New Delhi, Oct 3 (IANS) Sarita Joshi says she will never forget Sunday's 2010 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony for the rest of her life. The colour, the sights, the sounds, all Indian to the core, were an overwhelming experience for the Delhi homemaker.
'It was such a brilliant show... I have no words to express my feelings. It was perfect,' a mesmerized Joshi told IANS as the show ended late night and thousands poured out of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
As the spectacular show unfolded without a glitch, she couldn't help feeling proud of her country.
So what was her favourite piece?
'I think everything was brilliantly choreographed. But the Great Indian Journey that had all the flavours of the country was terrific. I especially liked the part where (Mahatma) Gandhiji's portrait floats up,' she said.
Indian or foreign, most visitors were visibly moved by the richness of the country's culture, all played to perfection under one roof. Nearly 65,000 people watched mesmerised as Indian dances, music, crafts, and even its film industry were showcased.
New Zealand journalist Joseph Romanos insisted it was the best ever Commonwealth Games inaugural.
'I have covered the Commonwealth Games for 25 years. There is no doubt this was the best opening ceremony ever. It was like an Olympic ceremony. Simply outstanding!' Romanos told IANS
Gael Woods of Radio New Zealand agreed.
'It was brilliant, full of energy and so colourful. We did expect something different but never expected it will be so fantastic,' he said.
The opening ceremony kickstarted the 12-day sporting extravaganza which will end Oct 14. More than 6,000 artists took part in the opening ceremony.
Raju Srivastava, a businessman who came from Patna with his two kids, said the event was worth all the trouble that he had to taken to travel to New Delhi.
'Getting an accommodation in Delhi, getting the passes and reaching the stadium was a tough task. But everything seemed worth it when we saw the ceremony. So colourful, so brilliant...
'When I was watching the programme, I felt really proud to be an Indian,' Srivastava said.
Foe Marcel Jean, a journalist from Cameroon, said: 'The ceremony was exceptional. It was a glimpse into the entire country.'
It certainly put into shade much of the controversy that has dogged the Games.
A 12-year-old, Rashika, was certainly brimming with joy.
'I am so glad my dad got us the tickets to the ceremony instead of making us watch it on TV at home in Noida. I loved every moment of it, especially the fireworks!'