I was apprehensive about the Commonwealth Games. I still am. People told me that the inauguration was terrific. So I watched some videos on Youtube. I think what we saw was fair and decent. Now, that does not absolve corruption. But we'll save "corruption" for a day when there's nothing else to talk about.
What struck me was the "average" Indian crowd. They booed when they felt like it, they clapped and roared when they felt like it - and this behavior was spot on, which makes me an average Indian, if not an over-age one. Kalmadi got his share of boos. Maadi means "do" in Kannada. Kal could mean yesterday or tomorrow in Hindi. Weird - Hindi - that ways. We don't know if KalMaadi did it yesterday or will do tomorrow, now that 2020 Olympic talks are in the air. He's already done shit, the glitz of the opening ceremony notwithstanding.
Back to the topic of the crowds. I can almost feel like Shuja-ud-din-Malik, the flag-bearer for Pakistan, a few seconds before he walked into the stadium. And this is what he'll probably say to his grand children. "I was feeling awkward. Was thinking, will they boo me and my country? It would be a slap on my country's face that cannot be erased with a thousand Kargils. Charles prince was watching. And out I step into the stadium named after Nehru, and you know Nehru as the opposite of Jinnah don't you, and would you believe it, I walk into a cheer and a roar that even the Indian contingent could not even have hoped for. I didn't know what to think of. I mean, what the hell was wrong with these people? They were to throw their shoes...whatever. But then I thought, enjoy it....I think they meant it. So before you take up guns, know that..."
Delhi means it. Cheers to the people of Delhi and to the rest of us who were there. This was the biggest message that we could have sent to our brothers from across the border. F$%# the pointless peace talks. The common man in India wants you to be good - with us and with yourself.
P.S: All that said, where have all the beggars in Delhi gone? My sources tell me there are none to be seen.