Toronto/Washington/London, Apr 3: Indians across the world broke into a frenzied celebration after the World Cup Cricket win by the “Men in Blue” amid joyous scenes marked by nationalistic fervour in foreign land.
Cars drove up and down through Brampton, Toronto's Little India, with their horns blaring and the tricolour flapping in the wind just after Captain M S Dhoni hit the winning six. India last night beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the World Cup final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Several Indo-Canadian members of parliament including Gurbax Singh Malhi and Ruby Dhalla watched the match in Brampton, which is home to the largest concentration of Indians in Toronto.
Some organisations in Brampton and downtown bars in Toronto organised live screening of the match.
The people of Indian and Sri Lankan descent in Canada described cricket as a religion.
Sakshi Sharma, a young legal professional in Brampton, said the victory was historic and every Indo-Canadian feels proud of Indian cricket team's achievement.
“After watching the game, I felt closer to my motherland,” she said.
Lester De-Silva said, who used to play cricket for his state in India, added: “Cricket unites everyone. It brings people together.”
Indian diaspora in the United States and the rest of the world too celebrated the cricket team's victory in a big way.
Hundreds of Indians also took to streets in Australia and New Zealand rejoicing the Indian victory while Southall, a large suburban district of west London and also known as ‘Little India”, also burst into celebrations with firecrackers being burst. Indians in Paris also cherished the Indian win with a cricket fan saying it was an “awesome experience” for them.
Sumeet Shah, an executive working in the US, drove more than 20 miles from his home in Maryland to a casual Indian restaurant in Virginia, which opened up its doors for customers till the wee hours yesterday.
Sumeet was joined by nearly 50 other Indian-American cricket-crazy fans at this Hot Bread restaurant, which was screening the match live.
Several of them had Indian flags in their hand while a few of them had tri-color painted on their face.
“Living thousands of miles away from our motherland, you seldom get an opportunity to display patriotism. Today was one of those occasions,” said Shah.
As Dhoni lofted the ball into the stands to register the historic win, the entire restaurant instantly erupted into cheers.
To celebrate the victory, the owner of the restaurant offered all with complimentary pastry in addition to the 25 per cent discount which it had offered earlier in the day for breakfast and lunch.
The story of Sumeet and Hot Bread was repeated across the US, where a large number of Indian restaurants opened up their shutters early in the morning. Several theatres in Greater Washington DC area, New York, New Jersey, California, Chicago, which regularly screen Indian movies, orgainsed live telecast of the title clash and most of them reported house full.
The ticket for such live telecast ranged from USD 15 to USD 20.
“It gave us a great feel of watching the match. Moreover, it is a lot of fun when you watch the match with so many people. It was like watching it in a stadium,” said Ajay Singh, who watched the match at a movie theatre in Freemont California.
In Washington, the Sri Lankan Ambassador had opened up his residence for the cricket-crazy fans to see the match on a large screen.
“It was a very festive atmosphere,” said Surinder Kumar, who watched the match live at a restaurant in Jersey City, New Jersey.
As soon as the match was over, the Indian-Americans were not only seen hugging and greeting each other, but also were calling their friends and others to congratulate each other on the victory.
“We are World Champions now after 28 years. This is a matter of national pride,” said Rakesh Pathak in Silicon Valley.
Rakesh, who works as a software consultant in an IT company, had also hosted a party at his home.
“This is an occasion to celebrate, after all it comes once in a generation,” he said.
Melbourne, Sydney and other parts of Australia experienced a deep sense of joy among Indian diaspora. At a meeting in Parramatta suburb of New South Wales, Council of Indian Australians expressed their utmost joy.
Last night, thousands of Indians gathered at Harris Park suburb of NSW as well as Melbourne CBD areas to celebrate the victory while many were glued to their TV sets till 5am (local time) at home with friends or relatives.
Indians in quake-hit Christchurch also came out on streets and danced hailing Indian victory. PTI