So I am now the proud owner of a brand new, smartly-laminated voter’s card. Only, it doesn’t have my name on it. It belongs to someone called Anunji G. Who has an extremely long distorted face with massive teeth. And lives at an address that only vaguely resembles mine. (My address is G-501 Ambience Island. The card reads G-501, DLF phase 2, Guhanpur. What is this Guhanpur? It does not even exist!) Oh and this Anunji G is married to a man who is obviously a devout disciple of Sunita Menon because his name is Neeerat Aalavaa. (My husband’s name is Niret Alva). And in sharp contrast to her extremely long face, he has an extremely squashed, low browed, neanderthal-like mug.
I remember when this whole voter’s card thing started and we all groaned at the sheer red tape involved in getting one, the state informed us that it would be a really useful photo-ID which we could use for all official paperwork. Fat chance. I tried flashing it at the airport recently, and ended up holding up the queue at the entry gate for about fifteen minutes, as the guards scrutinised it suspiciously and said offensive things like “Madum, photu kisi aur ki lag rahi hai… yeh ladies toh apse bahut patli hain.” Finally, they asked if I had any other ID and I handed them my driver’s license instead.
And I’m not the only one here. My friend Arundhati’s name has been spelt ArunDhoti. She can now take her pick, she is either the washer-of-Arun or the Loin-cloth-of-Arun. A friend called Hardik has been miss-pelled Haarddick. I am not making this up.
If this is how our election commission machinery operates in the biggest of cities, where we all are privileged and everybody has a ‘contact’ who helped them get their cards in the first place, just imagine what would be happening in smaller towns and rural villages!
I’m sure a lot of people will be turned away on polling day simply because their names will not match the ones showing on the electoral rolls. I’m totally worried I will be, too.
So now I am attempting to lose impossible amounts of weight (and my husband is trying to get his head squashed through a ganne ke juice ki machine) simply so that we can exercise our right to vote on polling day.
If it wasn’t so scary, it would be funny.
Anuja Chauhan is proud to say that she works in advertising! She is also the author of the best selling The Zoya Factor.