| Putul Bora with the bottle of Scotch at Diphu on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Nagaon, July 15: In 1994, Putul Bora had fervently hoped that he would celebrate Germany’s World Cup win with a glass of Passport Scotch. Bulgaria sent his dream team packing that year in the quarters.
A desolate Bora buried the bottle of Scotch in the forecourt of his Assam-type house in Diphu, the headquarters of Karbi Anglong district, hoping against hope that he would uncork it the day Germany won the Cup again.
But when his dream came true in the early hours of Monday in the form of Mario Goetze’s brilliant extra-time strike, for the life of him he couldn’t find the bottle. He finally found it today, after a daylong search of the forecourt along with his equally excited and curious neighbours.
Bora, now 53, but a striker in his college days, celebrated the moment around 9am today by opening a bottle of Scotch with friends and well-wishers, but not with the bottle he had buried.
That one, he said, he will consider auctioning or donating to some organisation following email requests from several organisations, including a few from Germany, after reports about the buried bottle which first hit the headlines during the last edition of the World Cup in South Africa.
“We celebrated this morning but with another bottle — a 750ml Jim Beam Black Whisky. I will wait for a few days to see if anybody approaches me to auction the bottle or I will donate it to a museum for posterity,” Bora said. “I had bought the 750ml Passport Scotch Whisky bottle in Calcutta for Rs 650 in 1994,” Bora told The Telegraph.
Such was the impact of the 1994 loss that Bora vowed never to drink till Germany lifted the Cup. Bora, a huge fan of Germany because of their team spirit and style of play, watched the final live with 100 neighbours, guests, fans at his residence on a 53-inch LED TV on match day.
Bora again buried a bottle of 750ml Red Label Scotch, costing Rs 1,800, at his residence yesterday, which he plans to uncork after Germany win their fifth World Cup, “hopefully in the next edition of the World Cup to be held in Russia”.
Bora’s interest in football is natural as the game is followed passionately in Karbi Anglong district. Amid the unrest that grips the militancy-hit district, football tournaments are held regularly there. It is in a way the few recreation options the youths have in the largest — and underdeveloped — district of Assam.
Bora’s family had shifted to Diphu in the fifties from neighbouring Golaghat’s Bonmgaon area, around 100km from Diphu.
“Bora’s inclination towards the game is an outcome of the football-friendly environment in our district,” said Ratan Engti, a Karbi Anglong Sports Association member.