And so I got to a C.W.G. event…finally! After a lot of planning, consulting the online schedule, scanning for ticket counters, whining on finding them closed, rushing to another counter before that closed and then at long last, holding the (seemingly) precious-above-everything-else tickets. There was a bit of a disappointment at the fact that I couldn’t get tickets for what I wanted to see…but I realised later that I had an absolutely smashing time because of the tickets that I got. I went for Athletics at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Apart than the fact that that it’s the main stadium for the C.W.G. this time, it’s also an outdoor stadium. And for the people who feel that it’s far more comfortable and easier to watch games in indoor stadia, I’d like to tell them…go boil your heads. The sheer awesomeness of watching an event in a huge stadium, cheering with around 20,000-30,000 people and exclaiming with disappointment when your team couldn’t qualify, is something far removed from what even I’d thought my experience would be like.
So basically, my parents and I took the metro (which, for your information, is the easiest and most enjoyable way to get to venues) for which we had free tickets (courtesy the tickets you buy for the events themselves). This was my second time on the metro, if you include the first time when my school took us on a metro ride on the very first metro line that was laid in Delhi. So anyway, I had a gala time, smirking like a 2-year old (kind of. Even 2-year olds are so very mature these days!) and basically acting like a kid. There was a bit of confusion when the announcements informed us that we should get off for Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (J.N.S.) one stop before. After doing this, we asked around and realised that the gate we had to enter from, was indeed far far nearer to the next stop and that the stupid announcers had tricked us and fooled us. So, after all of us, who had to go for the Athletics event, had vented their ire over this misunderstanding on the person at the ticket counter (who, I might mention, listened to it all expressionlessly and heartily agreed that it was confusing and then refused to give us tickets to get to the next stop till we asked him four times), we got on to next train and got to the (correct) next stop. Then we had to go through around three security checks after which we were free to roam around. Obviously we didn’t…roam around, that is. We went straight to the staircase leading up to our seats and then climbed and walked for what seemed like ages. But of course, we reached soon thereafter.And then, I walked up the last staircase leading into the main seating area. The muffled noises grew clearer and louder and then I got to the top…and stood transfixed for some time. What I saw first was the sea of blue (the empty seats), dotted with a few whites, reds, lighter blues, darker blues etc., which of course were the people who’d turned up by then. Then I saw the field. The turf was a beautifully smooth grassy green with the brick-coloured running track all around it. There were two conical sections marked out, one bigger than the other, which I later understood to be the range for the Shotput and Javelin Throw events. And guess what? The medal ceremony podium was bang in front of our box!! Isn’t that the kind of luck you’d usually ask for? :D
|*Jaw-dropping picture* (more so if you’re actually there)|
|Medal ceremony for 20 km Walk, Women|
And how do I describe everything else to you? The cheering, the jeering (of Lalit Bhanot, who gave away one set of medals), the happiness, the disappointment, the adrenaline rush whenever an athlete got ready to perform, the sore throat from all that cheering and yet the want to cheer even more. The cheering reaching its crescendo as an athlete made the run up to the high jump stage or the long jump pit or for the shotput and javelin throw. And then the sudden cry of disappointment when the athlete couldn’t clear the high jump height. The standing up and clapping when the runners reached your part of the track or when there was a medal ceremony. The athletes being moved to tears on hearing their national anthem after winning a gold. I really can’t put into words what all that was like. I cannot condense those few hours into one post. And really. While sitting there, there was so much happening at the same time, that after merely half an hour, we felt like we’d been there for ages…and enjoyed every minute of it. I didn’t want it to end…but it did of course…
I got to see quite a few events…Shotput, Javelin throw, Long jump, High jump, 200m race, 800m race, 3000m Steeplechase and of course a few medal ceremonies. India didn’t, unfortunately, get any golds that day, but two bronzes.
|The final occupancy…quite mind-boggling. You seriously do not know how much noise so many people can make!|
|Kavita Raut getting bronze for 10,000m race|
I couldn’t take my camera because, it was against the rules (the fact that a lot of people still turned up with cameras and kept on clicking right under an armed guard’s nose, was of course not right. I mean, what if he got pissed off and started shooting practise? He’d get a medal for sure). Yes…I’m peeved coz’ the pictures I took on my cell, aren’t all that great. But they capture the memories. I can later look at them and lose myself in the whirlwind of images, noises and elation I link with that day…
It was simply awesome :)