The road outside Type 5 of the BSNL colony in Gole Market did not show any signs of the mayhem that was unfolding inside the second floor of one of the buildings. Outside the building, media vans jostled for space with plastic chairs lined up.
A neighbour from the building next door was seen speaking to a bunch of enthusiastic teenagers. "Now you have an idol in your colony. There is so much inspiration. You should ask her when this hullabaloo recedes, how did she study, when does she get up and all the details," he says.
Inside the second floor of the building, the living room of the Dabis is close to a catastrophe. Media persons have gathered, and rattled relatives are trying to coordinate, pacify and distribute sweets and water to the burgeoning gathering.
As the cameras roll, Tina's confidence is remarkable. "I have been preparing for a long time. When I was in the eleventh standard, I decided I wanted to crack the civics," says the 22-year-old. She speaks of her dedication, and of the focus she cultivated over the years.
"I had a strategy, and I focussed on the key subject that will get me through. And that's why I majored in Political Science in my bachelor's degree," said the political science graduate from Lady Shri Ram College.
She says that her mother, Himali, is her hero. "She worked exceptionally hard, and I wish I can tell you how proud I am. She is my hero," said her mother, who was flustered with the sudden explosion of people in her drawing room.
Tina says that she left everything for two years. After topping political science at LSR, she studied for a year at Wajiram Coaching Centre. She paints Madhubani paintings, she sings, she debated in college, and was also a part of mock United Nations.
Her time at LSR, says Tina, has taught her about gender equality. And perhaps, that's what has led her to decide to choose IAS and opt for Haryana as her state cadre.
"Haryana is an interesting state. Despite the development all around, it lags in some specific social indicators, the most important being gender equality. My time at LSR has taught me the important of equality for both sexes," she says.
Her father, BSNL employee Jaswant Dabi says that his words are failing him. "She put in a lot of work, and I am amazed," he says.
Her gleaming sister, Ria, who's in the twelfth standard, says that her sister has always inspired her. "She was always a topper in school and at LSR. She's my best friend, and I'm just too happy," she says.
Cousins Maanya, Dharini and Dhanish says that Tina is the centre of the party always. "We will learn a lot from her. She is an all rounder. And, is very much the normal Delhi girl," they say.
Even after obliging dozens of media men, Tina's ever smiling face pens the last word. "This is surreal. And I will work to maintain this love I have suddenly received," she says.