India’s best supported English football club

I had been thinking of doing this poll for quite some time. Here’s my motivation behind it. India, with its massive population power (~1.2 billion) is a largely untapped market when it comes to European football. Only perhaps German side Bayern Munich have played a few games in India, and they have always been watched by audiences in excess of a 100,000 at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata. Sadly, one of the biggest reason of this absence is the lack of quality in the Indian local sides, and hence the inability to provide reasonable pre-season fixtures. This though, doesn’t in any way imply a lack of fan-following for the major European sides. On the contrary, there are huge fan groups for almost all top English clubs.

The percentages might comparatively come out smaller when compared to the support for say, the national cricket side or any of the IPL sides, but it should be noticed here that even small percentage numbers mean huge real population numbers with a market of the size of India. So is it your club that stands to gain the largest from this untapped market? Lets find out who you support –

Multiple votes don’t work 🙂

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Movie Review: Themba ( A boy called hope )

First of all, Happy New Years everyone. 🙂

So,  we had decided to go for the Pune International Film Festival this weekend, and I’ll try my best to review all the movies I could go for. Today, this German/South African movie, Themba, was playing at the screen nearest to my place. I had half agreed for it since my friend mentioned it had Jens Lehmann (Yes, the former Arsenal goalie) in it,and basically I love sports movies.

But Themba is so much more than a soccer movie. Its not the best movie ever made, and that would purely be down to the budgets, but its certainly an exhilarating experience, right from the beautiful east-cost South African coast line to the laid back Capetown.Truly, one of the line of those excellent African world cinema features, read Hotel Rwanda, Last King of Scotland, Blood Diamond , et al. Themba, a Xhosa boy who lives with his mom Mandisa  and sister Nomtha in a rural part of the Eastern Cape. They stay in a hut on a hill near Port St. Johns, and the view, like the countryside, is beautiful. But Themba’s dad, Vuyo deserted the family four years ago and their life is a daily struggle. Mandisa takes in former mine worker, Luthando as a lodger. He becomes her lover, so when she loses her job and must travel to Cape Town to find work, Luthando – who drinks to much – stays on to look after the kids. Themba is an extremely talented footballer, but his life is extremely poverty ridden and diseased. But, despite a string of despairing events and hardships, Themba wants to keep fighting for his dream to represent the South African national football team – the Bafana Bafana.  The movie also sends out a lots’ve messages, especially focusing on HIV, and the situation in Africa.

Themba is in no way very original, and we’ve all seen movies about achieving dreams despite adversity, but its beautifully strung together, and the locations and filming are out of the world. Its a sweet little story, but truly a very strong one at that. Watch it for just going through the essence of mesmerizing cinematography once again.

8.5/10 for just the purity of cinema here !