I enjoyed watching the spectacular show put together by the CWG organizers for its opening ceremony. The unity in diversity theme was depicted with colors and chaos.
I tweeted a lot during the show, mostly because I was excited on how the show was unfolding with surprises (Not really coz DD aired it with a delay and the rest of the world was watching it ahead of us with tweets).
I tuned into DD at 6PM IST, only to see two folks chatting over tea. Back at 7PM and the show started.
The camera showed the stadium from different angles.
“This is a bird’s eye view of the Nehru Stadium New Delhi ” Proclaimed the commentator. What the viewers saw was a camera placed on a lower ground facing up to the sky. May be the bird was resting at a seat.
“The crowd is all here cheering ” said the commentator and the camera showed couple of empty seats !
It all started with the aerostat being lifted from the ground and the crowd cheering. DD commentator was repeating the word ‘balloon’ couple of times. Guess the only helium floating thing he would seen before would be the helium baloon at a festival.
And then the drummers arrived. The display of various drums including the Nadan Chenda from my state was awesome. The commentator found it difficult to name each one of them. So he waited…….. and then the little ustad arrived from nowhere.
“TABALA” said the commentator. Hell we know it already. thought the viewers.
Many tweeted asking the commentator to shut up. Well see, he is not reading your tweets, he was busy checking all the Common Wealth countries on Wikipedia.
Then it was time for the teams to arrive. Australia came first. The crowd cheered may be because their cricket team was not there. Then one after the other, the teams were welcomed with a lady in saree in front leading them.
Commentator “Different sarees”.Women were busy checking if they repeated any saree. Men were busy checking out the ladies.
We could hear some paper shuffling (like when you call in for a telephonic interview), I guess the commentator was looking at his papers to describe each country.
“This country is one of the most…..underdeveloped country in the commonwealth” he said. Well that is sure a good thing to say when you welcome someone.
St Kitts and Nevis arrived. He didn’t bother to describe them. May be he thought that the local church came in with their contingent. Indians across the globe wondered who they are. Singapore came in and the crowd cheered. I guess most of them are waiting for their visas, or just came back from their honeymoon (well its cheaper to fly to singapore than for a trip to Delhi from South India).
There were some countries (whom noone has heard about before) came in with very few folks. There was the saree gal and then the flag bearer.
Pakistan came in and the crowd cheered, although the Mallus across the globe did not like the fact that a girl in Kerala Saree was leading them.
Second Punjab AKA Canada came in. The crowd cheered. The crowd was just waiting for .. yes India.
And finally the host came in. The crowd (I mean the Indian contingent) walked in. The crowd (stadium) cheered with a standing ovation. Wait a min, thought the viewers do we really have that many atheletes?? Oh no. its the ‘see off’ effect. Let me explain, when we are travelling all our relatives come with us to the railway station. There would be 10 people to see off just one person. (The new Logan ad).
So the Indian team came in with their Chaccha Chacchi, niece, cousin, neighbor’s puppy and Juhi Chawla. The crowd cheered.
DD started off with their ad show. Well this was their only moment in history (after cable TV came to India) that they have had many viewers. And they milked the cow. And they delayed the live program. Kalmadi delayed the construction, Doordarshan did its part.
The baton was handed over to Prince Charles. Charles looked at the baton and thought ‘wait a min there is no fire ! ‘
Kalmadi came up on stage and started speaking in English (just to let you know) and the crowd booed. He smiled. I guess he thought the crowd is cheering, with all the facial hair his ability to hear was tampered.
Kalmadi : “Former President Abdul Kalam Azad” and read out his lines without the fullstops.
MMS was up next speaking in English. He paused. Paused. Pause.
Finally Prince Charles came and spoke in his language. Read out the queens message and quickly ran off to his seat. Ms Patil was next….
Patil : “Let………….”
Crowd : Clap Clap
Patil : “Let…………. ”
Crowd : Clap Clap
Patil : “LET ME FINISH……………..Let the games begin”
and so it began.
“The Indian Railways” Said the commentator.
“The indian Railways”
“is expected to arrive shortly” said the commentator. And then there was chaos. Indians understood the chaos, not sure about the rest of the world. It was great fun to watch the train.
AR Rahman was wearing a white pair of sneakers just in case he has to make the run if people did not like his tweaked new CWG song. The song was over and many asked “Is that the CWG theme song”
Yes its the CWG song.
“Jai Ho” bought an end to the show. And everyone missed Shera.
Well he died due to poisoning at Banneghatta National park last week.
Note : Some of the comments from the commentator were edited for this post.