By Sony Norde,
Former player, Mohun Bagan
MALACCA CITY (MALAYSIA): Oh dear! I am in no mood to write, or read anything. I just feel like running to Kolkata to join Beitia, Sahil, Fran, Naorem and everyone out there and play ‘Holi’ with Green and Maroon abeer (gulal). It’s Mohun Bagan’s day. Congratulations boys! You deserve it more than anyone else.
I could not watch every match live in Malaysia but I always try to catch the highlights on the Hero I-League social media handles as soon as it’s posted. Bagan’s spark was on display from day one itself despite some hiccups early on. I always believe teams need to be given a bit of time to gel together to do wonders.
I heard that they matched a record which was made 10 years ago — winning the league with four matches yet to play. It just underlines their credibility and absolute dominance over the pitch. From Sankar Roy to Baba Diawara, everyone has been at the top of their form and they all have clicked together, that’s the reason behind the success.
Mohun Bagan has always been a closely-knit family. I still remember how the supporters, management and other players welcomed me. I can feel how Beitia, Fran Gonzalez, Morante, Baba are feeling right now seeing the sea of emotions around the club. It’s the love, the emotion which made me cry before leaving Kolkata. I simply miss those times.
I still get so many messages from them who love me so much. My friend’s mother used to text me and used to pray to God for me before every match. Why? It’s the unconditional love and the passion for the game, something which I still cherish.
The team is on a fine 14-match unbeaten run and now comes the trickiest match — the Kolkata Derby. And listen all Mohun Bagan fans – pour in numbers at the YBK on that day. It needs to be green and maroon.
The players need you more than anytime else. They have given you what you asked for, now, it’s your time to support them and outnumber the rival fans when your team face their arch-rivals as a ‘Champion’ on 15th March. If you can’t then you have let down your team. They are the champions on the pitch, you better be the champions on the stands. Outnumber them, out-cheer them, be louder.
Be it in Kolkata, Siliguri or Cuttack, a Kolkata Derby has always been a different ballgame. I feel, East Bengal will be pumped up to face the champions now. They have nothing but pride to play for and they’ll give their 110% to avenge their loss in the first leg. It’s going to be electrifying on 15th. Wish I were there!
Mohun Bagan management always supports the team unconditionally, just like their supporters. This victory would never have been possible without their support. I have seen them crying like children when the team won; as much I have seen them isolating themselves in sobriety when the team fell short. They breathe, live for the club. It’s a victory for their passion as well.
I still remember the canteen boy who always used to come up with an enchanting smile whenever I arrived, the ballboys, the maalis — this win is for everyone. I have heard that the trophy would be presented on April 4. The stadium needs to be full on that day too, and the roads thereafter for the victory parade. I will miss it.
(as told to Shoubhik Mukhopadhyay)