Ramsingh Shiras is an ordinary boot-polish worker at Kalyan railway station, but rising above the rest of his tribe, he has resurrected his dream of entering the hallowed corridors of Parliament.
The 35-year-old is an Independent candidate from adjoining Kalyan Lok Sabha seat and has declared assets of Rs 6 lakh. A couple of days ago, he approached the Election Commission seeking railway engine as election symbol.
"I want to become an MP at least once in my life," he says.
But why not a more modest beginning? Why does not he first cut his teeth in Municipal Corporation or Assembly polls? "If you want to do something for the public, only an MP has powers to do that. He also has large funds at his disposal," Shiras reasons.
But Shiras faces a formidable challenge to realise his dream. His rivals are Vasant Dawkhare of Nationalist Congress Party and current Thane MP Anand Paranjape of Shiv Sena.
"Both of them know me personally," Shiras says, with a wide grin.
Shiras, who hails from Jalgaon in North Maharashtra, has lived in neighbouring Ulhasnagar for the last 25 years. But he is no greenhorn when it comes to elections.
He contested the Lok Sabha poll in 2004. Though he lost, he garnered as much as 4,000 votes.