E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: The Commonwealth Games (CWG) is scheduled to be held in New Delhi this year from October 3.
If the bullock cart track dished out by Delhi district cricket association (DDCA) for the Ferozshah Kotla pitch for the ODI match against Sri Lanka is any indication, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit must be getting the jitters daily.
If the Kotla pitch created a ‘great embarrassment’ for the country as described by Union sports minister M.S. Gill, who knows what is in store for the CWG stadia and infrastructure.
Let’s go around Delhi with DD commentators for their status updates.
‘Hello! This is Sunit Tandon welcoming you for a bird’s eye-view of the CWG site. We are standing in front of the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium.
“For those who do not know, there are in all seven, I repeat seven, Jawaharlal Nehru stadiums in the country, in Cochin, Madras, Poona, Indore and Guwahati. Seven more are under construction, and there will in all be 20 by AD 2020.
“Right now we are talking about the one in New Delhi, which was originally built in 1982 for the Asian Games and which has been completely dug up now for the CWG.
“The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium will host both the opening and closing ceremonies. There is now a new plan to dig a deep hole in the centre of the stadium from which artistes will jump to ground level doing various dances of India. Kathak, Odissi and Bharatnatyam dancers are practicing round the clock. India’s glorious past and future will unravel before thousands in the stadium and millions all over the world. We are more concerned with the dances than athletics right now.”
Now over to Komal G.B. Singh at the Thyagaraja stadium.
“Thank you Sunit. I am here with the chief minister Sheila Dikshit who is increasingly getting more and more nervous. Madamji has already swallowed 10 anti-worry tablets since morning .
“We are at the Thyagaraja Stadium where the netball events will take place. The coordination committee (Cocum) will be here any minute for inspection. There is no sign of Suresh Kalmadiji yet. His mobile is switched off and he is just not traceable. As we speak, Madamji ne aur ek goli khayi. I hope he makes his appearance at least for the sake of CMji, if not for the games.
“The mascot for the XIX CWG—Shera—is ready and his photographs have been displayed all over the City in Connaught circus, Parliament, Khan and INA markets, the Indira Gandhi international airports, etc.
“Somebody has taken Shera’s picture with iron rods and cement bags and cranes in the background and he is hardly visible! Shera looks more like a scarecrow! Only God knows when the cement bags and iron rods will turn into a stadium.”
Now, over to Brig. Chittaranjan Sawant.
“Thank you Komal. Good you brought God into this since it is on everybody’s lips here. Even CWG astrologers are giving different days when asked when the stadiums will be ready. Our Sports Minister has agreed to say a few words to us.
“Sir, how is the preparation for the games going on?”
“Brig, I think we started our work a bit late as celebrations on being awarded the CWG went far too long. We got the games mainly because of the scintillating dance by our Bollywood stars and the presence of our star cricketers. No, I don’t remember whether our best athlete to date, P.T. Usha, was there at the baton exchange function at London, but Sania Mirza definitely was.”
‘Thank you Mantriji.
Now over to Sadhana Srivastava who is at Siri Fort.
“Thank you Brigadier saab. We have some Breaking News. Suresh Kalmadi has been located at last. Kalmadiji, would you like to say something?”
“I have no doubt that we will complete all the works on time. The problem is the Cocum delegates are already here to test with their fingers to check if the paints have dried. It is rather early for such tests.
“I do not know whether we are inviting P.T. Usha to the CWG. But there will be Katrina Kaif, Kapil Dev, Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor. I have requested BCCI not to hold cricket matches during the CWG games days so that the entire Indian cricket team and Bollywood will be present at the inaugural and closing events to make it a grand cultural success. I have no doubt about it.”
“Thank you Kalmadiji; now we have some idea as to why Sheilaji is getting more and more nervous with each passing day. Over to the studios of DD.”
* Any resemblance between headline, picture and copy is entirely accidental and unintentional.