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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Voted! First time ever!

Hi guys!

Good morning! Hope you're all doing good...and for those of you in Karnataka, hope you're not reading this - hope you're at your polling station instead, casting your vote responsibly!

Anyway, believe it or not, at 26 years of age was the first time I exercised my democratic power to vote :) ...The last time elections happened, I was in the US, pursuing higher education I couldn't vote...and before that, I was a carefree young lad (well, I hope the "young lad" part still holds true :P)...and I think I was still 17...OR even if I was 18+ ...I really didn't care about politics :)...All I was focused on was heading to the US ...

And now, that it's been 3 years since I'm back ...this was gonna be the first time for me :)....I didn't have a voter ID ...I had to get that done ..So there it all began, proactive application a month ahead....Finally, last week, my voter ID had arrived...Unfortunately, my mother's name didn't come on the electoral roll! I was lucky!

Let me be very frank here - I was really excited :) excited as a kid in a candy store ..and I still am I write this post :) ...It is bound to happen - when you do something for the first time ever, you can't help but feel excited about it :) ...There are some things you do, which make you feel great about yourself :) - Voting is one such thing! 

No, you CANNOT say there's nothing great about voting and everyone does it. That's the thing - NOT EVERYONE DOES IT! If everyone voted and voted properly and responsibly, India would've NEVER been this way! :) ...So, without hesitation, feel great about yourself - if you've voted, you've done something special! So yes, I have no qualms about admitting my excitement and pride here! :) So don't be surprised today, if you find me behaving the way Howard Wollowitz did after he returned from space :D

As for the youngsters, it's good that social media in a way, has contributed LARGELY to spreading awareness about who's good and who's bad well as the main thing - it's made voting a "cool thing to do" ...If not caring about the country, there are many youngsters who'll at least want to upload that pic of ink on their finger ..on Facebook! :D....I must say, I would've had a tough time on deciding on my choice, if it weren't for social media! Full credit and power to it!

Anyway, I had started researching my area's candidates about a couple of weeks earlier...there was a wide range of choices ..Congress, BJP, KJP, JD(S), BSP, JD(U) and so on...there were many, many independent candidates ...Sadly, there was NO information about them anywhere or even on the net ...except for pamphlets issued day before yesterday (which can't be trusted, obviously)...

I can't believe how 26-year old and 29-year old independent candidates cannot have social media presence, even in this age! Anyway, I studied all my options (about 19-20 of them!)...and decided on a candidate, based on credentials, reputation, age, "reachability" and well, my own gut instinct :)...and finalized on one ...It was an easy choice actually ...some of the so-called big candidates have some criminal allegation or the other ...this candidate I voted for, has no such allegation & comes across as new, clean and SEEMINGLY honest and dedicated :) ...I made my choice based more on the candidate...& less on the party...

I missed going to the gym today....I'm a morning person when it comes to gymming...and I decided to get out and vote instead :) ...My mom accused me of using voting as an excuse for missing the gym :P...well, okay, so be it :D ...Missing the gym for a day isn't as much a crime as missing a chance to vote! So I went ahead to my polling station ...crowds were slowly swarming in ...It took me a while to find my name on the roll and get my slip, but got it within 15 minutes....

So then, I headed straight to the voting room ...I was enjoying every minute of it :) ( told you, it was my first time! Kid in a candy store!) ...My name was ticked off on the roll, I had the ink drop on my left hand ring finger ...I had to sign ..and then off I had to go the EVM, which was covered in one corner of the room. Looking at the EVM was like looking at stars in the night sky - so many names, so many symbols, so many parties, so many buttons...but thank God the names were it took me a few seconds to locate my candidate and press the green button...The lady at the counter told me "Ashte, sir" (That's it ) ...and I was back home! So Subramanian Swamy's efforts of having the EVM give a paper trail still haven't bore fruit :(...Hope that happens for next year's general elections! Hope my vote isn't manipulated! :-/

Anyway, the whole process took all of half an hour! Many people were amazed and said - "Wow! You're back so soon?" But I'm pretty sure it was the time of the day ( 8 am on a Sunday..many of them would still be asleep) ...I'm sure crowds will soar as the day goes ...I hope the hot summer doesn't discourage people from doing so! I hope Karnataka creates a record today for the highest voter turnout!

Anyway...did I make the right choice? I hope I have...if not, then I at least know whom not to vote for, next time! :) ...But here's the thing - I voted ...and I've made a solemn resolve to myself that I will henceforth NOT LET GO of ANY VOTING OPPORTUNITY that comes my way it general elections, regional elections or even a municipal one! This is how change begins! 

So, people of Karnataka, if you haven't voted yet, there are still a lot many hours left in the day...please get out and do something for your country - VOTE! Else, if you're above 18, you have no right to crib and complain about the system - you, indirectly are a reason for the mess!

Please research your candidates well before making a choice! Don't vote for biryani givers! If you find no suitable candidate, please exercise the 49-O option! That at least makes sure others don't use up your vote!

I've been goading all my friends to vote ..and I'm now goading you all, too! :D

Appeal to you all to do the same and feel proud!

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