The Ticket to Fame
My name is Abhay Kumar Singh. I just lost in my quest for a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections.
This is my story.
I was born with no silver spoon in my mouth. Or anywhere in the house, for that matter. My father used to work for the postal department. For years i saw him languish as a government employee. The job was secure, but on his salary there was barely enough to go by. Life was hard, but we managed. I grew up resenting the system that made life so difficult for us common people.
In college i became active in student politics. I rose to become the student union president and had a fruitful tenure. Dharnas. Strikes. We got whatever we wanted from the administration. Following my graduation i became a full time politician. For the next ten years i worked tirelessly for my party. I have organized rallies. I have collected funds. I was the one responsible for providing villagers by the busloads to beef up campaign rallies during the last elections. I know my area like the back of my hand. I can raise an army of supporters in a jiffy.
Having served my dues, this time around i believed it was my turn to become a member of Parliament (M.P.).
I approached the state leadership with my request for the party ticket. Mr state president duely gave his blessing. As it turned out he ‘blessed’ ten others. One of them was my protege, Dalbir. That boy didn’t know what hit him next. Or how many times.
I was down to nine competitors.
A huge win came my way when i got the endorsement of the sitting M.P. That was a big morale booster. I thought nothing could stop me from getting the ticket now. I was in the list of the three finalists sent to the party headquarters.
I went to Delhi with some of my supporters. All five hundred of them. Insider tip: A show of strength always helps. The more people you take with you, the better your chances. If you dont get the ticket eventually, these supporters can help launch a protest. You know, burn a few buses, shout some slogans, do your own little satya-what-was-it? Satyagram? Oops..Satyagraha. So we land in Delhi and i pay a visit to party head office. Boy, it was crazy there.
It wasnt going to be easy getting the ticket. My remaining competitors were Ajitpal and Sukhdev. Ajitpal was a sitting MLA with old roots in the party. Sukhdev owned a village. Quite literally. He had the money, which always helps in an election. I was younger than both of them. I had the energy. I had a lot of support among the youth. For what it is worth, i was the best educated of the lot. I probably had the best chance of getting elected.
Over at the party office, a little bird told me that if i needed the ticket, i had to pay.
The price for the ticket. Rs 25 lakhs. That’s twenty five followed by five zeros. Five. Which is the number of people with grazed knees after i had wrestled said bird into the ground. Including me.
Have you ever had that feeling where you were trying to pee next to a wall, and a bull comes charging at you. The feeling of having the ground pulled from under you, because you just jumped into a nearby well to save yourself?
That’s how i felt. There was no way i could muster that sort of money. Sukhdev bought his way into the Parliament and here i am, writing my memoirs for this blog.
At least i am not in danger of getting shot by the rival party. Ah…the silver lining.
Disclaimer: All names in this story are as much a figment of my imagination as my pursuit of a seat in the hallowed chambers of the Parliament turned out to be.