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1.2 billion Indians woke up this morning feeling the most cheerful and optimistic about their lives in weeks. There was a palpable positive vibe in the air, and it felt unnaturally good to be an Indian, despite the weather, pollution, corruption, other people and a million other reasons.
More people went for morning walks than in months. Random strangers high-fived each other on the streets. Fits of laughter at early morning laughter clubs did not seem forced.
Office goers still rushed to their respective work places, but with a spring in their steps. Middle class men and women did not haggle with rickshaw pullers. Instead, they paid them 5 bucks over and above the usual fare, and slapped them on their backs cheerfully.
A minor car accident on the Delhi-Gurgaon highway this morning did not escalate into a full-blown fight involving fists, hockey sticks and guns. Instead, much to onlookers’ amazement, the two drivers surveyed the damage to their respective vehicles, stared at each other briefly and burst out laughing. A minute later, they put their arms around each other’s shoulders and walked over to a nearby tea-shop.
Even priests at the Tirumala temple allowed devotees an extra second of darshan instead of herding them forward with stern calls of “Jargundi! jargundi!”
Seeking an answer to this unusual wave of cheer among the usually cranky urban dwellers, this Unreal Times correspondent asked a rickshaw puller in Delhi if he had an idea about what was going on. The man smiled patronizingly and said, “Kal match nahi dekhe kya?”