Saturday, March 04, 2006

So. After a week of obsessively thinking of politics and campaigning continuously and shamelessly the elections in our department took place yesterday and the results came out today. I'm terribly upset of course. So we're not going to discuss what the results were. Instead here's my personalized list of instructions for polling agents at the booth. It's meant to be a completely confidential and serious document. I have absolutely no idea why everyone who read it started giggling. Do let me know if you find any part of it funny. I wouldn't want people to think I don't take the electoral procedure seriously. It's a bit long, but since I was planning to suggest to the authorities and all political parties that this should be their format for instructions to polling agents all criticism is insincerely invited. Here goes.


Anyone includes professors, polling agents from other parties, your best friends, your worst enemies, vague acquaintances, random strangers, and even the dogs strolling the corridors. BASICALLY EVERYBODY.
Naturally it is implied that since you won’t be showing it around, you won’t dream of giving it to anyone other than the Babelfish. THIS IS REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT. I don’t care if you find it incomprehensible, but it’s important.

1. Do not attempt any sort of campaigning or canvassing for votes inside the polling booth. It doesn’t matter if the voter is your best friend or your boy/girl friend and you think you’ll just drop them a hint. Perish the thought. There’ll be enough people outside to campaign and cajole voters. If anyone inside the booth says anything their candidate might well be disqualified. Play it safe. Smile but don’t open your mouth. You may however offer your pen to a voter who seems to have strolled in without any form of stationary. Pen, not pencil. Black or blue, never red.*

*Incidentally it seems I was dead wrong about this point. The authorities thought it was enough that people actually landed up to vote without expecting them to bring their own stationary as well. So in the generosity of their hearts they provided the necessary writing instrument. Which happened to be a pencil. And red. Sigh. Another of those inherent conspiracies you see. It's all about auto-suggestion and psychological warfare. To understand the full implications of this footnote you have to remember that the opposition was SFI. Which is commie. And blood red in colour. And all government buildings are always painted an ugly red. Which is why I prefer Buckingham Palace. Never mind.

2. Make sure that the name of every voter present is marked by the presiding officer in the electoral roll sheet. This is pretty vital, and the presiding officers have been known to be forgetful. Short term amnesia is not appreciated here.

3. The ballot paper must be signed by the presiding officer before it is given to the voter. Please continue the battle against short-term amnesia.

4. The voter must sign only the counterfoil of the ballot paper which is to be kept by the presiding officer. Voters have a fascination for signing everywhere. Urge them to suppress the desire. One sign, one vote.

5. In the case of certain names there are problems in the final electoral roll. If no objection is raised by the presiding officer or the other polling agents do not mention them. In case of any argument, produce the letter from the Dean. If that doesn’t work call Bably and I’ll create a minor war on the spot. Which should be fun.*

*Always remember peaceful votes are no fun. If you don't believe me ask the head of our department. He of all people can tell you how much bombs and such like things can add to the enjoyment of an election. We don't call him the Don for nothing.

6. Remember to cast your own vote at some point during the day. This is critical. Remind yourself ten times over. In case you forget which names you’re voting for try banging your head really hard on the wall. That works wonders.

Best of luck. Have fun. Vote for me. And remember gazing in rapt adoration at a suitably admirable professor is one of the little things that make life worth living and eggjams worth writing.

Right. That, I thought, was a simple, to-the-point list of instructions. Serious also. Which is what I am. Not simple exactly, but serious. Especially now that I'm marginally heart-broken about the results.*

*All those who promised to come vote and then gracefully dropped excuses for not coming please don't comment on this post. On the other hand this is the moment when I should go all teary eyed and thank cassy and sohini and diya and aniroe and panu and supriyo for landing up just to vote despite the fact that they needed to study for tests.

:Incidentally this is my hundred-th post. Which should have been a happy post. But in keeping with the gloomy mood of the rest of my posts I thought this had best be as sad as it gets. So, *sigh*, I might as well tell you the results. There are nineteen people in the department who don't love me. Or at least love other people more than me. Which doesn't discount the hundred and sixteen people who accidentally or unknowingly seem to have voted for me. But still. I'm mourning those nineteen votes now. Maybe I should feel happy about the fact that I got the maximum number of votes in the department but well, there were nineteen ballot papaers which had no indication of people wanting to vote for me. In case you're wondering why this makes me unhappy, it does. Unhappy enough to want to get miserably sloshed sometime soon. So if you hear of me getting thoroughly inebriated please understand that's not me celebrating my victory-thingy and the fact that every independent candidate of my department sailed through with a huge majority. I'll be mourning those nineteen. Now if I could only wipe off this silly grin.

BELATED UPDATE : umm, since people did ask, here's an update on the results of the entire university :
Faculty of Arts : SFI- 48 seats; Independent candidates - 6 seats.
Faculty of Science : SFI - 1 seat; We The Independents - 23 seats.
Faculty of Engineering : SFI - 10 seats; Democratic Students Forum - 75 seats.
Freaky darling I take sincere umbrage at your friend's remark that the world is good and red again. hehe. it's not. Having bored all those completely disinterested by politics I shall now get back to grinning like a maniac.


Blogger rainbeau_peep said...

Stupid beeyaaatch!!! I was really shocked at first - especially since I'd put an extra-large tick against your name, which obviously means that you could NOT have lost - it almost counts for 2 votes when I put an extra-large tick, you know. Beeyatch, congratulations - and if it's in your power to renovate the bridge, then get snappy!

11:30 PM  
Blogger "sen"sational said...

yay!!! so...when is the treat??

11:32 PM  
Blogger the One said...

Well. Congratulations on a well-deserved victory.

And you meant stationery, of course.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Prerona said...

congrats on ur 100th post :)

1:38 AM  
Blogger Dreamcatcher said...

Ok dreadfully sorry I wasnt there..pleeeease to forgibh *sniff sniff *
but which year was it that had the lion's share of those 19 votes?

2:05 AM  
Blogger DD said...

congratulations again.

do something about JU becoming an IIT :D.

at least some people would return and teach there.

2:13 AM  
Anonymous disktop said...


6:47 AM  
Blogger the still dancer said...

yay and other random suchlike inebriated noises. next step bidhanshabha? right, I'm rather sleep deprived, as is rather evident.

10:22 AM  
Blogger hdpal said...


10:47 AM  
Blogger cass said...

no,no!!the bridge can wait,no one is stupid enough,or thin enough to fall through the gaps made by those missing planks.drowning in one of those daily floods caused by the malfunctioning loo drainage is,however,a much more immediate possibility.besides,solidarity and politics be damned,the only reason i dragged myself to college on friday was because of fissy's promise that loo repair was the first order of buisness if she got elected.bribed by the promise of hygeine.guess she really is a politician now!!

12:21 PM  
Blogger Apoplexy said...

Whats the over all result in the whole Arts Faculty?

3:42 PM  
Blogger panu said...

*teary eyes and all*

Thank You!! Thank You!!


er... what did we vote for again?

3:43 PM  
Blogger Freaky Chakra said...

Dumbass! U got me!

I had asked my "red" friend & classmate (u know which one) about the results... he said, the world was good & red again. On asking about th English dept results (& with ref to Babel dear), the look said it all... dint really hear what he said thereafter! :)

But seriously... glad u all won by such huge margins! Finally some good guys :)

8:46 PM  
Blogger Freaky Chakra said...

Hehe... iam sure it's the arts faculty he was referring to :)

10:22 PM  
Blogger Srin said...

I have nothing against the CPIM but I read a newspaper article about a protest march the SFI took out to protest Bush's presence in India. Apparently a lot of Board exam students got held up because of the march.

Anyway, congratulations! :D

11:08 PM  
Blogger Lancelot said...

well congrats!!!
thats lovely!!! and i have no idea why people would laugh at that instruction sheet. Solemnity personified.

12:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

congrats ! *virtually jumps up and down*

=D =D

2:28 AM  
Blogger karuna said...

having not quite understood the context of the voting i still giggled (i apologize) apart from the following
made me break out into peals of laughter... Tis a good thing there was no caution againt blatent plagerism and reprinting the document or publishing it on a blog for that matter. :)

12:10 PM  
Blogger Casablanca said...

Ooooo.... the Fish has taken her rightful place. Now, storm the JU jheel I say. Err, I mean storm JU.

Congratulations :D

1:59 PM  
Blogger babelfish said...

rainbeau : beeyatch apologizes. beeyatch luurbhs you lots for extra large ticks and what not, beeyatch is muchas grateful you didn't add any fleas to the list :D

"sen"sational : hehe, good question :D

the one : How does the one know I didn't mean stationary stationery? If the one can modify rules governing brackets I shall play havoc with vowels :)

preronadi : I feel as old as the hills but thank you!

dc : You be-eth forgibhen. In the face of the greater woe that is old english my vote woes fade to nothingness. And I don't know about the year bit, the entire department's votes were tabulated together. Sigh. So I have no way of hunting each of the nineteen down, one by one. hehehe.

dd : I know what you mean. Believe me if there's anything I can do, I will. There is much that needs to be done anyway. One step at a time buddy. And thank you for the support, it meant a hell of a lot :)

disktop : I know. Me too.

the still dancer : Bidhanshabha eet eej. And if you were sleep deprived at least you were also inebriated, lucky you :D

hdpal : hmph. Where it is the pill in the jam? You have been mocking me in other people's comment sections I see ;D

cassy : tumio?! If I've said I'll get it done, I will. If not in this lifetime, sometime in the next seven. hurrumph!!

apoplexy : Results have been updated :)

panu : yer bhelcome! And you didn't vote for *what*, you voted for me. Which I assure you is a better thing than any *what* around :D

freaky : thanks sweety but I'd love to know what your friend had to say about me. So sad it is, I am the so fond of him and he looks daggers at the thought of me. Ah, the woes of becoming a politician :D

srin : On an average I have something against protest marches and strikes. I think both have lost their effectiveness as political means of coercion, while remaining extremely effective in disrupting normalcy. And thanks :)

lancelot : What a solemnly delightful dear you are!

dee : wheeeeee!!! *joins in jumping up and down virtually*

karuna : thinketh there was a bit of miscommunication. That list of instructions is copyright of bfiss. That's nothing like the official sheet, I came up with it out of sheer frustration with the stupid boring rules and guidelines the authorities hand out. And the top secret bit was only added cos I thought every vote needs a conspiracy :D And giggling is good for your health, so apologize ye not!

casablanca : the fiss would feel out of water in the ju jheel, such pure water wouldn't suit er constitution but she's all ready to storm everything else :D

10:53 PM  
Blogger hdpal said...

B-fish – I was not mocking you. I might have been making light of the other young ladies situation, but I was definitely not mocking you.

While most of us just complain about how much the system sucks, you had the energy and courage to stand in an election.

On the other hand I do genuinely believe that if we take care of the small issues, the big ones take care of themselves.

12:31 AM  
Blogger babelfish said...

hdpal : You sir, take me too seriously! Which is a good thing at times, but not when there is an appropriately placed winking emoticon beside my comment. I was kidding!! That said, I agree with you on the last point, which is why I linked your post on university elections...umm, for which I forgot to ask permission, whoops! Maybe I haven't been very clear on my stands but that's because this blog isn't perhaps the best of places to vent some of my political thoughts. But put simply I think ensuring a hygenic drainage system on campus is a greater priority than leading a protest march against Bush...that's trivializing a lot of major issues but well, you get the idea :D

12:45 AM  
Blogger "sen"sational said...

dont get sooo uncomfortable... i was just pulling ur leg...

8:56 PM  
Blogger The Alluder of Alliterations said...

u need to visit my blog more often.. i have putted a link to yours on mine.. that is a huge honour.. kindly condescend to whatevering on my blog more often...

11:44 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Politics! -ack- I have successfully reached my 31st year without ever voting! And I don't intend to start! This way, the problems of government are not my fault.

12:48 AM  
Blogger Freaky Chakra said...

Uff baba onek to saree porey college e ghora holo... now plzz update to!!

1:21 AM  
Blogger babelfish said...

"sen"sational : you be little dear, I be not worried at all :D

wizard of weird : I do too visit your blog oftens!

jay : damn, I always said you were the smarts, now I got proof :)

freaky : updated, whoopee!

11:34 PM  
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11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:43 AM  

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