Those making a living out of thinking up jokes and humour are in for some hard times. For, whatever the fun these professionals may try to whip up, it’s going to be no patch on the absolute amusement and the thigh-slapping comic moments the ensuing Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and their preparations are set to produce.
When you talk of Commonwealth Games you have to talk of Suresh Kalmadi. And I can already imagine you getting ready to get all cracked up. No job is serious or big enough for Kalmadi to botch with his absolute fecklessness. The man is a born genius with the unsurpassed ability to make things downright laughable even at a sombre funeral of an accident victim. Kalmadi has been the nation’s one-man stand-up comedian for well over two decades. If I were the President, I will straightaway create a Param Vir Chakra for Comedy and award him every month.
As I was saying, the Commonwealth Games will ensure that your daily news itself will be excruciatingly hilarious. So the only way, we, humourists can hope to survive is to perspicaciously figure out what are the things that will make the headlines once the Games begin.
So, here is the first of the many offerings I hope to make under Crank News — Commonwealth Games.
(And just a few lines of clarification: I don’t think making fun of Commonwealth Games is an anti-national thing. On the other hand, if we are going to take it seriously then it means that we take Kalmadi, too, seriously. In my book, that’s a crime, and the only adequate punishment would be a sentence to watch Wushu or lawn bowling telecast live on DD Lok Sabha.
At any rate, whatever be the spoof on the commonwealth Games, the reality is going to be, tragically, far funnier.)
Games authorities forget the medals
By Our Intern Who Is Anyway Not Interested In Journalism
New Delhi: The Commonwealth Games, which has been on for the last few days in the nation’s capital, today found itself in its regular unprecedented piquant situation with it being known that the authorities had forgotten to place orders for the medals that are presented to the various winners of the various events.
This fact came to light at the Talkotora Swimming pool, where the boxing events have been scheduled (The original boxing arena has been taken up as a parking lot for the VIPs).
This morning, just as the podiums were ready, and the chief guests, numbering 108 all lined up, the escort girls walked in with their usual silly smiles and the ceremonial plates. As it happened, there were no medals on them.
Initially, there was a huge panic in the stadium. But this was due to the fact the welcome garlands for the chief guests had not arrived and some of them had already started giving scathing ‘bytes’ to the televisions channels, which needless to say were helpfully loitering around in the knowledge that something will go wrong.
One of chief guests, in a fit of righteous indignation that is inevitable when one is denied a free flower garland, angrily mouthed into a TV mike: ‘It’s a national shame. It’s a monumental humiliation. No phool because they think we are fools’.
As the mob of chief guests became more irate, and their language ridiculously purple, the authorities in a splendid spark of ad-hoc creativity, decided to mollify them by presenting the medals meant for the sportspersons.
‘We request the chief guests to remain patient. We request the TV channel personnel to allow the guests to remain patient. As the garlands have not arrived, we have decided to welcome the guests with the medals,’ announced an official on the public address system.
Girls, bring the medals, ordered another official But the girls just stood there and continued to smile. The medals were nowhere.
Even then nothing seemed amiss, as everyone thought that all the medals were in the coat pockets of Kalmadi. But as Kalmadi was not around — he was later traced to Switzerland — it became clear that his coat could not have made its way to the stadium on its own.
After plenty of discussions, frenzied phone calls and emergency air-dashing to Switzerland, it was found that there were no medals with the authorities.
One of them told Doordarshan (Oriya): ‘We had forgotten such a thing as medals. You can’t blame us. We in India are not used to it’.
Anyway, the Games was plunged into a huge chaos, by which we mean it was business as usual, as the chief guests tendered their resignations en masse but, in a spirit of cooperation, agreed to enjoy the official hospitality.
Meanwhile, Kalmadi, taking one of the emergency 50 luxury jetliners that the officials had purchased for the Games, arrived in Delhi and immediately, as the true impresario of the Games, checked into a five-star hotel.
Later talking to newsmen, Kalmadi, who said that he had gone to Switzerland as traffic had been diverted in Delhi due to security reasons, played down any suggestion of goof up in not placing orders for the medals.
‘It’s downright anti-national and unpatriotic to accuse us of being irresponsible,’ he said and pointed out that the ‘BCCI, as the main sporting body in the country, should be held accountable for the whole fiasco’.
Kalmadi, however, categorically assured that orders would be placed for the medals once the games were over. ‘And, to establish our sincerity and seriousness in the job, we will buy them all as gold medals’.
Kalmadi also pooh-poohed the charge that the ‘Medal Gate’ scandal had lowered India’s image in the eyes of international sporting community. ‘Where is the question of International sporting community when no country is actually participating in the Games,’ he pointed out. ‘We are holding the games out of the moral commitment that we have given to the chief guests’.
Meanwhile, in response to the developments at the Commonwealth games, the UPA government, in an emergency meeting, decided to appoint a Group of Ministers panel to decide whether there was a need for Group of Ministers panel to take action on the Commonwealth Games authorities.
Union Sports Minister Gill has been appointed as the head of both the panels. Sources say that, to ensure fairness in his approach, Gillwill attend one panel’s meeting in blue turban and the other in green turban.
It may be recalled that the Commonwealth Games began with typical pageantry on October 3, with no country participating in it.