We, the voters

Apr 26, 2014, 06:24 IST | Rohan Joshi

I voted. So now you have to hear me talk about it at excruciating length, so help you god

Rohan JoshiMitron, earlier this week I voted and thus fulfilled my civic duty, documented for posterity on the electoral rolls of India, my finger and most importantly, Instagram.

The experience was fulfilling as it now adds credibility to my say in all matters of national importance like education, LGBT rights and the outlawing of tomato ketchup on pizza.

Most importantly, it legitimizes my smug, uninformed arguments at all dinner parties and gives me the right to write open letter op-eds to Subramanyam Swamy empathizing with the rattling sound he must hear between his ears (and in his thoracic cavity) every time he moves.

With all those voter discounts on offer, who can resist the urge to vote? Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
With all those voter discounts on offer, who can resist the urge to vote? Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Saathiyon, my voting experience was pretty straightforward. I woke up bright and early at 7 am. Then I went back to bed for a few hours because while civic duty is noble, let’s not overreact here. I then grabbed my voter ID, (which, by the way, is applicable as proof of identity, address and sanctimony) and went down to my local polling booth.

Along the way, I nodded sagely to all I passed, as all good Officers of the Law should. My nodding may have been a bit too vigorous, as my vegetable vendor mistook it as an order for two doodhis, a bunch of coriander and six kilos of peas (with the shells removed, because SoBo baby!)

Doston, at the polling booth I waited in line, as all good mayors must. I even let an old uncle cut in front of me, because as Voltaire once said “let Modi sir come, then we will show people like you.” When it was my turn, I presented the polling officers with my ID card and proceeded to participate in the greatest democratic exercise of all time; dealing with incorrect records.

The polling officers couldn’t find my name on their rolls. This seemed an affront, and my ego was wounded, but as all ink-fingered Knights of the Realm like me know, what doesn’t kill you makes you do paperwork. So I marched back home and went to the Election Commission’s Website, where I found my name as well as a cultural treasure-trove of website design from the 1990s.

Deewanon, armed with this information, this humble Chief Minister of Maharashtra went back to the polling booth. This time they found me in their files and I was guided towards the voting machine. But before I pushed the button my finger was dabbed in voter ink, a mark that confirms my coronation as Khaleesi of India.

After this, I strode towards the EDM to claim my throne, and as I considered whom to give my one ring of power to, my mother’s wise words rang in my ears; “Your vote must be secret.” But I couldn’t find a candidate named “did you know Sarita and Bhupesh are having a scene? I saw them making out at Havmor Ice-cream”, so I just voted for the AAP instead.

Gaowaalon, I cannot describe the euphoria I felt as I exited the booth. I had been forged anew in the fires of democracy, reborn as the First Lady of the United States. I felt a great weight lift off my shoulders as all feelings of obligation towards political involvement for the next five years vanished into thin air.

As I marched out, I spied those who couldn’t find their names on the list. Fret not, peasants, CNN assures me through its 24-hour coverage that it has found them in six different locations at opposite ends of the Earth, and at least one location on the moon.

Dushmanon, to all those making snide remarks about how South Mumbai, doesn’t vote, I, your Creator, stand before you as a shining example of the fact that we do. Bow before our polling numbers (four people), among the highest in the city. Do not underestimate our commitment to democracy, governance and all those restaurant voter discounts on offer. Now if you’ll excuse me, my correspondence with Dr Swamy awaits.

Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo. You can also contact him on www.facebook.com/therohanjoshi

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