If Jamaican bobsledding can be a movie, surely "Hockey Night in the Punjab" calls out even more for the Hollywood treatment
Harnarayan Singh and Bhola Chauhan sat at a desk in the CBC’s studio here last month, watching the first period of a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Winnipeg Jets on two televisions.
Dressed in a pinstriped suit with gold cuff links, a blue-and-white tie and a matching turban, Singh, a play-by-play announcer, called the end-to-end action in an animated stream of Punjabi, punctuated with English words like “linesman,” “icing” and “face-off.”
Singh spoke at great volume as Toronto scored its first goal, crediting wing Joffrey Lupul for what translates to “picking up the wood,” a traditional Punjabi battle cry akin to bringing the house down.
“Chak de phatte goooaaalll Joffrey Lupul! Torrronto Maple Putayyy!”
A few minutes later, Winnipeg’s Chris Thorburn and Toronto’s Colton Orr dropped their gloves and began pounding on each other, and Singh rose in his chair to animate each blow. As the players were led to the penalty box, Chauhan, an Indian-born draftsman, writer and taxi driver wearing a cream-colored turban, read a fighting poem he had written based on a Punjabi style of verse.
The guy who is winning has a punch like a lion, and takes over the fight.
He hits like a sledgehammer.
They’re rivals, and he’s hung the other out to dry, not letting him go.