Why Wayne Rooney Will Always Be Special To Me

rooney, wayne rooney, man utd, manchester united, farewell, everton, football
Thirteen years. Sixteen trophies. One Wayne Rooney. (Source – @manutd)

“Wayne Rooney is leaving #MUFC to return to Everton”, read a tweet from Manchester United last evening, ending months of speculation and confirming the inevitable. The tributes poured in from fans and footballers alike, my Facebook feed was filled with people sharing videos of Rooney’s top goals in a United shirt, and debates were on about whether Wayne Rooney deserved to be dubbed a Manchester United legend, or whether he was merely another great goalscorer who stayed on at the club because it was the best option he had.

None of it mattered to me. Fact is, Wayne Rooney has been a big part of whatever I have known and loved about Manchester United. This is not because I believed he was, or is, the greatest player in the world. It is also not just because Rooney has been the one constant while his strike partners have come and gone. It is not because Wayne Rooney leaves the club as its highest goalscorer in history, finding the net a whopping 253 times in his 13 year stay. Wayne Rooney has been a big part of my interest in football because he was not like the rest of them. He was different. He had a different attitude, and a different way of doing things, which struck me as the most distinctive feature I would like to inculcate.
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Kolkata Gives – Philanthropy Festival 2017

Kolkata Gives, Philanthropy, Festival, Exhibition, Charity, Donations, NGO, Underprivileged
The Kolkata Gives Philanthropy Exhibition 2017 Promotional Poster

There’s a lot of good in our world. There are luxuries that make our lives easier, there are things we can afford which bring about joy, or happiness. We are the privileged lot – the ones who were born into families where we could get an education, where we found peace and love without hardship, where we were provided an environment to grow into healthy, happy individuals. However, it is important for us to acknowledge that there is a world beyond the comfort of our living rooms. There remain thousands of people facing strife every day, be it financial problems, societal backlash or even personal hardships that occur for no fault of theirs. These are people who deserve to dream of the same things we do, and deserve a life of happiness. And for all of this, they need our support.
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Dakshh 2017 – Heritage’s Tech Fest Back After a Year

Dakshh, Tech fest, Tech, Management, Heritage, College, Fest, Students' Council, Kolkata
Dakshh 2017 Promotional Poster

Tech Fests have always held top-notch significance in the roster of an engineering college’s yearly activities. Add to that the fact that the college hosting it is one of Kolkata’s best, and that the fest is returning after an unfortunate year’s hiatus, and you get a sense of the extravaganza that Dakshh 2017 brought to the table.
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The Andaman Tour – Sea, Sand and the Patriot in Me

Andaman, Sea, Beach, Boat, India, Island, Travel
Life at Andaman is relaxed, slow-paced and peaceful.

If winter in Kolkata is a tease, an Andaman winter is a myth. Temperatures in late December and early January remain at a warm 25 to 28 degrees. This is the first stark difference you experience, as a man shivering at the Calcutta Airport two hours ago, the moment you step out of the Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair.

Andaman is an unbelievably beautiful place. This was my first time on a trip to an island, and I absolutely loved it. The Andaman archipelago is dotted with several islands, 572 to be exact, with only 37 of them being inhabited by humans. The islands are home to some of the most glaring relics of British dominance over colonized India, as well as provide mesmerizing avenues for natural beauty with flourishing beaches, mangrove forests, lush green vegetation and surrounding it, a sea that seems to keep changing colour from emerald to blue to almost a thick black. It is this sight of black waters from ships that brought inmates to the Cellular Jail in colonial times that gives Andaman the name “Kalapani”.
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Getting the Blues with Friday Night Originals

Blues, Jazz, Friday Night Originals, Music, The Doodle Room, Kolkata
Livening up the Doodle Room.

When Amrita told me about Friday Night Originals for the first time, my initial thought was, “Why has nobody done this before here?” Their aim is to bring independent, original music to the limelight. Given how the independent music scene in Kolkata has no dearth of talent yet yearns for exposure and acclaim, such a step would definitely go a long way in putting the city on national and international maps as far as music is concerned.
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Tales To Tell Romance – Book Launch

tales to tell romance, romance, books, authors, illustrators, tales to tell, oxford
Authors, illustrators, organizers and support systems, all packed in celebration!

“Tales to Tell” – a series of anthologies of short stories and illustrations, is an initiative by Kolkata Bloggers and published by BEE Books. It seeks to bring fresh authors and illustrations under one umbrella, and consolidate their unique perspective into one book. Backed by the success of the first book in the series last year, we were back with the launch of the second book – Tales to Tell Romance – exactly a year later.
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And The Plastic Medal Goes To… #Rio2016

India, Olympics, Rio 2016, Medal, Sport
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu kisses her silver medal at #Rio2016. Picture – www.indiatvnews.com

P.V. Sindhu has made every front page today, courtesy her silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games. She will probably make a Sports page headline tomorrow as well. The day after, she will find space in a corner with other statistics. Two days after that, she will find no mention, right up to the point when she wins her next tournament.

The problem with finding backing in Indian sport is this – the average Indian looks at the Rio Olympics as nothing more than TV entertainment. The occasional Indian medal-winner is glorified, deservedly so, but none of that momentum translates into nurturing our next set of winners. How many of us actually care about any Olympic sport in the four-year interludes? Do we as the common masses find too many instances where youngsters are encouraged to follow sport and make a career out of it? We are so engrossed in the plastic praise of a medallist that we do not care about inclusivity of sport in general.
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In Conversation with Samragngi Roy

Samragngi Roy, Book Launch, I'm Yours Forever, Oxford Bookstore, Kolkata Bloggers
Panelists at the Book Launch of “I’m Yours…Forever…” discuss the evolution of the book

In the last few years, I have met quite a few incredible youngsters with talents and ideas that could change the world. There have been instances where I have been blown away by the sheer maturity displayed by a teenager, or the depth of analysis given to a particular project by someone so young yet so admirably focussed. One such youngster is definitely Samragngi Roy. A student of Class XII, she has already published her debut romantic novel, is in the process of writing a sequel to it and guess what, she’s all of 17 years of age!
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NASSCOM Product Conclave Kolkata 2016

NASSCOM, Product Conclave, Hyatt, NPCKol, Technology, Business, Entrepreurship
The NASSCOM Product Conclave Kolkata, 2016

The NASSCOM Product Conclave Kolkata was held on the 15th of July 2016 at the Hyatt Regency. I was one of the delegates of the Ecosystem Partner for the event, Kolkata Bloggers, along with Anirban Saha, Arkodyuti Saha and Ankit Agarwal. The 2016 edition of east India’s largest IT Product Meet was based on the theme of “Technology Fuelling Business Growth”. The NASSCOM Product Conclave brought together entrepreneurs from diverse fields, investors, analysts and academicians under one roof in a bid to promote better networking and collaborative solutions to modern problems.
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Hazarduari – The Palace of a Thousand Doors

Hazarduari, Murshidabad, Bengal, Travelling, Tourism, Imambara
The Nizamat Imambara, opposite the Hazarduari Palace.

“Betrayed by his own Commander-in-Chief, Mir Jafar, Siraj ud-Daulah lost the Battle of Plassey on 23rd June, 1757, and subsequently the administration of Bengal fell into the hands of the East India Company.”

Murshidabad resonates with the air of royalty even today. The pride in being the last region to remain independent before British imperialism set in, coupled with the anger at the betrayal by their own commander is palpable in the sights, sounds and smell of the place. Relics of the glory days remain in the forms of palaces that once housed the mightiest Nawabs, the largest Imambara in India  and mosques and religious sites galore.
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The Leicester City Fairytale

Vardy, Mahrez, Leicester, Premier League, Champions, England
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have had outstanding seasons for Leicester. Photograph – In-Cyprus

“It is Leicester.”

“Lei-chester?”

“Leicester. Pronounced Lester.”

A large section of football followers I know had to go through this exercise with me two years back when Leicester City broke into the Premier League. Not a lot had heard of them before, the only reason I had heard of them was because of Peter Schmeichel’s son, to be honest. Leicester’s best performance in English top flight came in 1928-29 when they finished second. Gone were those glory days, and the team had slumped to the third division as recently as 2009. As they went through the 2014-15 season struggling to stay up, nobody gave them a chance. Having narrowly escaped relegation in their first season back, they were favourites to face the drop this season.
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Tea Festival at Jadavpur University #ChaiHoJaye

Tea, Healthy, Kolkata, Chai Ho Jaye, Jadavpur, JU
The #ChaiHoJaye corner at JU Sanskriti 2016 has proven to be a huge hit.

Tea, India’s most popular drink, takes up the role of providing respite in the form of a cool iced drink to a college student tired after a day of hectic classes in these summer months. It is also that one drink their parents will never object to, and the one they can serve in various flavours by including different ingredients. Tea to a college student is a quintessential part of life.
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EntreSpark’16 – The Entrepreneurship Summit

EntreSpark, entrepreneurship, kolkata, heritage, kolkata bloggers
EntreSpark 2016 – The Entrepreneurship Summit

The Entrepreneurship Development Cell of Heritage Institute of Technology conducted its flagship event, EntreSpark 2016 – The Entrepreneurship Summit last week. The Summit featured seminars by established entrepreneurs in and around the city, and workshops to motivate and enthuse students of the college to inculcate an entrepreneurial mindset. The Entrepreneurship Summit invited students not just from the college but from all other colleges in the city and beyond to understand and appreciate the spirit of entrepreneurship.
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A Trip to Mukutmanipur

Mukutmanipur, Bengal, Travel, Water, Kolkata Bloggers, Dam
The largest artificial mud-bank freshwater reservoir on the planet.

Mukutmanipur is a small, picturesque town in the Bengal district of Bankura, with its main attractions being a large dam that channelizes water to different adjoining districts and the point of confluence of the two rivers Kangsabati and Kumari. Mukutmanipur has been a favourite weekend getaway for a lot of people in Bengal and beyond.
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Bishnupur – The Town of Temples

Bishnupur, Temple, Heritage, Bengal, Travel
A view of Rasmancha’s unique architectural design.

Bishnupur is a town in Bankura, West Bengal, famous for its terracotta temples, Baluchari sarees and the Bishnupur Gharana of Hindustani Classical Music. For close to a thousand years, Bishnupur was the capital of the Malla empire. The Malla kings were Vaishnavites, and it is during their reign that Bishnupur’s characteristic terracotta temples and structures were built, most of them around 400-500 years old.
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