Tuesday, October 12, 2010

CWG - A missed opportunity

CWG IXX, after tons of bad press (press never the less) got off to a popular start..
Since then it has been an affair, which at best is just being managed on the ground.
I’ve been to 4 different events at 4 different stadiums so far and genuinely feel the property (woo u marketing geek, this one’s a fuckin property to you) has lost out on tons of opportunities to deliver an India experience. It has also failed to deliver the experience to India.

In marketing parlance (again, woof, get a life) it has failed the last mile. If somebody tells me the infrastructure is amazing and the performances are world class I’d just ask them to stop eating shit that media feeds them. Reduce tolerance levels, quit the I couldn’t care less attitude and join me wear a t-shirt with Sheila, Kalmadi and Gill hung from the pole vault bar.

What you harp my sissy friend is hygiene, the Olympic Committee wouldn’t let the games happen if this infrastructure wasn’t in place. I believe the one thing the media did right though was get a lot of flak on these corrupted individuals. Yes, it did go overboard criticizing the games themselves when they knew they’ll happen and they’re about sport primarily. It was one of the reasons the first few days were low on attendance, no one bought the tickets, even the tourists were discouraged by all the scandalous reports. Media has an important role to play and its not an easy one, being “neutral and objective”. Is that an excuse to fuck up, looks like it. I hate private news channels, unimaginative loud mouthed presenters and worse content. Get your act together ladies, some of you’re so screechy, my speakers feel threatened when (i) you turn up. Wish Barkha can grow some balls and ask We the people if it is morally ok for Kalmadi to be giving away medals, isn’t their and enquiry on him?? If not ask why not… and now, that’s relevant.

So what are the big issues on the ground – First up city infrastructure couldn’t be worse. Just because we have the darn games doesn’t mean the city should come to a stand still. The games aren’t feeding any one except Kalmadi, (don say Kalmadi, he’s not the only one). Yea I know he aint. But Kalmadi is now a word in my dictionary, it means - extremely corrupt. So yeah, if I have to start tweeting (btw it was of no help, I need to get off social networks) to check traffic on the roads and it takes 3 hours to do 20km, I’m pissed off.
Let’s try and do the math (yes I am doing the math, anyone got a problem), an average office going person in Delhi would be earning about 15k a month (20 working days, that’s about Rs. 750/working day and almost a 100/hr). Out of a population of 20mn at least 40 % would be office going. That’s 8mn office going people. If on an average, and this a very optimistic no., people lose about half hour (total both ways) per day because of CWG. 8mn*50 is the INR 400mn (40 crores, optimistic estimate) worth man hours are being lost on a daily basis. That is over and above what we lose due to the pathetic travel situation anyways. In 10 working days, we’ll lose about 400 crores worth such man hours. Out of which even if the effectiveness of an average office goer is a pessimistic (yea yea I learnt that shit) 40% we’re still losing 160 crores worth such man hours to the games. Having said that this is the cost incurred by the companies across the city employing these office goers. The price that the city’s economy would pay can be calculated on the no. of dollars generated on an average on an hourly basis. Get the drift right?? I don’t particularly give a fuck if you don’t, that’s the amount of math I can do :/
A lot has been made of the effectiveness of “last minute India”. I think it’s just a shame, a fucking lazy approach, like the one we have towards sports itself. Most of the last minute jobs are visibly shoddy; thankfully, they’re not as important. If it’s acceptable, it’s only because either the standards are low or the reasons are beyond the game.

Next up, people who are going to the games are of 4 categories:
1. Tourist – most of who are related to some one on the team
2. Delhiites – who genuinely love sport
3. Delhiites – who’re there because it’s the new deal
4. Delhites – who’re there because they have nothing better to do

Category 1 and 3 are the ones buying the majority of the tickets. Out of which the foreign tourists are basically the astounded lot. You look at them and they have this blankness of a ghost or a physics teacher (mine had it).
I reckon, this astonishment is because of 2 reasons – 1 because they’re ignorant and they dint read up on how disorganized India actually is, so they came in expecting a lot.
The other because they read too much about India and fantasized elephants and cows on the road etc. (Get over it or I’ll whitelist you thick heads) What do they know, all the cattle’s tied at Kalmadi’s Chatarpur farmhouse, being fed by Lalu’s chara which is still in circulation. Category 3 is the typical Shahid – Kareena (Jab we metisque) loving Delhi lot about which enough and more has been documented.

Category 2 is the ridiculous minority, they’re basically just happy to watch the games and the athleticism. They thank god for the absence of IPL type cheerleaders but have nightmares of them jumping onto the scene when they go for the next event.
They bear the pain of bad volunteering, the security farce, lack of hospitality and of course Kalmadis giving away medals.

All this just cuz they realize how big this opportunity is to watch the real thing..

Category 4 is the most amusing, they turn up at events not knowing anything about the sport, not wanting to know anything while their there either. What kills it is when they make their own rules based on the standing that comes on the big screen. I remember these 2 ladies who’d come to watch cycling. During the team event, their like, “the cyclists in the same team have to beat each other and the one who comes last is a disgrace to the team and has to move out in the subsequent lap”. What is sad though is that a serious percentage of this category acknowledge world class athletes like they are freaks. Our lack of awareness of our own body is such an epidemic that the exceptions are treated like aliens. It doesn’t help that most of them have a different skin colour. For these people there is no difference between a “maut ka kuan” performer and a world record holding Kenyan. If anything, they’d believe that the circus freak is more talented.

It is so critical to build a culture where people know how to be a good sports audience. Who to cheer, when to cheer, how to cheer. It is such a critical part of sports as entertainment. And you cant teach the fat Sardaar ji from Karol Baag or the bhenji from Rajendar Nagar or Mrs Sharma from South Ex, it’s the kids who need to be taught.
That’s a another big failing of these games. They’re being looked upon as an end to itself. I’m sure there are tons of “Thank god CWG is over” tweets brewing in a million minds. And I’m surer that the various committees have no clue as to what they want to do with all the excitement and infrastructure developed around the games. In all of the four venues the percentage of young kids was pathetic. How conveniently did the delhi govt. give the schools an off. Couldn they schedule the direction of some of those school busses to the empty stadiums with the PT teachers who should have been re trained in all sports faculties ?????

Also, I don’t know if people know but there are Vetran Athletics that happen at the state, national and international level. These athletes or at least the distinguished ones should have been invited at these events. I took one such athlete to the JN Stadium. This gentleman at the age of 85 does a 100m in 18 secs. Does he deserve to be acknowledged as distinguished audience? or must I give away my 500 Rs. Seats for some Olympic committee foreign guests? This gentleman by the way is my grandfather and he is the President of Delhi’s Veteran Athletic Association.

This is the original Veteran body in Delhi to which a parallel association was started by one Mr. Bhanot a few years back to traffic middle aged people who wanted to go abroad but wouldn’t get a visa otherwise.
I will put in more details about this some other time but the point I’m trying to make is that why weren’t such profiles young and old identified and brought to the game’s premier events. Why weren’t their kids escorting athletes to the medal podium???

There are tons of other things one can critique about, but it irks me too much to go on. So I’m gonna get off the boil now and train some myself so I can walk the talk.

Also closing this one I must highlight that the rush one gets watching an athlete excel is beyond what any other entertainment can offer, particularly if the athlete is Indian.

Cheers to the games for whatever they worth..


Upkar said...

There is another category..who cared a flying fuck about the games coz they were exposed to the inner workings of how they've happened. Those delhites chose to leave Delhi before games to work in a foreign location and do something constructive for long term. They will come back after the games....:)

Quintessential! Lost, but yet to be found entity said...

finally an account which seems objective, critical but not shrill. kudos! to your gramps tough 18sec wow! @ 85

Kuber said...

@Upkar that category is well and truly back and with enough fuel to make us wanna write about single malts next
@Sameer Thanks man, i wish i can be as liberal in my writing as you are in ur praise....