August 15, 2012 § 3 Comments
26th January 2012 (0952hrs)
The nation celebrates its becoming a Republic.
Among all the imagined borders that crowd our globe, this little village finds its own. Tracks of railing separate the old village from the new, with an intermediary crossing that presents an illusionary fluidity. The new village is more accessible from the main road, is a few meters closer to the nearest town and has its own load shedding pattern that differs from the old. The old village lies as it was for a decade during which politicians, educators, doctors and businessmen created new space for themselves. Some were from nearby towns looking to settle where land is cheaper and yet accessible by road. However, most were of the village, merely choosing to display their prosperity and power in a place slightly distanced from their own. With time, others from the old have moved into the new, but remain off the cemented roads to maintain a familiar drainage system. Even though the old and new are distinguished with freshly acquired notions of what each says about the other and themselves, for mostly political purposes, they remain as one.
Celebrations were held in the old village with all the old and new villagers participating. In the old village lies the public school and local government offices, both at which flags were hoisted. The hoisting of these flags was to conclude a procession through the village, led by the school band and children. Teachers and political leaders followed with most other villagers remaining spectators. The morning commenced with rounds of trained physical displays and the honouring of Gandhi and Ambedkar, whose frames sat garlanded on armed plastic chairs.
The time after this auspicious occasion was rigorously and solely focused on the upcoming elections. Rickshaws running on man or horsepower were mounted with speakers along with symbols honouring principles of various political parties and individuals. This time round, people’s votes ensure power at the village and district level. The only issue at hand that all the candidates seemed to agree on was a song which would for certain gain them votes. This made matters testing for the voting populace as all were individually fighting for unity.
Villagers soon began discussing our political affiliations on the basis of whom we most interacted with. Here, personal relations determine voting choices. Free alcohol on the day of the elections runs the risk of ruining all the hard worked at friendships, but most claim to stay loyal and continue reaping friendly benefits.
In the dusk of this political skyline, cows continue to be milked, families continue to arrange marriages, boys continue games of cricket and marbles while girls prepare meals for the house, and farmers continue to choose death over unyielding fields.
Soon, it was time to leave.