The streets were empty yesterday morning and only one thing mattered to the Capital: who is winning where. On counting day, Mandate 2009 became the biggest TV show in five years.
Rahul Sharma, 22, woke up at 7 am to catch the pre-declaration hysteria. “After the Oscars, this was the most exciting thing on TV! It was like the biggest reality event in five years… everything would change every five minutes, and the news anchors were so hyper that it was all very entertaining.”
Neha Ahuja, a 24-year-old designer, felt as if her own exam results were being declared. “I was nervous too! I woke up just to watch the count — the anticipation felt like I was the one winning,” she said.
The Sahni family hasn’t watched anything but news channels for the past one month and it was no different on the counting day. “Any TV show, astrologers predicting the winners, exit polls, interviews, you name it with ‘election’ and my family would watch it. Cricket, Balika Vadhu, Utran, everything was forgotten. Yesterday, the excitement reached a crescendo,” said Minty Sahni, 23.
Ankur Jain, manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, did the impossible: he turned off his laptop, brought home no office work and even reduced cricket to momentary snatches. “I kept jumping from news channel to news channel, waiting for one analysis to outdo the other,” said Jain, clearly enjoying the adrenaline rush.
Rubu Mukherji, a school teacher and mother of three, woke her entire household up at 7 am in anticipation. “I’d been asking people who they voted for, but now I felt like some big secret was being revealed. The TV was on all day, I cooked, cleaned, even took my afternoon siesta with the TV on.”