New York: The build-up to visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address at Madison Square Garden on Sunday has reached its crescendo, with Indian American residents here expressing their joy and excitement over the prospect of hearing him live.
All those queuing up at the historic venue said that they don't want to miss what they called this once in a life time opportunity.
"We cannot miss this chance; it is a chance of a life time. One good thing is that he will be speaking in front of an Indian audience, and will have no diplomatic barriers while speaking," said one enthusiastic supporter of Prime Minister Modi.
Wearing a big smile on his face, an elderly citizen from India who has come all the way from Princeton, New Jersey, described his feelings.
He told ANI, "We have come from Princeton, New Jersey and we plan to see Modi, Prime Minister of India. We are very excited to see him and listen to him as a non-partial Indian Prime Minister."
The mood is quite upbeat among Indian Americans so much so that they have woken up early in the morning to make the trip. Distance doesn't matter for them nor can it act as an impediment to attending this event. At the same time, these supporters of the Prime Minister have wished for his good health and heaped lavish praise on his style of leadership.
"We woke up 6 a.m., and have come here. We are from DC (District of Columbia). We cannot miss it. We know that he will speak from his heart," said one ardent supporter of Prime Minster Modi.
"No, it is not too early for the occasion. You know, it's never early. My wife and I are here from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, since last night. We are proud. Whatever he is going to do, he is going to do. He is a very determined person. He has done great for Gujarat state, and I am sure he is going to do great for the country," a senior Indian American told ANI.
"I have been motivated by Modiji right from the last two years. He is a great leader. I think we needed that kind of leader for India for all the problems that we have there. Well I think that whatever he says, he speaks from his heart. It is going to be good for our country India and all universe. So, I am very proud and able to listen to him," another Indian American said.
A senior Indian American lady told ANI that she hoped that God gives enough strength forever and ever and that he (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) may live forever and ever,"
Beaming with extreme joy, another Indian American added, "This is like a big fair of Indians.., and I am really happy to be able to take part in it."
Wearing a saffron colour khadi kurta, another supporter of the Prime Minister said, "He had said during his election campaign Saabka Sath Saabka Vikas, party colours doesn't matter anymore, 1.2 billion people are together in it. This is big event so one of the things that I am looking forward to it is how he is able to connect with NRIs; is going to be a key factor for today."
Claiming to be from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat, an enthusiastic Indian American lady told ANI: "I am from Gujarat, Ahmedabad, from where he belongs as well. We are very excited to see him after a long time."
Others like her said, "I am Gujarati and must show our culture. It is a big day."
The enthusiasm over Prime Minister Modi's speech is so much that a bunch of enthusiastic youth coming all the way from Toronto, Canada, wore orange T-shirts, with an image of Prime Minister in the middle.
These youth expressed their love for Prime Minister Modi and said that's why they had come to New York from Toronto to see him.
In his departure statement while heading towards U.S., Prime Minister Modi had said, "I keenly await the opportunity to meet the Indian American community at the Madison Square Garden in New York. Their success in diverse fields, their contribution to the United States, their abiding bonds with India, and their role as a vibrant bridge between the two largest democracies is a source of pride for us. They serve as a window to our heritage, progress and potential."
Indian Americans have been queuing up to buy the tickets for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address at Madison Square Garden, with organizers saying that due to the tremendous demand for tickets, they had to restrict almost 450 associations that became 'welcoming partners'.
Madison Square Garden is a historic and technologically advanced venue which can accommodate almost 20,000 people.
It is well known as the venue where Beatles' founder John Lennon played his last concert. And boxing legend Muhammad Ali fought his first match.
The historic Times Square arena would also be able to witness the Prime Minister speech live.