Sunday, 22nd October, 2017

The people, who taught Pele football

18, Jun 2014 By Goparaju V. Ramesh

A British Historian, who was touring Dhaka, Bangladesh on an academic visit could not believe what was happening around him in a market, yesterday, when he visited it in the evening.

(His mission was to write about how British could succeed in making Indians and Pakistanis (of both erstwhile West and East Pakistan) as fools that they always blamed each other instead of blaming the real culprits British for the communal problems that British had fomented which led to Indo-Pakistan partition. He had already visited and collected notes from Karachi and Amritsar).

If he does not succeed as a historian (it can be read as “If he cannot make millions of Dollars/Euros/Pound-Sterlings with his books of such historical works, which are less in content, but more in pomp on cover pages), he would like to try his luck as Sociologist. Just before leaving for the market as a sort of sight-seeing, he had seen in the TV in his hotel-lounge (In his room, he always watches History TV to prepare his notes) that Bangladesh lost to India in the first one-day international of the series on that day.

Then, he was expecting, at the best a disappointing, and at the worst a belligerent reaction from the citizens of Bangladesh if that topic was brought about in any discussion. But, to his utter disbelief, there was jubilation everywhere in the houses with TV sets on. Though he could not see the TV screens per se, he could see the TV Screen’s radiating glow, out in the rooms, through narrow openings of windows and doors. Apart from that, he could hear the thumping sounds both from TV sets and from the people watching it.

He was literally flabbergasted by the Bangladeshis’ sportsman spirit, which while transcending the patriotism – often termed as narrow-patriotism by university academics –, has made the people to celebrate Indians’ victory over their own team.

When he shared this information with his Taxi driver in a mixture of English and Bangla with pleasant surprise writ large on his face, the latter laughed aloud and replied that they were all celebrating World-Cup football.

Now, it was another surprise for Englishman. How could it be for no live coverage was there for no foot-ball matches were scheduled at that time? Again Taxi driver laughed and replied that they were all watching highlights of England-Italy match. The British-man was really stunned and shocked at such a Foot-ball fervour of Bengalis. Then, Taxi driver informed that every Bengali on Earth feels, thinks, talks Football as if he was the one, who taught the nuances of Foot-ball to Pele/Johan Cruyff/Maradona/Lionel Messi.

Immediately after returning to his Hotel, the British Historian started scribbling notes for his next novel. He tentatively titled it as “The People, who taught Pele Football”.