Euro 2012

Cricket has always been the game of choice in India for all of us Indians, wherever we may be. So much so that any other sport is completely dwarfed under the mighty and sheer noise of cricket. Or is it?

I have been living and working in the UK as an NRI for over ten years now. And as someone who loved and played a lot of soccer through schooling in Kolkata, you can only imagine what a hot bed Britain has been for me, and how much it has fed into my madness of soccer. People here love the sport, and I love that about them. All the various clubs, the mass hysteria that players cause, from Rooney to Beckham – it’s a sport that lights up the dreariest British days, unlike anything else.

On a recent visit back home, I was reluctant because there was a big tournament on and I did not think I would get the opportunity to watch and/or share in the excitement in India, especially since it was a soccer tourney in the UK, and back home in India, there was going to be some or the other big cricket series on. I thought wrong. Because not only in Kolkata, where unsurprisingly I got a lot of soccer action, owing to its historical obsession with the game; but even in the other cities I visited to catch up with friends, I was amazed to see the excitement, the energy, the knowledge, and the keen fan following for soccer. In Delhi of all places, I watched matches with large crowds of friends at their homes at all odd hours. In Mumbai, I went to lounge bars that had been opened after the big soccer clubs. It was unbelievable. I guess it had been a while since I had come back home to India!

Now back in the UK, I am constantly in touch with friends and family in various parts of India and we are constantly discussing Euro 2012. I have managed to get them so charged up, that we are always on Skype, discussing, hedging bets and what not. So much so that I have just remitted some money to my much younger brother and sister to get a big screen television set to really take in the games when they begin.
India, my home country, never seizes to amaze me. And now in Soccer, we have another common love, to share and enjoy!

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