“India, zindabad!”. “Southall, zindabad!”. ”Bacardi, zindabad!”. So went the chants in a west London pub, growing increasingly slurred, euphoric and surreal, as India pursued the World Cup title with a pugnacious run-chase. Thousands of Indian flags, colours and horns were waved, sported and blared into the night sky over London, as Southall celebrated the triumph of Dhoni’s team.
No doubt Southall boasts a vibrant Indian community, but unprecedented scenes of celebration were also witnessed elsewhere in London—in Hounslow and Wembley, for instance. It was a robust affirmation of Indian identity, of being brash, confident and unashamed of who they are—and, more importantly, where they come from.