Footballer C V Seena is a person who conquered her life with grit and determination.
She comes from a society which asks ‘do women play football?’. But her determination led her to the Indian Women’s football team.
Seena opens up about her experience of being selected for the Indian football team and much more.
‘The selection process for the Indian football team was on at Sports Authority of India (SAI), Kolkata. Of the 90 members, 20 were selected. The list of those selected came out at night. When it was read out, my name was read out first. I broke into tears on hearing it. Seven of us were selected that day. They could not get rid of any of the seven footballers. The only one, perhaps, who could be out was me. They were not very keen as I am from South India. I had cried that much when my mother passed away. The next time I shed so much tears was when I got selected to the Football team.’
The player in Seena was moulded from her childhood experiences.
‘Being lonely in life is very sad. I am a person who has experienced so much loneliness. I used to experience it right from my childhood. Mother means a lot to me. I would die for her. I loved her that much. It was when I was in my 4 th or 5 th grade in school, when one day, I came home, I didn't see mom. Somebody said she had gone to a house nearby where a wedding ceremony was underway. I wore the best dress I had and went there looking for my mother. I looked everywhere and could not find her. Later, I saw her behind a heap of dishes to be washed. As I was about to walk back she spotted me. She was washing the dishes. Her eyes gleamed and beckoned me, and said she had kept some leftover meat which was still clean. She told me to have it and share it with my elder brothers. As I have faced such hardships, I can get over difficulties and troubles. No one can stand the sight of their mother lying dead at that time,’ Seena said.
Seena became active in the field of football coaching intending to bring in Indian footballers from each corner of the country. “I have taught the game of football to many. Many of them are coaches. Now, I have started an academy to train students in football. There are 240 students enrolled with the academy. My dream is to mould at least one football player to play for the Indian team,” Seena said, with all hopes in her students.
“We have women players who have played world cup matches. It is just that no one recognizes them,” she added.
Malayalis do not know footballer Seena, but Bengal and Manipur do. In her words, “All the matches played for Bengal are cherished memories. I learnt what football is by playing in that club.”
I dreamt football, learnt it and played it. Now I wish to pass it on to the next generation, Seena says.