On Aurobindo Marg, near the IIT flyover, there’s bold blue graffiti on the wall that says ‘I hope the games are a disaster’. Smaller, red lettering softens the blow with a hesitant ‘Sometimes’.
Every time I cross that route, whoever is with me guffaws at the sight. Frankly, I think it’s disgusting. It’s one thing to sit in judgment of the heinous crimes that have been committed in the name of the Games, but to laugh while things fall apart, to wait for them to get worse so you can have a more engaging coffee time conversation — that’s just not done.
A friend of mine, who is studying in Europe, sends me emails full of exclamation marks everyday. “What are the Commonwealth people doing!!!!”; “Another building fell down!!!”; “They overcharged on toilet paper! TOILET PAPER!!!” …and on goes his tirade.
Somebody on the Facebook fanpage of the Commonwealth Games website (which, by the way, has 46,191 fans!) posted: “
khud ki izzat bachi nahi, toh desh ki izzat loot li
.” Every newspaper, news channel, comedian and critic is taking pot shots at the Games. I swear, even my dog looks mopey whenever he spots the Games logo.
Tell me, how do any of you know that every country has not suffered jitters of this magnitude before they hosted big sporting events? The world was skeptical about South Africa before FIFA 2010 kicked off. And look, it turned out to be one of the most memorable, if strange, World Cups in history.
There is no doubt that the depth of corruption which has been highlighted is shocking. And, the level of mismanagement is disheartening. But, is it too much to hope that there may be some method in this madness? Call me a fool, but I am still optimistic about the Games. Imagine... the whole of Delhi will come alive in October; the spirit of sportsmanship will enthuse the people, auto
will be kind, and the construction will all be over. How can you not be excited?
Besides, if during Durga Puja you have to suffer traffic jams, at least there won’t be anymore potholes. And, there will be a fully functional metro to get you to the swanky new airport in air-conditioned comfort.
As for all those mysteriously missing crore… “severe and exemplary punishment” will be delivered after the Games. Until then, take a chill pill, guys!