So the FIFA World Cup is upon us, and that too it’s being hosted by Brazil, the Mecca of football (after Bengal of course). Now the thing about being a Bong is that we have a deep respect for rivalry, given that all Bengalis are prepared to kill one other over a match between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, albeit that both are crappy teams.
So while the rest of the nation would be salivating on an IPL final, the quiet Bengali would be staying up past midnight for some obscure Premier League match, just to make sure that Manchester United loses, irrespective who the opponent is.
For someone who grew up in a sports crazy family and pretty much followed all major sporting events (except of course IPL, which is really not a sport), my first memory of the Football World Cup dates back to 1998, when I was a silly schoolgirl, completely in love with Ricky Martin and his song, “Cup of Life”. Of course, over the years, I have learnt to look beyond the good looks, the glamour and the celebrity status of footballers, and focus on important stuff like who they date or which brands they endorse. Or in case of David Luiz, how he maintains his curly locks. Come on, it’s important. I also have curly hair.
But coming back to 2014, I would have given an arm and leg to be there in Brazil, not just because of the World Cup, but also because Latin America has always been in my bucket list, and of course, being there for a live football game (even if it’s Nigeria vs Ghana) is a dream come true: just like watching the Wimbledon final in the All England Tennis Club or a Test Match at Eden Gardens (which I have done five years in a row as a kid). It was once in a lifetime opportunity but I let it go.
So while the next month will witness major lifestyle changes (reverse sleeping patterns, multiple sick leaves and unexplained mood swings), let’s not forget there are more important things in life than just watching the World Cup. This is also the time to step back and take a more objective view of who your REAL friends are, because let’s face it, if the person you hang out turns out to be a closet Wayne Rooney fan, you know it’s time to make new friends.
Now that the time is here and the ego has landed, let’s all put aside our petty concerns and focus on what’s really important, because, for the next one month, “We are One”.