1. Maybe not a billion, but surely tens of millions of citizens were rejoicing since last night. The reason - Indian cricket team won the World Cup last night :) :) . We won this cup after a gap of 28 years (6 World Cups have passed by since we won in 1983). We came close to winning in 2003, but lost out very badly in the finals against Australia. We had a very disastrous World Cup campaign in 2007, when we got eliminated in the first round only. Since then, Team India has shown new initiative and new enthusiasm in getting back on track. The team won the T20 World Cup in 2007 (though we lost early in the subsequent 2 World Cups). The team then rose steadily to become the top ranked team in Tests too. This was a stupendous achievement given the difficulty in playing Test cricket. We then went onto become the top ranked team in ODIs too (I think currently we are second). This slow and steady rise has also ensured the hopes of fans also rise :). The initial round of this world cup saw India winning 3 matches, losing one and tieing one. Sachin Tendulkar (yes, even after 21 years in International cricket, he was our best batsmen!), Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan were in top form in this tournament. However, we lost to South Africa due to a disastrous batting collapse and the tied match against England was due to some very shoddy bowling and batting at death. This had sceptics again wondering - we are winning against small teams and losing against the top teams. Amidst this background, we took on Australia (which won the last three World Cups!) in the Quarter Finals. Some superb performances by team members ensured that we beat them comprehensively. Next came the big match - Semifinals against arch rivals Pakistan! This match was hyped to unbelievable levels by our media. The Prime Minister of India invited his counterpart from Pakistan to view the match (more on this "diplomacy" in the next point). Amidst this pressure, Team India again came out with flying colours. Sachin Tendulkar was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 85. Each Indian bowler took 2 wickets. The win again reinforced belief in team effort. And then the finals - another superb team effort. Dhoni, who did not click with his bat in the entire tournament stuck form at the right time. Along with Gambhir, who made a superb 97, Dhoni ensured that we won the match with enough wickets to spare. From a first round exit in 2007 to winning the cup in 2011, the team has come a very long way. In the early 2000s, Sourav Ganguly exemplified leadership, and inspired confidence in the team to very high levels. It was during his time that "Team India" was born. And that spirit was continued by M.S.Dhoni and the results are now there for everyone to see. We won T20 World, are on top of Test rankings and we are now World Champions! What more can a cricket fan ask for :).
2. "Mohali diplomacy successful" screamed some headlines. They followed that headline with "Pak PM invites Sonia" and "Pak PM invites Team India to come and play in Pak". Now, is this what successful diplomacy has been reduced to? We invite them, they come here and invite us - and all is well? Pakistan is yet to take any serious action on our terror related complaints, and here we are - ever ready to showcase that we are willing to forget all those lives lost. A separate blog post to detail the PM's obsession with Pakistan to follow. Until then, enjoy the world cup victory your Honour!