You know you are in the midst of a FIFA World Cup, when you see people in polyester jerseys in the middle of Mumbai's merciless mercury, when football songs are played on Hindi radio stations and when there's a family feud because everyone supports different teams.

Saira (L) and Simran (R). Pic/Satyajit Desai
Saira (L) and Simran Shankardass (R). Pic/Satyajit Desai

Football has a different meaning for everyone in our family. For dad, it's the chance to bond with us over the sport that he grew up playing. For mum, it's early morning practice and groans over mud-caked gear. For us, it is our beloved sport that we've been playing for as long as we can remember.

We are especially excited about this year's tournament because over the years we have come to understand the game a lot better. We were first introduced to 'soccer' at 6, when we lived in the United States. Then we moved back to India, and were thrilled to find that 'football' was a sport offered to girls in Indian schools too.

(This was not the case a few years ago.) We are now in the 8th grade and have played on our school team at the interschool and district levels. It has been great, we've learned so much and made some great friends. We were lucky enough to go to a couple of Major League Soccer games in the USA.

It was exhilarating. Every play, every pass, every player was exciting. Today, as we watch television, we can only imagine how incredible it would be, to actually be in the stadium at a FIFA match, surrounded by cheering, football crazy fans. This time, we are of course, content with watching the game with our football crazy friends on a huge flat-screen TV. On the positive side? At least it is easier easy to get popcorn refills!

At home, we are all rooting for different teams, dad for Argentina, mum for whichever team David Beckham plays for (we might have forgotten to mention that he retired), and we both like Brazil. A lot of people think that this is Brazil's year, after all, they're on home turf, and Brazil isn't called O Pais do Futeball (The Country of Football) for nothing.