From Delhi to Salford for more Games

Commonwealth Games 2014 generic

Related Stories

Initial disbelief gave way to excitement when I heard I had been selected for a placement to work with BBC Sport in Salford on the Commonwealth Games in July.

I work in India for BBC Monitoring which monitors and analyses the world's open source media, telling you exactly what the media of a particular country say and how they react to events.

The team in New Delhi, where I work, looks at Asia-Pacific in particular, offering news and insight into key developments in the region.

Sport is not our bread and butter - but I had applied because I have a lot of interest in it, particularly tennis. Getting the placement felt like a wonderful opportunity to be part of a big event.

As I made my way into Quay House in MediaCityUK, memories of the last CWG, held in Delhi, came flooding back.

And then the rain stopped
Opening ceremony at Delhi Games Downpours 'stopped magically' a week before the opening ceremony in Delhi

As the 2010 Games approached, Indians had been overwhelmed with negative publicity due to the delays in the preparedness of the venues.

What had made us most nervous was the unseasonal rainfall that time of year. The Games were to start on October 3 and it had been a very wet September - until one week before the opening ceremony, when the rain stopped magically, as if the Gods had intervened.

I remembered being in the Delhi office back then, filing stories on the Queen's baton relay, the delays in preparedness and the media coverage. Eventually, everything fell into place and the Games were a success. The icing on the cake was the Indian team's excellent performance.

Back to July 2014 and the Glasgow Games. I was working with the BBC Sport Library team. A group had been specially set up for the CWG and various sporting disciplines were divided each day among us. People found it fascinating that I had come 'all the way from New Delhi' to work on the Glasgow Games.

Strictly sports

The task was to log key points of the matches from the raw feed which would appear on computer screens. We were a bit apprehensive to start with as everyone didn't know about all the different sports. We all had different work experiences.

Upasana Bhat in her New Delhi office Upasana Bhat's highlight was India's gold in the men's badminton

But the Library team was helpful and provided us with reference material, and we soon got into the flow and began to enjoy it. As I got to work, I told myself - it's a lot like what I do in Delhi - more monitoring - just sports this time!

Start Quote

If you got hockey, badminton or table tennis, you didn't have time to blink, but if you got lawn bowls, let's just say, one needed to be very patient.”

End Quote Upasana Bhat

We set up base in the Strictly Come Dancing room and worked long hours. But how busy you were depended on what sport you were covering on the day. If you got hockey, badminton or table tennis, you didn't have time to blink, but if you got lawn bowls, let's just say, one needed to be very patient. There was ample discussion on how it came to be a 'sport' in the first place!

My best memories are from the final day of the Games, when I was working on the badminton medal matches.

India's P Kashyap won the gold in the men's singles after a hard-fought match. He couldn't contain his happiness and took off his shirt. I found myself getting emotional when the national anthem played. The smile wouldn't leave my face during the medal ceremony, but I missed not being able to share my joy with a fellow Indian.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games ended on a positive note for India and for me. I even got a specially-made BBC pin as a memento.

For sure, I would like to work on sports again - but maybe next time we could incorporate tennis as well, please? Are the organisers listening?

More on This Story

Related Stories

Features

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.