Sunday, August 29, 2010

And that's the way Shera roars

Its probably not often that India gets to host large international sporting events of this magnitude. And it does not even involve cricket. So I guess the Commonwealth games is a huge occasion for India. Probably a great opportunity to announce its arrival on to the major sporting stage. To show the world that we are more than a nation of businessmen and IT geeks.Ah well... at least that was the dream. I bet the Chinese are just waiting for us to fail and embarrass ourselves here, and they didn't even have to move a finger.

We got this great opportunity to show that we can do it "bigger" and "better", and we are very close to flushing it straight down the toilet. To begin with the screw-ups, I don't really know if all the facilities would be ready on time. That given a time of nearly 7 years to prepare, is a rather pitiful accomplishment. Of course at every stage, regular assurances were given that things were right on track. I guess the officials took it to be a bridge or road construction contract, which complete at their usual snail's pace. But then again, no one would really cares if a bridge or a road takes for ever to complete, but this situation is different. All the world's eyes are on us right now.

Second of all, wherever there is a lot of money involved, could a shady money scam be any far? Absurd contracts with riduculously huge sums of money. Although the scam did not come as a surprise to most Indians, I assume that it did tarnish the country's image.I personally don't care how much money the politicians, bureaucrats or the businessmen made. But what I care about is that the image of the country has certainly taken quite a beating. Maybe if it was China, they would have been taken out and shot,but being a liberal democracy that is most unlikely. Most probably enquiry commisions will be steup and justice will hopefully be delivered within a highly optimistic time frame of 10 - 15 years.

In all of this pandemonium, the real stars of the event - our sportsmen and sportswomen - have been forgotten. I hope that they too get the lime light... for the right reasons of course, and certainly not for the wrong ones. I wish we can regain some glory by winning a few events and stay clear of doping scandals. That is one more time bomb that could blow up any time.I do wish our under-trained and under-paid sportsperson all the very best, given the overwhelming odds against them.

With a few more weeks to go, I do hope all the tall claims that this is going to be bigger and better than the Beijing olympics,remains to be seen. If not bigger and better, at least it should go through without any hitches. One thing is for sure that the dream of hosting the Olympics, does seem to have been pushed at least a several decades away. And thats the way Shera roars...! Unfortunately it's more of a meeoow right now.