Tuesday, September 21, 2010


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 fiancĂ©e 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.


  1. Aah! Forget about managing the CWG games. They can't even manage to hide their corruption. Its showing everywhere. :)

  2. its really disgracefull..and yet no one is ready to accept the faults...they are reall arrogant..u r true what u said

  3. Excellent, heartfelt post, and I have to admit that I'm visiting your blog after a long hiatus.

    On the bright side, the organizers of the Commonwealth Games have ensured that for the first time, the entire world cares about the Commonwealth Games. (I am being sarcastic of course)

    I for one, will be much happier when this fiasco ends.

  4. I am getting tired of writing about CWG, and am worried that things will probably get worse in the days to come. My biggest worry is not whether bridges and stadiums will hold (I hasten to add that I fully understand and respect your concern for your daughter). I am worried about what is going to happen AFTER the Games. Even if some kind of enquiry is conducted, there are so many agencies involved that it will be easily possible for them to pass the blame around endlessly. Authorities have already made downright insensitive and irresponsible statements (Kalmadi, Dixit, Bhanot, Reddy... the list is endless) to defend the recent incidents. Just imagine what will happen once the Games are over?
    And yes, I remember Asiad '82 as clearly as if it had happened yesterday. The sense of pride and excitement was palpable everywhere. Just compare the mascots. Appu became a household name in India. And now? Games are less than a fortnight away, does anyone even mention Sheroo? Appu symbolized a unifying force. Sheroo might just end up symbolizing the opposite.

  5. I feel it should be called off...terrorism, rain, Yamuna floods, incompetence, Indian Standard Time...do we need any more reasons?

  6. I think the CWG will go forth. There may be hiccups along the way. But it will take place. Then there might be probes into some of the corruption charges. And after a few years, the media will tire of this and everything will be forgotten.

  7. Hi!
    first time to your blog! and its impressive, am following you!

    CWG, i think even God cannot help our country in this. And ah, ur child had to go for rehearsals there? God! so irresponsible of them.


  8. Looks like the disgraceful incidents have caused some heads to turn,
    let’s hope everything move in the right direction at least from now on…
    However, if the authority can take the brunt of criticism and ignominy they should postpone it and punish the guilty…