The Common Wealth Games 2010 have been an emotional journey for Indians – we’ve been anxious, enraged, desperate, doubtful, optimistic, surprised, awed, thankful, excited, nervous, exhilarated, proud, very proud.
Just before the Games started, many of us were hanging on with dear life to the hope and fact that we wait until the very last minute to execute things, but with all the media bashing and the pessimism it created the world over, it was a long shot. Some of us logged out of Facebook, stopped buying newspapers, unplugged the TV and refused to talk about ‘it’ (think Gandhiji’s 3 monkeys)!
Then the day came, and like a pre-mature baby, a tad too soon. We went to the newly-built stadium to cheer the Opening Ceremony, praying to all our gods that nothing will collapse. We tuned in to our TV broadcast, our nails bitten right up to the skin. We opened our Twitter streams, ready to defend our honor. We felt like we feel on a Monday morning.
But none of it lasted.
We were awed by the Opening Ceremony, the spectacle that it was, it’s energy, vibrancy, spirit, colors, the way it depicted the country that India really is. And how proud it made us feel. We made it trend on Twitter, so the entire world could see the heart of India. We cheered till our throats were dry, and then cheered more. Perhaps a more obvious indication of our success is the very positive coverage by the Indian media!
The following days were even more nerve-wrecking and thrilling, this time to see the unprecedented performance of Team India in the sporting arena. I could write a 100 lines about how undaunted the performance of our athletes was, but the video below will say it much better. Hold your breath and put your hands together…
The CWG exemplifies two extremes – on one end, the amount of talent that resides in India and the sheer potential of the country to pull off an event of such magnitude on such a skewed timeline, and on the other, the corruption that still plagues, threatens and gnaws at our system. Of course, I can’t help but say that the Indian media is in a league by itself. The media has brought shame to us (abated by the actual Games) and to itself (unabated), much as our notorious organizing committee. It might be interesting, perhaps even somewhat relieving and amusing, to know that it’s not just India’s media that’s up to no good at all:
Yesterday’s CWG Closing Ceremony was showered with complements to India’s hospitality, facilities and arrangements, comparing them to the best in the world. We pass over the CWG Baton to Glasgow, Scotland, knowing in our hearts that we have achieved what we set out to do. Undoubtedly, we have a long way ahead of us, but we’ve taken our first step into the world. We have arrived, with pride on our faces and warmth in our hearts. Are you ready for this land we call India?