Thousands of people picked up the morning paper in disbelief and I was one of those parents who incredulously thanked destiny. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was supposed to host the first complete rehearsal of the opening ceremony today morning and my daughter was among the thousand youngsters who would have walked over the ill-fated pedestrian bridge after disembarking from the buses provided by the CWG organising committee. I picked up the paper with trembling hands and read about how this large pedestrian bridge connecting the parking area and the stadium had collapsed yesterday, critically injuring 27 workers and one engineer.
I have really tried to embrace the upcoming CWG with graciousness and joy. I have bought tickets for many of the events. To get into the spirit of things I ask all young MBAs who apply to my firm to name three Commonwealth countries. Sadly, the five girls I have interviewed last week could only name India! I have sponsored and organised police verification for all my staff. I have watched the maid and worker populace diminish as the migrant workforce has been banished from the vicinity of the Rajdhani. The kid is perennially tired with practice and the newly scheduled opening ceremony practice will now make her miss her fresher’s party where too she had a part in a play. Cest a vie....
Remember the time we hosted the Asian Games? We were a country that had humility and graciousness and not the arrogance that we now possess. Lalit Bhanot, the OC secretary general says westerners have a different standard of hygiene than Indians and refuses to admit lapses in the preparedness of the athlete’s village even as the Embassies of various countries send squads to clean up the premises. Twenty years ago I had to postpone my engagement for over six months and compromise on the ring since my fiancée had sheepishly spent the money he had saved on a colour television to watch the Asian Games.
People are angry and ashamed at the disgrace we are facing on the international arena with our state of preparedness. Indians are gracious hosts and the organisers should have to face the repercussions of such lapses in preparedness. I recently met a lady who used to be a neighbour and has now moved to a farm house; the family has built a few of the stadia for the games. It is nice to know that not everyone is suffering due to the CWG.