Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Going home!

When my company guide agreed to give me a day off to go home over the weekend, my joy knew no bounds! Its been quite a while since I went home to my nest and this weekend was supposed to be the kind that would rejuvenate and show me a whole new meaning of life. And in spite of not getting a confirmed ticket back to Bang, I took a big risk and boarded the Brindavan on Friday afternoon. What can I say? Two days of sun, sand and summer fun with family and friends were enough food for my soul to last a little lifetime :)

But what I hadn't anticipated was the TN elections to be scheduled on Monday (It happens when you just pretend to read the ET over coffee!) The moment I stepped out of the Central station, there were red and black flags all over. In fact I even saw quite a few kids carrying some (like they pin it on Independence day!) on the road! The autos were as usual blaring some music with lots of 'katchi' (party) members falling out of it.....the realisation dawned then...I was witnessing the last day of campaigning in Chennai and that Mrs. Congress leader had come to the city for a last minute inspiration to the public! To say that the favor was leaning towards the DMK-Congress alliance would be an understatement! Everyone I asked were very vehement about their choice of vote!

When everyone is excited around you, how can you keep your own adrenalin down? Especially when this happens to be your first ever chance to vote? That too, when you can influence the next government at the center!! Naturally, as soon as I reached home, the first thing I did was searh for my voter's ID card (I was very prompt in getting one as soon as I turned 18 though it did come to me only after I turned 20!!) I was waiting for Monday to come and that first mark on my index finger. What I hadnt foreseen was my name missing from the list! After all, I have a valid voter's id and I know for sure it was entered in the voters list last time they came around asking.

You see, my parents had shifted houses in the last year and well, logically our voting constituency should also change along with the change in Ration card right? Or atleast it should remain in the list of the last constituency right?! There I was, fresh at seven in the morning, having slept over at a friend's place, ready in front of the gate of my voting booth in my previous constituency (my parents had warned me our names were not there in the new place's list so I concluded it must still be in the old one) to make a difference and exercise my civil right for the first time. What do I find? Oh what do I find? My name is there alright but its stuck out!

"What does that mean?" I ask the PO and get a promt reply..

"Probably, the person had expired!"

"Excuse me?! Thats me and last time I checked I am very much alive!"

"Oh, well then you must have shifted right?"

"Yes, but my name is not there in that list?!!! but very much here though stuck so can I proceed to vote?"

"Sorry you can't"

"Do you mean to say that though I have a valid voter's id, my stuck name on the list and no duplicate appearing elsewhere in another list, I still cant press the EVM?"

"Thats right madam, but dont worry, there will be a state assembly election very soon..you can vote then..........."

"what the ****! who wants to vote then! I may not even be alive and it may again be stuck out....#*#$*#$*#*%~#$%@%"

You can guess my state of mind afterwards! All my adrenalin wasted :((

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