Afzal has taken the term 'guiding light' literally. This 36-year-old (who goes only by his first name) from Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh (MP) shaved his head, set up an oil lamp on it and roped in his son to ensure the light does not go out.
Afzal says he'll keep the oil lamp (diya) alight till the Jan Lokpal Bill is passed. A contractor by profession, Afzal lit the diya on August 16 - the day Anna began his fast. He arrived in Delhi on Tuesday.
“My 7-year-old son is with me all the time to pour oil into the diya and make sure it doesn't extinguish. The diya is a symbol of the fight against corruption and I am going to stay here till the movement is over,” he said. To make sure the diya doesn't fall off his bald pate, Afzal has pasted it with the help of dough.
In his hometown Ratlam, too, Afzal has been protesting in the same manner during the past week. “On Sunday, I decided to come to Delhi and join Anna Hazare's movement. I reached here on Tuesday and headed straight to Ramlila Ground. I hope that with supporters like us, the government will listen to the demands of the common people,” he added.
Snakes on the Ground
It's one tune that is bound to get the slimy and the slippery dancing. And by that, we don't mean just reptiles. To the surprise of many, a team of 15 snake charmers reached Ramlila Ground and extended support to Team Anna by playing mellifluous though haunting melodies on their unique bamboo flutes.
And yes, they had their slithery friends in tow. Although the team wasn't allowed to take their pet snakes inside the protest venue, they attracted a lot of attention. “This is our way of supporting Anna's crusade against corruption,” said Rakesh Nath Sapera.