Thank You, India!

Nov 15, 2010
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For a while it seemed India would never get the show on the road, but there is now much to be proud of how it pulled off the Commonwealth Games.

It’s not easy to sit on an Indian train and write a piece for your blog. The ping-pong sounds, thanks to the smart kids, the waiter’s call and so many other reasons to get you distracted! But let me rewind some moments that I have not shared with you! (onboard Guwahati-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express)

The last couple of months have been a very eventful one. Lady Gaga was seen in a dress made of meat, someone imposed himself as the biological father of Michel Jackson’s son and… and Iran president Ahmadinejad called Obama a “terrorist” and even has set up a committee to prove that September 11, 2001 attacks were “sponsored” by the US only!

In the Indian frontier, the media got so much of page 1 “meat” (paneer if you are a veggie) that the editors really had to think, “What should be the appropriate headline today. Last day’s one matches better!”

Scrolling back, I celebrated my birthday on 14th of September with the headline focusing on the Delhi Games. Bashing, dhobi-wash, punching, kicking… rather “alphabetically murdering” Suresh Kalmadi for the mess! The negative cloud and with that the satire bubble came in to haunt the Games. The government washed hands with new committees only to find that the Games Village, that was promised to be the best in the history of the Games, really looked like a Chappra* district village.

Mess continued and with the broken flyovers and footbridges; hopes, emotions and promises and the self pride took a beating. Some uncles and aunties changed their quotas from cattle class to business class and the Swiss bank manager’s phone call came in, “Sir, please update your pass-book. We are sorry to say that you should come in person to get a new pass-book. We require five more books to completely print your transaction. You are doing huge! Thank you for banking with us!”

Media got more fodder as the beds for the athletes were found broken and the infamous sting operation! The foreign media, too, knows how to do a sting operation in India! Local bodies came up – to support the Games. Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere became the battleground.

Come October 3rd, all the myths got cleared; not just because the opening ceremony was a spectacular show; but because the Delhities and the people of India in general showed the ultimate class. We might travel cattle class, but we are more human than most human – yes we are.


108 Many hiccups marred the somewhat tumultuous preparation process for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games.


109 It was a glorious end to the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.


Pakistan got the loudest of the cheer, just after Indian contingent and that calls for a “Thank You India”

Pakistan got the loudest of the cheer, just after Indian contingent and that calls for a “Thank You India”… No anchor, no announcer had to plead, “Please get up it’s the national anthem playing”. None had to say that, so, “Thank You India” for all the love that you have shown. Even people stood up when Kenyan Anthem was played twice during the prize distribution of marathon on the final day.

A website/blog that I have been reading for some time now, The Scoop Times, it pleaded people before the Games not to indulge in criminal activities and target the foreigners as sex “material”. I must say, “Thank You India” as none such incident was reported.


110 Sonia Ganhi, head of India's current ruling coalition - the United Progressive Alliance - conveys a namaste at the opening of the Commonwealth Games. (All photos from: Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games)


P.Chidambaram a year back asked the Delhities to be better-behaved. Seems it worked. Delhi is warm – not just the temperature (it’s hot actually) and the lovely ladies (hotter!) but the emotions as well.

The Delhi Games were organised as a perfect Indian wedding – hotchpotch till the end! But the warmth shown by Delhi will definitely be missed in Glasgow or even further. Delhi did it in style, India did it in style. The “kuch nahi hoga iss desh ka” types common man and “ho jayega dheere dheere” politicians were proved wrong – no not by Suresh Kalmadi and nor by Sheila Dikshit and nor even by Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh or Sonia Gandhi or Laloo Prashad!

It’s the optimist medal winners, it’s the sportspersons and it’s the Indian faith that did the wonders. It’s time to bask at the glory… Thank You, the Indian Attitude, you won! Thank You, the Indian love, emotions, drama and the warmth!


This post was originally published on Life’s in October 2010.