OMG!!!! What can I say.. Im actually speechless... missed the live coverage of the Opening Ceremony yesterday and after some time searching on the web finally found a good recorded version of it and just finished watching it!!! AND NOW IM SPEECHLESS!!!
WHAT AN OPENING CEREMONY IT WAS!!! one ceremony that ive watched which was complete... Matched or probably exceeded the standards set by the 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony in China two years ago!!! it was wonderful.. the music, the choreography, the dance, the rhythms, the lights, the fireworks, the... what can I say... it was complete.. everything in place with very very few errors!!!!
every culture that I know that existed in India plus even more were showcased!!! im just out of words to express what I saw in the video!! imagine, its so spectacular watching it on video.. how would it have been to watch it live sitting inside the stadium!!! WOW!! that is one experience that I someday want to have!!
Let me give my comments on the ceremony..
The main attraction of the ceremony was the "Aerostat". The aerostat is a helium filled balloon that was suspended in mid air in the middle of the stadium and on its edges all around videos were projected on. At the 2008 Olympics, the Chinese brought on a large screen on the ground and it followed suit to be on the ground at the FIFA ceremonies too (opening n closing) and then here at Delhi, the screen was suspended in mid air 25meters above the ground above everyone on the stadium. even above the pavilions.. this was superb.
coming back to the events, the events kicked off with the arrival of the dignitaries. India's president, Former President, PM, and other top officials then the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles representing the Queen of England was also present along with 4 other heads of states... after they arrived, the Indian national anthem was played n then the countdown began as its always the case in opening ceremonies!!!
when the countdown reached 0 started the fun fare!!! hundreds of drummers started coming out from almost every part of the stadium with so many different kind of drums. at the center stage was a child.. a six year old kid playing the tabla like a professional!!! awesome!! the other hundreds or probably thousands of drummers were following his beats!!! this goes on for sometime and then they rearrange themselves in a certain pattern for the next event..
now the next event was the most surprising.. usually at sporting event opening ceremonies, only after all the celebrations are over do the nations parade take place.. but here it was different. it took place at the start!! the nations start coming out ausi first (former hosts), india last (current hosts) n the rest in alphabetical order. 71 nations and territories with the 6000+ sportsmen walkout to a stadium filled with 60000 ppl cheering them!! superb.. drums beating in the background and comperes announcing the names of the nations and the cheers of ppl... the most heart touching incident was that when the Pakistan squad entered!! now knowing India Pakistan conflict, expecting a standing ovation welcome from the audience was so touching!! the commentators on TV are like over exited i guess.. they start talking abt friendship and etc etc.. but it was a true show of friendship!!! then after all 70 other nations walked out, lastly walked out India to receive the loudest cheer ever. at the end of the parade all athletes were given seats at the edges of the grounds so that they too could witness the ceremony live rather than watching it on TV from inside the dressing rooms...
then the speeches started coming.. first from the Chairmen of the Organizing Committee who was boo'ed at and jeered by the crowd after all the allegations that surfaced recently against him regarding corruption!! in my opinion he deserved it but i dont think the opening ceremony was the place to show it. then spoke the Commonwealth Games Federation chairmen after which the Indian PM spoke and then the Baton relay comes in but in the video i watched this part is missing.. it straight goes to the part where Indian president makes her speech and then declares the games open!!
the Commonwealth Games Flag is then hoisted by the Indian Army with the Army band playing in the background after which the Indian flag bearer takes the Athletes Oath for all the athletes and then begins all the fun!!
first up a program dedicated to learning. A Boo Tree is formed with the Aerostat used as the branches and a structure being lifted in the middle... looks wonderful!!! the aerostat changes color to shades of green and a structure with drapes hanging around it is pulled up and then green light is put on it... looks awesome! then the dancers.. hundreads of dancers of 4 or 5 different types representing the seasons... that was superb.. best part was that like in all ceremonies, the dance wasnt faced onto one side.. all 4 sides had 4 groups doing the same thing so that everyone saw it clearly.. that was a good idea!!
then came along a tribute to Yoga.. the traditional exercise method practiced by many people around the world.... it was so attractive as it wasnt shown for a good amount of time but the end of the yoga tribute was the best where a illuminated structure of a person in "diyanam" or spiritual sitting position being drawn up from the center of the stadium right below theaerostat... around 1000 people did yoga in that stadium at that moment.. all in a synchronized manner doing what they their group should do at that moment.. superb.
then next up was one of the most spectacular events!!! wow.. jst superb... it was apparently done by the Indian Railways... in my own words i would describe it the Indian Train.. a train with compartments that showed the common scenes around india.. a tribute to the common indian citizen... the common workers.. the politicians, the sweetmeat shops, the bangle shops, the cinema industry, the bicycles, and what more.. the list just goes on... a train that went all around the stadium... and in the background there were dancers and other people in bikes.. some bikes with larger than life size structure of the different kinds of turbans worn in different parts of india... then some showing the way how almost 50-100 bricks are carried by one single person at the same time n number of huge clay pots being carried by women etc.. it was so colourful.. then the tuk-tuk's...
then was yet another tribute event.. this time to the father of India and a person that I admire very much Mahatma Ghandhi. yet another creative aspect was that 3 sand artists including the world renowned and award winning Sudarshan Patnaik made a sand art of the Independence march of Ghandhi on a large sand board which was also being shown on the aerostat screen when they were doing it.. and at the same time, a an illuminated figure of Ghandhi was also hoisted up from the middle which drew more attention..
after this yet again the the fund and dancing started.. this time with dancers from all around the india in the traditional local dance in their traditional dresses.. with people singing in middle between them.. was so wonderful!!!
so with that came to an end one of the most spectacular opening ceremonies ive ever seen.. at the moment of writing this post, im downloading the HD version of the opening ceremony aired by BBC One with the extra videos and stuff that were cut off by DD National for commercial breaks...
so after all the negative criticism and accusations and all the halabaloo, India has pulled itself together to show to the world that even they CAN!! and what a show it was.. i watched some clips over the net where BBC had interviewed some athletes who were already settled in in the games village.. and guess what.. they say that the facilities available are better than those that were said to be in the media!! seems like the media were too harsh eh? anyway its no time to talk about all those now.. got dinner to eat...
got some pictures below after the break.. and also the highlights videos.. so click the Read More button to view the pictures and the videos!!!
COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2010 - OPENING CEREMONY HIGHLIGHTS