Your Premier Jamaican Sports Portal
Well, folks, this will be my final journal entry from the Commonwealth Games, and I must say that it has been a privilege sharing my experiences with you all. Your feedback and support were greatly appreciated.
As I sit here, inside the Indira Gandhi International Airport's spanking-new Terminal 3 building waiting to begin my long flight home, I have been reflecting on what has been a really fulfilling experience for me.
It took them a while, but in the end, as far as I'm concerned at this point, India did deliver a pretty enjoyable games.
My last night in Delhi was one of my best. A few extra hours on my hand afforded me the opportunity to visit one of the city's most popular stretches of asphalt, Janpath Road.
It took me 10 minutes to get there from my hotel. I walked, even though it was tempting to jump inside a rickshaw and be on my way. That night, I wanted to feel like a local. I walked among them, stopped at a bus stop and started a conversation with a young lady who seemed interesting.
"Namaste," she smiled, quite possibly at my awkward attempt at an Indian accent. "Good evening to you, my English is better than your Hindi, thankfully," she responded. "Are you an athlete?" I have heard that question so many times since I've been here. Really makes me wonder why all the fuss from those who think I need to get back in the gym.
I continued on my trek after parting ways with the young miss, and upon reaching Janpath, quickly realised that saving this for the last night of my trip was a colossal mistake on my part. For days I struggled to find decently priced souvenirs and so on with no success, while this little haven was right under my nose all along.
From brass novelties to Tibetan delights, Hindu pieces and thousands of other Asia-centric items were available. In terms of the prices, some merchants were a little easier to negotiate with than others.
"I like Jamaica, I have a friend from there, he taught me a few of your bad-words," said one merchant before reeling off a couple of the more colourful ones. I must admit I found it somewhat amusing, while unfortunate that the only thing that this young college student could relate to Jamaica was two badwords and a particular substance of choice for some Jamaicans.
"No, I don't smoke," I don't think he believed me.
However, despite the interesting hour or so that I spent milling about, it wasn't the items that were on sale that made for an interesting evening, it was a little discussion that I had with a street-side fortune teller.
Now, let me point out that I really do not take this whole fortune-telling business too seriously, but since I had nothing else to do I decided to hear what the heavily bearded man had to say.
"My friend, my friend, I have some good news for you. Your future is a bright one, young man. Come, sit, let us talk," he was a salesman selling his trade, but I was curious.
"I don't have money, so if cost, I go," I said straight away. Its always easier to communicate in English here when you use less words.
"It's OK," he laughed before telling me that I'm a visitor and a 'friend' so this time it's free (yeah, right).
So I sat, not expecting much until this really old guy started telling me a few things that he is not supposed to know. "Am I being punked?" I thought to myself jokingly.
To make a long story short, if this fellow is to be taken too seriously, I guess I have a rather interesting year ahead of me.
I will return to India, some lucky girl is going to marry me (he gave me a date - what a guy!) Long life and so on. There were some not-too-pleasant things as well but those I don't remember too well.
It would be a great injustice if I failed to congratulate the Jamaican sportsmen and sportswomen for taking part in these Games and doing their country proud. To the administrative team that was here, headed, of course, by chef de mission Major Desmon Brown. Also to the respective team managers and coaches, particularly athletics coaches Maurice Wilson, Michael Clarke and Maurice Westney. To the absolutely wonderful set of volunteers and officials, it was a job well done.