Campus Central

Autobiography of an Election Flyer

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This is a real account of an election campaign flyer, its journey and observations

Fresh off the print, I and other flyers were stacked up in the morning. A few hours later, some of my brothers were stuck on the campus walls while others like me were kept to be distributed to the inhabitants of this world called the University of Delhi. We all have the same cliched font style. One might say we lack individuality. The only thing that is different is a label, I belong to the family of NSUI while my fellow flyers are put under the labels of ABVP and AISA. AISA guys are the poorer folks of the lot, their paper quality is cheap. ABVP and I are similar in social standing and almost the same in numbers.

So, as the sun got warmer in the day, some of the bearded political leaders/goons (they are looked at differently by different factions) went around and handed me over to a reluctant first-year student in a random North Campus college. My handler said “Vote for NSUI” in an intimidating voice and the fresher had no option but to accept me. The next instant, the procession of the Aviator glasses and marigold garland wearing youth politicians walked away; the fresher just threw me on the ground and resumed his business. He has joined this college to study and socialise. All this political business is no business for him.

As I lay on the ground, I saw a fellow ABVP brother flyer and an AISA sister. The latter called me a gunda and I replied using the best comeback in Hindi language ‘Jo bolta hai wo hi hota hai’. Then we all engaged in an intense shouting match, complete with threats and blame games. The ABVP flyer lost his cool to such an extent that he said if he had hands, he would have even slapped the AISA flyer. It ended up in awkward silence and I flew away to the canteen.

In the canteen, a kind old uncle took me and folded me like a fifth grader’s origami project. I got stained by oil as he wrapped me around a couple of samosas. I got a glimpse of this canteen world and it looked like a safe haven. This is the umbrella under which all groups take shelter, whether it be the pseudo-intellectuals, the goons, the nerds. or the good for nothing vellas. The girl who took me ate the samosas and threw me on the canteen floor even though a big dustbin was right in front of her. How much effort does it take to put me in the dustbin? Well anyway, that means more freedom for me.

So, I flew and I flew until I came on a sidewalk near the college gate. The passers-by were all staring at the motorcade of Scorpios adorned with NSUI and ABVP stickers. The party members and campaigners were perched on the hood of the moving cars. It all seemed like an updated version of the ‘Kiki challenge’. Then in a fit of excitement, they clenched several party flyers and cards in their fists and let them all loose on the crowded road. When the big muscled men and the big muscled cars departed from the road, the gravelled tar path was littered, or in a sense adorned, with hundreds of election flyers strew here and there. So much for Swach Bharat!

I was asleep for a few minutes so I did not realise when I ended up in this e-rickshaw. Some students in the vehicle are talking amongst themselves about a certain judgement day on 12th September. I am eager to know what will happen on this day. I hope that I am not stepped over or torn into shreds by then.

Feature Image Credits: Daily Mail

Shaurya Singh Thapa

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