LUCKNOW: IT was a new dawn which broke on an auspicious note with pooja and hawan in Paraunkh, the native village of President-elect Ram Nath Kovind, on Thursday. Paraunkh residents were busy worshipping the deity to seek Kovind’s victory. As the day proceeded and the results started trickling in, the small hamlet, which shot to sudden fame, started bustling with activity.
By evening, as the final result was announced confirming Kovind as the 14th President of India, the dreams and wishes of the residents of not only Paraunkh but Kanpur as a whole had taken shape and there were celebrations galore in the entire region.
“It is Diwali, Holi and Dussehra, all together for us today,” shrieked the excited crowd of villagers. Even rains could not dampen the spirits as they all danced to drumbeats in joy and ecstasy. Groups of people and a battery of media representatives had gathered in the village at Kovind’s ancestral home. A few years ago, the house was converted into a community hall for the villagers.
Every villager was taking pride in identifying himself with Paraunkh, as it was now become the President’s village. “Now that ‘bhaiyya’ has reached Rashtrapati Bhawan, our village will witness development,” said 77- year-old Madhav Singh, adding: “I congratulate Ram on his grand victory. He is about seven years younger to me and today he is the President of India. I hope to meet him someday.”
Overjoyed by the victory, women and girls in Kovind’s family were preparing to attend the swearing in ceremony on July 25. “We have booked 30 tickets as chachaji had asked us to come to Delhi,” says Kovind’s niece bubbling with joy.
“We will first go to Kanpur to buy new clothes for the occasion. We have been blessed with this life time opportunity. Still hard to believe,” said an elderly woman of the family. Rajkishore Singh, who was a year senior to Kovind, was surrounded by media representatives for his exclusive take on his friend’s victory.
Likewise, in Kanpur city, the sky was painted in different colours and crackers were going up along with special arrangements of ‘band’ and ‘baaja’ till late in the evening.
People could be seen dancing in groups as DJs played the choicest of Bollywood numbers in different localities. Scores of open mini-trucks mounted with giant speakers were criss-crossing the city. Sweets were distributed while, people were congratulated each other.