Playing on an unfamiliar ground,Mohun Bagans Japanese midfielder Yusa Katsumi still managed to put on an impressive show in Howrah even as his coach Karim Bencherifa,of Moroccan descent,looked on,appreciating each of his pupils move.
And the reason why Katsumi appeared a little out of place was only because he was not on the football field but at the inauguration ceremony of the Halder Para Friends Association Sarbojanin Durgotsav,playing dhak,a traditional Indian drum.
Together,they gave the whole event a real cosmopolitan colour after Bagan legend and Bengals own Subrata Bhattacharya lit the lamp to officially inaugurate the Puja.
Having already attended a few Puja opening ceremonies during his stint as Bagans coach between 2008-10,Bencherifa was more comfortable than Katsumi,who mostly sat in awe throughout the celebration.
I enjoyed this one as well. Its always good to be a part of the Bengali culture, Bencherifa,who knows the city and its festivals rather well,told The Indian Express.
The two now have the upcoming I-League fixture against Pune FC,to be played on Thursday,to look forward to. With real hard work lying ahead,the footballer-coach duo will leave with the Bagan team tomorrow,and miss the festivities in process.
I know this is a very big festival here. But we have a very important I-League match coming up and I am fully focusing on that, said the reticent Japanese before taking his leave.