It looked as if the day would never arrive, but it did. India hosted a spectacular opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games in Delhi on Sunday, after the most frantic build-up to any international sporting event.
The opening ceremony was held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in India, minus a few world-class athletes who pulled out due to the conditions of the accommodation. The 60,000 capacity stadium was well attended with all 71 competing nations present. In the royal box was the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President Pratibha Patil, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles.
First nation to enter the stadium were the Australians as they hosted the games in 2006. Countries followed in alphabetical order apart from India who entered last. Over 4,000 people took part in the ceremony from traditional Bharatanatyam dancers to drummers, representing different communities across India. Dazzling the crowd was 7 year old child prodigy Keshava on the tablas. Originating from Poducherry in Southern India, Keshava started playing the instrument at the tender age of 2!
the last part of the ceremony featured a special performance from double Grammy & Oscar winning musician & icon AR Rahman. Performing the Commonwealth theme song which he composed called ‘Jiyo, Utho, Bado, Jeeto’, which means ‘Live, Rise, March, Win’. He closed the event with the popular ‘Jai Ho’. The world now looks forward to the games. Just like the opening ceremony, let’s hope everything else runs smoothly.