The tense and worried faces broke into wide smiles and the deafening silence gave way to thunderous celebrations the moment Vijender Kumar finished his quarterfinal bout on a winning note.
"Vijender did it, he's now an Olympic medallist," screamed his brother Manoj Kumar, sparking off the delirious celebrations in the house and the village, Kalwash. “Vijenderbhai jeet gaya, Vijender bhai jeet gaya…,” the village youth, most of who are also into boxing, shouted as they ran around in joy. "He is our hero and we want to be like him. He has made the country proud and we would try and emulate his feat in the 2012 London Olympics," said Balvinder, Vijender's cousin.
The joy of his mother, Krishna Beniwal, knew no bounds. "I am the happiest mother on earth today. My son has given me everything that a mother can ask for," she said, struggling to hold back her tears. "Everyone's congratulating us… just a moment back the Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda called up to congratulate us.
The government has made him an officer in the Haryana Police and also proposes to make our village an adarsh village, having a boxing stadium," she said.
For Vijender's father Mahipal Singh, it was like a dream come true. He was praying for his son's success in the temple when the bout was on.
He was simply speechless when the news was broken to him.
"I had taken one-and-half-month leave from the office and also took ‘kanwaria’ to Haridwar for his success. My prayers have been answered," he said.
This victory has raised the expectations from Vijender to the hilt.
"We want gold from him," said Vijender friend Ram Singh.
And they are pretty sure that Vijender wouldn't stop short of the ultimate glory.