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     Volume 2 Issue 15 | July 21, 2007 |


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Behind the Scene

From Magura

Halim's Unusual Skills

Hossain Seraj

Effort, persistence and practice can develop unusual skills to crazy levels. Halim, a young man who hails from a village of Magura district has once again demonstrated the extent of his dedication. He is astonishing sports lovers not only in his own and adjoining districts but all over the country. This man of Chhoyghoria village in Shalikha upazila has made a name for himself with a football.

The football-mad 35-year-old Halim had, it may be argued, already broken a world record about seven years back by juggling a football for 24 hours without letting it touch the ground as many people witnessed. These demonstrations made the sports organizers take a keen interest in his talent. When Halim bounces a football, one may think that he almost has a kind of special relationship with the ball. He also claims that he now treats footballs like his friends who are very supportive of him when he is performing for a roaring crowd.

When he was 28 he first drew attention with his nifty little tricks with a football. Audiences watched stunned as he would balance a football on his head or on some other part of his body. He can do all this crazy stuff while leading a normal life of eating, going to the bathroom, changing clothes, cycling, swimming and climbing trees.

“Men always want to break records. I think I have already broken a world record by keeping the ball in the air for a day”, said Halim proudly after doing his 'act' at different sports clubs in Magura.

Halim has no idea about what the previous world records are with a football, but he still dreams of one day having his name in Guinness Book of World Records. Haji Makbul Hossain who was a reputed footballer now the General Secretary of the District Sports Association (DSA) in Magura remarked that “…a Thai man Sam-Ang Suwansri, in March of 2000 hogged the headlines across the world by juggling a football for 15 hours only. But, unlike Sam-Ang, Halim does not have a sponsor to bring the publicity he needs”, Makbul claimed.

“I always wanted to do something creative. I don't have the money to let people know about my skills. So, I have focused on what I can afford. Right now, I cannot think of anything other than just entertaining the people around me”, Halim said.

This crowd-pleaser comes from a very poor family. At the age of 15, he saw a feat like that and wanted to emulate some performer who had kept a ball on his head for about 30 seconds during a football match in Magura.

All his hard work over the years has started to pay off. While nimbly juggling the ball using his feet, head and chest, apart from drinking, eating, swimming, riding a bicycle and changing clothes, he can do 54 other tricks that leave audiences astonished.

Halim, who has not shown too much real football playing talent, can nevertheless neatly receive a ball on his head after kicking it up to 30 feet high up in the air. He claims that he can also climb up a coconut or date-tree with a ball on his head. He doesn't just talk big; he backs up his claims with demonstrations.

Halim's fans have absolute faith in his dexterity with a football. “If his ability is marketed properly, this poor young man would certainly bring his skills to international attention”, a former footballer hoped.

Like many of his admirers, Halim has also been hoping, no matter how unlikely, that someday his long-cherished dream will come true; his skills will bring him fame and fortune. His financial situation is now the biggest problem, he doesn't even have a good enough diet.

“At the moment I want nothing but a little financial support to ensure my meals which is essential for maintaining my physical fitness,” Halim said.

Aminul Islam Chandu Mian, a veteran sports organizer as well as the vice-president proudly claimed, “Halim is now a national asset because of his football juggling and so far as I know he has already broken records in his field. He deserves support and recognition.”


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