November 26, 2008

Legend dies, dreams live on

ഇതിഹാസ താരത്തിന്‍റെ അവസാന അഭിമുഖം

Happy moments

There are many… The first one came when under my captaincy, Services won the Santosh Trophy beating formidable Bengal. Being included in the India team which represented the country in the 1956 Olympics was the other momentous occasion in my life. Playing alongside P.K Banerjee, Mewalal, Balram, Chunni Goswami, Arun Ghosh made me feel on top of the world. I also have very happy memories of winning the soccer championships at the 1966 Bangkok Asiad and winning IFA Shield for East Bengal by defeating Iran’s Taj club. I played alongside Habib, Sudhir, Parimal Dey and Santo Mitra.

Regrets

I haven’t yet got the Padmashree like many of my peers like P.K. Banerji and others, who gave me lots of love and affection. I did not get the award as no MP of united Bihar or Jharkhand ever referred my name. Even Priya Ranjan Das Munshi told me that he felt guilty after coming to know that no one recommended my name.
I felt happy when P.K Banerjee, (Sailen) Manna da, Chunni Goswami got the Padmashree for giving their best to soccer. I too deserve these awards and respect but no politician is coming forward. Right now, I have been assigned the job of developing sports and games in rural areas of Bokaro.

Future of Indian soccer

Indian soccer has grown, but the standard of international soccer has developed much, more. We will have to go miles to be at par with other countries. There are many Dhonis in football and other sports, but the government does not pay attention to sports in this state.

Mistakes

The biggest mistake of my life was to shift to Bokaro, where initially I got some love and respect. Later in 2004 when some Bokaro Steel officials hatched a conspiracy to evict me, thanks to your paper, I was able to save my quarters.
I had gone on a fast after which former chief minister Jyoti Basu, Union ministers Priya Ranjan Das Munshi and Ram Vilas Paswan took up my case.
Spending time
Life has become hell for me and no one recognises me now. In the morning, I go to the grounds in Sector-V to feed crows and dogs all the while repenting my decision not to stay in Bengal.
Last wish
When I die, India should remember me as a goalkeeper who wanted to raise the standard of Indian soccer. After my death, if the people of Bengal still love me, they should convene a prayer meeting for me as I still love them and I am obliged they gave be prestige and respect. I bow my head to peers like Chunni Goswami, P.K Banerjee, Mewalal who had always told me not to leave Bengal.


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