Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Redemption and Revenge

It was a heavenly feeling. I experienced what it felt like being in the promised land. The night was still young, and the party was not yet over. Chants of Super Bayern filled the air. We were going wild with celebrations. We were champions, Champions of Europe. I still remember that dreadful night a year ago. My world had come crashing down. But the class of 2013 knows how to kick back. And back with style they did. I continued to be the same pessimist I was, day in and day out. No matter which team we played I never kept hope. One by one we kept moving forward. The team was hell bent on redemption. There were a few new faces. Change makers. There was something in this squad that no Bayern team of the past ever had. There was strength in depth. Even our reserves were good enough to play a starting role in any other team. We were on a rampage on every front. The Bundesliga seemed a done deal 2 months before the end. Records kept breaking on weekly basis. Teams kept getting battered on monthly basis. We were dominant and ruthless. This team had a purpose, a mission of revenge. They played like winners. They never looked back. They never hesitated. They never gave up. They never lost hope. They were a juggernaut.
I also remember a night few years ago, when a Catalan club beat us 5-1 on aggregate. How helpless we were back then. How we so undeservedly lost to teams that relied on luck to beat us. But those days our now put to rest. It was a new story this time. A London team had stolen the trophy from our home, under the grasp of our hands. It was time to go there and get it back. It was the only thing that was on every one's mind. One by one we knocked others aside. From Valencia to Arsenal. From Juventus to Barcelona. And we did it with a huge stamp of authority. 4-0 ,7-0. All past ghosts were put to bed. We were on our way to Wembley. One last task, one last team to beat, one last hurdle to reach immortality. And Dortmund it was, our own Bundesliga neighbor. A neighbor that had from the past 2 years beaten us on so many aspects. Won the league back to back. Had brushed aside Bayern many times over the past few years. It was surely going to be the match of the decade.
It so happened that Bayern fan club in Mumbai decided that enough was enough. We needed to get out of the confinement and meet up to watch this match together. Share the happiness or sadness whatever be the outcome. And after years of existence we decided on a venue to meet up. As days passed by, the tension grew up. It was a match of equals. The league had been conquered in legendary fashion. We were In the finals of the German cup as well. Last seasons treble horror taught us that it's not over until it's over.
The day had arrived, the stage was set. The intensity increased. We were there all of us. We were around 20 Bayern fans, all there to support our team. Dortmund started strongly. Attack after attack. Neuer kept saving us. I kept taking solace in beer. Was it be a third final loss in the span of four years? The chant's died down. The opposition fans made fun of Robben. The first half ended goalless. In the second half we seemed stronger. We were the ones who kept the ball. In a jiffy we were ahead. Our boy from Croatia had scored. We were celebrating. We were ahead. Minutes later a mistake by our best defender that season gave Dortmund a penalty. Gundogan buried it in the net and the scores were level again. The match kept getting intense, both sides gave it their all. Time kept passing. The match was so intense that many claimed it to be the best match in the Champions League final history. The score was still level. Neuer kicked a long ball into the opposition box, the next European player of the year back heeled it, the flying Dutchman skipped pass a defender than with his left foot placed it towards the goal. Time stopped, our heart beats could be felt, as the ball slowly and steadily kept moving forward.... Last years Champions League finals flop, was this years Champions League final Hero. The ball had passed the goal line, as he sprinted towards the sidelines. He was crying. It was his redemption. His ghosts of the past were put to rest. He had done it. Bayern had done it. With just a few minutes to spare, we were on top. The whistle blew, and WE were Champions. CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE.
(A few months later, we best Chelsea in the European Super Cup on penalties. It was poetic justice. From our loss at the Allianz Arena, to our redemption at Wembly, to our revenge at Prague. We have come a long long way. Bayern Uber Alles )

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Danke Jupp Heynckes!



JUPP WIR WERDEN DICH VERMISSEN!!!!! NUR DER FC BAYERN MÜNCHEN Beat by: Eyngii PART: danke jupp für die zeit an unsrer bank eine legende sagt jetzt leise gute nacht good bye, du bleibst für immer in den herzen wir zünden dieses feuer und dann eine million kerzen sie brenn für dich, den besten trainer weit und breit die zeit bleibt unvergessen weil wir deinen namen schrein in den himmel, bis hoch zu den sternen dieses team ist dein vermächtnis dein aller grösstes werk du investierst jeden tag soviel leidenschaft du bist nicht weniger als der man der uns zum meister macht auch wenn du gehst bleibt ein teil immer bestehn deine aura liegt wie ein schleier über bayerns fussballseele wir haltens fest du bist ein teil dieses vereins vor der karriere die du hast wird sich die ganze welt verneigen man spricht von jupp einer der besten seiner zunft wenn ihr die schale habt schenkt ihm den ersten kuss

REFRAIN: danke jupp eine legende wird nun gehn doch in den herzen aller roten wirst du ewig weiterleben wir wünschen dir das beste, egal auf welchem weg wir sagen nicht lebwohl weil wir uns sicher wiedersehen du warst mehr als nur ein trainer, wir liebten dich als menschen wir möchten das du weisst diese liebe wird nicht enden danke jupp für alles danke für die zeit wir verliern dich zwar als coach der mensch jupp heynckes bleibt

English translation by - Christofer Stäke

Thank you Jupp!

Thank you Jupp for the time on our bench. A legend now quietly says goodnight Goodbye, you will always be in our hearts. We light this fire and then one milion candles, these burn for you. The best trainer, far and wide. The times with you will never be forgotten when we scream you name in the sky, way up to the stars. This team is your legacy and greatest achievement. Every day you invest so much passion you are nothing less than the man that made us champions. Also when you leave a part of you will stay. Your aura is like a veil over the Bayern football soul. We firmly hold you as a part of this club The entire world has to bow for the carrier you have had. People speak of Jupp, one of the best in your craft. When you (the players) hold the trophy make out the first kiss for him. Thank you Jupp, a legend will depart But in the heart of all the reds, you will live forever. We wish you the best, regardless what path you chose. We don't say farewell, because we surly meet again. you where more than our coach, we love you as a person. We want you to know, this love will never end. Thanks Jupp for everything, thank you for this time. We only lose you as coach, the person Jupp Heyckes will always remain...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ask me a Question

Is there anything you would like to ask me?  And I mean absolutely anything!
Go ahead and ask here http://ask.fm/Ervine11
I have created a account on ask(dot)fm so that even those who would like to ask me any question anonymously can do so without any hesitation.

So here you go -------> http://ask.fm/Ervine11

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Trip to Silvassa

Silvassa, the capital of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli is spread over 491 square kilometers, at an elevation of 32 meters on the western side of the foothills of the Western Ghats, close to Gujarat and Maharashtra.

It was the place that I was destined to go from the past 5 years I guess. Ever since that day when my uncle who is a priest got transferred there to be the principle of a school there. He is from the Pilar line of priests.
Every year whenever he used to visit, I was always invited to be guest there. Yet after all those promises I gave to him,  not even once was I able to fullfill it. The closest being cancelling the trip just by a days notice to him.
Finally I decided,  that I should probably not disappoint him any further, so on 15 th December 2012, I finally decided to go. Also I needed a break from my daily life.
I caught the 11.40am Virar - Valsad passenger.  More than 2 hours and 14 stations later,  I finally reached Vapi where I supposed to meet him. Unfortunately for me, he couldn't make it as another priest in his parish had taken the vehicle for an emergency.
So on his directions I had to now find my way from Vapi to Silvassa.
When you come to Vapi station,  there is a huge board there,  'Take west to go to Daman, Take east to go to Silvassa'. Made my way through a pretty confusing station towards the east exit and got into a Share a Ric. The cost from Vapi to Silvassa per head is 30Rs. The distance around 30km. I was made to change a total of 3 rickshaws due to lack of customers. Vapi to Silvassa itself is a 1 hour journey.
Finally I was dropped at Silvassa bus station, where my uncle was waiting. The residence where the priest stay is just a minute from there. I was to reside at the guest house of the Church, also known as ' The Church of Silvassa' or ' Our Lady of Piety'. An alternate route to Silvassa is also there from Bhilad station. However it's difficult to get rickshaws from there.
The Church where I was residing was more than a 115 years old and most probably the only church in Silvassa. Lucky for me, the guest house where I resided was well equipped with all facilities,  more like a 3star AC room.
In the evening after a nap my uncle took me to his school. It was apparently considered the best school in whole of Silvassa. 'Fr. Angelo English School and Junior College'. It wasnt as big as I had expected but very well managed. From CCTV cameras to every class having their own digital learning system, no doubt that was the most sought after school in Silvassa. In 2 days time, the school was to celebrate their 24th annual day, so my uncle was very busy with the preparations. That evening was spent in the school computer lab. Just surfing the net while my uncle completed his work.
The dining hall of the church quarters was quite big and along with my uncle two other priests resided there. We all used to have food together. They have their own chef who stays with them and cooks/orders. They favorite dish there is fish curry and rice. Since my uncle was quite aware of how much I hate that, he used to specially order Butter Chicken or Paneer for me from outside. Lucky me.
On the second day, I woke up around 8 , had breakfast with the other priests, and I set out on lone mission to discover Silvassa.
My first stop was the very huge 'Stadium Ground'. The ground was huge and it's own lights. Well maintained but lacked a supporter stand. I spent a lot time there, taking a whole round as well as watching a tennis match there. Just a few blocks from there was a museum. The museum was on the different types of tribal clans living in the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Silvassa being the capital of it. The museum, despite being a small one,gave a brief understanding of the local culture of these tribes, their way of living, the tools and ornaments they use etc. It also spoke of the history of the union territory of D&H.
After lunch I decided to take the long walk towards the west,  to Van Dharan garden. It was a long walk, really long walk. The garden is situated near the Daman Ganga river towards the west. It's a very famous garden in Silvassa, had even read that a few movie songs were shot there. However more than the garden, I spent the rest of the everning walking across the bridge connecting Bhilad and Silvassa. With the Daman Ganga river flowing below and the height of the bridge, it was a beautiful view below. By the time I returned from the long long walk, it was already dark. Head straight for my room. I was done for that day. Had no energy left.
The next day was the big day. The Annual day celebration of the school. The morning was spent helping the students and staff in the arrangements. I was treated as a VIP,  probably for the fact that my uncle was the principal. Lol. In the afternoon, my uncle took me to the back side of the college. Thats where the college owned animals were there. From dogs, to Rabbits, ducks and turtles, it was spent watching, interacting and playing with them. The annual day started at 6pm, political leaders, other priests from the Pilar legion were the chief guests. The program was good the theme was "Being Human" and all the dances,plays etc were emphasized on the main topic and presented to the audience in a very interesting and catchy manner. My personal favorite was a Dance and Skit based on Human trafficking. It was based on Matt Redmans famous song '27million'. The program ended around 9.30pm. That was done for that day.
On the third and final day, my uncle being finally relieved of his duties took me to the old school of which he was a principal. The place was Khanvel. It is 30km south of Silvassa. It was a tribal region, the condition of people living there was very poor. We passed through these tribal houses as I watched from the car window. Finally at the end of the long 30km winding road we reached 'Gyanmata Marathi high school'.  The school looked like a typical Municipal school, the uniforms, the students. Watched the students play and visited a few classrooms. Seen kg kids act in a fancy dress competition. As my uncle went to meet his old friends there, I took a walk round the campus and the adjoining houses. Was thankful to God for giving me a really good house and the luxury of never having to live in poverty. On the return journey my uncle told me of all the trouble he has to face as being the principal of Silvassa's most elite college. The political and media pressure, to allocate seats for their preferred students. The mental and physical threats they give and the way of how my uncle has to play and beat them in their own game. That evening he even took me shopping to the main Silvassa market. Picked up a few sweets. And later he took me to school and gave me their school jersey. It was my last night at Silvassa, so packed up my clothes and belongings that night. Every year for Christmas the school distributes, sweets and toys to all the students of their institute. The shopping of these goods is done at Mumbai's Crawford market. I was to leave in school car next morning.
Silvassa,in general is not the best spot for a tourist attractions. It main tourism is based on 3 gardens (seen one), a water park( I've been to Mumbai's water kingdom, nuff said), a deer park (passed by it on the way to Khanvel), a lion safari (uncle told me that there are only 2 lions there. Well we have our Sanjay Gandhi National Park here) and finally the main attraction, The 115 year old Silvassa Church (Well thats the place I resided). These are also a few places towards the eastern side, maybe the next time I visit Silvassa, I will be exploring the east.
I reached MumbaI by 10 am the next morning, had left from Silvassa by car at 630am. This was probably the cheapest trip I've ever made, in 3 days at Silvassa my total spending cost was only 100Rs. All thanks to my uncle and the hospitality.

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