'I feel like it's a personal triumph even though I have not contributed anything.'
Everyone in the area where I live in Chennai, it seemed, was glued to their television sets on Wednesday evening watching Chandrayaan-3 descend on the Moon's surface.
Dhanamlakshmi, who works as a cook in three houses, watched the telecast with her two school-going sons. "They were discussing as the rocket got closer to the Moon. I think the teachers in their school had told them what to expect. They cheered when it landed."
"I felt proud and happy that my sons understood so much about how it happened. I did not understand, but was happy that my country had landed on the Moon."
At the other end of the economic spectrum, Usha, a wealthy housewife, exclaims, "Super! I am very happy with our scientists. You should have seen my daughter Vishakha, she was watching it with so much concentration."
"It was a moment of pride," says Usha's mother Saroja. "In my WhatsApp group people were so elated."
Saroja later forwards a message from her WhatsApp group: 'As the Sun sets this evening, look at the Moon, India is up there.'
"I was relieved when it landed safely," says Suresh, an Uber driver. "I was worried because the Russian lunar probe crashed and we collaborate so much with the Russians. Our scientists are the best."
"I am happy that we landed on the moon," says Mohanram. "They mentioned that we are the fourth nation to do so. They (some news television channels) mentioned the United States and Russia as having landed on the moon before us, but they left out China. Just became we don't like China doesn't mean we ignore facts."
"I feel like it's a personal triumph even though I have not contributed anything," says software engineer Samyukta. "I am proud of my country and its scientists."
"It was an enjoyable evening," senior citizen Vijaya tells me. "The whole family was together watching and when it landed, everyone cheered and clapped. We could hear the entire street yelling and cheering, the neighbourhood was filled with happiness."