A final winning six from Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was what was needed for the Indian nation to erupt in joy.
It literally did erupt – across the country. Be it Mumbai or Mathura, Delhi or Dehradun, India was one in celebrating the grand victory with equal grandeur.
You might well have guessed by now that I am talking about the celebrations of India’s World Cup win. Well, if you’re one of those few who are not much into cricket or have missed out what has been happening lately (although that is highly unlikely with Indian News channels showing the celebrations over and over again), let me take you back to the evening of the 2nd of April. The stage was the World Cup, and the two actors were the Sri Lankan and the Indian cricket teams. In the jam packed stadium, people waited anxiously for India to score the winning runs. And ‘captain cool’, as he is famously known, turned that anxiousness of thousands into excitement by hitting the ball out of the ground; India were the new Champions.
The party had begun! In a matter of minutes the streets were filled with people from all walks of life. The World Cup had come back to the country after 28 years. Tri colors unfurled all over and people could be seen waving it everywhere, the dark sky brightened with lights of fireworks, the quietness of the night was perturbed by loud cheers and sounds of crackers. Cars and bikes came out in a rally, bare-chested men on top of them shouting victory slogans. The TVs continued to show emotional players hugging each others, and News channels with cricket experts commenting how huge the victory was. Malls, pubs, parks and anywhere where there was a screen: people jumped and danced around in euphoria. From President and Prime Minister to political leaders, congratulation messages started to pour in from all sides. Congress leader Sonia Gandhi came out after the victory and standing on her car door, waved to the crowd. Social networking site twitter was filled with tweets from Bollywood actors. It was a dream come true for the whole country.
No doubt the festivity in itself was remarkable. But another thing that truly stood out was the way in which the whole country especially ‘notorious’ Delhi, behaved itself. Looking at the magnitude of celebrations, it was obvious that it would not end without any unfortunate incidents, without a sour note. However, the city woke up to none of such news. No road accident related to the jubilation was reported. In a city where at least 200 commuters are fined for drunken driving and five accidents are reported daily, only half the number of drivers were booked for drunken driving, that too who had nothing to do with the celebration, on that night. People who headed straight to the city’s central hangout India Gate were in for a huge shock when they found police barricades on the way: the entry had been blocked causing the roads to be clogged with vehicles and people. But there was no anger even here. People were so filled with joy that they didn’t seem to mind it a bit. Even entry into another popular hangout Connaught Place had been restricted, but no one was complaining. People could be seen hugging even the policemen. Newspapers the next day were also free from news of burglary or any other unfortunate incidents.
Indeed, the win turned out to be more than a mere World Cup victory; it was something that united the whole of country, something that banded all the people together.