A to Z of the CWG

The Commonwealth Games in Delhi are finally here, and just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock, here’s an A to Z guide to get you up to speed:abhinav-bindra.jpg

A is for Abhinav. India’s first and only individual Olympic gold medalist, Abhinav Bindra may shoot himself to a fifth Commonwealth Games medal and a thousand more marriage proposals.

B is for Bolt. The Jamaican sprinter named Bolt is missing from the Games, but as a safety inspector at a new bridge in Delhi said, “We’re more concerned about any other missing bolts.”

C is for Clean Up. No, not what’s been happening at the athletes’ village in Delhi, but what Indian athletes hope to do on the medal table.

D is for Delays. The Games have been plagued with delays: delayed funding, delayed construction and even delayed corruption.

E is for Efficiency. It was expected to be part of the Games, but like a number of foreign athletes, it didn’t quite make the trip to Delhi. 

F is for Frightened. Some athletes abruptly pulled out of the Games, frightened about what they might experience in Delhi, everything from collapsing bridges to mosquito-borne diseases to hugs from Suresh Kalmadi.

G is for gold. India has won 102 gold medals in the history of the Commonwealth Games, almost as much gold as South Indian actress Rambha wore on her wedding day.

H is for Home Field Advantage. That’s what Indian athletes will enjoy in Delhi: cheering crowds, familiar surroundings and, of course, hugs from Suresh Kalmadi.

I is for Inspire. The Games will bring glory to hundreds of athletes and may inspire the next generation to take up a sport that’s not played with a joystick.

J is for Jung. Shooter Samresh Jung won four medals at the 2002 Games and seven more in 2006, so don’t be surprised if you see a note on a gold medal that says “To be hung on Jung.”

K is for Kalmadi. Chairman of the Organising Committee, Suresh Kalmadi brought the Games to Delhi and was showered with compliments, then people wanted to beat him with implements.
L is for Lara. Tennis doubles ace Mahesh Bhupathi may give spectators a reason to smile, especially if he brings his real partner, Lara Dutta, along.

M is for Money. The price tag of the Games keeps rising — at this rate, it would be cheaper to produce another Rajinikanth film.

N is for Nehwal. Ranked No. 2 in the world, Saina Nehwal is a gold medal favourite in badminton, so quick on her feet that the Games Committee almost scheduled her singles and doubles matches simultaneously.

O is for Opening Ceremony. Prince Charles will be there and so will President Pratibha Patil. One of them will say “Let the games begin” and the other will say “Let the prince shut up. It’s my turn now.”

P is for Pep. The Organising Committee wanted A. R. Rahman to put more pep into his theme song “Oh yaaro, yeh India bula liya”, but there’s only so  much pep that Rs. 5.5 crore can buy.

Q is for Queen’s Baton. On its way to Delhi, the baton traveled through the 71 nations of the former British Empire, where many people were thankful that, unlike some of their forebears, they were carrying, not getting clubbed by, the Queen’s baton.

R is for Rugby 7s. As hosts, the Indian team qualified for rugby 7s for the very first time, giving them a great opportunity to watch the Kiwis running with the ball.
S is for Shera, the mascot of the Games, whose popularity has soared so high that, according to some experts, there hasn’t been this much “tiger mania” in the world since the 1997 Masters.

T is for Tejaswini. Recently crowned world champion in the 50m Rifle Prone event, you can bet that Tejaswini Sawant won’t take losing lying down.

U is for Underdog. Indian athletes will be underdogs in a number of events, but don’t be surprised if they win medals in swimming and gymnastics, especially if Varun, the front desk guy, forgets to give the British team their “wake up” call.

V is for Vijender. A bronze medalist in boxing at the Beijing Olympics, Vijender Singh is determined to prove that Indians can dish out more than just butter chicken.

W is for Wrestling. It’s a big part of the Commonwealth Games and if you don’t believe me, just ask Kalmadi about all the problems he’s been wrestling with.

X is for Xhosa. It’s a language spoken in South Africa, and you can bet that at least one athlete will try to use Xhosa to order a dosa.

Y is for Yamuna River. The athletes’ village has been built along the bank of the Yamuna, triggering fears that the mosquitoes breeding in the river have been trained to attack Aussies and Britons.

Z is for Zany. The controversies and delays that have plagued the Games are certainly zany, but not quite as zany as the western news anchors who got a big thrill whenever they had an opportunity to say “Sheila Dikshit.”

23 thoughts on “A to Z of the CWG

  1. Good one.

    H could have been for Ho Ho. From that inspiring Palash Sen composition where he goes Delhi Ho ho ho ho ho.

    Three months before Christmas, we are already invoking Santa.

  2. Love this!! Great post as usual!!

    Your post is spot on – especially the last paragraph about some Indian names. Some Indian names like “Dikshit” or ” Parikshit”, or “Chi. Sow.” on a South Indian Hindu wedding invitation etc don’t really look so great when spelled out in English.

  3. I just read an article that the high profile South African athlete Caster Semenya has pulled out of the Commonwealth Games. The Commonwealth games have taken a serious hit due to a lack of star power. I am surprised that the big stars are pulling out.

  4. The opening ceremony was grand and excellent. In a way, it pushed into the background all the criticism and cynicism surrounding the games, by its sheer spectacle.

  5. I agree – the opening ceremony was magnificent. It really did push alot of the negativity aside.

    Also interesting to note how overwhelmingly positive the athletes were about the village. Makes you wonder what kind of agenda the media has to consistently show negativity about India and the Games. I don’t think I ever saw any reports on the new airport terminal or the metro. All they could show was a dirty sink and unfinished rooms. Talk about biased reporting! And it turned out to be wrong as the athletes have been quite happy with the village.

    Typical western media – always trying to put the East down!

  6. A lot of the negative press was the Western media trying to keep in its place. A few spongy tiles in a ceiling fell because somebody stepped on it and that was reported as a ceiling collapse. They did the same for China and South Africa during their games. There is a bit of jealousy here and a bit of “know your place”. Another reason is of course sensational news sells.

  7. I agree that the western media was too quick to pounce on any mishaps, such as the ceiling tiles. But I also think the organizers brought some of it on themselves by doing things at the last minute. The athletes’ village should have been sparkling clean at least a month before anyone arrived. Anyway, here’s hoping the rest of the Games go as well as the opening ceremony.

  8. Melvin: The athletes’ village should have been sparkling clean at least a month before anyone arrived.

    Very true. Here though, I think a witch hunt was what happened.

    I used to live in a dorm, where monkeys would occasionally pay visit. To be frank, everything I saw in the “filthy” pictures are telltale signs of a monkey attack. It could very well have been that the morning prior, the whole place was clean, but an hour of raiding by monkeys made it into what was so gleefully paraded by the media.

    I find the whole spectacle disgusting. To me, the delays are annoying. But the “filthy village” and the rest of the drama don’t seem to have much going for them. There is hardly any mention of most athletes today finding the village very good, and of course, not a peep about the delays being mitigated.

    The way I see it, you invite guests. They take every opportunity to humiliate you on flimsy reasons. So my question is, why did we did we even bother? And come on, the commonwealth? Really—why are we even part of it? Did we really spend billions entertaining a set of arrogant a$$holes with a superiority complex when it could be so much better spent on a hundred other things? Seriously!

  9. Why is India even in the Commonwealth? A worthless legacy of the British Empire. There is nothing “common” about the wealth in the Commonwealth. The white Anglo nations are all rich and fully developed while all the colored nations, the ex-colonies of the white Anglos, are all still poor, backward and undeveloped. Proof that colonization by the brits has had long term negative consequences for their victims….

    But the opening ceremony was fun. It was a grand showcase of traditional Indian culture. The music, drums, chanting, dancing, costumes etc were colorful, diverse and entertaining. Above all the section on Yoga was by far the most memorable, the best of show.

  10. The white Anglo nations are all rich and fully developed while all the colored nations, the ex-colonies of the white Anglos, are all still poor, backward and undeveloped.

    Not true of Saudi, UAE, HK, Singapore–please don’t put the ridiculous rule and impoverishment of India anywhere than where it belongs–at the feet of the Gandhi Dynasty.

  11. Ignorant nonsense. Saudi Arabia and UAE weren’t British colonies. And Hong Kong and Singapore are tiny city states.

    The non-white nations of the Commonwealth (ex-colonies of the british empire) together constitute by far the most abjectly impoverished grouping on the planet. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

  12. The non-white nations of the Commonwealth (ex-colonies of the british empire) together constitute by far the most abjectly impoverished grouping on the planet. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    Fake. Lies. Former Spanish and French colonies are on average worse off. At Independece, India was at the GDP/person level close to Korea–the only reason we are now so shamefully behind S. Korea is our dumb Gandhi family crazy leadership.

    • More ignorant nonsense. The former colonies of The French and Spanish empires as a group are nowhere near as hungry and impoverished as India for example. So how do you imagine they are worse off than the former British colonies??

  13. Stick to the topic hand or your comments will be promptly deleted. Repeat offenders banned. Thanks.

  14. Frankly, anyone who claims to be an NRI or an Indian and argues that colonialism was a good thing, makes me sceptical that they are an NRI or an Indian at all. If you have any connection to India (or any pride or self-respect for that matter) at all, this argument is just ridiculous.

    Anyway, India is still number two to Australia in the medals table, ahead of England, no less! Let’s see if they can keep it up!

  15. 28 reasons why the Commonwealth games shouldn’t be held in Australia:

    1. Genocide against indigenous people
    2. War crimes against Japanese POW’s
    3. Proliferation of alien rabbits across pristine ecosphere – destroying native habitat and species
    4. Deadly snakes
    5. Biological warfare against rabbits using myxymatosis virus
    6. Deadly spiders
    7. Baby eating wild dog packs
    8. Deadly jelly fish
    9. Gangs of racist murdering thugs
    10. Gangs of Lebanese thugs
    11. Mistreatment and human rights abuse of Vietnamese boat people
    12. Serial killers preying on tourists
    13. Racist yahoos shooting defenceless kangaroos using spotlights on jeeps
    14. Deadly lizards
    15. Participation in illegal foreign wars (Vietnam, Iraq…)
    16. Deadly rodents
    17. Enforced drought through abuse of natural water resources
    18. Xenophobic attitude in average citizens
    19. Violent and abusive police force
    20. Deadly crocodiles 21.poor air quality due to excessive mining of radio active materials. Danger to athletes’ health.

    22, residue from atmospheric nuclear tests by the British govt 23. wildfires 24. tsunami risk 25. failed project managed on collins sub program reveals aussie weakness in managing large projects on their own 26. poor 2 lane road infra in the interior, crawling with high speed “road train” trucks ignoring all norms

    1. Racist Police
    2. Racist Media