I should tell you, that I’m not a man of sports.
I don’t play them. I don’t watch them. I don’t have cool apps on my phone which continuously download scores. And I don’t remember the last time I held a couple of balls, other than my own.
But I do love my country.
I love its rich culture. I love its fantastic array of food that has been passed down from generation to generation. I love its sights. Love its music. Pretty much love everything about it.
Which is why today, it saddens me even more when I look around and see the progress of the Commonwealth Games.
You must have seen it in the news too.
Maybe even joked about it on your coffee break.
“These guys can’t do anything right”.
Only, closer home, it’s not really a joke.
It’s a monster each of us are trying to come to terms with.
A barrage of unanswered questions float around.
Where did all the money go?
What were we doing for so long?
Why did we have to start at the 11th hour, 59th minute?
What’s happening to the lovely gentlemen who were caught making a quick [not to forget spectacular] buck in the entire process of giving tenders?
Why can’t we give our guests the best in comfort, if nothing else?
Where has our tax money gone?
Unfortunately, no one has the answers to these questions. And at the end of this e-mail, each one of these will stay exactly where they are right now. On just a piece of paper.
No, I’m not a man of sports.
But it shames me to see my country like this.
Every couple of hours, I read something new.
The footbridge connecting to the stadium has collapsed.
The ceiling at the boxing venue is now lying on the floor.
Foreign guests saying “living conditions are not suitable for human inhabitance”
Some official saying everything is fine. Don’t worry.
My blood curdles. My pressure rises. I hang my head in disgust and shame.
But I’m a small person.
I’m just one fish among 1.1 billion fish.
I cannot do much, even if I wanted to.
Which is why I’m writing to you.
Maybe you can help.
I request you to call a meeting with your board to call for a cancellation of the Commonwealth Games in India.
There are people who have made a lot of money from this and who are now sitting quiet. These men will go unpunished. Only if the Games are cancelled, maybe, just maybe there is a little change they’ll be taken to court.
Also, it’s better if the rest of the World didn’t see us.
Than see us like this.
We’re a nice bunch of people, we are.
We’re simple. Honest. Loving. Warm. Hard-working. Humorous.
It’s just that the guys who sit on top and run our government are as corrupt as they come.
Sadly, as the Games are showing, just like everything has a price in our country, everything comes at a price too.
A price which we, the everyday guy is paying.
Don’t come here.
Call off the Games.
Come another day.
When we’ve gotten honest. When we can build proper toilets for you guys. When our guards can actually protect you instead of sitting around. When our police can help you and not leer at your women. When we can treat you like the only way we know how – a guest.
On behalf of my country and the people who are supposedly in charge of the Games, I apologize in advance, should you still wish to come.