Skip to main content

The audacity of vote

The Maharashtra elections were held yesterday. We got a holiday in Mumbai so that we could vote. Some TV reports said that about 52% of people in Mumbai voted which was up from 45 % from the parliamentary elections here (don't hold me to the numbers, but these are roughly what I remember). My home constituency, Bandra W had the lowest turnout at 42 %. Though the Bollywood Khans and Munnabhais who live here voted. If you dissect these numbers more than actually less than 52 % of those eligible voted. 52 % of those on the voters list voted. But there are many who are eligible who aren't on the list. So as a market researcher would say, one has to apply a correction figure and down weight the numbers.

In English this would mean that actually less than 52% voted.

I voted yesterday. As I did in the recent parliamentary elections. But then I am a migrant from a city where politics is religion and voting is a fact of life.

I learnt from a recent panel discussion on news that you are officially a Mumbaikar only if you have lived in Mumbai for fifteen years. I am in my tenth year and need to figure out where to register. Any suggestions? In the same talk show a custodian of the city said he would be OK if migrants came in with a job and a house to Mumbai. I guess he will be fine with me as I had asked to be transferred to Mumbai years back and had fixed a paying guest accommodation before I came in.

Voting was fairly easy ONCE you got yourself on the voter's list. That took us about two to three years. And it is not as easy as the sarcastic wise guy drinking tea on TV claims.

But once we were on the list we got our voter's slip before the last election. And this time too. Our names were given an interesting spin. But that little detail aside the slip gives you the name of the school where you have to go to vote, the room number (!) where you will vote, the timings, list of documents required... everything short of asking your meal preferences.

So we woke up at twelve. Made a round of coffee shops searching for breakfast. Bought samosas from Punjab Sweets as the coffee shops were shut. Went home home. Made coffee. Had breakfast at one PM (it was a holiday guys), drove down. Found the school. And the room number. Easily. Stood in the queue. Fifteen minutes. Pressed a button. Voted and out.

Now that's as uncomplicated as it gets.

Yes, I know, whom will you vote for, all parties are the same, nothing will happen, etc etc

But you can register a no vote, you can vote for an indy who won't win ... as someone wrote on Facebook yesterday, now that she had voted, she had earned the right to crib and rant through the year.

1 comment

Popular posts from this blog

The importance of being 'Nyaka'

'Nyaka' is a Bengali term which beats translation. It could mean coy, coquettish, scheming, la di da. There is no one word which captures it. The term is used in a pejorative context and has a sarcastic tone to it. Used a bit more for women than for men. Has a feminine context when used for men.I posed the challenge of translating 'nyaka' into English to fellow Bengalis in Facebook. Here's a sample of the answers that I got.I have removed the names and kept the statuese as is, hope it's not too difficult to read

Bong man 1Coy.....but that does capture the essence
14 December at 14:37 ·

Me
No ...not entirely. A colleague just suggested precocious. Maybe its too intrinsic a Bong trait to be translated :)
14 December at 14:50 ·

Bong woman 1kol-lan, difficult to get a english / hindi word for nyaka.
14 December at 15:11 ·

me
that's the point
14 December at 15:15 ·

Bong woman 2
oh, i think the essence of the word 'nyaka' will be lost in translation. just like gettin…

Where will you be twenty years from now?

A taste of Mumbai
It struck me the other day that it has been about twenty years since the time I took my first steps, albeit unwittingly, towards moving into Mumbai.
I had been recruited by a market research agency in Kolkata from campus back then. I joined my new office once the MBA course was over. We were then sent to Mumbai for a training programme in August 1997. Once the course was over, my colleagues from Kolkata returned home. I was slated to stay back for a 2 month training programme in Mumbai which then stretched on for close to 6 months. I was put up at a PG in Bandra by my office then.
Such  a long journey
This was the first time that I was living away from home. All I wanted to do then was to get back to Kolkata as soon as I could. Go back and build a successful career in market research hopefully. Move to an apartment in a posher part of Kolkata than where we lived. At Ballygunge for example. 
I thought it would be cool one day have a club membership given to me by offic…

Queue-spreading because its spelling is the least of our problem with queues

Scene 1:

I had gone to pay local taxes at a government office in Bandra a few days back.

I was directed to a table where there was no-one else waiting. I went up to the officer at the desk and submitted our papers. He keyed in the details in to his computer. The results flashed immediately. I gave our cheque, so far so good.

Then the officer pointed out that the cheque was Rs 12 (twelve) more than what was due. We looked at each other and tried to figure out what has to be done. Suddenly an elderly corpulent gentleman came and sidled up and stood beside me. I waited a for a couple of seconds. I thought he might have a question for the officer. I looked at the encroacher. He smiled at me. There was no-one behind me and yet he stood beside me.

I looked at him and said, 'do you mind standing behind me? We are discussing something here.' He smiled at me and said, 'no problem, I will wait.'

I drew my breath and said, 'can you please stand in the queue while we finish.&…