Commonwealth Games move to the Scottish Highlands in 2014, and the Jawaharlal Nehru unfurled the first look of Glasgow’s aspirations as host nation, and ended as the most spectacular segment of the closing ceremony - perhaps owing to its novelty for the Indian audience.
Rest assured when India toasts to its succesful conduct of the Games and retires for a sleepy night, the ten-minute presentation by 352 performers of Thursday, will put an end to the perennial joke on their attire by the cacklers —Why do Scottish men wear Skirts?
Matching India’s blingy colours with their own multi-hued tartan kilts, a vibrant modern one with sporty uppers,a lone piper with the sing-songy bagpipe took centrestage as the baton was passed on to the Scottish hosts. The merry lot then put on show some of its iconic sites with the help of some hand-carried silver giant inflated bloats - the Arc Bridge over River Clyde, the Armadillo auditorium the Celtic Knot and finally their mythical Loch Ness Monster —with perhaps the Nessie replacing our Shera in four years.
A kilometre and 800 metres cloth was used to create the different coloured labyrinths and mazes and finally the blue and Saltire Scottish flag, even as Delhi applauded the 2014 teaser.
The last time the Games were held in Scotland — at Edinburgh — India, alongwith other African and Caribbean nations had stayed away for political reasons at the height of South Africa’s apartheid troubles. However, the 2010 hosts will look to mount a massive challenge on the medals table in another four years when they visit Glasgow - a city known for its legendary football rivalries between Celtics and Rangers and in pop culture for ABBA’s Super Trouper rhythm.
The Scottish contingent have been a merry lot in their omnipresent white and blue gear and hat-props, and a little teaser of their sports anthem ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ got the rugby stadium tapping their feet when their sevens side took to the pitch. On Thursday, the entire chant-song hummed at football’s Hampden Park and rugby’s Murrayfield Park blared to a dazzled Delhi audience. Amongst other things though, Glasgow will drop tennis from its schedule, so Andy Murray will not make it to the next Games either.
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