Thursday, April 30, 2009

Votes R us!

The middle finger of my left hand is stained - just like John Abraham's. I still haven't understood why it had to be the middle finger? What's wrong with the index finger? This time, the quality of the indelible ink must have been pretty bad or it was horribly diluted, because the 'dot' became a stream!! It looks exceedingly ugly and the purple has trickled under my nail, where it shall remain for months! But I cast my vote, along with a first time voter - my daughter Anandita, who was both exhilerated and nervous. The entire voting process has been streamlined and people really ought not to crib if they have to wait in long queues - it only shows that democracy is alive and well. Sure, the weather was beastly, and there were no fans ( I had taken my own!), but I enjoyed the hour or so that it took to get to the booth. It was a great opportunity to catch up with people from the neighbourhood and figure out how they were planning to exercise their right to pick the right candidate. My only grouse... the spiffy electronic voting machine was hidden behind a torn up cardboard screen that was unbelievably shabby. Could we not get proper voting booths like they use elsewhere in the world?? Apart from that, I was reassured to see the turnout in our locality ( notorious for its indiffernce and apathy). Of course, it has everything to do with 26\11 - and why not? I voted for change and I hope so did many others. ENOUGH OF THE STATUS QUO.
I'm off to Pune tomorrow morning. The weather will be merciless by day. But what the hell. I love that city. And am looking forward to checking out a couple of new places. Stonewater Grill? My son Aditya will be joining us just for the day. No agenda while in Pune. But no laptop either! My next post will be on sunday. Till then... adieu. Mi yetey... barra ka??


Anonymous said...

Check :

Anon said...

Luwkar ya amhi sagle thambnar tumcha pudcha blog bughala! Gosh its hard to write Marathi in English script.

Went to vote at the Dadar Gym yes have a purple streak all the way down my middle finger & in the nail but it was a pleasant experience. Polite efficient all the way! Wow! That's what really got me thrilled. Will miss you. Have a great weekend!

Unknown said...

Pune is my favorit place.. I will be there in August, hopefully the mmonsoon rain will have cooled it all down. You should take a walk in the park on Hanuman Mandir Road in Shivaji Nagar early in the AM, when its cool and still early dawn. Its next to BKS Iyengar's Yoga center. There is a big house on the other side with a Krishna temple where they chant hanuman chalisa at 7 pm. That whole street is most holistic!

News Editor said...

Whoever wins the elections, the loser will be the voter!

Ugich Konitari said...


Go climb and visit the Parvati temple this visit. The view is wonderful...Tha folks you see there are the real Pune....

Srikanth said...

I often wonder, why isn't the option "None of the above" there in ballots. Of course, there is section 49-O of our constitution and Form 17 to say you don't want to vote. But the ground reality is none of those really count. ECI doesn't keep any record of those opinions. Nor do parties care about them because they don't really matter when it comes to majority.

What we really need is the option "None of the above" included in the ballots so that the right to secret ballot is not violated and the political parties get a reality check. We come across, so often, winning candidates abusing the mandate of those voters who voted for them just because they didn't like the rest of the candidates.

It is high time voices like yours bring awareness among the public about this and encourage debate.

Here are a couple of articles about the Right to not Vote: and

Amulya Nagaraj said...

None of the above... I so agree!!!
I wouldn't mind all of that, if only people could find their names on the list. Least 6 people were turned away in the fifteen minutes I spent looking for my name in the list. And they found mine because one of the guys there saw my press card as i was pulling out my ID card

Sushmita said...

As far as I remember, I always saw that stain on the index finger..may be the ritual is different in Delhi :D
Me too a first time voter from Delhi, quiet nervous as they say from our constituency there are 41 parties, that means 3 electronic voting machines :D
Why do we have so many choices here...?!
41...its inhuman to treat the first timers(or as a matter of fact, all ) the voters with such a treat!
Have a great stay at Pune :)
Waiting eagerly for your next post:)

Sameer said...

I am so happy you are visiting my city...Pune :) Yup, the place that I grew up in and learnt most of the important lessons of life. Enjoy Pune and the changes coming to it. If you are into typical Puneri padarth, eat some Bedekar MisaL and Mastani from Sujata. :)

Lavakar ye aani kalav kase vatale Pune aani Punekar :)

Tan said...

I wish I could travel again - like olden days - two pairs of dresses - IInd class - Bangalore to Delhi to Ambala to Amritsar to Jaipur to Lucknow to Kolkata to Guwahati to Agartala and back to Bangalore!! I loved that...

You have so much for me to envy.. but then, travelability is the latest and strongest one...

Love You ... always :)

Pooja Rathore said...

Dear sD,
i watched 26/11 anticlimax show on NDTV about the low turnout in mumbai. same happened in Bangalore just 46% after all the campaining ...sad.., ruralside better and Mangalore very impressive iam waiting for the results. Have anice time in Pune.

varry said...

Hi Shobha mam, saw the debate you had come for on ndtv. Completely agree with you , i guess the reason for low turnout is sheer despondency which has resulted in apathy and indifference.It's like if one party is useless , the other is worthless and another hopeless.
It is rather depressing that on this pretext some of us prefer to abstain , does this connote that we wud like to be governed by IAS officers and no ministers? Infact I feel when we can give proven corrupt ministers a chance to come back to power why not let those educated IAS officers serve us and be answerable directly to our judiciary. This might change the whole scenario even if 30% of those IAS officers are not depraved i think India will be a much better and cleaner country.

pradipwritenow said...

It shall be my good luck if you may have noticed my comments among the crwod of comments on your blog. We some unlucky people who keeps on moving from place to place and remain away from their Home town can not caste their vote. Now so much improvement in voting system but how about covering people like us. Like ATM card some device may be given to us, initially may be at our own cost where through genuine entering of the code we may vote online. Shobhaji! Think for us and at least write a blog for us.

Anonymous said...

All the nalysis on news TV were indicating high voter turnout especially in Mumbai. Stars were pitching to vote, news channels pitching voters to vote and everything failed. In fact the scenario shows that the system has failed. And celebrerties and news TV have lost their moral high grounds and I can safely say their integrity.

Aaam aadmi now understands that everything is motivated, everything is money matter and everything is artificial. That is why of late we have seen frustrated aam aadmi resorting to shoe-mania. Now the common man on the street wants to be heard. Low turnout is eveidence of this desperation to be heard. This case is similar to high turnout in J&K aSSembly elections or high voter turnout in naxalite infested Red zone. Here citizens wanted to vote against violence, to shun violence. So they showed their will and strength by defying boycott calls. In mumbai they have slapped the administration and the political and elitist class. Mumbai have seen terror activities in the name of nation, religion and region. All in the name of Mumbai-kaars. They have seen there brethern beaten with sticks all becuase they are not Maharashtrians. They have seen unscrupulous political deeds of its stars Sanjay Dutt and Govinda latest case in point. They have seen their elcted class falling to depths. They have seen their former Congress CM and Home mImister trivilisding their sacrifices with ‘ Taj Tour’ after 26/11. They have seen their Sharad Pawar nursing his PM ambitions and being looked like a swinging pot. They have seen their Shivraaj patil, another elite politician from maharastra changing his dresses over the blood of victims. The Mumbaikaars has seen how their News channels can be ‘bought’ to have biased views. they have seen their lovely anchors like Barkha Dutt suing a lone blogger for his criticism of their coverage politics. They understand how their CNN Rajdeep Sardesai helped ruling Congress in cahs for vote scam. Surely everybody has enjoyed at cost of peoples’ trust.

Mumbai being nations’ face have coveyed its displeasure to todays sordid times. Let the Nation awake.

Sathana said...

I dnt think of all those humbugs in election ,but i will surely vote and am excited too,since this is the first time am voting.Its our duty to vote and i believe tomorrow's india will be far much better than today's due to youth's like me:)

चंद्रमौलेश्वर प्रसाद said...

" This time, the quality of the indelible ink must have been pretty bad or it was horribly diluted, because the 'dot' became a stream!! "
It is not defective ink but the instructions to officials to extend the ink and make it a line instead of dot. Does it REALLY matter to which finger the ink mark is made!!!!

Unknown said...

Vote has worth only if there are decent candidates. If there are only goondas contesting, then what is the point of a vote? Then one can perhaps vote for the lesser evil. This time election security is better with less booth capturing incidents.

writer said...

been reading about the low voter turn out and getting depressed. but i think more celebrities like you should turn up. thanks Shobha.

Unknown said...

Disappointing to see the Mumbai poll figures. Appreciate those who voted FOR A CHANGE. Also good to see busy celebrities coming out and voting - "long weekend party people" should hang their heads in shame!
Educated fools like them would just read newspapers and comment: "Is desh ka kuch nahi ho sakta"

7th May Delhi goes to poll - lets see what happens.
I am hopeful of a better turnout but its already 43 degrees here so you never know.

Ravi Patel said...

Mrs De is off to Pune " I love the city. And am looking forward to checking out a couple of new places. Stonewater Grill?" The woman has just been to Gujarat and deliberatly picked on a poor village to do a hatchet job on the State and it's people's suppossed apathy to poverty. Now this woman is off to or by now is in Pune and all this upper class virago thinks of is food and one of her principal mission to the city is to check out an upmarket eatery which will perhaps charge her enough to feed a whole poor family for almost 6 months. What shameless hypocrisy! Poverty did you say? What arrogant conceit from this typical Indian upper class trash which so shamelessly scars the indian landscape. Just take a hike woman and stop sermonising to the rest of us!

Gossipgal said...

voting shhoting done..
time for>

Vivek said...

First of all i must Congratulate you that you cared to Vote.
But i must also say that i was hugely disappointed to see such a low voter turnout in Mumbai that too after 26\11.

I totally agree with you when you say ENOUGH OF STATUS QUO.
But i wish many more of our so called youth do feel the Same and Vote for a better tomorrow.

Anil Kumar said...

Shobha ji ,
Did you show your middle finger like Bachhans did???

I noticed Bachhan family Amitabh/Abhishake/ASSwarya had a good laugh and were showing ther middle finger to each other and also to media people after casting their vote.

I think they have reached a milestone which even Lord Ram never thought. If you remember the bollywood song

Ramchandra kah gaye siya se
aisa kalyug aayega
hans chugega dana/tinka
kaua mauti khaayega

Suna Suna rahega mandir
Bhari rahengi madhushala
Pita ke sang sang bhari sabha mein
NAACHEGI ghar ki bala.

The last two lines can now be modified to

pita ke sang sang bhari sabha mein
MIDDLE FINGER dikhayengi ghar ki bala

You were right Shobha. Ghar ki laadli bigad gayi hai aur Father (in-law) ke saath Middle finger dikhana bhi seekh gayi hai. And she is here to stay.

Shachi said...

Have fun with your Pune trip!

I never got a chance to vote until now :( I'm glad you did and enjoyed it :)

Now lets wait for the results....

Gossipgal said...

need goss..
follow me at:

shekhar said...

Hi Shobhaa,
I am avid reader of ur columns.Was expecting ur piece to be about major issues like low voter turnout from the most vocal part of the country,But alas,you chose to write abt the "nail paint", and "torn cardboard".

sanjay said...

Hai shobha ji,

All your explanation on any topic is simply fabulous. I admire your boldness in writing without any shilly-shallying. Hats off to u. said...

Bahut Hi Achha Likha Hai

Anonymous said...

Why The Middle Finger? Do you wnat to know?? Because we are going to have another election soon before the ink gets washed out completely from your middle finger.

This is just a trial election, so the index finger is kept clean for the next election that will be the real election... very soon. Expect a Hung Parliament and a big Sale of MPs to form the new Government which will not last long!!! And, then we'll have one more election... to get your Index Finger stained :-)

ashwini rajesh said...

Hello Mam,
i love reading ur blogs n articles in the magazine . Recently joined as ur Blog follower.
LIke ur article a lot . ther s only one thing i wuld like to say @ is THose Cardboard Screen. i take it the other way.... Its low cost, Fast to build , consumes less enegy in buidlng up . and after all it has its purpose only once in every 5 yrs. !!! so i think thats the best and ecofriendly , low cost solution one culd have in a anywhere on this earth !
i HOpe u can see this same carboard thing from a different perspective !

Take care,