If u ask most of the people who know me as more than an acquaintance, they would say I’m one of those gals whom u could easily mistake for a guy.. All throughout my life a lion’s share of my closest friends have been guys and time and again I’ve heard each one of them say, ‘U should have been born a guy’! I don’t know if it was a compliment or not, but never really bothered with what insinuation it had anyway.. This is just how I’m! Till about 12 yrs even my visage and demeanour was nothing but a little impish boy’s – that together with the tattered denims that I could always be spotted in, the unkempt looking boy cut which was a fad during that decade and tanner-than-tanned skin owing to being a tree-climbing, scooty-riding, basketball-playing wimpy little brat made me a pseudo male back then itself.. And the highlight of the latter years of my life has been my daredevil attitude, considered an anathema for gals in our part of the world.. Precisely the reason why everything I did was frowned upon by the society that I lived in, one that rides high on the so-called ‘cultural’ values and a priceless set of decorum supposedly handed down generations, wrapped safely in a treasure coffer! Basketball, cricket, videogames, cars, racing, adventure sports, trekking, turning up home way past my curfew time, high tolerance level for squeamish topics, u name anything boyish I was all out for it.. However, one thing extremely boyish, but that never managed to impress me was… ‘Football’ ! Never ever did I even bother to sit down and watch a whole game end-to-end. Football seemed to me like a game played by 22 dorks relentlessly and laboriously chasing a ball for 90 mins, with nothing eventful happening whatsoever.. I guess u cud blame it on the 2 matches that I did try to watch a long long time ago (with intermittent hiatuses ofcos), both of which ended in a tie of 0-0. N I wondered what was the whole frickin’ point ?!? I gave up on football ever since and cared two hoots about anything even remotely related to that sport.
But somehow I ended up watching football this world cup season, partly because in the recent past I had taken up a resolution to try out new things in my life, things that i never had time for before and partly because I was practically jobless during the insomniac nights. So why not give football another chance, I thought – and thus started my love affair with the beautiful game. The short prep given by a friend proved useful. So initially most of the time was involved in me trying to figure out subtle elements of the game, like how a team was given a corner kick, which is a foul and which is not, penalties and yellow cards etc. But yes, the patience paid off.. Though still not adept, I’ve somehow figured out the basics and that really did turn around my vantage point of the game. The thing is, u can never watch the game like u watch cricket, while gobbling up your dinner, or while casually chatting with friends on the phone with just half an eye on the TV.. The game strictly demands your full undivided attention. Me watching Brazil matches has helped cuteness king Richie Rich of football – Neymar, get one more fish in his sea of fans, and it literally broke my heart to see him being lifted off the ground with the broken vertebra.. Though Messi’s face is a little messy to look at, his dance with the ball is beyond words.. and oh no.. I so detest James Rodrigues for his Oscar-winning acting performances.. The tide of exhilaration that washes over u when the team u support hits an unforeseen goal, the surging anticipation that u have while the teams are clashing horns on the field, the wave of relief that comes over u when your opponent team misses a penalty shoot, the rage that mounts inside of u when your favourite striker is marked and fouled repeatedly – the game is filled with spectacular moments that truly take your breath away.. To me the game has started feeling like a nail-biting thriller flick, complete with its fair share of action, drama, dance and suspense, and the climax of which keeps u glued to the TV sets till the last minute.. And sometimes it gets even better with an additional time and penalty shoot out, sort of like an encore played just for the fans!
And all I can say is Football u beauty, I’m forever in love with u!!