I am referring, of course, to the National Day Parade and the Olympics. I spent Saturday evening with remote at the ready, switching between two different channels. I love the NDP- every year I watch it with my family and we are so patriotic, we even stand up when the national anthem is playing. I am a sucker for all the uniforms and coordinated movements. One good thing came out of the rain. It forced everyone to wear their red ponchos, so there was a beautiful sea of red in the stadium. I was very touched by President SR Nathan’s walk in the drizzle to inspect the Guard of Honour. At his age and his position, no one would have grudged him an umbrella. But he chose to endure the same conditions that the hundreds on stage were facing, and in doing so, showed that he deserves to be a leader of the people. For all these ceremonial moments, I was glued to channel 5.
But everytime they had a song interlude, I switched to 601 because they were showing the swimming heats. And what a sight for sore eyes! Singapore’s Tao Li came first in her heat- I couldn’t believe it. Whether we actually go on to win any medals, I think this is a great start. Of course, the one I was actually looking out for was Michael Phelps. I managed to catch one heat of his. The way he cuts through the water is sublime. In fact, all the swimmers are beautiful to watch. Today I watched our very own Brian Tay come first in his heat. He didn’t qualify for the final, but he surpassed his personal best time, and I think that is what is important. As a nation, we have only recently seen sports becoming a Big Deal that receives a lot of government support and funding, and I am very sure that eventually we will be a force to contend with in that area.
Every once in a while I switched back to the parade, just to see what was going on. The items were very polished- superb sets and choreography. But I have to say it’s getting a bit old. No matter how well it is done, it becomes stale after a while. But I guess that for the people in the audience it is like a bit of magic that they are witnessing with their own eyes. How can we grudge them that pleasure? The fireworks were spectacular and the aerial display by the air force was really riveting. I pity the Red Lion who fell on his face as he landed. I hope he is okay.
Speaking of the Olympics, I watched the opening ceremony on Friday night. I didn’t get to see the whole thing, because I came back home late after going to see High School Musical on ice with my family. But the bit that I did see was unforgettable. It was one of the best opening ceremonies I have seen so far. There was pomp and pageantry, but also humility and respect, and it was that poignant mix that I think people will hold in their hearts for a long time to come. So nice to see the Singapore team coming in- catch in the throat as our flag was held high.
So- High School Musical. On ice, no less. Let’s put it this way- you have to love the movie to love the ice show. Otherwise it would be a drag. The music was of course the foot-tapping sort, and the energy of the young people as they swirled and twirled around on the ice was contagious. My son Rishi is a HSM fan, and last year he watched the movie so many times that even I know the words by heart. So yes, the Vadrevu family did have a smashing time, thank you very much!
PS- Had a great time singing songs in the carpark with all you wonderful people on Friday. Our own little NDP went very well. Congratulations to all of you for a job well done!