A cultural programme inside the Games village.Laurence Jupp II is 18, sports the sinewy athletic body five years of competitive cycle racing would give one and moves with the air of a Will Smith from his The Fresh Prince days. This probably explains the three starry-eyed female volunteers who follow,A cultural programme inside the Games village.Laurence Jupp II is 18, sports the sinewy athletic body five years of competitive cycle racing would give one and moves with the air of a Will Smith from his The Fresh Prince days. This probably explains the three starry-eyed female volunteers who follow the braided-hair and coffee bean-skinned Jupp Junior around like they would do with teen sensation Justin Bieber. It also becomes clear why the boy-wonder from Nassau has picked up enough Hindi to “start a conversation”.Prince Charles with Australian swimmers at the Games Village.”I think Indian girls are the prettiest in the world,” he grins as his small-but-growing-by-the-day fan club of college-going volunteers giggle in the freedom of six hours a day and nearly a fortnight away from parental supervision.Pirrenee Steinert, Athlete, AustraliaNew Delhi’s chaos ends somewhere under the giant concrete overhang of a metro that leads to a serene gated colony, a long driveway flanked with barbed wire, watchtowers, over 300 assault rifle-wielding security personnel. Access comes only using bar-coded tags and multiple layers of pat-down security checks. Beyond this are tinkling fountains, swimming pools, convenience stores and training spaces and the multi-storied buildings of ‘Khel Gram’ home for athletes of the 19th Commonwealth Games.Jenna Randall, Synchronised Swimmer, EnglandThirty-five towers, 1,168 flats and nearly 7,000 athletes. The 63.5-hectare Village, which cost Rs 1,800 crore, is nearly half the size of the Rashtrapati Bhavan and is India’s most heavily guarded residential complex. The Indian version of Baghdad’s Green Zone is even officially called the International Zone.advertisementBriana Mitchell, Gymnast, New ZealandThe snakes, mongrels and filthy bathrooms that shot these stylish lodgings to world infamy, seem to have been eclipsed by the giant helium balloon on the opening night and the sigh-inducing figures of the athletes. The only red alert sounded so far was when the hemlines of Australian pole-vaulter Amanda Bisk were found to be higher than the complex’s wavy blast-proof concrete walls.The most envied jobs are a toss-up between the guards with binoculars manning the watchtowers and personnel who are paid to stare at the video fed from over 1,000 CCTV cameras around the Village.Amanda Bisk, Pole-vaulter, AustraliaFor the rest of the gawkers, there is the football field-sized, red sandstone tiled common area around the open-air amphitheatre which hosts cultural shows. Here, members of the angelic Welsh women’s hockey team float past like high school prom queens from a Hollywood chick flick and the leggy lasses of the Australian team would give Gisele Bundchen and Heidi Klum a run for their money.Sanjay: He won gold in the 74-kg Greco Roman category in wrestlingThe zone of sculpted bodies, long legs, washboard abs and chiselled chins is also one where citius, altius, fortius could be an adage for bubbling hormones. The indisputability of sports and sex being fellow travellers and the Village’s leisure swimming pool where athletes head after a hard day’s workout, is a metaphorical playground for both.The old “no sex before sport” aphorism has been replaced by the “play safe” logo on the sole condom vending machine at the reception. Strategically positioned in the residential zone, this refrigerator-sized ‘High Traffic Dispensing Outlet’ is stocked with 500 prophylactics and has a reserve of 2,000 condoms.Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang: They fetched first gold for India, winning men’s 10-m air rifle pairs eventOne volunteer, who reveals he once topped it up twice a day, whispers about “two fat ladies who took away 10 packs”. There are hushed words of all-night trysts but what happens in the Village, clearly, stays in the Village.Looking good is de rigueur for what will easily be, for a fortnight, India’s largest concentration of non-military super-fitness. The Shahnaz Husain signature salon pumps up the glamour quotient with massages and face packs and micro-size patriotism in nail flags. The lone male hair stylist woefully shows you the blisters on his feet from standing for close to 12 hours a day servicing nearly 200 customers.Anil Kumar: He won gold in the 96-kg Greco Roman category in wrestling”My hair and my nails have never looked so beautiful,” scrawls metrosexual South African hockey goal-keeper Brenden Botes in the salon guest book. Strange, considering he normally hides under giant helmet and hand protectors.The sole bar in the Village pumps out nearly 1,000 empty beer pints each night while the local 24×7 store works only 12 hours because of security reasons. Washing detergent is the fastest moving item-over 100 kg sold in a week with 150 cans of deodorants finishing runners-up. It is not clear just how much of this was used by the Organising Committee to scrub and clean the Village, but a week into the Games, the Village’s rough edges have been smoothed out.advertisementRahi Sarnobat and Anisa Sayeed: They won gold in women’s 25-m pistol pairs event”The food is fantastic and the living conditions are far better than what we expected,” says Australian sprinter Pirrenee Steinert. “The weather’s great, I love the Village. I so don’t want to go back home,” says Emma Batten of the Welsh women’s hockey team. Few would disagree.