The poster girl of Indie Cinema, Konkona Sen Sharma is back in a ‘never-heard-before’ avatar with her newest podcast “Barefoot Boys” on Luminary, the largest subscription-based podcasting and audio network to have set foot in India.
Celebrating India’s most legendary football win that you’ve likely never been familiar with, in 1912, India, a land where Cricket is a religion, defeated Britain in an iconic, historical match. Football fans should take note of this win when 11 underdogs, indomitable, barefooted men played the most dramatic, electrifying match Indian football has ever witnessed to date. The podcast follows the story of how the team came to be, and the cultural and social context in which the match was played in Colonial India leading up to the iconic win in 1911. Unafraid to go toe-to-toe with their colonizers, they showed a country what freedom felt like–long before its citizens were free. Amid the raging hostility between Indians and Brits, when the country was fighting for Independence, an unassuming Bengali football team beat all odds, and defeated their colonizers’ team, emerging as a national symbol of victory.
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Actor and filmmaker, Konkona Sen Sharma regales every backstory and fascinating detail as the narrator, bringing to life the biggest pre-independence sporting win which is “not in textbooks”. The show also throws light on Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari ‘Father of Indian Football’ who marked India’s debutant kick to a football in Calcutta.
A proud Bengali herself, Konkona Sen Sharma shares, “I am always drawn towards stories of unsung heroes because I place myself with them. Their unlikely wins and the unlikely successes that are so big-hearted resonate well with me.
In fact, when the show came to me, I was immediately drawn towards it and remember instantly telling my manager that I had to do it, let’s make that happen! I was so pleased that a story from my hometown, from my growing up years, a part of my identity, culture, and upbringing was coming to a platform that was accessible to everyone pan-India and even internationally. Also, what appealed to me was that it’s not just about football but also about our history that ties back to our freedom struggle, and conversation about it is the need of the hour more than before today, for us to come together as Indians.
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Personally speaking, I find the podcast so inspirational because it is an underdog story. I am usually wary of putting my faith in the powers that be – in what we inherit as powerful or having authority. It is important to think critically, to expand our horizon to see where we can draw our inspiration from and it’s not always where the big money or the power is or where the authority lies.”
With two episodes released, the backstory, Indian football’s glorious days, and the final win of the ‘Barefoot Boys’, listeners will be in for a treat to get their ‘ears’ on some of the most powerful stories from across India and the world on the largest subscription-based podcasting and audio network-Luminary.