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20/06/2014

Indians and football

At the hour of the football World Cup, let's have a look at the Indian football prowesses...

 So you may know it or not but India does have a national football team! Created in 1937, affiliated to the FIFA since 1948 and currently ranking... 154th (out of 207)! india,sport,football,world cup,shoes

In the sixties, Indians were actually among the top 3 of Asian teams. They even qualified in 1950 for the World Cup (in Brazil) but refused to participate, at the last minute. It is unclear why, the inadequate foreign exchange reserves, the long journey by ship, the obligation to wear... shoes (obviously the only reason which has been retained in the popular imagination)!

 Some Indians do watch football on TV – but almost only matches of English teams (a side effect of the colonization) are broadcast...

 Anyway, Indians and sport is not really a love story...

 Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-26143796; http://fr.fifa.com/worldranking/rankingtable/index.html; http://www.sportskeeda.com/football/the-1950-FIFA-World-Cup-a-missed-opportunity-for-India/ 

 

02/05/2014

The chicken festival!

I am always surprised by the propensity of Indians to spend their little money in extravagant parties (I speak here of the Indians who live in the slums at the foot of my building). And since they are poor, they do their party in the street (at the foot of my building) or in the courtyard of the temple (adjacent to my building). This happens at least three times a week, a circus in those lines:

You never know what they are celebrating! A wedding, elections, a God – watching the Sai Baba procession (a giant picture being carried on a truck) with a huge crowd of Indian women shaking their asses to the sound of a vaguely lewd Bollywood song is priceless. Everything is an excuse to make noise! You’ll tell me, if they are happy and you are not, you can always move out! Yes but welllll... 

 

At times I get to see funny stuff, like the chicken festival! One evening, you go home and find a chicken head at the grid. You wonder how the thing has possibly landed there and why none of the three watchmen who have nothing to do have left it there. But you don’t overthink it; it is, after all, a chicken head. It happens!  

And then you look down from your window and you see a truck stuffed to bursting with chickens parking (at the foot of your building), and hundreds of people jostling to buy a chicken. Even your maid is late that day because she had to go to the chicken festival... 

In the meantime, if there is one chicken I would have gladly slaughtered, it is definitely the one screaming in the video!

 

Chicken day, Mumbai - April 2014

06/04/2014

Shots of Mumbai

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