I along with my friends decided to move towards India Gate after the match, and what we experienced then was a revelation. Delhi came to life, like it had never come to life in my life. Many of you reading this might have very well been part of this carnival at night. So you will be able to relate to this as closely as I am being able to.
Cars and bikes, for the first time perhaps, carried Indians and not any other identity. The music, the energy, the tempo, the excitement, the delirious happiness, the exult of a triumphant nation outscored any other feeling people might harbor otherwise. Absolute strangers hugging, shaking hands, “hi-fiving”, and greeting each other throughout the night was not an India I have ever witnessed. People had no other purpose but to celebrate a long cherished dream come true. It was as if for the first time, as a city, we had a greater meaning to our lives, and not get consumed by petty differences. The best thing I loved about the experience was that not for a moment, women who were as much part of this celebration were made to feel unsafe and intruded. Sociologist have always eluded to women’s treatment in a society as the barometer of the evolution of a civilization. And in that one night, I felt as if we have the inherent potential to be a civilized nation.
There were girls wearing shorts atop cars, swinging to the mass musical riot. And I did not notice, even a single guy making an inappropriate remark or a gesture that has until now come to be known as a trademark of our city.
I for most part of this wondrous parade, was quite, silently absorbing this experience, realizing that all our youth needs is a strong enough reason to believe in its potential and the motivation to dream of the infinite possibilities. I also realized that there was so much of pent up ambition within all of us, that one glorious win got the masses to rise above their insignificant lives, their constrained though processes, their conditioned belief systems and their repressed angst. It was a testimony how such epic energy was held back and it resulted in drip by drip release through crimes, insecurity, negativity, and regressive decline of our social and moral fabric. Only if we could learn from this experience and make a mindset shift in what possibilities actually await us—we will be unstoppable as a nation!
As a nation, we really need true reasons to celebrate. Not self indulgent hooplas that celebrate every compromise we effect in our drab lives. For the first time, I saw promise in our city and its youth. I have been a cynic for quite some time, and might continue to be so. But this surely will make me cynical about my own cynicism.
Our city can and I hope someday, drip by drip, improve its benchmark of how it views, values and validates its own self.