Football … it’s also for Kolhapur.
If you thought the World Cup fever is at its peak only in the traditional hubs and sports bars in big cities, you would be surprised what football means to a Maharashtra city and its very own teams that wear Brazil and Argentina colors.
A fortnight back, while Diwali was shopping at a busy Kolhapur market, the Suryavanshis got into a tiff. Madhavi and Satish had a disagreement over the color of the ‘akashkandil’ – celebratory lantern – they were buying to light up their home.
The husband liked the one that was ‘blue & white’ but the wife was adamant that it needed to be blue-yellow. It has been this football crazy city’s oldest fight. Kolhapur has its own Brazil vs Argentina – two rival local football clubs that share the colours with world football’s superpowers. Patakadil Talim Mandal (PTM) turns up in ‘blue-yellow’, Khandoba Talim in ‘blue and white’. Madhavi is a “PTM mulgi”, Satish a one-time passionate Khandoba midfielder. The wife says the “football rivalry almost stopped our wedding”.
A week from now, this rivalry between Kolhapur football’s most enthusiastic tournament organizer and his CBSE principal wife, will spill over into what is the crux of their domestic disagreements – with didactic defenses of who’s better, Argentina or Brazil
Last June, Khandoba Talim brought out their blue-white flags soon after Argentina defeated Brazil in the Copa America final, and went circling PTM on their bikes, honking incessantly to announce their team’s triumph, from the other side of the globe.
Everybody loves football from World Cup to World Cup. Kolhapur, though, lives it, not only through the month and a half of the quadrennial tournament, but unabashedly thinking in the affinity with their color-sake South American teams, in the interim.