Kerala and Tamil Nadu people have their judgement sealed in the strong rooms of electoral offices across states. Behind this goes a dedicated hard work of thousands of officials who run this process. For the first time i could feel their pain, as I was the part of the process. My maiden journey through this electoral process had its ups and downs.
With the rising sun on the horizon, I embarked on my journey, well it was my first experience. Early morning, Me and my colleague set out for Reception Center (that’s what they called it). It took us one hour of biking through the long winding road to reach our destination. All through out this adventurous ride I had mised my bike. I thought, I would drive my bike here someday.
We reached the center well ahead of time and by that time it was all chaos. People searching for their team mates and their booth numbers. I accidentally called on my team lead and met some other guy instead. He was short and stout with hairs half gone and half cared like a treasure. I began to follow him. Then my team lead called me and asked , “dude where are you?” I said, “right behind you”. “but i can’t see you, come to PS no. 150”. I then realised I was following the wrong person. Running to the place he mentioned, I met my team lead. Now this was Original person 😀 No mistake this time. In fact when I was following the other guy, I had my doubts. Coz, the person who I had to follow was some lecturer in Engineering college and the guy I was following didn’t look by any way like a lecturer. When I saw him I thought, he must be some time pass lecturer. Any way, four of us gathered at the place assigned and then began the long arduous wait. At around 1200 hrs we collected our materials and sorted it out. Checked and checked again and cross checked again. I observed, everything in the list was mentioned slightly higher than what actually was given to us. Bloody middle men!
Our team and 5 other teams were given a bus, police enforcement per booth and a route officer. After all the teams were done with their cross checking we were led to our destinations. It wasn’t far from the town, only 10 km from the station. lucky us! we were alongside the main road and had few hotels to satiate our empty stomach. Fortunately the center we were assigned had all basic amenities clean toilets, bathroom, running water. What more one needs! The only bad thing was, we were not suppose to use our mobile phones and since there were no plug points, my mobile was already dead by the time we reached the center.
Then began another struggle. There were no electric connection and the Village officer and the welfare team were on the blame game, shedding their responsibility. “Sir, how do you suppose me to look after 40 polling stations?” WTH ! Why did you take the responsibility then, I thought. Any way after the pass the buck story, He arranged for the lighting minus the fan. We then set to arrange the classroom like a polling booth and arranged all the papers required to submit. Then followed the dinner at a nearby dhaba. The cartoon sheets, which I brought from the center, came handy as our bed. We spent the night gazing stars. It was an awesome night. Clear sky, bright moon and the thousands of twinkling stars made us oblivious of the miseries of the day.
PS. Day 2 in next post