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As the sporting action in Delhi wrapped up on Thursday, 14 October 2010, all eyes were on the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, which after playing host to some scorching track-and-field action over the past two weeks, took centrestage for the Delhi 2010 Closing Ceremony.
If we found it difficult to find words that accurately described the grandeur of the Opening Ceremony, we had to hunt for a dictionary this time round. Marvellous and breathtaking were what we could come up with, and in all honesty, we’re probably guilty of understatement.
The first segment up was Agni, a tribute to India’s sporting spirit. Sanskrit mantras sounded out as exponents of Indian martial arts came front-and-centre. And if the fantastic prowess displayed by the fierce-looking warriors wasn’t enough, the fire-inspired pyrotechnics that were set off, left the audience completely mesmerised.
As the Closing Ceremony was also meant to focus on India’s modern-day traditions, it was only fitting that bands from the Armed Forces get an opportunity to display their skills. A total of 650 musicians from the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy performed Military Martial Music. The combination of the music and beautifully-synchronised in-formation marching proved to be a major hit, with the rendition of Saare Jahan Se Accha giving everyone goosebumps.
It was then time to look towards the future as 2010 children dressed in white came onto the field in a Tribute to Our Motherland. Vande Mataram sounded out as the kids fanned out to assume the positions of a Rangoli pattern with an Ashoka Chakra in the centre. This segment harked back to the Indian festival of colours, Holi. Bright colours were sprinkled onto the children, creating beautiful patterns that reminded one of the host nation’s colourful heritage that touches all aspects of daily life for its citizens.
This cultural feast was just a build-up to our stars’ entrance for the Athletes Parade. Flanked by Delhi United volunteers, the athletes who provided us with tales of glory and heroism came onto the field. Greeted by thunderous applause, our friends from across the 71 nations of the Commonwealth came together in a Wheel of Life formation that signified the bonds created during Delhi 2010.
Athletes, officials, volunteers, dignitaries and spectators were then treated to a rich audio-visual show. The Golden Moments reminded us all of the world-class sporting action we were all lucky to witness from 3 to 14 October.
In this short period, the billion-plus inhabitants of the 71 Commonwealth nations were privileged to be a part of moments that will forever be etched into our memories.