Life after CWG

Rupa Gulab

And so we've moved from the embarrassment of filthy toilets and friendly mongrels with muddy paws in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) village to better, more inspiring things, whew. This is one long saga that fortunately had a happily-ever-after ending. Even so, if anyone dares to cheerfully suggest that we must make a bid to host the Olympics in India in the near future, I will promptly gag that person and ruthlessly squash him like a cockroach. 

I'm with senior Congress leader Manishankar Aiyar on this - I would much rather that my taxes were spent on developing the parts of India that are not shining. Also, all that bickering and sniping, and those creepy racist comments and being on our best behaviour, made me feel very, very exhausted indeed. No more finicky guests please - not in my lifetime at least, I beg you. 

But back to my earlier optimistic frame of mind. Here are some of the things that made me feel good:

A gigantic dinosaur was recently discovered in India. Oddly enough, it was still alive - well, just about barely. Yes, I'm talking about Doordarshan. It crackled to life in our homes thanks to the CWG - heck, we had no choice but to turn it on. After the grand opening ceremony (and what a spectacular show it was, my countrymen - I'm still stunned) we hastily put it off again. However, when we suddenly noticed that Indian sportspeople were putting on a show that was quite as spectacular and heart-warming as the opening ceremony, we had no choice but to turn it on again out of desperation. As a result, Doordarshan has probably raked in more gold than our triumphant sportspeople. The channel got so excited at the opportunity to earn money for a change that it took on as many sponsors as it could.  The ad segments were so tediously long, I even managed to bake a sponge cake during one break alone. It was light and fluffy when it was done, in case you're interested. But it felt good watching Doordarshan again - I'm not kidding. Okay, so it's not as slick as our other private channels, but at least their anchors don't scream and shout in an outraged manner every single second. Such a relief!

We can now look forward to fresh faces on our TV screens, hooray! Move over clichéd cricket gods and boring Bollywood icons, all the Indian stars of the CWG are worthy enough to sell us colas, cars and shampoos instead. They're not just talented, they're really good looking too - anyone who saw the Indian contingent march into the stadium during the opening ceremony will second my rather gushing statement. I hope advertising agencies are queuing up to sign them on. Really, I'm quite looking forward to seeing bare-chested wrestlers instead of a bare-chested Salman Khan during ad breaks - their bodies are way better than his, to begin with! Hopefully, they'll all earn enough money as brand icons to get even better training in the future and do India proud at the next Olympic Games. Fingers crossed!

Finally, in case you think (or wearily hope) that I've forgotten a certain Mr Suresh Kalmadi, the answer is no! He got a lot of jeers, but in all fairness he deserves a few cheers as well. And in all fairness again, I absolutely insist that the charges of corruption levelled against his team must be probed thoroughly. Let's not forget that a roll of toilet paper cannot cost Rs 4,000. Not anywhere on Planet Earth, that's for sure! The process has begun and it's proving to be about as thrilling as the games themselves, what with visibly shocked TV reporters thrusting incriminating letters towards the camera for extremely tight close-up shots. I have to admit that I have not understood a word beyond "Dear Sir", but what the heck! I'm sure all the Blackberry boys (and girls) understand starchy corporate speak. Rest assured at the end of the probe I'll get my Blackberry-wielding husband to explain it all to me in child-speak. The cynic in me says that heads of VIPs probably won't roll, but at least we'll know which shoddy builders, gym equipment suppliers and greedy toilet paper manufacturers to avoid like the plague.

This story is from the print issue of Hardnews: NOVEMBER 2010