Kanchenjunga Expedition- Football match in Tapleyjung (Day 10)

30-August- Female Football Match in Tapleyjung

A young girl rushes out to play as the women football match goes on.

Today is Rakhi-so perhaps the residents of Tapleyjung thought of no better way of commemorating the event that by organising a girl’s soccer tournament. It is the final and I am amazed at the number of spectators the event draws (though many were there also to see the men soccer final-scheduled after the women’s match)

A free kick at the football tournament.

We leave after breakfast and weave our way through crowded bazaar, take a paved slope down . The path is interspersed by slush and puddle-filled dirt-tracks. I  get some `typical Nepal ‘ pictures of men playing chess, boys playing  carom and saw a freshly slaughtered pig. I asked the men disembowling it how they slaughtered it. They said they stab the pig with a sharp weapon and slit the stomach.

A man had just gutted a pig near the road that descended down the hill to the Football tournament grounds.

The ground is all slushy at one end and not too dry at the other end either but the two teams are ready for the whistle. The girls look too stout from where I stand and very unattractive in their football shorts. There is a small hillock on top of which is a small temple. Along the side of this hillock sits a swarm of people. They also stand along the sides of the fields. Armed policemen and army stand gaurd along the soccer-field -to keep the crowds at bay and for security against Maoists. My movements are not restricted as I move along the line to get some good shots. I only watch the match for a few minutes along with the army chaps. Our officers are not here only the jawans who stand and comment on the match…

A bird’s eye view of the football tournament. The popularity of football was evident with the no of people who had turned up for the event.

The football match was a good diversion for me as well, for I get to take pictures of people and the swarming crowds in one place. We are slated to fly off tomorrow and I pack both my bags. In the evening there is an impromptu song and dance event in the little terrace outside our room. A Nepalese Major is the guest and as the evening progresses and drinks flow music follows, then songs and then Nepalese dance.

The OR’s at the football tournament. It was their outing out of that hotel after many days.

Most of the JCO’s are well conversant with all things Nepalese,  moreso their song and dance and they take the intiative and break into it. The officers also join in and soon it becomes louder and noiser and the balcony more packed. Ashok is summomed and he is more than pleased to dance and sing to capacity. He improvises some Himachali songs, including his love` Kavita’ into the song, apart from including his officers obsequiously.

The spectators for the football tournament.

I am in bed listening to these songs and at one point go of to sleep listening. Then I get up somewhere in the middle of the night and hear the music and the dance catch up a new tempo. The music suddenly makes me sad. The music outside plays on louder and racier. I also feel homesick a little and a wee bit tired of Tapleyjung now. I don’t get on much with `A Heaven’s Lake’ either. I just gossip with the OR’s (as the jawans or non-commissioned officers are called)

One Response to “Kanchenjunga Expedition- Football match in Tapleyjung (Day 10)”

  1. pankaj anand says:

    its the Ninth day and you haven’t talked to your family ? or you forgot to put up here 😛

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