard Argentina fans in Kolkata and there’s nothing unusual about it. But then die-hard fans at times can be weird too and the 53-year-old Patra has that weird streak in him.
Trying to garner enough savings from his modest earnings through a tea stall, Patra harboured a dream — to watch ‘The Albiceleste’ live from the stands in Russia.
But when a Kolkata-based travel agent informed him that his savings — a princely amount of Rs 60,000 ($900) is not enough to fund his World Cup trip (travel agent gave him a budget of Rs 1.5 lakh), he decided the next best thing — paint his entire three-storied building in Argentina colours.
“I don’t smoke or drink. I have only one addiction and that is Lionel Messi and Argentina. I don’t earn much but ensure that bulk of my earnings is kept aside for these indulgences when World Cup comes calling,” Patra, owner of a tea and snack stall in North 24 Parganas’ Nawabganj township, told PTI.
You don’t need a GPS to track Patra’s house once you get down to Ichhapore Railway Station. Ask any cocky teenager or elderly uncle about “Argentina Chaayer Dokan” (Argentina Tea Stall), they will be more than happy to oblige. The street leading up to his tea stall cum house is dotted with Argentina flags while a giant one flutters high making its presence felt. Every four years coinciding with the World Cup, Patra, who runs his tea stall from the ground floor of his three-storied building, gives his building a fresh coat of light blue and white shade.
Enter his three-room apartment and the craziness hits you instantly. All the walls are painted in Argentina colour, even the small ‘puja sthal’ (where the idols of Gods and Goddesses are placed).