World Cup Football
The world cup football fever is in full swing. People are turning bleary eyed in offices after watching the matches the entire night. My own response is lukewarm, but my son is very excited. I let him watch the first half of the first match at 21:30 IST before putting him to sleep. He now understands the off side rule better than I do and is also able to figure out most of the fouls. This reminds me of my first world cup experience: Mexico '86. I understood little and live telecasts were infrequent on the only television channel: Doordarshan. I had a wall map of the world and I used to locate countries playing the fixtures on it. I used to get amazed by the tiny countries of Europe being represented so numerously while the mammoth Asia had only two countries, of course, disappointingly India not being one of them. As an eight year old child it was an educational introduction to the wonderful world of geography. Finding the countries on the map and reading the results the next morning in the newspapers. It certainly did not add much to my knowledge of football as my understanding of "Off Side" is still incomplete. I understood the card rules only in the 1998 World Cup. But I knew Maradona and even on the black and white Doordarshan newscast clips he looked magical and formidable. The disadvantages of having no live coverage of Mexico '86 still weigh me down in certain obscure ways. Mexico '86 remains in my memory as a watershed when I learnt a lot about Geography if not Football.