CELEBRATION

Celebrations nucleate a crowd. Some wins create hysteria across the country involving disconnected millions. It is a unique form of bonding involving a continent-size confidence. In The Crowd: A study of the popular mind, Gustave Le Bon writes, “The crowd is a provisional being formed of heterogeneous elements, which for a moment are combined, as the cells which constitutes a living body form by their reunion a new being which displays characteristics very different from those possessed by each of the cells singly.”

People generally join a crowd in search of oneness. Celebration provides a cover of security in togetherness. One feels safe to be a part of something worthwhile. In the crowd an individual loses himself, his mind loses individuality and becomes one with the psyche of the crowd. This leads to an increase in the individual’s enthusiasm and exuberance. He drops all guards. In these moments of crowd euphoria, an avowed teetotaler can be seen drinking joyfully. It is not uncommon to see foes becoming friends, introverts jumping out of their shells.

The crowd gives us an umbrella of anonymity. Once it melts, we are abruptly yanked back to our normal self. It is possible that the spirit of the crowd can influence the performance of the teams battling it out in the middle. If two minds can meet, why can’t the mind of the crowd meet the team’s mind? There is no reason why individual neurons can’t be in sync with other neurons. There are greater chances of neurons firing together in the crowd. It is the confidence of the people in their team’s ability that boosts its spirit. A happy brain has a powerful influence on the rest of the body. Hopefulness, optimism, and contentment seem to reduce health risks. Researchers believe that positive emotions and happiness make our immune system function better.

Happiness is a state of wellbeing. One wants to remain in that state. But, like every good thing, happiness also comes to an end. With time the euphoria dies down. The “tragic miracle of consciousness” is that it allows us to experience happiness that is always accompanied by the certainty of the end. But a big part of happiness is also looking forward to something. That something might as well be India becoming the World leader.