So India has begun its dance of democracy. I watched with a great deal of skepticism the various gimmicks of the media and other concerned groups to get the indifferent urban middle class to vote. I (rightly) figured that this section of society in Bangalore would disappoint yet again. Of course, when it comes to complaining about our pathetic civic amenities, corruption and so forth, the loudest armchair gripers are from this section of society. If you are reading this AND you haven’t bothered to get out and vote: Yes, I AM referring to YOU, yes, shame on you, and yes, I AM judging you.
In case you ask, I have a perfect voting record, having diligently got that telltale black mark on my finger at every election there has been since I turned 18. In any case, this post isn’t about pointing my inked finger at blasé non-voters. It is about a certain “poll dancer” I encountered at the voting booth.
I tromped into my designated voting station, bleary-eyed at the wee hour of 7:30 am. “No! I don’t want that! I can’t have that on my finger” a voice protested. It belonged to an old (and by that I mean fossilized) Anglo-Indian lady in a trademark pink flowered frock and short gray hair. She was objecting to having her index finger inked. “No! Don’t put a big mark” she barked at the flustered election officer, “I have to attend a wedding today!”
Really, Granma, I hate to break it to you, but nobody is really going to notice you at that wedding, let alone your gnarled index finger. She, however, continued to make her displeasure known. “I won’t cheat. I have voted in so many elections. I know THREE freedom fighters.” (That was kinda my point, Granma.)
Granma Flower Power then made her way to the voting booth. Of course, she (having known THREE freedom fighters) must have been taken aback at the sight of three electronic voting machines. No ballot box and paper? She declined assistance from the still flustered election officer. “I know what to do! You don’t have to tell me. I have voted so many times!” barked our veteran voter before attempting to press one of the red lights on the EVM. The persistent election officer then informed her that that was a light and she ought to press a button.
“I know! Don’t worry! I won’t press it twice” she raged back. She then pressed a button (glory, glory, hallelujah!) and then stalked out yelling, “Why will I press it twice? Nobody is even worth it!” (They don’t make them like those THREE freedom fighters anymore, huh?)