Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, August 17, 2006


Color of joy

Once upon a time there was sun, hills and a small apple tree, but there was no color to be seen anywhere. The tree grew and grew, apples appeared but there was no color in it. The tree continued to grow and the apples grew big and round. Soon the apples began to fall to the ground turning red, yellow and blue. One day a small boy holding a balloon came near the tree. At that time the apples fell red, yellow and blue. The boy picked a large blue apple and tossed it up in the sky but he let go the balloon. Suddenly the apple turned the sky blue. He again picked up a yellow apple and threw it at the sun. The apple colored the sun golden yellow. Now the boy decided to have some fun juggling the red and blue apples. The apples fell together upon the hills painting them purple. Next he began to toss yellow and blue apples high in the air. The apples tumbled down all around him coloring the ground green. When the wind blew, his balloon returned back to him. He threw the yellow apple at the red balloon. As the balloon slowly pulled the boy up into the air, he threw a red apple at the tree and all the apples turned bright red. The boy flew away in joy knowing the world was now filled with colors.

By Shahreen Islam
(The young writer is a student of Std: IV)
Picture is drawn by five year old Ishani

Sports Watch

Quazi Zulquarnain Islam

I had initially thought that throughout the drove of entries I would find three that were large enough to make up this week's column (thereby sparing the lazy old me the task of writing out much). But alas. That was not to be. There were a huge amount of people writing in for sure (more than I had imagined) but in the end most preferred to send in two to three lines just expressing their best moment but not saying why it was so. So I decided to put the two best ones on this week and reward some more of you by putting your views on print. I did not play favourites at all and just plucked randomly. So this in no way explain my footballing bias (yes we all have it).

But lets get started:
Sama Ahmed from Uttara writes in documenting her favourite moment:
The FIFA World Cup 2006 ended with the sending off of one of the best players of all time and the cup was lifted by the Azzurri who became champions.

"All's well that ends well", they say? Well, in this case though, all was well except the ending. We got to watch some really good football this time and I chose the mouth-watering clash between Argentina and Mexico to be the best match of the tournament.

The early moments of the enthralling match was all-Mexican as the Argentinian midfield struggled under pressure with the pace of the game, and it paid off in the sixth minute. Mexican captain Rafael Marquez netted a fabulous goal near the far post off a Pavel Pardo free-kick. But that was not enough to stop the Latin Giants. Argentina responded immediately. Pressure from Hernan Crespo forced Jared Borgetti to head Riquelme's swirling corner into his own net in the 10th minute. Regulation time ended 1-1 after two goals in an action packed first quarter of the game, but it was a moment's brilliance from Rodriguez eight minutes into extra time that sealed Argentina's victory over Mexico. The midfielder chested down an innocuous pass from Juan Sorin on the edge of the area, swivelled and fired a looping left-footed volley into the far top corner beyond the reach of the diving Mexican goal-keeper Osvaldo Sanchez that ended up as the top goal of the tournament. It was a really thrilling match and in the end, it was, "All's well that ends well".

The other entries were far simpler though.

Like Zarif Iftekhar who simply says that Thierry Henry's goal at the far post from a swirling Zidane free-kick was his moment to savour. Mishel Haider, who lives in London says that Wayne Rooney's sending off in the quarterfinal against Portugal was the most defining moment in his view. Imtiaz Karim was another football fan who wrote in lamenting the sending off of Zinedine Zidane and identifying it as the most defining moment of the World Cup. It must also be said that the final topped the list as most people opted for the Zidane send off as their preferred moment.

However onwards now to the other most invigorating entry.
Raquib Chowdhury, who was nice enough to attach a joke while his attachment downloaded, rates the Italy-Germany clash as the best game of this years final.

He says:
Without a shadow of a doubt, the best match at this year's finals was the semifinal clash between hosts Germany and the artistic Italians. It was the best match quite simply because of the way it ended…I don't think even the guy upstairs (aka GOD) could've predicted the way it ended.

It was the Italians who settled into the match better as the young German side seemed to be a tad bit nervous. So it was no surprise that Italy seemed to have the edge at the end of the first half.

God knows what Klinsi told his team at the break because Germany came out all guns blazing and the only reason why they failed to score in the second period is two certain fellows known as Cannavaro and Buffon. Cannavaro was like a man-mountain throughout the tournament and Buffon too, was in supreme form. Their far greater experience proved to be too good for the young German strike-force of Klose and Podolski. The Italians thought they had broken the deadlock when Toni converted a chance but their celebrations couldn't even begin with the linesman flagging for offside. And so, the game remained scoreless.

More drama followed in extra-time. Gilardino somehow managed to wiggle into the German box and he shot from almost a hand-shaking distance from Lehmann. Easing the German heartbeats, the ball refused to go in and a stinging shot from Zambrotta met the same fate, all in the space of one pulsating minute!

Luck seemed to be all against the Italians. Lippi knew that if the match went to penalties, it was more than likely that the Germans would emerge winners and that's why Italy took the bold step of playing the latter stages with no less than four attackers. With both teams failing to capitalize on decent scoring Chances, the game seemed to be destined for penalties as the clock ticked on. Except that there was a twist in the plot that would make football fanatics cherish this match for many years to come.

With only a minute left before it all went down to penalties, Lippi was glad that he took the gamble, as Grosso received a pass from Pirlo after a goalmouth scramble and curled the ball beyond Lehmann's reach and into the German goal. The scenes that followed in the stadium and also in many parts of the world can be best described with a single word: PANDEMONIUM! When the match finally restarted the Germans desperately pressed forward but within seconds Italy won the ball again and this time Gila laid it down for Del Piero who made no mistake in scoring and majestically hammering the final nail into the German coffin! As the Italians erupted in wild celebrations, the Germans collapsed to the ground…their dream of lifting the World Cup finally over.

Did you guys notice that there was no “final whistle” at the end of the match?? The Del Piero kick was the final kick of the match…people just walked off the field afterwards. I guess everyone was just too drained in the excitement of the match too care for “unimportant” formalities like that!

I think that says all that needs to be said, doesn't it? Argentina, Italy, Germany, Brazil, France and Mexico have all been represented well. No one mentioned Cristiano Ronaldo's fancy skills and fancier diving but then that's just my personal opinion.

Till next time.


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