I grew up waking up to the echoes of tennis ball, hitting the hard court, Geoffrey Boycott’s chuckle and perpetual cricket test matches being religiously played on my parents living room television set(much to my mother’s chagrin). I am the nerd who ceremoniously waits for 4 years for Olympics to happen and burst into tears of joy when Abhinav Bindra scores a 10.8 in his final shot. Sports have been an inherent part of my being and commencement of Common Wealth Games (CWG) on Indian soil was naturally a matter of pride and much joy. Little did I know that instead of being excited about the games (which by the way are less than 2 weeks away) I will be venting out my anger about the colossal mess they are now.
I banished the initial uproar about the procrastination and controversies surrounding the games to the corner of my brain designated for things I don’t want to think/talk about. Hoping that everything will eventually fall in place. I kept piling up the shameless debacles over time and now, my brains buffer is full, rather overflowing. I can’t help it. I must rant!
It all started with the corruption charges, which was no surprise to me. I accepted it as a reality. I did hope that they will at least have the decency to deliver what had been promised or at least most of it. Not even an iota, I wouldn’t feel comfortable visiting the games myself after a series of roofs and bridges collapsed on people’s head. The CWG federation president Fennel gave the conditions of the games village a swift “D”, followed by various participating countries. Many top athletes have already pulled out of the games. Mother nature has not been cooperative either, there are concerns about Dengue outbreak due to recent rains. To add fire to the fuel, two tourists managed to get shot in Delhi giving rise to a new rhetoric about safety concerns and possible terrorist attacks. Is there a thing that didn’t go wrong?
So, what do people in charge of the event have to say? According to them every thing is fine and all these issues are blown way out of proportion. In words of Delhi’s Chief minister Sheila Dixit “These rooms are clean to both you and us. However it may not appear so to some others. They want certain standards in hygiene and cleanliness which may differ from our perception“. This is more than a farce and have permanently tainted India’s image and capabilities for hosting any event of the sorts.
6 billion dollars later, it is still indecisive if we will be able to continue with the games. Australia has offered to step in and host the games . I can’t decide what is more shameful, letting them host it or try to pull it off ourselves with problems that refuse to recede? I am disheartened less as a sport enthusiast but more as an Indian. At this point, I do not even hope for a miracle. The little hope I had collapsed with the last bridge. I am drowning in shame and the only thing that lets me come up to surface is the incense I am filled with.