Tuesday, 13 February 2018


Summer 1998. I was 12 years old, we were reading about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in History class, and in the upcoming Football World Cup, Ronaldo was expected to take the world by storm. There was only one thing to do: my friend Gabli1 and I founded a new religion whose god was Chonaldo, a synthesis of Chaitanya and Ronaldo.2

Our creed, so far I can remember, was to chant Chonaldo's name all day, speak in archaic Bengali and play as much football as possible. We tried to convert some of our classmates, but I don't believe we had much success. Ronaldo, too, fell at the last hurdle – under mysterious circumstances.

Last month, when I was at home in Calcutta, I was rummaging through old school books and found a portion of the Divine Scriptures. This I now present without further comment.

1.Gabli is a pet name; his real name was "Abhishek Ray number 1" (there were two Abhishek Rays in our class).
2.Thus anticipating Pirelli's ad campaign casting Ronaldo as Christ the Redeemer.