Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Football Fever

With the World Cup on, the country is in the grip of football mania. Every newspaper and every blogger wants to write about it. Let me jump on to the bandwagon.

I have been agonising over the absence of India in the World Cup. We seem to lack the basic temperament to play this game. Not that we haven’t attempted. Many an Indian has tried his hand at football. That’s the problem. Football rules don’t allow use of hands. We should try our legs instead.

Another problem is that Indians play so many different types of games and tend to get confused. While playing football, it is important to remember that the ball must be hit into the net, not over the net as in tennis. While approaching the goal-post, Indians try to maneuver the ball towards point and extra-cover. Such off-side shots are disallowed in football. Also, Indians have the habit of hitting the football outside the boundary line, believing that it will fetch them six runs, but football rules are slightly different. The most awkward moment for Indian football was when one Indian defender, thinking that he was playing kabaddi, tackled one of the opponent forwards, bringing him down and crushing him . Apparently the tackler was from Goa and a Goan constrictor at that.

But, all is not lost. W.Bengal is producing some great footballers. Mohan Bagan, for instance, has had some great players like Hiralal Mukherjee, Samar Banerjee, Sudeep Chatterjee, etc. These surnames Mukherjee, Banerjee, Chatterjee, I am told, are Anglicised versions of traditional Bengali names like Mukhopadhyaya, Bandopadhyaya and Chattopadhyaya. East Bengal had a goal keeper called Bhaskar Gangopadhyaya, who anglicized his name to Bhaskar Gan-goalie.

The reason why Bengal is able to come out with such great football talent is because the Bengali language converts all ‘va’ sounds to ‘ba’ sounds. “Vande Matram” becomes “Bande Matram”, “Viswa” becomes “Biswa” and “Ravindranath” becomes “Rabindranth”. Consequently, when the rest of the country is struggling to vend the wall like Veckham, Bengalis can effortlessly bend the ball like Beckham. The day is not far off when a team of Bengalis will play the World Cup and conquer all the other teams. The proud captain can then exclaim, “Beni, Bidi, Bici”.

Yes, these Bengalis can certainly do magic with the football. The most famous football magician from Mohan Bagan is known as P.C.Soccer. When the opposing team is inching menacingly towards the goal post, he can make the entire football stadium disappear, with his magical bond, sorry magical wand.

With that bit about the Wand Bagan, let me jump off the bandwagon now, by reciting these lines from Tagore’s Gitanjali, that beautifully captures the feelings of the Indian footballer and his futile quest of a goal…

There are times when I languidly linger
and times when I awaken and hurry
in search of my goal;
but cruelly thou hidest thyself from before


Usha said...

hehehehe... wend it like veckam....hohohoho
time we reminded ourselves of what another Vengali said
"arise! awake! stop not till the goal is reached!"

Anu said...

hehehe bhery bhery funny. So be it. Lets meet at the Bhorld cup in bhitch bhi are represented by our Bangla brothers!

Lalita said...

bah bah. I am speaking Bengali as an honorary Bong. :D

dazedandconfused said...

That post was like our Ganguly Dada's cover drive when, sorry, bhen in top form...!

Casement said...

Oh, you didn't even spare Tagore's Gitanjali:)

Raj said...

Usha ,Anu : What, both of you saying hehehehehe ? Just wait. When Bengal produces female footballers, both of you will say she she she .

Lalita : What do you mean by bah, bah? Are you the black sheep?

dazedand confused :Ganguly dada is busy saying Christian prayers. Yes, he goes to Chappell everyday

Casement : Tagore's weird. Sorry, I meant to say Tagore had a beard.

nevermind said...

have been despatched here by anu. so you know who to blame. appears we are thinking about the same thing (surprise surprise). me, i think it's arjun singh who's responsible for the sorry state of indian football. ask anyone. just don't tell them i told you. basta...sorry bhasta;-)

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