“When was the last time that the reigning World Champions got decimated in their very first match in the World Cup, that too by the team they had defeated to lift the title?” asked Horidas babu, even as he took a sip. “The Sinking of the Spanish Armada”, “The Return of the Flying Dutchmen”, “Sweet Revenge” “Tikitaka”, “Total Football” … the terms started flying thick and fast as Kolkata got to do what it is best at : Indulge in inane logic, waste time in endless (read useless) gossip about things she is not qualified to comment on. With a Fifa rank of 154 (yes, even Maldives and Afghanistan rank above us as football playing Nations) she should STFU and continue supplying stone chips to Syndicate approved builders, but who’ll tell her, more importantly, who’ll listen?
“Did you know that Louis Van Gaal, the Holland Coach, had told the Dutch players about the peerless fight of the native Mohun Bagan XI against the oppressive British conquerors personified as the Yorkshire Regiment? Yes, the fateful Shield Final in 1911 was invoked to rouse their feelings of Nationality and Dutch pride.” Apparently, the Dutch team got so charged learning about this epic struggle that they just blew the Spaniards to smithereens – intoxicated in the spirit of the teen aged Khudiram hurling the bomb to keep his tryst with destiny. Yes, when Bongs talk, facts, fiction and football merge to create history that we are too lazy to create ourselves.
People who do not know where Ivory Coast is in the world map are commenting on the overlapping of their side backs. And lo and behold, even Didi’s diktat of painting the town Blue and White is eliciting the odd sneer, considering the fact that they are the colours of Argentina – arch rivals to Kolkata’s home team Brazil’s Yellow and Green. Don’t believe me? What will you do when you learn of the Kolkata fan who sent a “Happy Father’s Day” card to Pele, signing Maradona as the sender to settle the controversy once and for all?
The Rape in Badaun, the imminent fall of Baghdad, the Closure of the Tata Nano Factory in Sanand (Gujarat), the incessant hemorrhage of the Left Vote Bank, the politics of appeasement, the infighting in the Ruling Party lines … nothing interests Kolkata anymore. But Neymar’s new girlfriend? Well, that is another story; as is Rooney’s on and off-field antics.
The Marketing guys are having a field day: C.Sirkar & Sons, Jewellers are giving a 37% discount on making charges as a special World Cup offer. Sunny Leone is peddling world cup flavoured condoms. Flat Screen TV sales have gone up as have Loans taken against Ornaments. Popular Watering Holes of the city are Tweeting live scores, in case you get too drunk to watch the action on the giant screens that have been put up. Boudi’s from Baguihati to Beliaghata are calling lovers “Messi” and enrollments in “soccer coaching camps” have witnessed a 236% rise in the last month. Go to the “Bajar” in the morning and you’ll know. “Kee Daam” has been replaced by “Bah,Bah,Bah” as the average Bhodrolok replaces his “Jhol” with “Goal”!
However, the Bong newspapers and channels have been hit by this fever the most. Kamduni has been unceremoniously replaced by Columbia as obese anchors, in garishly over painted makeup and outlandish pant-suits, discuss the ability of the Mexican midfield to generate defense defying through passes with two bit footballers visibly uncomfortable in their formal attire and bearded Biddo-jon’s. The papers in the meantime have sent an army of scribes sponsored by Keka Seth’s line of fairness cream to Brazil who are religiously filling 47 page supplements with everything from the sex habits of Marmoset Monkeys found in the Amazonian rain forests to how Taslima NasrIn is more popular than Gabriel García Márquez in São Paulo.
. Needless to say, it is a clear case of demand creating its own supply of nonsense as the World Cup trivia takes charge of our collective consciousness. “When the shit hits the ceiling through Proletarian struggle, what else can you expect” ask the Paper walla’s in private forced to the corner by the drying up of Chit-Fund Full Pager’s with flap panels.
Meanwhile in the Alipore Central Jail, Sudipto Sen was seen by wags, animatedly discussing the prospects of the German Team with his onetime confidant Kunal Ghosh even as the CBI sleuths went about tying up the loose ends.
The rest of India? We will think about it at the fullness of time, at the opportune moment. The jerseys have been bought. Studded soccer boots have been acquired in place of the customary Bata’r juto of Dugga Pujo. LTC’s have been sacrificed and the “Chuti” has been sanctioned. KKR posters and banners have been replaced in the Thakur Ghor. Time Zones have been breached as for the Babu’s, it is Brajil Time. Kee Protibha. Full Shambha!