With just two days to go before the results are declared, politicians are making full use of the lull. A brief break from the longest-ever election series in West Bengal will lead to the final act of the polls on Friday.
However, after the month-long campaigning, hours of hard work in the heat and rain, the two-day break isn't exactly a relief for the candidates, who are being able to take it easy. The tension of their fate is playing spoilsport for any sort of relaxation. No wonder our politicians are experiencing nervous pangs much like students do before results.
Candidates feel they have done their best to win peoples' hearts and are now anxiously waiting for May 13. While the exit polls brought cheer in one camp and tension in the other, this is not the time to relax or be complacent. Some have decided to resume normal work to divert their attention elsewhere and make the wait less unbearable.
Attending to patients keeps Fuad Halim, CPI(M) contestant from Ballygunge constituency, busy. "I resumed work from April 28. After a long hectic canvassing schedule, the job of attending to patients seems easier and relaxing," said Halim with a smile, while attending calls from his patients.
Halim doesn't want to think about the results. His patients seem to be more important to him. "It is the people's decision. Whatever the result is, all we have to do is accept it. I respect the democratic structure, yet I do not understand the unnecessary hype created because of the exit polls. I am keeping myself busy and not thinking about Friday at all," he said.
But not everyone is this relaxed. Contesting against Halim, Trinamool candidate Subrata Mukherjee is nervous. "It is not the first time that I have contested in an election. Yet somehow tension does creep in and this time, it is not just for me, but for my party as well. But I guess a little bit of anxiety is good to keep up the energy level," he said.
Mukherjee wards off tension by enjoying light adda sessions with his party members, local boys and friends. "If I have nothing to do, I start worrying and that make me restless. These adda sessions are a relief," he said.
Mukherjee is trying to find time to go for a long drive, get away from the city and spend some time in the countryside. "I always find excuses to run away from the chaotic city life. I sometimes feel I am not made for this hectic life. My idea for a perfect day is time spent with my family, having posto for lunch with friends, discussing football or cinema in a relaxed environment," said Mukherjee, as he recalled the carefree days as a child when life was all about studies, football and friends.
For Trinamool candidate from Shyampukur, Shashi Panja, spending quality time with children is most important. She is ruing the fact that despite the break from campaigning, she is not being able to devote enough time for her daughters.
"I am pretty tensed about the results. Fortunately, I have a lot of pending work that takes up my time. I am also concentrating on daily domestic chores like arranging my younger daughter's schoolbag or taking her to the tuition class. I keep tension at bay by getting involved in such activities," she said.
Panja is also worried about keeping up with people's expectations. "It is a great responsibility. English pop music helps me unwind," she said with a confident smile.
"It is a much relaxed time for me now. I have my patients to attend to, my departmental work to look after and the usual household chores that await me every evening. I somehow find these way easier than campaigning," said Panja, who is a medical practitioner apart from being the MMiC (education).
The youngest candidate, Shatarup Ghosh from Kasba, however, doesn't have to try hard to remain calm. The relaxed CPI(M) candidate is busy hanging out with friends for adda sessions over food, movies and Bob Dylan.
"Anticipations are there, yet I don't see any point in sitting and pondering over them. Life for me returned to normal after May 7 and I am making the most of it," he said while getting ready to attend lectures at Rabindra Bharati University.
Looks like every candidate has found a way to beat the tension and stress. How relaxed they will be after May 13 is to be seen.