The wives of politicians are not contesting the elections, but their schedules are no less packed than their husbands who are in the poll fray.
There are always visitors in the house: Arti Bhattacharya, former actor
(Wife of Kunal Singh, the RJD-backed Congress nominee from Patna Sahib)
Kunal's health is the biggest concern for her. Earlier, he used to maintain his fitness with a light breakfast —a bowl of papaya, four almonds and a couple of biscuits. "But these days, I try to make him eat chapatis and vegetables as he skips lunch. He hardly gets time even for a quiet breakfast, as there are always large numbers of visitors every morning," says Arti said an actress and director known for her performances in Bengali films like 'Stree' (1972), 'Surya Trishna' (1984) and 'Golap Bou' (1977).
She has also acted in a Hindi film 'Kal Hamara Hai' in which Kunal was in the lead role. Her other complaint is that with polls round the corner, Kunal is too tired to discuss any household matter. “He gets back late and watches news on TV till 2-2.30am. Where is the time to discuss household matters then?"
Arti has now decided to accompany her husband during campaigning.
I walk for miles in muhallas and meet people: Poonam Sinha, former actor
(Wife of sitting MP and BJP candidate for Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat Shatrughan Sinha)
"I love visiting places and meeting people. Though formal campaigning will start in the next couple of days, we have started visiting people and places," says Poonam. "Walking helps me maintain my physical fitness. In Mumbai, I sometimes visit the gym. It is not possible here. But while Sinha saheb concentrates on his big public meetings, I walk for miles in the muhallas and meet people."
Earlier, they used to watch movies to unwind. "But these days, we hardly get time for movies. We fall asleep as soon as we hit the bed," she adds.
I miss his singing and jokes: Indira Sinha, former college principal
(Wife of JD(U) nominee from Patna Sahib Gopal Prasad Sinha)
"What I miss most is his singing and jokes. He keeps cracking jokes and makes the mood light. But his campaigning schedule hardly gives him time for all this now," says Indira. "Sometimes, he used to sing old numbers for me numbers like 'Jeevan se bhari teri aankhein'. I am missing those moments," she said.
But Indira Sinha is unable to accompany her husband in campaigns due to her health problems. "But I try to attend to the guests," she added.
We find time to discuss household matters: Kiran Devi, housewife
(Wife of Ram Kripal Yadav, BJP candidate for Patliputra seat)
"Though the workload has increased, I am not worried. We have a joint family and many people are there to share the responsibilities. We together look after the large number of visitors who turn up every morning. Sometimes, my children get tired, but they are never irritated," says Kiran. Her biggest concern is that her husband is not able to continue his morning walk at Gandhi Maidan these days.
"He starts work early and continues till 3 to 3.30am. Even then, he gets up at 6am. I ensure that he finishes his breakfast of a bowl of daliya and lentil soup. But I am never sure about his dinner. He gets back late. I still manage to discuss household matters with him. Auratein kahaan chhodti hain baat karna (Women hardly miss any chance to talk)," she said with a chuckle.
His workload has increased tremendously: Devkumari Devi, housewife
(Wife of Janardan Singh Sigriwal the BJP nominee from Maharajganj)
"He has been in his constituency for the last several weeks while I am in Patna. Since the campaigning has started, his workload has increased tremendously. Earlier, we used to have telephonic conversations every day. But not now," says Devkumari.
But she will soon join her husband at Maharajganj and accompany him during campaigning. "I will have to take care of his food and fitness," she added.