the fatwaif diaries

the workings of a wandering mind

Sunday, May 14, 2006

false starts, frustration and football

it's been so long, i think ive forgotten how its done. so here i am summoning all my courage to overcome the most excruciating case of writer's block ever. there have been false starts and i feel i owe them a mention. the time i attempted writing about my trip to amsterdam and gave up, so cliched i thought. the other time i wanted to pour the sadness in my heart out on the blog but then backed off - scared of saying too much. in retrospect, maybe its best i didnt write.
lots has happened since my last post. too many things to recount here. but its been a difficult time full of dreaded deadlines, as anyone who knows me knows are not my forte.
well, despite or maybe because of my general harassed state, i went along with k the day before yesterday to watch a football match in a pub. me in a pub watching football!!!
the match- arsenal vs. barcelona in the champions league final. to be fair, i had a vested interest right at the start. m and i had bet about the outcome. a win for arsenal meant a meal with chicken from me (something i have never done before) and a win for barcelona meant a good vegetarian meal for me home-cooked entirely by m(something unheard of in his meaty world).
so although i started out motivated by food, the amazing thing is that after a double whisky and a pint of guiness, i began to finally understand what makes people almost religious about a bunch of grown men chasing a ball.
we were at a table right under the television. and i was half planning my escape route during the first 15 minutes. but then something unprecedented happened - my eyes, unaccustomed to following one tiny spherical object across screens, between screens etc. , actually focussed. and for once i wasn't asking, where did it go? who has it? - you know the kind of questions im talking about.
as it turns out, it isn't so bad watching all that testosterone on the field after all. all that sweating, running, kicking, screaming can be quite charming, especially if you are with girls who are also vocally appreciative of football players and aren't always talking about the game.
and then there is the atmosphere. watching football in a pub is totally entertaining! throughout the game i didn't know where to look - at the screen or behind me at the crowd that had gathered. the girl crying for thierry henry! 'till i die! till i die' the men who couldn't stop badmouthing the referee and charged forward pulling up their t-shirts every time arsenal came close to a goal. people crying, screaming, shouting like their lives depended on it. the way the room leapt up when they scored a goal. and the way people buried their heads between their knees at the end.
arsenal didn't win, some suspect foul play on the part of the referee, and true fans have been in mourning since. as for me, at the risk of sounding smug, i won my bet and i'm looking forward to a hearty meal this weekend!