My cousin an ex-beaurocrat observes rather sardonically-why does this place celebrate the occasion with such pomp?It's bigger than any festival.There are series of school putting up their annual performances ,there is the football tournament which starts a fortnight ahead.This year the stars of the tournament are couple of black players from clubs in Kolkotta who are representing some of the teams.
Every year we observe with increasing sense of amusement and wonder the workers ask for allowance to stitch new clothes for the occasion as well as ask for leave to attend the programmes.
Everyone is involved.There are the local gentries pushing each other beyond the rules of the game putting their best foot forward in the football and the basketball matches .We remember with a lot of fondness our dad and mom playing these matches when we were kids.Dad's nearing eighty but he doesn't miss the matches even now.
There is my cousin Monda trying out her dictions -she is the compere.
There are stalls gallore selling all types of cuisines-there is the official lunch and then there is the mangan-united(Man- united) team captained by my brother ,who every year lose the first match.The team comprises of fit,semi-fit and unfit locals sweating it out in the field to be part of the spirit of the game.My brother an avid and a star football player during his school days never seem to get enough of the game-but on the other hand he never gets enough of doing things for the common good.
Mangan is at it again body ,mind and soul celebrating life whether it be Mangan's very own annual woodstock, the country's independance or the environmental lobbying,there is no half ways here.
Vive la Mangan!!