Saturday, June 24, 2006

The football fever

The whole world seems to be going bonkers on world cup football. People have stopped working night shifts and have demanded to be shown matches. Most people are leaving early to catch their favourite matches. We are also playing something called phantom football in office. I never cared much about football myself, not atleast after I broke B’s foot in a foul on terrible day in monsoon. I was a burly ruddy girl, with a predisposition towards football and cycling. There weren’t enough guys to make up a 22 member team, and there were fewer girls – so we played in a mixed team. Our teams changed in all possible permutations everyday. That fateful day B – possibly our best player was in the opposition and as a terrible footballer, but a determined defender my keywords were, ’don’t let the ball get past you’. Sadly B was playing his best game and as he moved towards our goal post, I missed the ball and kicked his foot instead…….

I still don’t know what stopped them from throwing me out of the team. Some of them tell me, that B spoke out on my behalf. He was two years older and quite fond of me. But my guilty conscience would not let me play anymore. Like a true blue professional, I hung up my boots while in my prime and took to cycling alone along the long winding roads in our campus. Those were the days of Itlalia’90. I had eyes only for Jeurgen Klinsmann. I wonder if Ma has thrown away the scrap book that had around 90 pictures of Klinsmann. I am told he is now coaching Germany and if I do watch any matches this time, it would only be to catch a glimpse of Klinsmann.

Meanwhile, I am playing football with my life now. I am now living in a different country and a different continent. Some people have called it seemingly paradise, I agree with seemingly. I seem to be playing football with my sleeping hours. The midfield mind says its midnight, attack the sleep nerves, the body defends by saying, it’s daytime in India. Here the sun does not set before 9p.m. putting all my time management into a quandary. I am learning for the first time, how to cook Indian food, in a foreign country from a group of men, who hitherto had commanded merely respect from me. They now have my whole-hearted admiration. Learning to count the cents and save the dollars. Learning that phone calls are free and Internet access is as easily available as pollution in India. Learning that if you do not know how to drive a car, you are doomed to lead your life dependent on others. Learning that there is no such thing as the local grocery wala or the mishtir dokaan. I am learning that restaurants are expensive and that I am an object of curiosity here because of the colour of my skin and my salwar kameez – two things that I always took for granted.

The neon lights at night blind my eyes. Sometimes, it’s an escape from the homesickness and the depression that has begun to set in. Living fourteen thousand miles away from home is not always the easiest thing to do. But some people have helped to ease the pain. I do not know how to express my heartfelt thanks to all of my friends, who have mailed, called, scrapped and have in everyway let me know that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Thank you!!! I am indeed touched.


Joy Forever said...

I can imagine what it's like... Living just sixteen hundred kilometres away from home feels terrible and lonely... so fourteen thousand... I can very well understand!

Akash said...

nice to see your weblogmeter start again. it seems that you are in the land of uncle tom's now. keep us posted about your new experiences, right from the horse's mouth and uninhibited.
Hope you will gradually enjoy the land more and more, overcoming the initial homesickness. take my word.

The most unfortunate event in the history of Indian football that you hung up your boots. For football lovers like us the loss is irreparable. But anyway, after all it is your decision. We can’t force you to change that. Ohh. I was talking to Klinsmann a while ago and let him know in the middle of a conversation that there was a girl who used to collect your photographs and paste them on scrapbooks. His reaction was amazing. He just couldn’t speak. He went into morbid silence and tears rolled down his cheeks:( Emotions overcame him totally. He will perhaps visit your weblog shortly.

stiletto said...

seemingly paradise? huh?


No matter what time your body clock says it is, no matter how depressed you are, how homesick you are, make sure you eat and drink properly.

We need you alive.

The Reprobate said...

seen any 7 feet tall humans yet?

Anwesha Chatterjee said...

@Joy Forever: Thank you. You don't know what pain is until you feel it yourself. Oops! was that too sentimental??? I take it back!!!

@Akash: You guessed right! Uncle Sam's land. This is a crazy country filled with the craziest people I know. I am sure I am going to end up hating this place. My dirty, grimy India is much better ANNYDAY.

@Stiletto: I am eating very well, thanks to the 4 benevolent gentlemen. They are making sure that I do not have space in my stomach for an atom. So I shall live to come back and tell you the tale

@Reprobate: No, but I have seen people 7 feet wide :-D I must be the most malnourished woman in this city.

Akash said...

was that too sentimental???
Up to this, everything’s all right. Beyond that you have to be cautious.

Oops!! Uncle Sam, that would be. World Cup hysteria is sure getting over me. But if Uncle Sam wears a T-shirt sporting the logo “TOM” on its back what shall I do?