Life is Football!
This week has been so terribly busy that I’ve literally had no time to breathe. Well, almost. It’s been raining intermittently in Calcutta, and all the associated paraphernalia - lethargy, love, longing and such- are taking over our senses slowly and gradually. To be working indoors while fresh rains are making sweet love to the parched earth outside feels criminal. I, for one, have to constantly fight the urge to rush out every time the rains come calling, and splash around with gay abandon. Maybe, sing a line or two, too. But as they say, such things happen only in dreams. Or, in the movies. Now, I’m pretty sure the latter will never happen to me, but who’s to stop me from dreaming? So, this past week I’ve mostly been in the studio writing songs, while imagining that I’m holding hands with the perfect man, singing the 1969 classic Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head from the Paul Newman and Robert Redford (perfect men!) starrer Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and getting drenched in some heavenly elixir!
This is the story on most days, but nights bring with them a different hazard altogether- football. I’m Bengali. Our love for football is a part of our DNA. I just read a joke that’s been doing the rounds on social media sites- Indians getting excited about the football World Cup is like Brazilians getting excited about Diwali.
Well, a) it’s ridiculous to compare an annual, regional, religious festival with a quadrennial, international, sporting extravaganza that gives joy to everybody who watches. b) There’s no difference between Bengalis and Brazilians when it comes to our love for the game. Don’t believe me? Ask Pele. He’s played in Calcutta in front of maddening crowds! So, jokes such as the one I mentioned don’t apply to my fellow bong brethren.
And, like a true-blue Bengali, I’ve been religiously following every match. Of course, the Dutch proved that revenge is a dish best served (mercilessly) cold when they annihilated defending champions (and, one of my favorites) Spain last Friday, and that crushed me to such an extent that I continued to weep bitterly long after the match was over. But, that did nothing to break my indomitable spirit, and Pirlo’s magical skills during Italy’s convincing win over the valiant English made sure I stayed hooked. It’s been a week of fantastic, unpredictable football (and, very little sleep), what with underdogs turning the tables, and lions turning into mice, but one can’t say the same about the theme songs this year. Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull’s insipid anthem We Are One has not found many takers, and WAG Shakira’s uninspired Dare You failed miserably in creating Waka Waka (Shakira’s 2010 anthem) Part 2.
But, what has caught our eyeballs (and, looks poised to take the world by storm) is our very own disco-king Bappi Lahiri’s offering Life Is Football. After capturing our hearts and imagination with his tribute to Michael Jackson (King Of Pop Don’t Say Goodbye), Bappi Da has now come up with a befitting reply to JLo-Pitbull-Shakira.
Don’t believe me? Please go look it up on Youtube! You can thank me later. And, here are the words, so we can sing along to Bappi da ka mewjik!
Who-ee aar all one/Dreams aar haaaai/Threeell and faaan…that's football!/Rheethem ees football/Speed ees football/Akshun ees football/And thee whole waarrld laavs football/O ole ole/Ole ole o/Oooway oo.
Bappi da, take a bow. Jlo & Co., baaju hato!
Malini Banerjee is a snotty single child, mountain junkie, playback singer, Austen addict, hopes to soon finish writing her debut novel, and dreams of singing alongside Buddy Guy.