Sikkim’s all about football frenzy. Went to watch the final of the Governor’s Gold Cup yesterday where the match was scheduled between Army XI and Three Star Nepal. I’m not a football buff or anything neither did I watch the earlier games. But I missed last year’s final too so I wanted to watch this time for sure.
The stadium was packed and the first thing that I thought was – God, I hope no one’s planted a bomb or anything. Yeah, I know I was being paranoid but couldnt help myself. After the cultural programme ended and the match was about to start and I was still alive, I relaxed a bit.
I wasnt paying much attention while the team announcements were made so when the match starts, I dont know which team is which. I nudge my aunt, sitting next to me (who’s The football buff) and she doesnt know either. I dont think she cared much; she was busy cheering most of the time and gossiping with the other lady sitting next to her anyway.
I wanted to ask the other people sitting around me but I think – what the heck, I’ll figure that soon enough once they start playing. And thats how by the time the match reaches near half time, I still dont know which is the Nepal team so I can cheer for them! By this time, its too late for me to ask other people for fear of appearing extremely stupid! I look closely at the blue team and catch the words ARMY on their jersey – then went, aahh… All this when the Nepal team was playing in its national flag colours of red and blue.
In the meantime, a kid sitting behind announces – Mama, I feel like going for toilet number two. I felt sorry for the poor mother who had to miss a most exciting start by obliging to her son’s bowel movements.
Somewhere behind me sat the most negative man in the world. He started cribbing when the Army XI players played very well in the first half of the game. He critisized the Nepal players for lack of ball control, slipping and falling on the grass a number of times, playing out long, drawn out injuries and wasting time and so on.
His best comment was – Surely this player doesnt have to run with the ball so much along the entire breadth of the field!
I was initially partial to the Nepal team, just like any other person there but ended up cheering for Army XI, which I felt was the better team except for one inopportune goal which led Nepal to victory.
More photos of the match here: http://sikkim-himalayanreview.blogspot.com/2008/10/photo-features-of-30th-all-india.html