M A I N   N E W S

In 12 days, India answers sceptics by its world-class performance as the host country and a sporting nation
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
Conventional fervour, glitter, gaiety and a rich cultural bonanza climaxed into a magnificent ceremony that brought curtains down on the Commonwealth Games at the massive Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium here tonight.

It was real Chak De India as music of universal love made the stadium reverberate to some of the best Bollywood beats and the theme song by AR Rahman. Unlike conventional ceremonies that leave many athletes and officials with moist eyes, Delhi bade a joyous farewell to all participants of the 19th edition of the Commonwealth Games on a cheerful note.

Athletes and officials departed to meet again, four years from now at Glasgow as members of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, in a brief, but impressive flag handover ceremony, extended an open invitation to all to enjoy the next edition of the festival of the Commonwealth.

Besides the President of Sri Lanka, among the dignitaries who watched the nearly three-hour long ceremony was the Vice-President Ansari, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the UPA President Sonia Gandhi.

Unlike the splendid opening ceremony that had only a sprinkling of Bollywood, it was an ensemble of India's top singers, who in a mosaic of music of four generations, took off with Sufi, folk, global and Indi-Pop numbers to enthral an overflowing stadium. Earlier in the evening, hosts India gave a magnificent exhibition of its sporting prowesss and pushed England to third place in the medals tally with a record haul of 38 gold medals.

Each number, sung by likes of Sukhwinder, Usha Uthup, Shubha Mudgal, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sreeram, Shaan, Bikram Ghosh, Niladri Kumar, Tafique Qureshi, Kamal Sabri, Ila Arun, Raghav Sachar, Sivamani, Kailash Kher and Zila Khan took the audience to a different world of ecstasy.

The top brass of the Indian music industry then moved into a medley by cutting across all four generations to reach a crescendo.

The music of universal love ended with a pyro burst that lit up the sky in colour. Before the music blast, an amazing laser show held the audience spellbound. It was the Loch Ness Monster that dominated the Glasgow segment of the ceremony. The most frequent speculation is that the creature represents a long surviving plesiosaurus, similar to other monsters of Scotland. Ultimately, the Nessie swam out of the stadium playfully raising her head and wagging her tail as it left.

Shaan came with Shera, the mascot of the games, to bid goodbye and touch an emotional chord with the audience. Vande Matram sung by school children of Delhi, Agni- the glory of sports and musical band display by pipe and brass bands of the defence forces gave an immaculate start to the ceremony.

The band display, for example, was marvellous. And when the bands marched out, they were playing “Saare jahaan se accha”, a perfect tribute to the successful conduct of the Games.

The rituals of handing over of flag to the next hosts and giving the David Dixon Award to Jamaican athlete T. Smith were conducted in a conventional manner. Athletes, who participated in their colourful national costumes, mixing freely with the volunteers, were all praise for the manner in which the Games were conducted.

Even the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Mike Fennel, declared “Delhi, you have delivered truly exceptional Games”. 





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