Wildly happy India cheers night that was

March 31st, 2011 - 2:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Shah Rukh Khan New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) It was catharsis. Bursting firecrackers, honking cars, tweeting, dancing in the streets, beating cymbals and drums, wild celebrations went on into the wee hours of Thursday to mark the victory of team India over Pakistan - an anxiously-awaited moment that had virtually brought normal life to a halt in most cities and towns of this cricket-mad country.

As the men in blue beat the guests by 29 runs at 10.45 p.m. Wednesday in Punjab’s Mohali town, India, which had taken a pause, could hold back no longer. Complete strangers hugged one another, repeating: “We have done it! We have done it! We have defeated Pakistan!”

Be it the common man in the big city and the small town, or the Bollywood celebrity, or the high-flying politician, or the boisterous student, the emotions were high-octane. It was Diwali and Holi all at once as the night sky was lit with firecrackers, and in captain M.S. Dhoni’s hometown of Ranchi, people smeared each other with colour.

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who caught the historic semifinal with a group of friends at home, said India was going to win the final as well. He will be watching India play Sri Lanka in the World Cup final in Mumbai.

“We will win the final also. I have bought an extra T-Shirt for that… so I have to go there and watch the finals Inshallah! The kids want to go and see,” Shah Rukh told reporters.

Delhi exploded with fireworks. Streets that are normally deserted in the night brimmed with joyous people. Many areas of Delhi were clogged with traffic at midnight as fans began impromptu celebrations, waving flags from cars, dancing on bonnets and roadsides and flooding cafes and ice cream parlours that did brisk business.

In Chittaranjan Park in south Delhi, delirious fans made a replica of the World Cup and worshippped it and danced merrily around it, chanting “India will win, India will win.”

In northeastern cities like Shillong and Guwahati, the drums and cymbals came out.

In Kolkata, the Bengalis with their sweet tooth devoured the best of sweets that had been kept ready for the moment. Youngsters ran around with the tri-colour and motorcycles cut through the dark of the night in splendid speed.

“What a game they played! Pakistan was no match,” said Usman, a shopkeeper in Kolaba, Mumbai.

Even policemen, who had been out on the streets in large numbers as part of a massive security cover in the metropolis ahead of the finals, joined in the revelry.

As actor Aftab Shivdasani tweeted: “Indiaaaaaaa take a bowwwwww!”

-Indo-Asian News Service

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