So we are well into the stage where pretenders are getting separated from the contenders, and like many I too believe that real world cup would only begin from the knock out stage. My usual favourite is Holland - and so far I have not found them too impressive - but at least they are getting the job done so far. Brazil looks far from promising in spite of all these big names, Argentina and Spain are brilliant in flashes, Italy and England look suspect, Germany is steady but dull. May be this can turn out be the most open cup ever.
However that does not matter to my fellow Calcuttans. Most of them are intense Brazil supporters - which I actually find a little amusing. ( I remember reading this in orkut - a Brazilian guy randomly landed in a Calcutta community and quite innocently asked, is there any Brazilian around in here? This was a month or so before the world cup, and a Bengali gentleman came out and replied in crisp Bengali, roughly translated which would mean, there are none right now - but you would find them popping out of everywhere once the world cup begins!). That's what I don't exactly find amusing - the pride associated with supporting a different country. Lets get this clear folks - "our" football team failed to qualify for the world cup. And "we" are not exactly Brazilians (or Argentines) for that matter. I feel ashamed when someone asks me where is India in the football map. Its disgraceful that we are simply not there. If Countries like Ivory Coast or Serbia-Montenegro, torn by civil wars or a country like Trinidad and Tobago, just a dot on the atlas can make it there, just to cite a few examples - our perennial excuse of lack of infrastructure and all sound plain hollow.
I also hear comments about Americans not understanding soccer- they not having the passion like "us" and all that. Screw the passion - the Americans have a team playing in the world cup - so they are actually cheering for their team - not empty supporters like you and me. "We" don't even understand how ridiculous this is - claiming ourselves to be the biggest supporters of another country!
P.S - A long list of birthday wishes - Somraj (31st May), Shalini (4th june), Nabanita (5th June), Munmun (10th June), Nabamita (10th June), Nabanita (13th June), Debipriya (21st June).
And Father's Day and my fathers birthday was on the the same day this year (June 18th), and in case you forgot - I had my birthday on June 13th.