Delhi cast votes for the MCD today. From what I hear, last time around, the turnout was pretty bad. This morning, I woke up to people making a big noise right across the street. As I peered out the window, I saw several white kurtas and a few jholas. The people sporting these made quite a hullabaloo and sprinkled a pamphlet or so at every passer-by who seemed curious enough. I looked for the neighbourhood kids. They have been taking active part in the campaigning in our colony. *insert party here* ka saath gives you water ka bath, or some such slogan. As you can see, pretty neat.
Now, Dad is pretty involved as far as the local campaigning goes. He gets invited to these dinner does which serve dal tadka and rice and make you listen to a lot of bhashan. We get calls which ask us to tell other people to go and vote. And when we do that, we need to add meaningfully: “of course, you know whom to vote for”. As far as I am concerned, I always go and vote. Despite the cynical voices, even inside my head sometimes, which scream that the exercise is in vain. Summer will soon peak and we will be left digging wells for water. If someone promises help, and has delivered in the past, it makes good sense to go and extend support and anyway, bid goodbye to that conscience pang which won’t be able to reprimand you for not exercising your right to franchise.
Tomorrow onwards, the letter boxes will not contain voting notices. In colourful, party colours. They will only have pizza delivery menus, tuition center advertisements and cheap beauty spas. Even the newspapers will be left wondering about how to fill the extra space which the absence of polling ads will create. They might decide to do that with a meatier elaboration of the latest crime. Not that there is any dearth of that in the capital, anyway.
When the results come out in a bit, material will again mushroom. News channels will run update-tickers. Perhaps a bit on social media as well? But I have yet to see our Twitter-ites and Facebook-ers go all out discussing MCD elections. Such a pity. There is a lot of meat there, considering the canvassing has been going on for quite a while. It will at least serve to energize some people I met today. When Dad asked them to go to the nearest booth, they said: “Oh, whom should I vote for?” “Such a long queue, you know.” “Vote? I have important plans you see. Yawn.” I am not idle like you, they mean. Sometimes, you feel sorry you asked.
I enjoy the polling season. It is such a mix of cynicism, optimism and carnival wrapped up in one. What happens later and much later and if anything happens at all, is a different story.