Kolkata: Delirious scenes were seen across Kolkata as the city`s cricket-crazy crowd went wild in widespread celebration late into the night moments after India`s historic World Cup triumph in Mumbai.
No sooner than Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit the winning run off Nuwan Kulasekara for a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka who got past India in an eventful 1996 World Cup semifinals in Kolkata, euphoric scenes followed across the city.
In a nation where cricket is considered as religion, the triumph by Dhoni`s army became the ultimate joy for everybody across Kolkata and India alike.
Thousands of fans wearing Team India jersey waving tricolours flocked to the three-kilometre Park Street stretch, city`s most popular address and celebrations continued while similar scenes were seen across the city and elsewhere.
Be it Dalhousie, the city`s central business district, or Salt Lake, the IT hub, or Esplanade, the city`s heart, or Shyambazar in North or Behala, cricketing fraternity`s most popular address with the residence of Sourav Ganguly, frenzied scenes ticked off all across.
Ganguly might be busy with his TV commentary committments, but the locality of his residence went into the celebration mode as soon as the victory became clear. At City Centre mall, Salt Lake, where a gigantic screen was put up more than thousand people broke into dance and honked horns as partying began.
While there were ecstatic celebrations, emotional scenes too were seen with many fans breaking into tears after India`s second World Cup win after about three decades.
With cheers of `India... India... Vande Mataram... Jai Ho...` and `De Ghumake`...` youngsters came out holding tricolors high, a mark of realisation of a billion dreams.
"Many of us were either not born in 1983 or were not grown up to watch Kapil Dev win in the West Indies. We have grown up hearing the Kapil Devil`s story from our parents.
"We waited through years, and six editions of World Cups passed by. Sourav Ganguly`s team had come to a sniffing distance in 2003... But. The moment has come now," 18-year-old Neha Keshri, accompanied by her jubilant friends, said in Behala.
"Celebration has just begun... It will go on and on. We will not stop. We have so far heard the stories now we will celebrate and live on with this moment," said Bijay Dubey, a 33-year-old fan in Tollygunge.