Ganesh Das & Kamalesh Sur are the magnets of the eternal passion of Kolkata Football. Image Source: XtraTime
Kolkata: The first Kolkata derby fever of the current Hero I-League season has alerady started to test the nerves of the entire Bengali community. The passion and emotion about this epic rivalry has been the biggest adrenalin of Indian football. A football craze which can easily defeat any impediment in the world.
Mohun Bagan’s Kamalesh Sur and East Bengal’s Ganesh Das are carrying the traditions of the football passion of Kolkata which has kept the popularity and madness of the game alive in the city of joy for decades.
Baguiati’s Helabattala lived Kamalesh Sur is an ardent Mohun Bagan fan and witnesses all the games which Mohun Bagan plays and the derby matches are there very much on the priority list. He is physically disabled, cannot walk as he doesn’t have legs but whether it’s at Barasat or Salt Lake or at Mohun Bagan ground, Kamalesh is omnipresent with his cordial support. The bus conductors help him to travel, so are the security personnels of the grounds to enter into the stadium, such has been the love he has earned from one and all. His family members too always support him to get the fun of life; and for him, Mohun Bagan is more than just a team, it’s his life. Mohun Bagan President Tutu Bose once gave him the club membership, but somehow he couldn’t renew it.
Ganesh Das lives at 13 no. Tank, Fulbagan, Jadavpur. He sells joss sticks and thus earns the money to purchase tickets to watch his love East Bengal play in different places. He too is a physically challenged lad who has devoted his life for the sake of the club. He may not have a lot of money, but certainly has a wheel-chair and the love of his extended family which give him the oxygen to fight with his disabilities.
Unfortunately, both of them will not be able to see their heroes like Willis Plaza or Sony Norde on Sunday in their naked eyes. Kamalesh is getting a bit old and thus didn’t get the confidence to travel that far. On the flip side, Ganesh didn’t get his ticket for Siliguri as the Sealdah division asked him to collect the ticket from a distant office at Dharmatala. The agony of not getting the opportunity to watch the biggest game of Indian football has been gnawing them very badly.
On Sunday, they both would be sitting in front of the television in the hope to see their favourite team winning the clash. But their passion, emotion and crazy love for the two Kolkata giants have proven the grandeur of Kolkata football yet again. It’s not money, but these passionate stories which will provide the crescendo of existence to the Kolkata giants in the ages to come.