Remembering the voice of Indian Football

Whenever I hear the name Novy Kapadia, two words always come to my mind: knowledge and excitement. That’s what he brought to the table, day after day, decade after decade. Anyone from our generation or the generation(s) before that, who grew up watching Indian Football, would associate his voice with it. Over the years, Indian football lacked many things. Be it world-class infra, academies, or at times even the spectators. But it always had its voice. It had the Novy Kapadia. He could bring joy and excitement to even the dullest of matches.

Another distinctive feature of his commentary was how well versed he used to be with everything, even the nicknames of the players. We would often hear him addressing Subrata Bhattacharya as ‘Bablu Bhattacharya’ or Samaresh Chowdhury as ‘Pintu Chowdhury’. He could go on about the historical events surrounding a club or a tournament without even looking at the books or the notes.

I got the news of his passing while I was in the middle of my evening walk yesterday. And suddenly something struck me. Everyone who has come across him has always said how humble and a great person he was. But during the last few months, he was very lonely, sick, and bedridden. He even expressed his regrets of not getting married and starting a family while he had the chance. The man, who has entertained millions for the last 30+ years through his enthralling voice, didn’t have an ear to talk to during his last few days. Agonizing.

Rest easy there, Novy. You are immortal.