Where’s the party tonight? At Jawaharlal Nehru (Games Sidelights)By IANS
Thursday, October 14, 2010
NEW DELHI - It was time to disco at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium as curtains came down on the 12-day Commonwealth Games.
The packed 60,000-odd crowd were just dancing to foot-tapping and pulsating music of Bollywood non-stop as some of the best playback singers of Bollywood took centerstage.
The stadium just turned into a huge discotheque. The mood was so electric that the thousands of athletes from 71 countries and territories could not help but join in the celebrations.
Many athletes clapped, cheered and danced to the music of Bollywood. Athletes from Scotland, holding their flags, danced on the beats, while others from Cook Islands, swayed to some of the best chartbusters of the Indian film industry, the world’s biggest.
Some formed lines and moved hands and their legs in imitation of the hundred of dancers.
Indian athletes also joined in, jiving hard, whenever some of the folk numbers came up, especially those of Ila Arun and Shubha Mudgal.
The VIP box during the Commonwealth Games ceremony here Thursday was filled to capacity, with almost all ministers in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government showing up.
The first dignitary to arrive was Congress president Sonia Gandhi, followed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur. As they entered the arena, spectators greeted them with loud cheers.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar looked a bit startled when the camera displayed her face on the screens of the stadium.
Vice President Hamid Ansari chatted with Earl of Wessex Prince Edward. For better view, Prince Edward used a binocular to watch the colourful performances. Prince Edward is vice-patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation.
Volunteers relax, securitymen don’t
Unlike the opening ceremony, volunteers were comparatively more relaxed during the closing ceremony. They even allowed mediapersons to carry food inside the seating area.
So many journalists munched chocolates and sipped juices while filing their stories. The media lounge in the stadium offers complimentary snacks to mediapersons.
Some even tried to sneak into the spectators’ stands but were barred by overzealous security personnel.
Hard Kaur fails to enthral
Pop singer Hard Kaur, who performed during the pre-show at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, could hardly bring the crowd on its feet despite belting a few peppy numbers and showing off her dance skills.
‘Chak de phatte’ she screamed, but the spectators were hardly impressed. In contrast, the dance performance by a group of disabled kids was cheered by everyone.
Many seats go empty
While officials had claimed that all closing celemony tickets had been sold, some seats remained vacant at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. While it was packed during the opening ceremony, many seats were empty Thursday.
As roads leading to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium were blocked, many people were not able to gain entry. Pleadings with policemen failed to change the situation.
Tryst with destiny!
One person really excited about the closing ceremony was Bollywood singer Kailash Kher. Much before the ceremony started, Kher tweeted: “One of the most awaited performance of me in CWG closing ceremony, etihaasik pal mere jeevan ka, god bless mera Bhaarat.”
He sang “Allah Ke Bande” - the song that catapulted him to fame.
Bye, Bye Games !
A senior citizen, who was among the thousands of volunteers helping spectators at the venue, was holding a plaque card saying “CWG 2010 successful”. It was but natural that he became the most photographed man as the games came to a close. Shutterbugs went crazy clicking his photo and the man happily obliged them.