Hope for Indian Football

Days have passed after Kerala Blasters FC overcame all odds as everyone desperately tried to make Chennaiyin FC win by whichever way possible – by giving cards to Kerala players and even sending one off even before thirty minutes had passed, along with allowing a penality for no good reason and even allowing a goal by hand when there was a good view for the referee. Even Chennaiyin’s owner was showing disrespectful actions, and the crowd was not that sporting. There was a high level of play from Chennai’s team, but no righteousness.

But still Kerala Blasters had progressed to the finals becoming the first ever finalists of the league, a position which was reserved for the teams which came first or fourth in the league. They had the power of poetic justice and karma which favoured the righteous who played the fair game rather than those who took another unfair path towards glory, not caring about sportsmanship. It struck lightning on those who played the rough game like what happened to Netherlands against Spain in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, even as the Orange team was better until then.

But that game had a better referee, but it was not the case here, as every step was taken to ensure that Kerala Blasters doesn’t win the match. But karma once again took over as Marco Materazzi ended up on the wrong side this time, with missing penality and getting a red card just before Kerala scored the winning goal. Yes, nobody messes with Zinedine Zidane and escapes, as the grand curse stays for a long time. They say that Luis Suárez bites, but there are worse things that happen on a football field, and I would consider being bitten better – ask the Vampire Bat (http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/bathistory/)

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So what happened on the next day? It was Sourav Ganguly’s Atletico de Kolkata taking on Virat Kohli’s FC Goa. There were two teams who had their first leg as a draw. There was the team of a retired legend cricketer taking on the team of a future legend to take on the team of the immortal cricketer. This time, there is nothing carried over, and one match was to decide things. So, I decided to watch the full match this time without missing any second, as there was no tension for me with my favourite teams everywhere.

My belief was that it was going to be a fair game, and as both Goa and Kolkata had owners who believed in giving their best and as they have been the ones who showed their fighting spirits rather than showing off, I was sure that this one would be a better game of real and fair football even as I was not sure about the amount of thrills. Yes, Goa seemed like a better team, considering the second part of the league. But my love for the City of Joy was eternal just like my admiration for Sourav Ganguly.

But things seemed different this time, as there was no goal at all, compared to the seven we had seen in the other semi-final matches, and it had to end with a shoot-out. Surprisingly, the best from Goa missed the first kick and another one hit the crossbar, giving the match and a spot in the final to Kolkata which had all shots right into the goal. It would be Sachin Tendulkar’s team vs Sourav Ganguly’s team; a match between two teams which had the most attendance during their matches, a treat for the most passionate fans of the league. Yes, this is the dream final. Kerala gets recognition, Sachin is happy and Dadagiri never ends. This is a final in which both results can make me happy.

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Meanwhile, I really hope that the fans of the teams had showed more respect to others, and among the fans, I have found the North East fans the best. As a team representing eight states, I have found them to be better than most of the other fans who have been fighting and abusing each other. And John Abraham also deserves a lot of respect for supporting football in the right manner as the righteous as well as the supporting owner, and not being bad towards the rest. I wish NorthEast United FC the best of luck for the next season. May Indian football thrive, and so do the teams which play fair football.

*I am surprised that Amitabh Bachchan said in Twitter that many decisions were against them when everyone in the world felt that referee was the twelfth player of the Chennai team against the Kerala team of ten players. I wonder if Big B changed sides while tweeting it. ***All images used in this blog post are from the official page of Indian Super League at Facebook.

TeNy

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What is Bigger than Winning?

*Except for the last photo, the images are from the Official Facebook Page of Kerala Blasters. What I asked is a question that we see in the advertisement for Indian Super League, and it is about what is more important that winning. It says that the answer to that question is winning the league for the first time and becoming the first champion ever. I don’t consider it an interesting one though, as that achievement is something which will stay heavy only for a few years. Shouldn’t the answer have been “winning the league the most number of times”?

Well, I have an answer for the same, and it is “to try your best and earn respect”. Yes, Chennaiyin did well to come back from nowhere to go up, a lot of appreciation is needed for that. That should also mean that one like less for Jeje Lalpekhlua, that is from me, just because I don’t approve handballs. Yes, everybody can’t be Adam Gilchrist or Rahul Dravid, but if they tried to be honest, that would have pleased me. I always love such a good gesture. Yes, the referee also contributed to it, whose fault it remains.

There is no denying the power of this man, no matter what happens.

There is no denying the power of this man, no matter what happens in the end.

I believe that Chennaiyin would have won against Kerala Blasters, but it is karma that let them down. Kerala got the worst of the referee as what happened with Atletico de Kolkata reversed like a tsunami multiple times, with the worst decisions being made against them. But to add to that, Chennaiyin had to add the handball, and I believe that the one moment of cheating took the weapons of karma started its work. Poetic justice – ever heard of it? It will come to you some day, may be in this life or the next. This time, it came earlier.

Well, it is quite usual for the new generation who are taught that there is nothing bigger than winning. It is all about being glory hunters, and we have a lot of them in football. Marco Materazzi’s missing of penality is also about the same – the one thing that made him more famous than the rest, is what he caused to Zinedine Zidane, one of my favourite players of that time. He became a main reason for many of us to dislike the Chennaiyin FC along with the overacting that Abhishek Bachchan was doing at the stadium. That red card was coming for Materazzi, because there is God, and there is Sachin Tendulkar.

If you try your best and still lose, it is still a big thing.

If you try your best and still lose, it is still a big thing. Always fight till the end.

Chennai is my second favourite city in India outside Kerala, coming next only after Kolkata, and every time, I hope to support them in any league and appreciate them coming first on the league table, but something always comes up. With Chennai Super Kings, there was that match-fixing scandal, and there was the owner of the same team controlling the whole cricket in India. Now, even for Chennaiyin FC, there is the co-owner Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and I can’t help not seeing a connection there. I then wondered why the Bangalore franchise was replaced with Chennai.

Even in a match which saw one of the worst refereeing of the whole tournament, the highlight is the effort which both teams put up here, especially Kerala Blasters who fought all odds to win this battle. Nothing seemed to work for them as there was the early red card, too many fouls against them even as the referee gave less number of them, a self-goal, a penality and a goal with a hand – all going against them. It seemed that even Mukesh and Nita Ambani were with Chennaiyin. A defeat was certain there, and with the goal keeper and the best strikers replaced, there was even less hope with a shoot-out.

Seeing a happy Sachin Tendulkar with other senior players = happiness

Seeing a happy Sachin Tendulkar with other senior players and the team = happiness 🙂

Kerala Blasters did hold on though, and when wonder how this poetic justice worked like a dream, the name of Sachin Tendulkar comes to one’s mind. This is another gift to one of the greatest sportsmen India has ever produced, and it would be great if the other team in the final is Atletico de Kolkata, but the three teams that remains now are my favourites, and I will only be extremely delighted no matter who wins this first ISL – let it be Kerala, Kolkata or Goa. What about Sachin Tendulkar vs Sourav Ganguly in the final – wouldn’t that be awesome?

*Even if Kerala Blasters had lost today, they would have won hearts, but they chose more, and the fight they brought is more important than winning. Despite what the owners, coaches, some fans and the officials have been doing wrong, Chennaiyin team also deserves respect for making this attempt. One thing I admire about Abhishek Bachchan is that he stood with his team till the end making every team wish that they had an owner like him, otherwise I am not a fan of him with what he is showing on the ground and in the movies.

And then there is my friend Praveen Joy who managed to click one with Sachin :O

And then there is my friend Praveen Joy who managed to click one with Sachin :O 😀

Thank You Kerala Blasters! TeNy

A Change or No Change?

There are a few things that are difficult to change. Among them are the passion for cricket in the subcontinent and the worship of cricketers. This has always happened at the cost of the devastation of other sporting events. Cricket has almost annihilated all the other sports from India, and this struggle that the other sports seem to be putting up is just because they are working so well outside the subcontinent, and there are still some good people left in the country who choose to watch the rest.

The arguments for cricket are completely invalid. The first one is that Sania Mirza is also a big name even without winning anything huge – but it is a wrong argument, as she is popular just because of her looks, and it is disgusting to read how some people make comments about her. The next argument is that India is winning in cricket, and so it gets support. But no, the case is that Indian cricket team is winning because they have money and facilities, and also because nobody outside the subcontinent gives a damn about the game.

Team Kerala Blasters (Pic from Kerala Blasters FB Page)

Team Kerala Blasters (Pic from Kerala Blasters FB Page)

Let’s take the case of IPL. It has deteriorated into the worst level with its match-fixing scandals and other scams, with two of its teams already terminated and two or three almost getting terminated, with players banned and controversies coming up again and again. Even with all those fake entertainment stuff in it, they couldn’t even come with a story-line better than WWE, and it is a real shame. One actually has to wonder if there is any point in following a sport which only one nation actually plays and two or three nations make a half-hearted attempt to try.

Consider the evil that has IPL has turned cricket into, one has to wonder what ISL will do to Indian football. Indian Super League is certain to be better than that though, and can create a better Indian football team for the future, with the number of fans also increasing. It is a much needed thing to have a team for us to support in the FIFA World Cup – we can surely qualify from Asia in a few years or so. India will surely be a power to look out for in twenty years, I would guess. We should just keep the politics away from this one.

Sourav Ganguly for Atletico de Kolkata (Pic from team's FB Page)

Sourav Ganguly for Atletico de Kolkata (Pic from team’s FB Page)

Unlike IPL, this league also have the teams from the right areas, as Kerala and the North East always deserved its teams even in cricket. It is good to have more balanced distribution of teams here. Among the teams, I can easily declare my support to Kerala Blasters ownder by Sachin Tendulkar and from my home state. Let’s only hope that people would not resort to abuse, as it is what Sachin fans have been resorting to – hope they will respect the opposition this time rather than going in the path of that terrible Malayalam movie 1983 which called for the abuse of all who don’t support Sachin Tendulkar.

Leaving the immortal cricketer’s team behind with its large number of Keralite football fans, my next support will be for Atlético de Kolkata, in the name of Sourav Ganguly, the greatest left handed batsman and the best captain India has ever produced, and also for the beautiful city of Kolkata, and hope that they can win if Kerala Blasters can’t. They also have my favourite logo in the league. Then I give my support to NorthEast United FC, as I hope that the beautiful North East will have all the attention that it deserves with this team. May be John Abraham can bring it there, and the actor’s commitment social work have always been things worth cheering for.

John Abraham supporting football as usual (Pic from NorthEast United FB page)

John Abraham supporting football as usual (Pic from NorthEast United FB page)

I shall leave a little love for Goa too, and about the rest of the cities which have had an IPL team for more than one season, I would care less. I hope that one of those cities, states or collection of states which haven’t had much of IPL action with them, shall go on to win ISL. More over, I hope that it will trigger the much needed resurrection of football in India, as it will surely bring hope for the other neglected sports, and end the dictatorship and evil ways of cricket. May the two great men of cricket Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly bring it to soccer. I wish the league all success.

TeNy

Escape from a Lost Planet

There is something about not being an Aluvaite. There is not much about leaving from a land plagued by potholes and disturbed by the Metro construction. It just adds to that harthal which devastates the state from where there is no escape. But forgetting all the troubles which are not really the part of Aluva alone, and missing being part of the same place is another thing. Forgetting having no more friends in the lands and no more of anyone to talk is rather the product of that engineering experiment to which our students have agreed, the result being more engineers than coconuts and all of them exported to Bangalore or Chennai.

The river Periyar which covers most of the town (taken on my DSC-W310)

The river Periyar which covers most of the town (taken on my DSC-W310)

The first part of not being an Aluvaite is not being UCean, talked about here : (https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/uc-as-in-you-see-and-mgu/). Not being part of the college had already happened earlier, but being not at Aluva adds more distance. Union Christian College, Alwaye comes as part of the town and it has been defined as one of the few things that define the muncipality, along with the Federal Bank, Sivarathri Manappuram and the Marthanda Varma Bridge. Therefore, UC College is the first thing to missed while leaving Aluva. For Sivarathri, we can always come here, and not travelling through the bridge is actually a boon considering the potholes – for Federal Bank, I am still a customer 😀

St. Joseph Pontifical Seminary & the church (DSC-W180)

St. Joseph Pontifical Seminary & the church (DSC-W180)

The Aluvaite effect is kind of lessened when you are living in a flat – the feeling of living in a house being taken away for about fourteen years, and never in between those years getting that opportunity to feel really at a house except for may be at some of those tourst destinations. When you live somewhere with rules against playing cricket and football, plus the need to stop any kind of entertainment at 9PM, it gives the feeling of being in a totalitarian state which stretches its arms towards further control. There might be celebrations for Onam and New Year, but who cares anymore?

Siva Temple & Aluva Manappuram (DSC-W310)

Siva Temple & Aluva Manappuram (DSC-W310)

Everyone wanted to play cricket and football and the replacement is badminton. But would the kids want to play that? No. Are there any old people who wish to play it? No. Can we ask any of the working people to come and play before 9PM? No, they won’t even reach home at that time. What is this other than an intelligent plot to stop people from having fun along with some exercise? Is it because the fascists can’t do that, the kids shouldn’t also do that? Should they just play the computer games and study during the rest of the time? Yes, create a video game playing, internet addicted future generation.

St. Xavier's Church in the centre of the town (DSC-W310)

St. Xavier’s Church in the centre of the town (DSC-W310)

Now, what were these games for us? Were they just about doing something because we had lots of time? No, it was a place for socializing; for they were not just games. I have met more people while indulging in sports rather than being in a boring meeting talking about why we are so awesome and planning for some boring fake celebrations which are conducted. Nobody really cares about this dumb repetition every year, and some people just act as if they do. There is no real effort put into it, and we have a new generation not caring about the same, because it is what some people want, and youth wants no part of it.

UCC. The wonder that is a college (GT-B7722)

UCC. The wonder that is a college (GT-B7722)

It is clear that most of the people don’t know anybody, even their own neighbours. We all know that person who gets out of the nearby door and comes back in. But who on the Earth are these people? Did they drop right out of hell last day with the expression that says “move out of the way or I will deliver you a clothesline”. So many families; we know a lot of them when we are a small group, but as the gang increases in number and diversifies, we ends up knowing none. There was only one cat that cared, but it got run over by a car.

Marthanda Varma Bridge. Defining Aluva (DSC-W310)

Marthanda Varma Bridge. Defining Aluva (DSC-W310)

Can we be confident about the fact that it will be any better at a new place? No and it can be even worse, but we will live in a house, and when we are bored, we can always take care of a garden, and there won’t be the need to listen to that grilling which happens every day at some random rich guy’s flat who does that too often. What are you building? A Taj Mahal – Victoria Memorial hybrid? Who cares about this bloody bourgeoisie who thinks that money can get them anything; but no, not respect, unless you live like you deserve it. I see that most of the good people have moved or are going to move from our neighborhood – I will miss many good things about Aluva and my best friends were indeed from here, but add me to the list.

Chowara St. Mary's Church; a beauty (DSC-W310)

Chowara St. Mary’s Church; a beauty (DSC-W310)

TeNy