Silly Mistakes

The “guardian call”  missive  from school was the closest thing you could experience to a letter from the income tax authorities while growing up. If your luck was out, two things could happen. Your parents would either be berated for their ward engaging in that most heinous crime of them all— “talking in class and making it into a fish market” (I went to school in Kolkata as you can tell) or for the equally dire ” not up to standard of the class” which was sometimes an euphemism for “Sign the kid up in my coaching center”. If your luck was better, the teacher would gently chide your parents for your “silly mistakes” (like forgetting, just once in a seventeen-step problem, to change the sign when you changed sides in an equation or copying the number wrong to the “Answer” line). Not that it meant you would not get a zero or that you did not need to attend the teacher’s coaching class  (after all practice makes perfect) but at least the teacher acknowledged that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with you, sans the irritating habit of getting distracted while doing your HCFs and LCMs.

Watching the opening exchanges of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, I feel as if I am watching schoolboys doing a whole lot of “silly mistakes” on the greatest stage of the world, a place where you would think they would come  after going through all the problem sets of KC Nag and KP Basu (without looking at the back of book for solutions) at least twice and definitely after having solved the last twelve year’s test papers (with timing).

First there was Green, the British goalkeeper, whose Deep Dasgupta-fumble, outrageous even by the standards of Kolkata parar (community) soccer league, was possibly the worst example of “silly mistake” I have seen, matched only in its ludicrousness by this guy I knew who forgot that you do multiplication before you do subtraction using the BODMAS rule (in his defense, he did not have this brilliant flash animation to help him then). Green’s mistake, I think can be tagged “silly “because right after that he made an excellent save which showed that “his basics were correct”  but then again —-a zero is still a zero, a kiss is still a kiss and a miss still a miss. Green was lucky that he never went to our school else Fabio Capello would come out off his bench and boxed his ears right then and there.

Then there was Kuzmanovic of Serbia who, again in a moment of  utter silliness, used an Altaf Raja style “Ja bewaafa ja” hand slap to swat away the ball when it came near him, standing in his own penalty box, right in front of the referee, which of course lead to a deciding penalty. To top this circus of silly, there was  Paulsen of Denmark’s own-goal (he is lucky he does not live in Colombia) and a whole range of elementary errors from most teams, like defensive clearances across the face of goal and staying on the line rather than going at the attacker, elementary boo-boobs that can only be put down to “lack of concentration” because obviously these players  would not have been promoted to this class if they were actually this inept.

But I am not willing to let Abdelkader Ghezzal of Algeria get away so easy. What he did was not silliness. No that was plain and simple mischief like the guy in Class 7 who feigned a thirst for knowledge by holding his hair and asking our Hindi sir “Sir iska Hindi kya hai?” (Baal, commonly used to denote a specific kind of hair in our slang, being a word which caused sniggers in the back benches).

Ghezzal came on as a substitute in the 58th minute and then get a yellow card in the 59th minute. I mean if you cannot be on good behavior for even a minute, surely there is something wrong. But that was just the beginning. In the 74th minute for without any pressing reason,  he struck his hand out to a cross directed at him, handballed, got his second yellow and left his team a man short,  just going to show that he was a “misbehaved boy”  who definitely needs suspension rather than a rap on the knuckles.

The World Cup is just a few days old and the number of such unforced errors have been immense. Its not that howlers did not happen before—like Colombian macho-man Higuita grandstanding with the ball and having it pinched from him by the wily fox Roger Milla but that was a mistake due to over-confidence, the kind the arrogant topper makes when he leaves the exam hall half an hour before the end without revising his answers.

Of course, excuses are flying thick and fast. Like the Jabulani ball and the incessant pealing of the vuvuzela. That’s like blaming the unavailability of Camlin erasers for not being able to identify the gerunds in the sentence or blaming the “Dim parota dim parota” beats of “Dekha Hai Paheli Baar” from Sajaan for your inability to remember how to prove Corollary 3 of Theorem 17.

Surely the cream of the world should have prepared based on the new syllabus of the Jabulani and should have been focused enough to filter out all extraneous noise from their heads.

As our Class 2 teacher, the one who pronounced “bear” as “beer” would have said—- “No excuse. No excuse. Chop….Eiiii chop…”

Get your acts together people. We football fans deserve better.

[Pictures courtesy Yahoo and Telegraph]

39 thoughts on “Silly Mistakes

  1. 1st!!! Ye ye….

    Now lemme read!

  2. Very true!! It’s been a below-par World Cup so far in terms of excitement too…

  3. Perfect analogies! From now on I’ll try to have all facets of life explained in terms of Camlin erasers, not revising, and new syllabus. 🙂

  4. The quality of football is ghastly this time, ***s poor attack, stodgy defence, and terrible ball skills. Germany and to a lesser extent Argentina are the only ones so far who seem to brought any skills to the tournament. And what lousy ball skills! Again Germany is the only team that has any headers! And with the low scoring game, this Cup event may the the most boring ever (will it be as bad as 1994 and 2006? both finals decided by penalties? I hope not.

  5. Soumy Majumdar June 15, 2010 — 4:27 am

    Morning does not always show the day and I am hopeful that once the bigwigs and favourites Brazil and Spain make it to the field, they would definitely raise the bar. Afterall its just the beginning and like your favourite actor would say “Picture abhi baaki hain mere dost…” 🙂

  6. The games havnt been bad, just too defensive and a slight lack of flair.

    But then again, the usual suspects, Messi, Klose, Podouski are already warmed up and I am sure there are more to come.

  7. Dim Parota??? No boss, it was Dim Pau-ruti, Dim Pau-ruti! Sing it Arnab, and feel the beat!!!!!
    Good light-hearted comical post, after heavy-duty stuff on Flotilla and Bhopal.

  8. This will be either England’s or Brazil’s WC………. Unless ‘Hand of God’ intervenes and Messi propels Argens to victory……..

    Btw, All those “First , second , third” Big fans….. get a life.

  9. That flash animation caused my browser to crash twice over. (Personally, I think that Adobe flash is a bane to the web). However, talking of school discipline, please write something on the La Martiniere snafu that’s been haunting the front pages of all leading dailies.

  10. I agree…with the dim-pauriti bit…..

  11. Yep, Dim Pau-ruti it was.

    Btw the vuvuzela are a real distraction – if not for the players at least for the viewer. I have to watch the matches mostly with my TV turned mute 😦 If I dare to turn on the sound, I get headache 10 minutes into the game. Hope the broadcaster subtitles the commentary 😛

    And yes, quality of game is bad. France’s ball play was the worst I have seen and england, mexico, italy were equally terrible. Only good football I have seen is from the Nigerian keeper. Hope Spain and Brazil save the day.

  12. “he is lucky he does not live in Colombia” …. rotfl!

    “Dim parota dim parota” …. oh Nadeen Shravan & the 90s!

    Very apt & refreshing post.

  13. “Boo-Boobs”? Fruedian slip?? Hee hee hee

  14. GB, I think you are a truer Indian than you are a Bong. This post shows that your heart does not really lie in football. I hope the Asia cup will provide you with some ammo to come back to the beautiful game i.e. cricket.

  15. Finally the GB humour makes comeback. Honestly I was dissappointed with the review of Rajneeti. But this one makes up for it. Keep it going Arnab Da.

  16. Crime-master GoGo June 15, 2010 — 9:24 am

    You might have posted this before the Japan vs Cameroon match…the cross to Honda and the conversion was simplest goal I have ever seen. It seems the Cameroon defender who was marking Honda was sleeping in class while Pythagoras theorem was being explained.

    I was expecting the Arg-Nigeria match to be a cracker but was disappointed. Where is the Nigeria which years ago had team of Yetis who proclaimed” we are not here to win fair play award?”

    So far it has been a rusty world cup!! Not a single match which is exciting.If you find yourself switching channels to watch ZIm v/s India T20, means something is seriously crappy about the FIFA matches so far!!

  17. Dim Parota? You guys hard of hearing or somethin’??

    It is actually: Kachcha Mutton, Pukka Mutton..

  18. “boo-boobs that can only be put down to lack of concentration”

    Maybe you can get your book’s editor to edit your blog too! On second thoughts, let it be. Its funnier this way 🙂

  19. Skeptic, What is Asia Cup?

  20. This is just the beginning. Wait thill the second round begins.

  21. Asia cup???

    Who wants to talk about Cricket these days…

    Like someone mentioned..GB should stick to Cricket or SRK or whatever. Very uninformed and forced writing.


  22. I am missing Mimi Sen. Didimonir ki kono smart comment nei phootboll er opor?

  23. Dada…that guardian call thing reminded me of South Point so much..great days those ones 🙂

  24. Hilarious post ……. being a Pointer myself, I could relate to all the school and exam references which really brought back many memories ….. wonderful writing GB …. thoroughly enjoyed it !!!

  25. dada.. i found a slly mistake in this post !!

    —- elementary boo-boobs that can only be put down to “lack of concentration” —-

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  26. i believe FIFA should get in regulations like in the years they have EURO and World Cup, few of the domestic cup competitions should be let gone with, likes of Carling Cup or FA Cup for England, with Champions League running deep into May, we cant expect these players to recoup in time for the bigger events;

    the silliest mistake was without doubt the one done by Green though Gerrard should also take a bit of blame for allowing their striker to run around him thrice before he could come up with a strike of such velocity; icing was Greens apology to the nation later on; but guess as the tournament advances to its medieval to later stages, players and teams will get their act together

    England however, no difference in the way they played Eur and last WC, get lead and defend with all men behind the ball and still concede a goal…phew

  27. ‘Dim parota dim parota’ ….this proves we were definitely from the same place (Kolkata) …I’ve only heard this from some of my friends ….and laughed inside for the ‘silliness’ of it all, didn’t know it was so prevalent …tonight I laughed out loud.

  28. Is the timestamp in this page in UTC?

  29. its actually dim pau-ruti – ghugni ruti ..

  30. Debasish Ghosh June 16, 2010 — 8:01 am

    about the dim pauruti stuff we used to sing DEKHA HAI PAHELI BAAR BOUDIR KALO CHURIDAAR & then chorus HOOK KHULEY DAO , HOOK KHULEY DAO. LOL!!!

  31. Reading the first para and ignoring the football photo, I was guessing that you would be writing about this whole Rouvanjit suicide and La Martiniere thing that’s going on. Would like to know what you think.

    On another note … one of the lamest World Cups I can remembers since 1990 (1986, the first one I watched, was perhaps the best).

  32. Shaswata Panja June 16, 2010 — 7:43 pm

    It’s not a World Cup if India,China,Indonesia,Pakistan,Bangladesh,Russia,Vietnam,Philippines,Ethopia are playing…These are the majority of the top 15 most populous nations of the planet

  33. @Owl: “Didi-moni”r muluke oneke “phootball” ke gay mone kore … Gotoh WC er somoy aami Maine_e chilaam , ekta buro bolechilo, “Oi khelaata” aabar keu dekhe naaki, otaa to gay der khelaa ?!!…bojho thelaa !!!

  34. lol….”dim porota”…rotfl..hilarious..more volume needed on the wc though…more of your time required

  35. PROUD TO BE A BONG!!!!!!

    This time around, too, there are quite a few Bongs playing for various countries. With Denmark having qualified, hordes of bodyis from the famous Sen family of Bodyinath Dham are in action. Soren Sen (Jersey No. 1) will keep goal for them while two of his distant cousins are his deputies – Ander Sen (16) and Christian Sen (22). In defence, there are Jacob Sen (6) and Simon Poul Sen (15). The midfield sees the presence of Christian Poul Sen (2), Jen Sen (7), the veteran Jogen Sen (10) (who is now called Jorgen in Danish), Jakob Poul Sen (14), Enevold Sen (20) and young Erik Sen (21) who at 18 is one of the youngest players in the competition this year. The Denmark attack has Lar Sen (18) who scored 5 goals in 5 games during qualification. The team is coached by the round old man Ol Sen, who played with such distinction in 1986, albeit with a sore throat.
    Bodyis, as you know, have spread everywhere. Germany has a bodyi in their squad, defender Jan Sen (2), while another defender Mathij Sen (4) is playing for the Netherlands. Yet another defender Nel Sen (6), presumably a descendant of Nellie Sen Gupta, is captaining New Zealand. Why most of these bodyis are defensive is a question that I shall avoid answering as of now.
    Other countries have their Bongs too, though they may not be bodyis. The first name that comes to mind is that of the Cameroon defender from the French club Valenciennes – Gaetan Bong (Jersey No. 12). Here is a Bong who proudly announces his awesome heritage.

    Ghana has a descendant of Prince Dwarka Nath Tagore in their squad – striker Prince Tagoe (12). (Some obvious clerical error has somehow removed the r from his surname.) A scion of the Sonar Bene family of Chetla is also in the Ghana team – defender Lee Addy (19). Ivory Coast has a somewhat retarded Bong in their squad – defender Arthur Boka (3), while another Sonar Bene or Johuri is their number 6 – defender Steve, though he now spells his surname with a `G’ and is listed as Steve Gohouri. (La French influence, no doubt!) Another Bong in the Ivorian squad is film star Bumba da’s younger brother defender Bamba (22). Nigeria has appointed a Bong as captain – striker Kanu Babu (4). Another Bong in the Nigerian team will try to forget the bitterness and deliver – he is striker Kalu Uchhe (12).

    France has left out Saha Babu this year, but they do have two elderly Bongs in their squad, midfielder Malou Da (15) and goalkeeper Mandan Da (16). (As their jersey numbers signify – Bongs do tend to stick together, especially in a foreign country.)

    Japan too has three elderly Bongs in their squad – defender Uchi Da (6), midfielder Hon Da (18) and forward Tama Da (11). The three dadas shall adequately look after the three departments of defence, midfield and offence. Another Bong in the Japanese squad is that great disciple of Goddess Kali – midfielder Ma Koto Hasebe (17). 53 year old Oka Da is the Japanese coach.

    That perennially lazy Bong is in the Spanish squad once again – he who never even hits a ball. He is defender Carlos Marche Na (4).

  36. Arnab,
    Regarding that ‘Dekha hai pehli baar’ song-I’d beg to di(m)ffer.
    The song CLEARLY sounds like-‘dim-paonruti.’ Please dig out your Venus Audio tapes again and check. No way does it sound like – ‘dim-parota.’
    It is dim-paonruti, dim-paonruti, dim-paonruti… hajar baar.

  37. hahahhaha..i am a pointer too…i loved the bit about guardian call and ‘silly mistake’….

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