Tag Archives: sports

The Blind Supporter

Before you read this post and start fuming let me make this very clear that this is not a patronizing statement but merely an innocent observation. First some background, having an older brother who was a hardcore football fan I was subjected to the game. Over time when I turned into a teenager (and finally started developing my own taste) Football was the game I choose as my favourite- I loved the fast pace, the thrill of only 90 minutes, the course of a match changing in just one goal and most importantly, the loyalty which the fans had for the game.

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I am an Argentina Fan! Vamos!

In India there are plenty of men who are passionate about football and they know their shit. But it’s not the men I’m concerned about- it’s the women. I study in  class of 70 students who are learning Mass Communications and will choose Journalism or Advertising as their major. We are the people who- of all the people in the world- should know what is going on in every sphere. Where it is the war in Israel or Kristen Stewart’s new haircut, whether it is Sharapova’s innocent confession about not knowing Tendulkar or Guardians of the Galaxy-it is literally our job to KNOW IT ALL. But inspite of being in a situation like this, half the class doesn’t even know (or care) about Football.

Proof That Messi Is The Most Perfect Human Being On Earth
This game is so beautiful!

At times when the whole world was arguing about who will win there were only a couple of intelligent (or just well-informed) students who even mentioned FIFA World Cup. Only two of them were girls and shamefully, the extent of their knowledge began and ended at Lionel Messi’s good looks!  Most of the girls I’ve met like Ronaldo, Messi or Neymar (some also liked Kaka). But the worst part is as soon as they tell me who their favourite they say “He’s sooooo cute!”

Free shrugs
Free shrugs

Really? He’s a footballer, the only thing that is relevant is his football skills. It does not matter if David Beckham looks like a Greek God, in the end what we should be judging him on is his skills. Rarely have I ever met a girls who likes (or even knows about) fantastic players like Xavi Hernandez, Mesut Ozil and Robin Van Persie. They only know about one or two players, that too not because of their game or achievement but by seeing them in sportswear commercials. And that’s it, that who they support blindly.

Right Hermione
Right hermione

Now let me put a twist in this story and say that even I am a Messi Fanatic. Have you seen him play? Fuck it, it’s hard NOT to be a Messi fanatic. They way he can stay calm in high-pressure games, the way he can the the ball from three other defenders like it’s a cakewalk, the way he brings the ball from halfway off the field into the penalty box and how his magical left leg never misses the mark.

Cristiano Ronaldo Vs. Lionel Messi Is The Biggest Rivalry In Sports
Look at this!

Off course his game wouldn’t be as good if if Xavi, Iniesta and before Villa weren’t in the mid-field- but give the man some personal credit as well. 4 Ballon d’ors- even Pele or Maradona don’t have that.

Proof That Messi Is The Most Perfect Human Being On Earth
This perfect goal!

But the biggest reason why I love Messi so much because he is not selfish like Ronaldo or Neymar- he is a teamplayer. He always puts the needs of his team before his personal glory and that is what I think makes him the best footballer in the world. Argue all you like stubborn Ronaldo fans but while Ronaldo was modelling underwear, Messi was practicing his kicks. Not that Messi doesn’t do commercials, but it never takes his focus off the game. There is so much to like about Leo Messi’s game apart from his looks (which are also pretty delicious mind you) but I wish more girls were intelligent enough to notice.

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There is no shame in loosing to a strong team like Germany.

It worries me greatly that we live in a world that decided who deserves attention or support based on what they look like. It concerns me that I belong to a generation which pays more attention to the logo of the cup and not the coffee inside (looking at you teenagers who buy Forever 21 short, go to Starbucks and click Selfies. Fie on you! Fie!)

I have never agreed with you more
I have never agreed with you more

It grieves me that it has come to the point where a person’s work does not matter, that their looks and (in some cases) personality are enough to impress thousands. Maybe we choose idiots because we can relate with them? Probably. But one thing is for sure, we accept the heroes we think we deserve.

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10 Must Do Things in Mumbai, India

With sandy toes, salty air and spicy food- Mumbai will make any quirky romantic feel right at home.

I wrote this article a couple of months back for ‘The College Tourist’ but I also wanted to share it here with my readers. So here it is!

gateway of india mumbai image

The Gateway of India

Reputed for being a city of melodious chaos and unfulfilled dreams, Mumbai- the financial capital of India, is a spectacular mixture of traditional methods and modern viewpoints.  A confusing maze where you will see eunuchs brushing shoulders with corporate officials in the crowded trains and grown men in tailored Armani suits turn into excited children when playing cricket- Mumbai offers a variety of unique memories. If you don’t want to be one of those unfortunate tourists who visit the city hoping to unravel the inner workings of the everyday Indian life but only get to witness the city superficially, here is a list of the 10 things you must do in Mumbai in order to experience the local culture.

Watch a cricket match at Wankhede Stadium

There are a number of sports stadium’s in Mumbai but Wankhede is considered ‘the Holy Land’ because international legends have scored runs and deadly pacers have took wickets in the mystical mud of Wankhede. It is the home stadium of ‘Mumbai Indians’, Mumbai’s team in the Indian Premier League and holds a reverent spot in the heart of any dedicated Mumbaikar. Even if you don’t enjoy the sport or are ignorant about the rules, attend a match for the unprecedented enthusiasm of the crowd.

Attend Christmas Mass at Mount Mary Church

In Mumbai, you will find everyone from a Buddhist Monk silently crossing the road to noisy Hindus loudly chanting the name of a Goddess while obstructing the traffic. There is a church on every street in Western Mumbai as most of the Christian population is concentrated there but Mount Mary’s is considered the holiest. If you are not able to make it on Christmas, visit the church any other time and the quaint beauty will not disappoint. If you go a little before lunch time (1 pm) you can have the whole church to yourself and spend enough time admiring the paintings on the wall and the breath-taking architecture.

Mount Mary Church mumbai india image

The Mount Mary Church.

Eat the road-side food

Sorry to all the health-conscious people who frowned at me, but you are missing out on the mouth-watering variety of food the streets of Mumbai offer. Not all road-side stalls are unhygenic but all of them have ridiculously yummy food. Trying a hot ‘vada pav’ with chutney (a mixture of potatoes fried golden brown), a ‘cutting- chai’ (a small glass of tea),  ’gola’ (an ice-lolly mostly sold near beaches) and ‘butta’ (roasted corn) is mandatory.

Go for a drive on the Sea-Link in the rain

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The Bandra-Worli Sea Link

Mumbai has a passionate love affair with monsoons, they are an integral part of the books we lose ourself in, the movies that we remember and the music we listen to on our way to and from work. Rain defines everything, decideds everything. Therefore if you want to experience rain like a local go for a long drive on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, stick your head out of the black and yellow taxi cab and witness the magic unfolding before your eyes. You can see the entire city of Mumbai from this bridge and with your car at 80 kmph, the rapid wind in your hair and the sweet raindrops on your lips- I swear in that moment you will certainly be ‘infinite’.

Read any book based on Indian mythology

It is extremely difficult to read the original Ramayana, Mahabharata or Bhagvat Gita for someone who did not have an Indian upbringing but you can still immerse yourself in the religious culture by reading books by Indian authors based on these legendary Sanskrit epics. Read books by Amish Tripathi, Anand Neelakantan and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni as their writings are a modern re-telling of stories told to Indian children at bedtime but are mesmerizing and bound to intrigue readers of all ages. Ruskin Bond (my personal favorite), Jhumpa Lahiri and Shobha De also write books with an Indian backgrounds and have celebrity status in India.

Eat at Leopold Cafe

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Outside Cafe Leopold

Although this is not where the locals hang-out (it is usually crowded by tourists and foreigners living in Mumbai), this is a fantastic place to enjoy the mouth-watering delicacies of the city alongside a can of beer. They provide tasty local food as well as a range of inter-continental dishes. If you get tired of eating the spicy, oily street food- come here to eat something familiar and interact with people from around the world.

Visit a Ganesh Temple during ‘Ganesh Utsav’

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An enormous idol of Lord Ganesha

The city prepares itself like a bride gets ready for her wedding to welcome Lord Ganesha- the remover of all obstacles into the homes of Mumbaikars. This son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is the city’s favorite deity as a staggering range of mouth-watering sweets are prepared in every house-hold. The idol is made of mud but is treated with great devotion and reverence- like a divine guest and for 10 days the city bathes itself in Ganesha’s admiration. On the last day of ‘Visarjan’ thousands take to the street to bid farewell to their beloved Ganpati and immerse the idols in the sea at Girgaum Chowpatty. This is the one time of the year when people of Mumbai forget their pain and worry and immerse themselves wholeheartedly in worship of the Elephant God.

Take a ferry ride at the Gateway of India

The most local way of celebrating New Year’s Eve is to head to the ‘Gateway of India’- a historic building that marks the place from which the British entered India and take a ferry ride. There are a number of other historic buildings such as the enormous Taj Mahal Hotel, the Prince of Wales Museum and the stunning white British Library in the vicinity. Grab a seat on the deck of the ferry, head into the endless Arabian Sea and welcome the New Year with spectacular fireworks and new dreams.

Participate in the Holi celebrations

The festival of Holi which is usually in the month of March signifies the purification of the atmosphere by burning stacks of wood and grass in a triangular form representing negative energy. There are many mythological stories associated with this tradition but one ritual that is still carried out after thousand of years is covering each other in colour and water the day after. On this day all the school, colleges and offices are closed as people of all ages smeared in sticky colour and drenched in water capture the streets and throw water-balloons at friends and strangers alike.

Visit Marine Drive

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At Marine Drive

There is always that one spot in every city than every local has a fond memory of and in Mumbai’s case it’s the curved coast-line called ‘Marine Drive’. This is the place where eyes meet, poems are written, letters are exchanged, lips are tasted, jealousies are expressed and hearts are broken. People usually come here with their families, closest friends or significant others but even if you go alone (like me) you will always have the melodious waves and mysteries beyond the sea for company. This place will encourage you to question your purpose and seek the truth, it is responsible for pulling out the innermost poets and philosophers hidden deep underneath the stressed locals stuck in a rut.

With endless opportunities to discover something new everyday, whether it’s a finger-licking dish that reminds you of your childhood, a local graffiti artist who hates the government or a side of your personality that you weren’t aware of, Mumbai is the place for anyone who values freedom, knowledge and harmony above all.

Have you ever been to Mumbai? Would you like to visit our magical city? Tweet me your experience or expectations here. If you like this article read my other works at ‘The College Tourist Website’ here.