Less than two weeks to go. Teams from some Countries are already here. Is Indian ready - for what is easily one of the biggest events she has ever hosted in her history? An show that every Country would pride itself in putting up. A show that every guest attending would remember for a long, long time...
Less than two weeks to go. Construction in stadia and the games village is still incomplete. And whatever is supposedly complete - some towers in the games village which houses the living apartments for the participating teams - have been clearly and unambiguously been certified as 'un livable'. Because animals are roaming around inside apartments and 'shitting' on top of the beds. Electrical systems are faulty and therefore there is danger to life.
Yesterday, a foot bridge meant to be used by the team members and officials collapsed, injuring 23 people.
A foreign journalist manages to purchase explosives - enough to organise 200 different explosions, stuff all of that into a large suitcase, and then slips in, into the games premises. So much so, for security, two days after a firing incident in which two foreigners were injured, and the message from a terrorist organisation clearly stating that the Games will be targeted.
Amongst all this, the Organising Committee, The Minister for Urban Development remain shamelessly unfazed. Jaipal Reddy termed the bridge collapse as a 'minor incident'. In his definition any incident in which people didn't die, is minor !
Bhanot - a senior office bearer of the Organising Committee dismisses the mess in the games village by stating the standards of hygiene are different for Indians and foreigners. Let me ask him - how would his Indian sensibilities respond when he checks in, into a hotel or a guest house, and finds dog poop right on top of the bed? Or when female members of his family look out of the window and see the staff urinating in front of their eyes? Is all of that fine with him, because he is Indian?
Indian hosted the Asian Games in 1982. And we put up a damn good show, by any standards, thanks to an organising committee who were bothered about India's reputation and prestige. The OC was led by Rajiv Gandhi and supported by two of his everyday political supporters - Arun Nehru and Arun Singh.
The story goes that one evening, just two or three days before the games were to begin, they got to know that the roof of one of the stadia was leaking. The three of them mobilised a team, and stood guard the whole night, and left only when the problem was fixed.
Twenty eight years have passed between then and now. And the extent to which our character, values and sense of responsibility as a Nation, has eroded is evident to one and all.
While all of us wait and watch, what's left now is one by one, teams will take a decision and not attend the Commonwealth Games 2010, because they are being hosted by India- a land, where a guest is supposed to be regarded as God.