Fans brave ceremony’s iron security, blistering heat

NEW DELHI, October 3, 2010 (AFP) – “It’s a dream come true,” squealed 16-year-old Shikha Saini as she patiently queued to enter the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, venue of Sunday’s lavish opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. A wearying, marathon walk up to the main entrance more than three hours ahead of the start of the show, multiple security checks and an unrelenting sun did little to deter her spirit.

“I had to see this no matter what,” she said, flashing a bright smile while wiping the sweat off her forehead.

“Our country is hosting such a huge event after so many years. I didn’t want to miss the chance of catching the opening ceremony as I’ve heard it’ll be something out of this world.”

The last big-ticket event India hosted was the Asian Games way back in 1982.

Saini, dressed in a shimmering pink frock with sequins and embroidery, was accompanied by her father, a retired Delhi government official.

But his daughter’s enthusiasm failed to rub off on him.

“The whole idea of reaching the venue at two in the afternoon for a show that starts only at seven in the evening defies logic. I would have liked it to be more organised so that spectators did not have to wait for so long,” he s