The Blue streak !!
It was a lousy Wednesday. I woke up late giving a miss to the mundane errands which I had to run. After leafing through the newspapers , I realized that Wednesday , April 13 was the D – Day. The parties sounding the election bugle to canvass the votes had nail biting days ahead. Today was the day when the whole Tamil Nadu went to polls and the outcome had a larger say on the future of who rules the country of India. Like everyone down south , I too was frustrated when the news about 2G scam hit the country hard. The surprise gradually transformed into fidgety reactions when it sink in that the amount siphoned from the 2G auctions were dovetailed into the shares of a prominent Cable Television down south. The investigating agency opened a can of worms when they alleged that the scions and the godfather of a distinguished political family were at the center of the controversy and were the beneficiaries. The investigation is still a work in progress.
Bearing all this in mind , I geared up to exercise my franchisee this time. I anticipated that the mornings would witness heavy polling. There would be loquacious women , frustrated men and abusive and authoritative police men above the scorching sun inviting me en route to my destination i.e. the ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINE ! Therefore , I decided to venture outside at the eleventh hour to escape the wrath of the Sun !
The mornings as everyone anticipated witnessed the voting centers becoming beehives of activity. Celebrities, Politicians and prominent figures in the society were the early birds. They wore a smile on their faces and held their hands high up in the air , flaunting the sign that they have just cast their votes. The lesser attractive voting centers saw some party cadres flouting all the rules. This reached my ears through my friend , who surprisingly was at the receiving end of a windfall when he went to cast his vote. Nope , He did not cast a bogus vote.
When my friend was a couple of meters shy of the School which has been turned into a Polling booth, a few cadres of a party dressed unmistakably in spotless white approached him. They wanted to strike a deal with him and had already begun to negotiate. Our guy was flummoxed by the audacity of these men who had scant regard of the law or the presence of the men in Khaki. The deal was simple. They wanted the protagonist (my friend ) to vote for their party . If his answer was a green signal for this deal , he would be paid rs. 500 for his benevolent act. A QUID PRO QUO of sorts ! My friend grabbed the opportunity with glee and gave it a go despite the fact that the men belonged to the political party which was despised by him to the core ! He grabbed the amount first and showed them a clenched fist when he emerged out of the booth !
When he narrated this incident to him , I was flummoxed by the fact that he would succumb to temptations. All set to reprimand him , I came out with a line which questioned his very conscience and eventually ended my rant by asking ” How could you do that ?”
He coolly replied – “Relax Mate , I took the money and voted for their opponents .” He made sure that he voted for the party in which he had faith !
Unaware of these windfalls awaiting a citizen at the polling booth , I felt that I should not postpone my visit further. When I reached the polling booth at the eleventh hour all I spotted there was a couple of officials , tired ladies and of course the voting machine.
After casting my vote , I resolved that starting next time I too would rise early and head to the booth first ! You never know !