25th September 2010:
It was a busy day for all the people involved in the preparation of Commonwealth Games (CWG). Sheila Dixit assured the nation today that God willing, we will have the best Commonwealth Games ever. Final patch work is underway at a frantic pace at Jawaharlal Nehru and Talkatora Stadium while specialists from England are working round the clock to fix the leakages at Siri Fort Sports complex. These have just missed 7th final deadline. This morning Sheila told the waiting reporters that the deadline has been extended for one final time by 15 days. Reporters reminded her that mathematically it cannot be extended by more than 7 days as we are scheduled to hold opening ceremony on 3rd Oct. She settled for 7 days.
Another CWG scam broke out in electronic media today. It seems that Organising Committee (OC) decided to import pigeons for the opening ceremony from Australia instead of using home grown pigeons and the contract was given to a company owned by Michael Fennell’s son’s friend’s wife’s uncle. Rs 5, 00,000 for each bird were paid in advance for 1000 such pigeons. Kalmadi has rejected the allegation terming it as baseless and said he is ready for any enquiry. He said that the contract was given after employing a transparent process. He added that these pigeons are not normal Indian pigeons but well trained ones capable of handing over any letter anywhere in the world. To substantiate his claim, he told the reporters that the pigeon used in 1989 Hindi blockbuster ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ was also provided by the same firm and reminded them that he successfully delivered the letter to Salman Khan. Meanwhile, Menaka Gandhi slammed this entire practice of keeping the pigeons under the cage and termed it as cruelty against birds.
27th September 2010:
Today it was decided that Jawaharlal Nehru, Talkatora Stadium and Siri Fort Sports Complex will not be handed over to CWG OC as there is no time to actually do a formal handover. These will now be handed over directly to the athletes in whatever state they will be on 3rd of October. Final patchwork is on target i.e. on 8th revised target. A decision has also been taken to wrap the entire Connaught place with thick white cloth to cover up the debris and the unfinished work. Apparently, project was on time but when it was about to complete, MTNL decided to dig the entire place to run telephone lines. It was done again but this time MCD decided to dig the same for laying cables. When it was done for the final time, NDMC workers dug all of it as protest because they were not paid their last month wages. CPM welcomed this approach of workers and called for a 3 day bandh in Kolkata. Sitaram Yechury asked for Sheila Dixit’s resignation. Sheila Dixit visited Akshardham temple today after a quick visit to all stadiums and was seen praying silently next to Lord Indra’s statue.
Jawaharlal Nehru, Talkatora Stadium and Siri Fort Sports Complex will have Athletics, Boxing and badminton competition respectively from 4th to 9th October. Final patchwork is in final stages now while landscaping has been abandoned for good. It has been decided that the athletes competing at these venues will be given a greeting card with only 3 words carved inside it, All Izz Well, suggesting the state of the stadium roofs. Till this afternoon, catering for the games was still not in place but Mr. Lalit Bhanot pulled a coup. He managed to get the agreement from Haldiram’s and Bikanerwala, in the interest of the nation, to take care of games catering in makeshift tents, stores and restaurants outside stadiums and CWG village. Prime Minister lauded this effort of Mr Bhanot and has forwarded his name for next year ‘Padma Awards’.
The day ended with Gauri the Cow, India’s answer to Paul the Octopus predicting that India will top the medals tally in these games. This has sent shock waves among the Indian athletes. Kalmadi has termed the allegation as baseless while Meneka Gandhi has protested the use of holy cow for such practices and termed it as cruelty against animals.