New Delhi: If you think the Commonwealth Games have just brought grief, misery and embarrassment to the people of the country, you are wrong. The virtual world is flooded with CWG jokes, poems and graphics as the creative sharpen their satirical skills -- bringing on a cynical smile, if not provoking outright laughter.
'A collapse a day keeps the athletes away,' a parody of an old saying finds its way to the status message of a 20-year-old Delhiite on the social networking website Facebook. The message was posted earlier this week after a foot overbridge outside the maverick Jawaharlal Nehru stadium went down with the last hopes of the diehard optimists.
Crumbling infrastructure, apathetic authorities, international shame, a 'filthy and unlivable' Games village, global scorn, athletes pulling out, lax security and a thousand other things... it has been a grim time for Indians who take pride in their country. The impotent annoyance is finding creative expressions in the form of witty one-liners.
Paying homage to the latest blockbuster 'Munni badnaam hui' from 'Dabangg', a status message on Facebook says: 'Sheila Dixit to Kalmadi: Delhi badnaam hui darling tere liye!' A comment on the message improvises with 'Sadkein bhi jam hui, CWG tere liye'.
Micro-blogging website Twitter is also overflowing with tweets taking potshots at CWG Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi.
'Suresh Kalmadi must be the first choice if ISRO goes for trial and error experiments for manned space mission,' goes one such tweet.
Another one imitates the nursery rhyme to ridicule Kalmadi. 'Ba ba Kalmadi, have you any shame. No sir, No sir, we are having a Common Loot Game. Crores for my partner, crores for the dame, crores for me too, for spoiling India's name!'
'Suresh Kalmadi walked into a bar. The bartender was still spraying pesticides over the barley plants. It was the best bar ever,' went a subtle one.
Some jokes are even cleverly laden with context. Ahead of the Allahabad High Court Ayodhya verdict, a tweet doing the rounds was: 'Compromise proposal for Ayodhya: Let the Hindus construct a temple, but the project must be led by Kalmadi.'
'Bhagwan Ram patched up with Allah so that the focus remains on KALMADI,' went another clever one after the verdict was deferred.
Thanks to the Kalmadi series of jokes, even text messages have got a new lease of life.
'Rain rain go away, Kalmadi wants to come out and play. Lyrics by M.S. Gill, Sung by Mani Shankar Aiyar, Music by A.R. Rahman!' goes an SMS doing the rounds.
'AMAZING BUT TRUE: If you re-arrange the letters 'Sir U made lakhs' you get 'SURESH KALMADI'!!!
But Kalmadi is not the only one dominating the cyberspace. He has CWG Organising Committee Secretary General Lalit Bhanot as competition. Thanks to his 'They (foreigners) have different standards of hygiene from us (Indian)' comment, the tweeting population is gloriously doubting his hygiene standards.
'Dude, looking at Lalit Bhanot I really wonder when was the last time he had a bath,' posts a Facebook user. A chain of speculative comments follow, betting on what is the correct answer.
'Sarah Palin knows more about world politics than Lalit Bhanot about hygiene,' goes another one.
Even Sports Minister M.S. Gill is not spared. 'Gill calling himself a sports lover is like Shiney Ahuja declaring himself to be a feminist,' went a double edged one.
(Mohita Nagpal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)