Stop. Don't rush and Google this. I have just defined these games. Might take a while before I publish this .
Because I have just discovered , that here in India, such world level games have nothing to do with sports, per se. But it is important, that folks with certain aptitudes, bid for these games. Given, that the non sport benefits of these games are stupendous, and sometimes of immense social significance.
A long time ago, sometime in the late 80's new Delhi hosted the Asian Games. The persons appointed to oversee the stuff , built Games villages, stadii, velodromes, and numerous sports things, along with great road and city facilities . Some hundreds of special buses were bought for transport of the athletes, and once everything was over, Delhi had decent roads, good grounds and stuff, and a whole bunch of these buses were given to Mumbai for usage between cities. I have and continue to use these buses today. Select folks with the right connections in the right places, qualified to buy the Games village flats, but we don't discuss that.
I wish someone would hold some kind of games in Mumbai. We have 2 stadii already ready. One under renovation. Several swimming pools. Several football grounds which also double as hockey grounds.
Any sport that involves aiming and flinging things can be practiced on the sidelines of the suburban railway lines a la the recent happening, where an austerity-enabled young VVIP, travelled by an AC train near Delhi; and out of all the compartments that looked identical, four kids , playing with stones (maybe due to lack of a school in their village) , were able to target with exact accuracy, the window (in a moving train), closest to him . While the cops are chasing these kids, maybe our sports types could chase them and train them for the throwing events...
Preparations for the Commonwealth Games are on, in Delhi, mostly behind schedule, say some. However, that's not something that interests me.
It seems , in order to show Delhi as a modern city, the Municipal Authorities are constructing around 1000 toilet blocks in the market areas, and these will actually be toilet cum coffee complexes complete with flower shops and convenience shopping etc. Each of these are supposed to cost 1 crore (10 million) rupees. They will ask companies with an established brand image to build and operate these on a 20 year lease. Advertising revenues on these toilets would be the big attraction, and these companies would be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance. Someone with an important look mentioned that these would be disabled friendly and would have nappy changing stations.
Much as they might try, maybe it wont be feasible to have a Games village. In Mumbai, that is.
But at least we can have the bathrooms.
And so this suggestion about bidding or even announcing the First World Hide-and-Seek Games 2010 in Mumbai.
Hide-and-seek is a game that goes back several centuries, possibly even in years we refer to as B.C. It has been an Universal game. Several people, popularly called today as politicians, even practice the Game philosophy in real life. They Seek things, then they acquire those, and then they Hide those. The rules of the game keep changing. For every country. Every time. Evevery day. And the cycle continues. Ad Infinitum.
I mean , all this business about Running, Hurdles, Long Jump, High Jump is stuff so many of us do unconsciously, every single day, as we run and leap into running transport. In monsoon days, we even swim and wade through , like in a triathlon. And lets not speak about all those sports where you fling things. Discuss-throw, Shot puts, javelins, all pale into insignificance, before our political throwing experts, who specialise in throwing stuff in political meetings, and are now perfecting the shoes and chappal throws.
But Hide and Seek, on an International scale , is a very sophisticated game. Mumbai, with its celebrated slums and alleys offers unsurpassed hiding places. It even offers a Seaside area for having the Inaugural function, where teams from across the world will march by and our ministers can stand in tracksuits and applaud, in the presence of some VIP from Delhi. Visualize teams from West Indies, Iraq, Iran, US, Australia,UK, Germany, France, and even Pakistan, marching past, waving, and simultaneously mentally storing the nooks and alleys as possible hiding places. Think of the 3 wheeler autorickshaw-wallahs of Mumbai, providing a cultural program for the occasion highlighting their amazing driving and turning prowess, complete with booming stereo music. Think of all the speeches, the receptions, complimentary gifts, souvenirs. There are immense possibilities , for cashing in, if you can supply uniforms, build huge platforms, do catering and so on. Almost a certainty if you have the right connections.
But the big attraction, according to my household help, whose household bathroom is 100 yards away from her own 50 square feet "house", will be the bathrooms.
Her eyes light up.
"Ago baya ! ("=Oh my !")", she exclaims, hands on her hips, as she hears this.
The "Welcome to Mumbai " from the airport will be drastically different. Roadsides will get cleaner. Railways will have less accidents along the tracks early in the morning. Women will have a choice of using the bathrooms when the need arises and not only when it is dark. Taps will actually issue water, instead of hissing air. You might actually emerge cleaner after using the bathroom. Those driving longish distances will not see cars parked on the roadside, with a fellow standing with his back to the traffic , somewhere amidst the roadside bushes. With companies maintaining the premises, and doing the upkeep, there will not be cases of tap attachments being stolen from plumbing pipes , simply for the selling cost of the metal.
While my household help doesn't see her self sitting around and sipping coffee at one of the "cafes" there, more for reasons of time and money, than anything else, she says she would be thrilled , if they offer free, cool, pure, potable water, to people in that area, particularly the children who play in that area, and the women who currently congregate at unearthly hours, to fill water for their daily needs, amidst a crowd, fighting over a slowly dribbling tap.
She doesn't say anything about the flower shops. And I don't ask. She has the free run of the rose plants in my balcony, and I enjoy seeing some of those flowers affixed to her bun, when she does that. She always asks.
And about the advertising. Its OK with her. She is willing to see pictures of cars, makeup, cellphones, houses, furniture, two-wheelers, jewellery , even politicians, pasted all over the area.
She cant read.
But she will enjoy the graphics. And hope that her next generation can enjoy all those things.
And most of all, she will have a clean bathroom.
Now, if only the powers that be make a bid to host the 2010 World Hide-and-Seek games in Mumbai ......sigh.