I followed up on my good resolution to cast my vote as the first thing ‘to do’ in the day. After morning Mass, nicely timed at 6.30 AM, I took the 10-minute walk to the polling booth along unoccupied pavements, bordering empty streets. No crowds, no traffic. But I did encounter members of the ‘walking brigade’; trim in t-shirts, shorts and jogging shoes they cast enquiring looks my way. I did not look like a regular. A newbie, perhaps? Fellow jogger? I smiled my ‘No!’ Fellow voter? They returned the smile, ‘Not yet!’
And then there was the canine brigade as well. One lady had three fluffy miniature albino pekes. Ankle high and royal lap dogs, they come with a fascinating history of their own. I stopped to exchange insults with them – pekes are snobs! Then there was the dog walker with seven on separate leashes – three in front and four to the rear. Tall and short, fat and thin, they walked in perfect synch! The Drill Sergeant would have been proud of them and how!!
And so to the polling venue. I must truly look innocuous. The bevy of policemen – a whole cohort by the looks of them – were uninterested, and allowed me to pass through the portals unaccosted. No frisking, no security check, no ‘have you carried your mobile phone?’ Apparently, no trouble was expected. At the booth itself, a line of ten or so had already formed; an improvement over the last experience when we were just three and waiting for the booth to be opened! Clearance was brisk, my name found on the list, I cast my vote with the confirmatory ping and exited the booth with my inked left index finger. I took the comfortable walk home. The whole exercise had taken a mere half hour.
I have cast my little boat upon the water. Will it sail or will it sink? Will it go far and achieve much? Or will it be engulfed and overwhelmed? The portents for the future are not too far away.
Back home to a hot cup of tea and the morning paper. And I am assaulted by a solicitation by Modi for my vote – a full page frontal in the Times. Surely, this is a violation of the code of conduct? Solicitation is not allowed on voting day?!