Voting Like Bride on Her Wedding Day
By Rachna Singh
The writer is a bestselling author of three books written across the genres of humour, love and relationships: ‘Dating, Diapers and Denial’, ‘Nuptial Knots’ and ‘That Autumn in Awadh’. You can know more about her from her website: www.rachnasingh.net
Like a bride on her the morning of her wedding. Uncertain. Wound-up. Happy. Anxious.
‘Should I wear something nice?’
Angel and devil pop out of my head , unclasping their hover-rotors and positioning themselves over my left and right ear respectively.
Angel : ‘Dress for the occasion. It’s special.’
Devil : ‘What nonsense! Go in your pyjamas.’
Angel : ‘Put on your new tee shirt. Give the moment it’s rightful place.’
Devil : ‘Anything you put on will not redeem your looks.’
That was it! The devil lost. I shower and put on new clothes. A dab of cream, blue-eye liner and square studs. I am satisfied. I gulp down my tea, somehow, gobble half of the sandwich. The restlessness is mounting. One last check.
Yes, our shining, new voting id cards are in our pockets.
We get into the car and head towards our polling station. The morning is breathing softly, as we drive around the Kasavanahalli lake towards our destination.
‘Who will you vote for?’ I ask Alok. He is pensive.
‘Ummmm, it’s a head versus heart fight for me.’
‘What about you?’
‘I won’t tell’, I say smugly. Isn’t that the right way to do it?
I start mulling over my decision. Alok turns on the radio. Manna Dey tells me,
‘Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, chhoodayoon kaise’.
It’s a sign. My mind is made up. Bharat Mata needs her chunari cleaned up. It’s time.
It’s 7:04 am. We reach the entrance. A modest clutch of bleary-eyed folks can be seen like a swelling blot around the help-desk. We walk right past it: we have already downloaded our voting room and serial number from the internet. A narrow, unpaved road leads to the Government school on Haralur road. We decide to walk down. Large sedans and SUVs drive past us, kicking up dust, stumbling unsurely on the bumpy road like the voter who has claimed his bottle of liquour before coming to the polling station.
We reach the school. Several familiar faces. Buzzing Queues. Some kids running around as their parents wait to vote. We stand in the line. I meet a client from the workplace. Few minutes of excited chatter.
I feel proud and responsible. I look around, beaming at everyone, including the some of the crows that are hopping around curiously.
I finally get to enter the room. Alok has jostled his way ahead of me! I am amused at his excitement. I enter next, flashing a brilliant smile. No one really responds. The chai-walla who has entered along with me thinks I am nuts. But, I continue to smile through the process. Like the bride finally on the dias.
I enter the cordoned area that houses the electronic voting machine.
What does it look like?
Will I understand how to operate it?
And then, there is it, steady and calm, like a poised bridegroom waiting for its blushing bride. It is embellished with so many pictures. Gosh! Just the number of party symbols staring back at me throws me off gear. It looks candy crush to the first-time player. So many of them! I scan nervously, and then spot my choice. I punch in with nervous fingers. The moment of truth!
We walk back towards our car down the narrow path. More swanky cars accost us, like an overweight dude striding in through a narrow door. There is hardly any space. I watch my step and lean towards my left to make some space. Now, thorny bushes prod me rudely. Whooo – it’s not an easy trail – get run over by a car or get mauled by a thorny shrub? I don’t have much of a choice. Like Bharat Mata?
I get out of it safely. Same to you, Bharat Mata!