Empty bellied Indians, poor and impoverished looked up at the platform, where a pre-election meeting was going to be held. They clutched their caved in stomachs and waited with anticipated breaths as the contestant for their area heaved himself on stage, “Bhaiyo aur Behno!” he said, allowing the words to sink in as he caught his breath after the laborious journey from car to venue, and from venue to the climb onto the platform, “today is going to be a momentous day for you!”
“Food!” shouted the crowd, their empty stomachs rumbling almost louder than their voices.
“Yes!” spoke the contestant, “It is food that my party will give you! Food that you have never eaten before! Food that will satisfy the hunger you’ve carried for so many years: Hunger to see your beloved leaders in bronze lining every street and chowk!”
“We are hungry!” whispered the crowd.
“And that hunger will be satisfied!” said the contestant gleaming, “You deserve something big for your wait! We will make a statue of me three times bigger than that of Bappu down the road! So that every one of you passing by will feel a sense of joy!”
“Food!” shouted the crowd, “Shelter!”
And around the corner, the contestant from the opposition, slightly leaner than his opponent, for five years he had been out of power, looked at the crowd sitting in front of him. “Friends!” he smiled into the mike.
“Food!” shouted the starving hundreds, “We are hungry!”
“Friends,” shouted the lean but healthy opponent of the first contestant to the next election in the country, “I hear your voices! Day and night, I hear your voices as this present government has turned a deaf ear to your cries! I’ve listened to your shouts, and I will do what I hear in your voices!”
“Food!” whispered the poor impoverished voters of India, “shelter!” they whispered, “security in our old age!”
“The day I am elected!” screamed the candidate for the next election, “Each of your wishes will be fulfilled. Yes, starting from this very place we sit in, I will see that this street is named after my father. I will see that the chowk bears a temple name, that the railway station will have a different sound than that the British left us with. I will change all the names in this city, including the name of the city!”
“Food!” whispered the people.
“Security!” whispered the people.
“Yes!” smiled the two contestants getting into their shiny limousines, “We hear you. Statues a thousand feet tall, and new names for cities, towns, and roads will be our agenda! We hear your voices oh people of India, just give us your votes to fulfill your wishes!”
And the people will do just that..!
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