Nothing epitomises the enthusiasm of voters for the first phase of polling in Kashmir other than a 41-year-old cancer patient and a 10-year-old boy in queues in north Kashmir's Sonawari constituency on Tuesday.
Using shoulders of his wife Haseena Jan and elder brother Ghulam Qadir Khanday (55) as crutches to put his ailing body weight on, Ghulam Nabi Khanday, detected with blood cancer seven months ago, was allowed to jump queue by voters at the Shadipora polling station in Sonawari early on Tuesday morning.
"I voted to see an end to poverty in Shadipora," Khanday told the Hindustan Times. "I have no energy left but I voted to choose my representative who will bring change in my area," he added.
Pale Khanday, who was brought in a car to the polling station, was given an anti-cancer dose on previous Tuesday at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) and underwent tests.
Khanday's all three brothers and wife Haseena Bano accompanied him and voted.
"The treatment of my son will cost us Rs 7 lakh. We can't afford it. Don't know how he will survive but did not want him to waste the vote," said Khanday's mother Fresha Bano, in her eighties and voting since 1957.
"This time I voted for change, for a new party," she added.
Just a few km away from the Shaadipora polling station, 10-year-old Danish Nazir has covered a long distance in a queue, jostling boys and men at Dangarpora polling booth. No, he is not a voter but a 'stop-gap arrangement' of his eligible voter and uncle Bilal Ahmad.
"We had come early in the morning. My uncle has gone to have tea. I am occupying the space for time being," said Nazir, freezing in the biting cold with night temperature dipping below zero degree Celsius.
North Kashmir's Sonawari constituency crossed the previous highest voting percentage of 46 percent in 2008 when around 3pm the constituency registered a record 60 percent. With one hour left to spike the percentage further, the constituency is set to register a new record ever witnessed by the constituency since militancy broke out in 1990.