Samarth Wadhwa arrived at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium early to experience the build-up to the closing ceremony, confident of another spectacular to round off a successful Commonwealth Games.
"The opening ceremony just blew me away completely," the 21-year-old engineering student told AFP. "It was simply awesome. It made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It made me proud to be an Indian.
"India is now there on the world map."
High in the stadium's upper tiers below the fan-tailed roof and floodlights, Wadhwa was not alone in feeling a sense of pride that India pulled off the Games.
As dancers and performers in colourful costumes gathered to bring the curtain down on nearly two weeks of sport, pre-Games concerns about construction, hygiene and security were all brushed aside.
"It was just blown out of all proportion," said the student's mother, Surekha, with a wave of her hand and a shake of the head. "There weren't any problems."
"The organisers have done India proud," added Harish Mehta, who had come to see the showpiece finale with his wife, Pridi and 11-year-old son Rudraksh.
"There are problems anywhere in the world. The media has exaggerated. But we've done it," added the businessman.
More importantly, the success of India's athletes - second in the overall medal table behind Australia - has created new stars, role models and ambitions in a country where previously only cricket aroused such passion.
"It's created a lot of interest among the Indian public, not in Delhi alone but in other places with a lot of viewership through television," said civil servant Shakti Kanta Das.
"I think that should be sustained. I think the success not just of the Indian participants but others from other parts of the world will motivate and enthuse all of India."
The prospect that the Games could spur perennial sporting under-achievers India and its 1.2 billion people to fulfil their potential could be a daunting one for other nations.
Consultancy Ernst and Young said this year that modern sports facilities in Indian cities are "woefully deficient" while the Sports Authority of India said less than five percent of people have access to places to play organised sport.
If Commonwealth Games success for India has come without the proper facilities, what would the country do if they were built?
Das anticipates that the venues will be opened up to the public and pressure will grow in towns and cities that have produced champions to build the sporting infrastructure required to nurture the sports stars of tomorrow.
"It's happened in cricket. Smaller towns like Nagpur, Bhopal or Indore, where 20 years ago there was no cricket, now have stadiums and a lot of the youngsters are coming through from these places," he added.
"If you see the Indians who have won, they all come from smaller places. They're not from Mumbai, Calcutta (Kolkata) or Delhi... It (sporting infrastructure) is an investment for the future."