Thursday, February 07, 2002

The Real Reason Why I Haven't Voted

Mea Culpa: I have never voted in my life.

Not because I considered it a waste of time. But because I have led a such nomadic existence that the people who compile the electoral rolls must have had trouble keeping up with my peregrinations (isn't that a nice word :)

I was born in Chennai. Till my fifth standard I lived in Bandra, once called the queen of Mumbai's suburbs. I did my sixth standard in Mangalore, my seventh in Goa, the rest of my schooling and the first year of my junior college in Mangalore, and I completed my graduation in Mumbai.

In the 18 years that I have been in this city, I have lived with my parents in rented houses in Juhu, Andheri and Sahar (till my graduation); with my cousin in Antop Hill (when I was in that twilight zone between graduation and getting a job); at a community hostel in Kurla; at a bachelor's pad in Kamgar Nagar, Kurla; back for a brief stay at the community hostel, when my lease ran out; post-marriage I have already stayed in three houses: one at Malad, one at Dahisar, and finally I have come to settle down -- ah, what a relief -- in my own little home in Kandivli (read my posts about Home Sweet Home).

I have always wondered how it would feel like to vote. I have always envied that dot on fingertips of all those around me. I have always wanted to be part of the world's greatest and largest electoral process.

Maybe I will vote some day soon (I am slowly accumulating all the trappings of an identity: a driver's license, a passport, a ration card, a statistic in the census, an ownership agreement on my home, a PAN card... so a voter's ID may not be such a distant dream) Maybe it will be on an electronic voting machine. Maybe my candidate will win the elections and change the world... Maybe...

But for now, I urge you guys to go out there and cast your vote, however futile you may consider the process to be.

There can be no excuses -- including the dirty dozen below -- for not voting.

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