Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Sound of Two Syllables

Our neighbour had bought a wall clock recently that plays music and chimes, making us feel like we live in a village on a hill with a church nearby like the one in Vellai Roja. It struck TWO when I climbed onto my Honda Activa. Though, two might denote fingers on the eve of elections, I, constantly dwelling on solfa letters of jathis, using all the ten fingers in performing the art of mrudhangam, the notion of two, 'leaves' too and the bell was sounding like a two syllable name that reverberates all over the nation.

It was heartening to hear someone asking someone else, 'ji.. have you cast your vote' when I entered the booth in a school nearby.

The centre had two sections. The one in which I had to cast my vote had a ramp. But the collapsible grill gate was closed. There was one more ramp with handrails nearby and I asked them if they can open that door, so I can enter through that passage. They said, 'no sir.. it is permanently closed and a wall has been constructed behind the door!

In spite of seeing a wheel chair attached to my bike, one of the cops had asked me to come as close as possible to the gate in my bike itself, get down and climb the steps there. Meanwhile, another cop suggested that they can lift the wheelchair. I didn't reply them, turned to Arun and asked him to take photos of the ramp with the closed grill gate and the steps too and that I would to lodge a complaint with the Election Commissioner.

'Sir, wait.. we can lift you along with the wheel chair'

I sported a LOOK.

Actually, the grill gate was not locked. It was only tied with a moderately thick jute cord (saNal kayiRu). One cop came with a blade and asked me to wait and started cutting it. And the grill, instead of sliding, opened like a gate. And, yes, I cast my Vote easily like every other normal person.

I thanked the cop and enquired about the percentage of voting. He said, '1,265 votes in 34 and we have recorded 715 so far'. The class room opposite this was also allotted as a polling booth and it had a ramp as well, but the ramp was bifurcated by dividers made of wooden logs rendering it inaccessible for the people it was originally meant for.

(My previous polling experience can be read here).


  1. There is such lack of empathy of the differently abled. I feel ashamed to live in such a city. I am very glad that you were able to cast your vote.


  2. We are not asking any concession or free postage in Postal Vote or Mobile Booths to visit our door step. We do go to the assigned places, but, the set up somehow ends in hurdles again, because of one basic problem. I have been repeatedly insisting that a person with disability needs to be included in the planning, execution and over seeing of all such efforts by the government, which goes unheard amidst the egos and noises around.