This blog is dedicated to all those for whom football is a religion, and their better halves who have made peace with the fact that football indeed is the first love in their husbands’ life!
He did go ahead and played the game. Post the game, he came to meet me but I refused to meet him as I was in a state of horrifying anger. We did not speak for 3 days. 4th day I called him and that call was my first step to understanding why this game matters so much to him. And oh boy! Sujoy was talking with so much passion. He said, “You have never played a sport. You will never understand the passion I have for football. The high that I get cannot be compared to anything else. It is not just a game, it is a way of life! I could not have got a better present on my birthday than play football under floodlights!“
Even on the call, I could sense his intensity as he spoke from his heart. That was the first turning point in my life, a major one. That day I realized if I want this guy in my life, I have to give a serious attempt at least to understand the game.
I started asking questions to Sujoy about football. How many players play, what are the positions, his favourite team, what is a league etc etc.
I remember once we were watching EPL together and they showed the score card of all the teams during halftime. And I wanted to flaunt my newly acquired football knowledge to Sujoy. And I said, “Why isn’t Brazil playing this time?” (Folks please do not come with daggers to kill me….forgive me for this one, seriously!)
And the look on Sujoy’s face was criminal. I thought he is surprised and scandalized that I noticed Brazil is not playing this time. He beat his hand on his forehead and said, “Please do not embarrass me like this in front of my friends. You should have at least known your Geography. It is ‘English‘ Premier League and Brazil still has not shifted to United Kingdom.”
The next major milestone took place when I saw Sujoy playing football! Oh boy! That is the most scintillating sight to view! He is a beauty to watch on that vast evasive field, making his own special moments to be remembered for a lifetime! One can see the passion in his eyes and feel the fire in his belly when he is at the field, at his fantasy land!
Sujoy in real life is a very quiet and calm person. He takes time to mix up and till then will talk only when spoken to. He is a very matured individual and thinks very deeply on most of the occasions. But on the football field, he is anything but calm. I have seen him aggressively dodging the ball away from the opponent, abusing the opponent on a foul game, howling at other team mates for bad moves and last but not the least yelling at the referees in case of a bad decision. Not to mention, Sujoy has been awarded the prestigious yellow card on quite a few occasions. I am amused beyond limit to see this temporary transformation in a human being – it is like witch craft, a magic spell!
So these were the major breakthroughs which assisted me in deciphering why football was such a significant phenomenon in Sujoy’s life and convinced me that it indeed is more than just a game.
I have my own remarkable memories associated with the game. I have seen these bunch of crazy fanatics playing football with the same zeal, many of them are my good buddies now. I have seen a captain yelling at almost everyone during the match, I have seen players quarreling like school kids, I have seen the euphoria when a goal is scored, I have experienced the tension in penalty shootouts which decide the fate of the game, I have seen wives getting Lakshminarayan chiwda not only for their husbands but for the entire team, I have seen a spectator getting a yellow card for abusing off the field (ya, beat that) and I have seen all players hurdling together and celebrating victories like brothers! I have experienced too many emotions in those 90 minutes!!!
I cannot thank football enough and all the fanatics on the field for enriching my life and adding invaluable perspective to my thought process. And I yearn to see all of you guys play again together, this game known as ‘Football’!
This has been my equation with football so far. Thus now football, Sujoy and me live amicably together! As long as the other lady in his life is ‘football’, I really do not mind! 😉