Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The day Arvind Kejriwal made me proud to be a Delhiite!

Delhi Chief Minister with his deputy at New Delhi Railway station. Photo:http://whatthafact.com/interesting-facts-about-arvind-kejriwal/


Delhi is happy. Last week was a happy week for Delhi. People were congratulating each other as if it was a Christmas Eve. Someone said, ‘well I didn’t know how sad I was for last few months, till this happened.’ She was referring to Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP winning 67 out of 70 seats in Delhi Assembly election—a dictatorial majority.
So much has already been written that there’s nothing much left to be said, just few sentences on how I spent the day Kejriwal became the undisputed leader of Delhi and harbinger of 'alternative politics' which has potential to change the way politics is practiced in this country.

I experienced an inherent joy. It’s not about a party, or an individual, or society at large, or for that matter polity or democracy. The joy was about triumph of determination, of human will against all odds, of perseverance. It was a situation where logic failed and faith prevailed. And I felt I have in me, all of us have, the potential to change the world, for better or worse, single-handedly.

My exercise regime that morning was freestyle dancing.

Later in the day, I went to office to declare: I am too happy to work. I roamed the city that mostly bore a deserted look. City, in general, seemed stunned. There were pockets, though, where celebrations ensued. Kejriwal implored his supporters to be humble in victory. He hugged his wife.

In the evening, I attended a party co-hosted by Mahesh Vee to celebrate AAP victory. KB Singh joined us. Kejriwal is the politician I trust, I told everyone I met, and there were many people to meet. I explained the reasons for my trust in him with the qualification that trusting people doesn’t come easy to me. The alcohol level in our blood soared like AAP's support in the city. Conversations were enjoying. Joy, and not happiness, was the overriding sentiment. I have issues with Delhi, population and pollution are part of the problem. But on that day, I loved Delhi, being a Delhiite. 

I was left alone on the street looking for an auto-rickshaw to drive me home.  Finally, I found one. I was asked to pay flat Rs 100. This was about 30 percent extra. ‘Kejriwal won, so yes’ I told Mukul—the auto-driver. In a rare show of empathy, he was visibly embarrassed. He shared his sentiments: joy unbound. Delhi voted for change, for poor, for hope, against corruption to mention a few.

He refused to be paid. ‘Kejriwal won, this ride is my gift to you,’ he said.  He was adamant. We both were rather militant that evening about being generous. ‘Okay, then let’s have tea,’ I offered. A compromise was reached, I was to pay  for tea. The tea stall was shut, it was well past the midnight. He knew a place where we could get tea. I was transported to Mool Chand Metro Station. We not only had tea but also egg paratha, one each. I paid for the late-night-meal and he dropped me home for free. We are friends now.

He vowed to charge by meter and not escalate the fare depending on gullibility of the passengers. 'abb to humari sarkar hai (now it's our government),' he grinned.

It took me a while to go to sleep. I was wondering what Kejriwal would be experiencing at this moment. I was convinced: exhaustion!