o jogo bonito
While India is better known internationally for its passion for cricket, some states have made football theirs. Football is more than just a game in West Bengal, Goa, Kerala (where I'm from), and parts of Northeast India. It is an emotion for people of all ages.
Some of my earliest and fondest football memories come from watching a NIKE video that highlights the raw talent and joy of Brazilian legend Ronaldinho playing football as a kid. Set to the rhythms of "Baião Destemperado (a Forró)," the video opens with a message by Eric Cantona:
"When you were a kid, it was easy. You were not afraid to try..to dare. You did it just because you liked it."
Then, it shows footage of young Ronaldinho displaying incredible skill and flair on the pitch long before he achieved superstardom. With no concerns for pressure or critics, he played with a constant smile - simply enjoying the beautiful game for its own sake. His carefree spirit and love of improvisation captured the very essence of "o joga bonito," or "the beautiful game."
The video closes with the reminder,
"So my advice to you is...never grow up, my friends."
It's stuck with me ever since as a message to keep things simple and never let the business side of the sport or anything overshadow the joy.
So, dear reader, approach each game, practice, or project with a carefree spirit, a willingness to try new things without fear of failure, and, most of all, just enjoy the ride.