I did not stay up to watch the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics. I always felt the Olympic opening ceremony is the most expensive way to teach kids country names. Besides, the timing for Rio was more suitable for burglars and petty criminals, including but not confined to call centre slaves.
Also one loathe the way countries are introduced every year by unimaginative announcers. If you ask me, this is how certain countries should be introduced:
Greece: Dear ladies and gentlemen, as always, we begin with the original host of the Games, who came up with the concept of Olympics and has paid the price by going bankrupt. Remember kids, this is the country which gave birth to Pythagoras whose theorem ruined our teens.
Australia: A country rich with flora and fauna, including Koala, Kangaroo and Andrew Symonds; also a country where every advice begins with “mate...”
Bangladesh: Here we have country that makes most of our designed garments nearly for free. Check the Zara top you are wearing or the GAP jeans, if it doesn't say "Made in Bangladesh", chances are they are counterfeits. They are also the biggest suppliers of domestic helps and rickshawallas to India's National Capital region. Also, as some of you know, they are leading the drive for a blogger-free world.
Bhutan: Here comes the Bhutan contingent, a beaming smile on their faces. As you know, especially those who have seen "The Lunchbox", the tiny Himalayan country is the happiest nation in the world. Medal or no medal, they'd return home happy and beaming. It makes them the Games' most relaxed team, as opposed to China.
China: China's formidable contingent makes a grand entry. Take a good look at their stern and serious faces and you know it's a team under pressure. Some of them will win medals and thus be entitled to a daily bowl of state-sponsored noodles for the rest of their life. Some of them will fail, and will either vanish off the face of earth and be sent to work as a brick kiln worker for the rest of their lives.
Ethiopia: Running behind them is Ethiopia. If you wonder why they are looking more haggard than they normally do, it's because they started from Addis Ababa two months back. The athletes can't afford air tickets and are expected to pick most of the long-distance medals as they return home running. They don't mind some UN aid on their home either.
Iceland: Iceland for you, dear spectators. The flag-bearer is a judoka but who knows, maybe he is a professional snake milker. It's his grip on the flagpole that suggests so. Of their three swimmers, one is an ostrich babysitter, another a professional queuer and the third one clears tiger's ear in a circus. The team includes a javelin thrower who is an earthworm psychologist and a discus thrower who is a promising scarecrow.
India: If there was an Olympic gold for athlete-to-official ratio, here comes the team which would have never missed it. Welcome India. They have sent 46 athletes, who are accompanied by 27 percent of the country's bureaucracy along with their drivers, maids and maalishwala.
Jamaica: Enters the colourful Jamaican squad led by the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt. Err, it's a blur now. I mean he was here! I swear I'm not drunk. I think I saw them entering and they went like a flash. We'll check the tapes folks.
Japan: Next we have Japan, the country that taught us how to eat merely-concussed fishes and call it Sushi. Arguably the most behaved nation, which has stored away its collective anger in volcanoes.
Kenya: The Kenyan contingent runs into the stadium. Like Ethiopia, they couldn't afford airfare either and are reaching here after two months of inter-continental criss-crossing. They are natural runners who started running even before they could walk. Not really a surprise when you grow up being chased by starving Lions and indignant Cheetahs. Even if they don't win a medal, some of the athletes hope to catch Angelina Jolie's eyes and get adopted.
Mauritius: Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Mauritius. Dear little kids, it's the island nation where most of you were conceived. In fact, marriages are not solemnised if you haven't honeymooned in Mauritius. Also draws tax cheats.
Nepal: Ladies and gentlemen, please clap for Nepal. When not climbing Mt Everest after every domestic dispute, they are electing a new PM. Also the country that gave us the wonderful Manisha Koirala and the less wonderful Acharya Balkrishna of Patanjali fame.
North Korea: Here comes the Games' most assured contingent, the wonderfully nuclear-abled North Korea. They left home declaring themselves as the Olympic champions and will nuke anyone who disputes that.
Pakistan: Here comes a small contingent from Pakistan. Apparently, their sports ministry wanted to select the squad but eventually ISI handpicked the candidates. Some believe they are here to find Imran Khan's next wife. (...to be continued)