At 5.41 pm Saturday, the conference room behind the Ramlila Maidan stage buzzed with excitement. A core group member of Team Anna, Sneha Kothawade, kept an eagle eye on the television set while typing out a press release on her laptop titled ‘Anna Hazare breaks fast, people celebrate’.
As the TV screen flashed the news that a resolution had been passed and a voice vote would be conducted in Parliament, she started typing furiously. But barely three paragraphs later, news of Parliament being adjourned reached her and the draft was sent to the trash bin. Frantic phone calls followed.
Those in charge of managing the social networking sites wondered whether to update supporters on the developments. The entire day followed this pattern of ups and downs for the team in the makeshift situation room. The early part of the day saw just the 25-odd core group members and some volunteers, but by evening their numbers had doubled. As they closely followed the Parliament debate unfold on the TV screen, they praised some of the speakers and criticised others.
And finally, when Team Anna’s Shanti Bhushan announced on the main stage that Hazare would break his fast at 10am on Sunday, the excited members started hugging each other. Juice packs, sweets and biscuits were passed around in a sort of impromptu party. Photographs were taken of their last day at Ramlila Maidan, their home for the last 12 days. Arvind Kejriwal got a victory lap on the shoulders of volunteers shouting “Desh ka neta kaisa ho, Arvind Kejriwal jaisa ho”.
Then came a guessing game on how Hazare would end his fast. While some said he would follow his normal practice of having a nimbu pani (lemonade), others said he might prefer juice.