Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ralte Is he Black?

A Mizo has created sensations in an utterly neglected realm of Indian sports- football.  Hindustan Times reported that that Kingfisher East Bengal rode on Lalrindika Ralte’s extra time goal to outlast Churchill Brothers in the first semifinal of the 34th Federation Cup at the Kanchanjungha Stadium. The report further states that East Bengal would then now take on the winner of Friday’s second semifinal between Dempo SC and Salgaocar SC, in the final on Sunday. That was the last quarter of September, 2012.
In an atmosphere dominated by sports events taking place in the west, I didn’t have any inclination to follow the Federation Cup matches. But some things made me think twice. And before I turn to look at other sports news I examined the picture accompanying the HT report. The Hindustan Times report carried a picture of a black guy vying for the ball with a chinky guy in red jersey.

I thought the fair skinned guy in red jersey must have been the Ralte character that made headlines. I was wrong!!! The red Jersey during that match belongs to Churchill brothers. East Bengal player shown in the picture happened to be a certain Edeh Chidih. I should have googled for ralte’s pic had official work not taken precedence. I wanted to see Messi in action. I wanted to see Kagawa score another EPL goal for the reds. I forgot everything about the Indian scene.

When the lump of newspaper hit my the balcony of my residence this morning, I knew that HT wouldn’t tell the outcome of the second leg UEFA Champions League between Real Madrid and Galatasaray, all I look for in the HT sports page was what the pundits had to say about Messi’s fitness. With that in mind I turned to the last page of HT. There I happened to spot the Mizo’s name in the headlines once again. As in the previous instance the HT report carry the picture of a black guy controlling the ball with a fair skinned guy whose face partially appear above the black’s head, tackling. This time it’s about an AFC in Kolkata. East Bengal won the match with the winning goal scored by Ralte.

This time 'Ralte' takes precedence over official work. On googling the name I realize that neither in the Federation Cup nor in AFC where his efforts have turned the tables, has HT the courage to show the picture of the boy wonder. Had Ralte hailed from the British Royal family, his relatives might have been pleased. Not here. For a professional sportsman it makes commercial sense to hog the limelight, else you end up ruminating your earning from the club you play for. You need a lot of positive exposure, get the attention of bigger clubs and wealthy corporates.

Im sure the boy has no grudge against any official, media person or team mates. He looks happy. At 21 any one with the same talent and same level of patronage would have been happy. But with a little bit more favor shown to him, he could have been better off. Hopefully the case with HT is an exception!