(written in June 2010)
I wish I wrote this, I really do…
I don’t know who wrote this, but he or she is a true son (or daughter, as the case may be) of Bengal, a true successor to the genius of Rabindranath, Bibutibhushan, Parasuram, Ashapurna Devi and the other literary giants that once bestrode the fair land of Bengal.
I urge you to join me in raising a silent and devout toast to the creator of the following magical piece.
This time around, too, there are quite a few Bongs playing for various countries. With Denmark having qualified, hordes of bodyis from the famous Sen family of Bodyinath Dham are in action. Soren Sen (Jersey No. 1) will keep goal for them while two of his distant cousins are his deputies – Ander Sen (16) and Christian Sen (22). In defence, there are Jacob Sen (6) and Simon Poul Sen (15). The midfield sees the presence of Christian Poul Sen (2), Jen Sen (7), the veteran Jogen Sen (10) (who is now called Jorgen in Danish), Jakob Poul Sen (14), Enevold Sen (20) and young Erik Sen (21) who at 18 is one of the youngest players in the competition this year. The Denmark attack has Lar Sen (18) who scored 5 goals in 5 games during qualification. The team is coached by the round old man Ol Sen, who played with such distinction in 1986, albeit with a sore throat.
Bodyis, as you know, have spread everywhere. Germany has a bodyi in their squad, defender Jan Sen (2), while another defender Mathij Sen (4) is playing for the Netherlands. Yet another defender Nel Sen (6), presumably a descendant of Nellie Sen Gupta, is captaining New Zealand. Why most of these bodyis are defensive is a question that I shall avoid answering as of now.
Other countries have their Bongs too, though they may not be bodyis. The first name that comes to mind is that of the Cameroon defender from the French club Valenciennes – Gaetan Bong (Jersey No. 12). Here is a Bong who proudly announces his awesome heritage.
Ghana has a descendant of Prince Dwarka Nath Tagore in their squad – striker Prince Tagoe (12). (Some obvious clerical error has somehow removed the ‘r’ from his surname.) A scion of the Sonar Bene family of Chetla is also in the Ghana team – defender Lee Addy (19). Ivory Coast has a somewhat retarded Bong in their squad – defender Arthur Boka (3), while another Sonar Bene or Johuri is their number 6 – defender Steve, though he now spells his surname with a `G’ and is listed as Steve Gohouri. (La French influence, no doubt!) Another Bong in the Ivorian squad is film star Bumba da’s younger brother defender Bamba (22). Nigeria has appointed a Bong as captain – striker Kanu Babu (4). Another Bong in the Nigerian team will try to forget the bitterness and deliver – he is striker Kalu Uchhe (12).
France has left out Saha Babu this year, but they do have two elderly Bongs in their squad, midfielder Malou Da (15) and goalkeeper Mandan Da (16). (As their jersey numbers signify – Bongs do tend to stick together, especially in a foreign country.)
Japan too has three elderly Bongs in their squad – defender Uchi Da (6), midfielder Hon Da (18) and forward Tama Da (11). The three dadas shall adequately look after the three departments of defence, midfield and offence. Another Bong in the Japanese squad is that great disciple of Goddess Kali – midfielder Ma Koto Hasebe (17). 53 year old Oka Da is the Japanese coach.
That perennially lazy Bong is in the Spanish squad once again – he who never even hits a ball. He is defender Carlos Marche Na (4).