New Delhi, Oct 15: After all the scandals and hurdles, India successfully held and concluded the 19th Commonwealth Games with an exuberant party on Thursday, Oct 14 on a note of bonhomie.
The Oct 3-14 multi-discipline sporting event, which was marked by aggressive yet healthy competition, between competing nations ended on a note of harmony and friendship as India's hospitality overshadowed the storm of scandals and the controversies that broke out even before the Games began.
“A truly memorable celebration," is how Commonwealth Federation Chief Mike Fennell is quoted as describing the closing ceremony and the Games.
The three-hour closing ceremony that began at 7 pm at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium enjoyed the energy of the 60,000 spectators and the athletes of the participating countries.
The martial arts of the country was displayed in a segment called 'Agni', which culminated with the song 'Saare jehan se acha '. 2010 school children presented 'Vande Maataram' to the world. A light and sound show and a spectacular show of fire works also were part of the ceremony.
The cultural programme that followed with song and dance was planned and choreographed on the theme 'Music of Universal Love' . Prominent singers like Shaan, Kailash Kher, Sunidhi Chauhan, Usha Uthup, Sukhwinder Singh, Shankar Mahadevan crooned some popular Bollywood numbers along with a few English tunes.
The highlight of the closing ceremony was when the 'golden moments' of the 12-day event was played out on the world's largest helium balloon hovering over the stadium.
The Commonwealth Games' organising baton was also handed over to Scotland, which will play host in 2014 games. Celebrating this opportunity, a Scottish team put up an enthralling performance, which some even contend was better than the rest of the Indian programme.
In comparison to the opening ceremony, the closing ceremony was a let down. The interest of the international athletes was completely ignored in the planning and the ceremony, therefore, ended up like a 'big fat Indian wedding', some media reports note.