The past few weeks were filled with negativity, when we were relentlessly fed news on all that is wrong with the Commonwealth games. Falling roofs, broken bridges, dirty rooms, flooded village and what not! The same 10 second clipping and 3-4 photos were rotated on the airwaves for weeks. We all thought this is going to be a shame like no other. There was not a single news on the big arenas and the truely exciting parts of the village(which is more than 95% of the village if the comments from the visiting athletes are to be believed). Not to forget the criticism that they unleashed on A.R.Rahman and his theme song. Later, the same channels were hailing the same song when he trimmed 1 minute out of it. Speaks a lot on their musical knowledge! It was one sided journalism of the worst kind as these media groups went on to tarnish our image very badly on the world stage. Kalmadi and co deserves to be punished, Agreed! But using that to spin stories and gain viewership is an equally condemnable crime. Sensing that the public had begun to see through the truth, the channels did show some positive news on the games over the last 2-3 days. But that doesn't wash away their sins.
Its amidst this huge wave of negativity that the grand show that India put up at the CWG opening ceremony gains significance. It may not match the mind numbing show put up by China for the Beijing olympics. But, we did show the world what we can in our own inimitable way. The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Delhi witnessed a spectatular show of Indian culture and arts. Starting with the Indian national anthem, for which the 60,000 crowd stood up in rapt attention, the games were declared open by Prince Charles, with Prathibha Patil saying 'Let the Games begin'. It was ironic in a way that both these persoalities are just puppets without any say in their own country's affairs. And, the importance accorded to the British monarchy is puke worthy. The heavy percussion display that followed featured artists fromthe length and breadth of India and must have made the stadium basement shake. The young kid playing the Tabla was wonderful.
The highlight of the show was the Aerostat, the big helium balloon that towered over the stadium. It was an integral part of all the shows with rolling photos, titles and sometimes morphing itself to suit the various situations, most notably when it became the leaves and branches of the giant bodhi tree. Almost worthy of the 40 odd crores spent on it. The swagatham song sung by Hariharan and choreographed by a host of young kids was a delight. The impromptu drawing of giant mehndi on white sheets by these kids looked magical. The march past of the athletes, an otherwise boring affair, was lit up by the loud cheers that the Indian audience reserved for the Pakistani contigent. A true spectacle, that! Hope the foolish guys across the borders learn some lessons on peace and harmony atleast at this late hour. The minute Kalmadi came to deliver his speech, the channel was changed. Later, I heard that the guy was booed. Serves him right.
'The great Indian Journey', the show put up by Indian railways was the best of the whole show. Modelled as a big train, each of the wagons showed one scene common to Indian streets. Thus there were cycle repair shops, chilly bhaji vendors, bangle shops, swamijis, beautiful ladies, politicians during election time etc in each of the wagons. A great display of earthy Indian culture by India's best bet for travelling, the Indian railways. Another great show was the one showcasing yoga. A host of yogis performed various asanas around the huge bodhi tree, accompanied by soul lifting music. Then there was the dance show which introduced to the world, India's various dance forms like mohiniyattam, kuchipudi, kathak, Odissi etc. Maybe, they could've thrown in a show about the new resurgent India. But, no one is complaining! And to top it all, we had A.R.Rahman himself singing the CWG theme song. I still can't understand the mindset of those 'musical pundits' who called this a bad song. Rahman followed it up with a rousing performance of 'Jai ho'. And thus, the curtains went up on the Delhi common wealth games. Now, Let the games begin! And let positivity reign!
PS- I still don't understand the purpose of the commonwealth games. Leave out the 'brotherhood, friendship and all that shit through sports' answer that we always get. The games seems to be a kind of saluting the same monarchy that all these 70 odd countries once drove away from their own countries. Was Kalmadi trying an one fingered salute when he stole all those thousands of crores?:P God only knows!
BTW, the losers at BBC have already put up a negative article after the opening ceremony. These guys seems to be envious and is trying hard to spoil the picture.
your crusader Praveen