After making history, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee was a picture of calm, in sharp contrast to the frenzied mass outside her home in the city’s Kalighat neighbourhood.
Her brother Subrata Banerjee led the celebrations.
“My mother, who is ill, was among the first to congratulate Mamata. We are very proud of her,” he said.
“My sister had to struggle for years to reach here where she has. Everyone is in a festive mood here.”
A little after noon, Mamata Banerjee emerged from her house, flashing a victory sign. The crowd roared.
“This is a new Bengal born,” said party supporter Naresh Jana, as sweets were distributed and a green Holi of sorts played on the streets.
Anuradha Dhar, a youngster from Jadavpur, who has been working in Banerjee’s office voluntarily for the past four years, said this was the “happiest moment” of her life.
“Now our leader will show what development really is,” Dhar said.
Praful Das, who has been working in a shop owned by Banerjee’s brother for 20 years, said it was the end of “such a long struggle” for the Trinamool chief who is now set to be the chief minister of West Bengal.
By evening, some of the victorious TMC MLAs started trickling in to Banerjee’s house. “Now, we will have to work for the people. Didi has given us clear instructions,” said Bobby Hakim, the winning Trinamool candidate from Kolkata Port, covered in green colour. The revelry continued till late night.
The colourful celebration of democracy caught the attention of foreign media crews as well. “This is very interesting. This is so vibrant,” said Imran Brada, a South African national who has been shooting a documentary on Indian democracy. “This is my first shoot in Bengal.”
That’s not all. Partha Rehman, a journalist from Bangladesh, had this piece of advice for the losing side: “The Left front should learn from its mistakes.”