The dining hall of a city-based blind school was filled with people busy watching the Indian team bat oblivious to its much-awaited prize-distribution ceremony that was scheduled around the same time.
The audience comprised of retired major generals, cooks teachers, Class-4 employees, blind children (who had occupied the chairs right in front of the television screen), and who’s who of the city who had gathered to see the visually-impaired students being felicitated for their navigation skills.The crowd, which was a mini-representation of the diversity that India is known for, cheered, clapped, whistled, and made claims as team India cruised its way through the last five overs of the first innings during the cricket World Cup match played against South Africa (SA) on Sunday.The entire nation bathed in one colour—blue—as Dhoni’s men forced the South African team to return to the pavilion within 41 overs.
Amir Singh, a 39-year-old city-based volleyball player who has been the recipient of Arjuna award, is going to celebrate India’s win with his family in Kasauli. “I am going to the hills. What a match it was! My entire family was glued to the television until the last ball,” he said.
A hotelier, Singh cannot care less about his business when team India is in action. “Looking at India’s performance so far, I am almost convinced that our men will bring home the Cup this time too,” he said. His wife, Deepika Singh, who works with PGIMER is no less a cricket fan. “Who can work in the middle of such an engaging match? I, my husband and children have not done anything else today other than watching the match. But it was all worth it,” she said, elated with team India’s performance.
Though Maleeka Bhasin, an MA student at the Panjab University, was “let down by South Africa’s performance,” she nevertheless had plans of meeting her friends over coffee to celebrate the special victory. “Everybody got to know half way through the match that India would win. It was pretty one-sided. I missed that last-minute adrenaline rush. But since India won, it calls for a celebration,” she said.
Chandan Punj, 38, who works with a private company, said, “Our team, which was out of form before the WC began, has shut all mouths with their second consecutive victory. SA is not a team you can take lightly, but the way our boys played has shown that our bowlers are no less than our batsmen. They made our Sunday a ‘Super Sunday.’"
Punj is going to celebrate India’s win at a local restaurant with his family.