There are those that love it and those that hate it. But everyone's got something to say about the vuvuzela, if not the World Cup
Like them or hate them, it seems we can't do without them! FIFA 2010 has come to be as much about the noisy vuvuzelas as about the nail-biting matches and the only way to escape the cacophony is by hitting the mute button.
And while there are a large number of people who cannot bear the very mention of the word, there are a whole lot of others who have taken to the vuvuzela, now considered FIFA's favourite memorabilia.
Joshua Samuel, a 15-year-old who plays football for his school says: “I think the vuvuzela is simply awesome. I'm aware that a lot of people hate it but what would a football match be like without all the noise. The vuvuzela just facilitates cheering a team or expressing appreciation when a goal is scored in an innovative way.”
He adds: “I'm so into the match that the noise doesn't disturb me but for the players on field, while it could be a distraction, they know they're expected to be attentive so it shouldn't be that big a nuisance.”
Neha Ranbhise, a district-level football player in Pune says: “It's funny how when you're engrossed in the game, your focus is just the match. Everything else is shut out or blurred and the sound of the vuvuzela just seemed to mingle with the noise the rest of the crowd is making.”
Eighteen-year-old Caroline Augustus finds that “they're cute and colourful and for someone who is just watching a match because everyone else is, the vuvuzela is fascinating.”
Sneha Wadhwa, a student of literature argues: “Why should anyone have a problem with the vuvuzela? It's a part of the African tradition and sporting culture so it should be given its due respect. And despite it being loud, if the authorities haven't officially banned its use, we shouldn't waste our time deciding if the vuvuzela must stay or not.”
On the other hand, there are people like MBA student Suneil Gupta who thinks: “Apart from the vuvuzela sounding like a swarm of angry bees, during a game, one should live off the crowd's emotions, unlike now, when one is just forced to listen to this annoying sound.”
Software Engineer Dilip George says: “If only they weren't as loud as they are, or if they were blown only at some specific time during the match, it wouldn't be so much of an irritant.”
For those who watch TV as a family, there is another problem to deal with. “My son, wife and I are crazy about football. We tend to ignore the blaring noise but my ageing mother cannot bear the commotion and the visuals stop making sense to her. So we either have to watch the match on mute or switch off the TV, which is even worse!” says Rajesh Kumar, a businessman. Health issues are a major concern thanks to the vuvuzela. Known to cause induced hearing loss and also found to be a catalyst in spreading the flu, the raucous horn has been criticised by health experts.
However, irrespective of the mixed reactions that the vuvuzela has received from the masses, one thing remains. Just like the Mexican Wave (remember la Ola Mexicana?) gained worldwide notice since the 1986 FIFA World Cup, the vuvuzela is one thematic object that will go down in the history of sports.