Elections come and elections go.
There are winners and there are losers. And then there are pollsters. This special breed of political analysts live for the election season. It wouldn't be an election without the array of experts, talking heads, commentators and analysts who dissect every inch of every constituency in search of that one little glimmer nugget of gold that will fill newsprint and airtime for days to come.
So, with results for the Assembly elections in Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Goa mere hours away from being declared, it's time to meet the FP Special Forces-appointed roster of election experts who will help you make sense of all the numbers, rhetoric and histrionics.
Straight outta Compton? Far from it. Try straight outta Chitrakoot. Chunaavi Chin2 (yes, that's the way he spells it and we'll thank you to strictly follow the convention) isn't your quintessential millenial. In fact, to him, the issues and candidates involved matter less than the fascinating experience of voting and waiting for the results. What might seem obvious to you or us, or even the person reading these words over your shoulder, is a fascinating discovery for young Chin2.
With college just around the corner, Chin2 is spending his time trying to make sense of India and its fascinating politics. As it turns out, he is presently focused on Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Much like C Vidyasagar Rao, the governor who handles two states — Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, Chin2 demanded that he be tasked with the fascinating (sensing a theme here?) job of handling both Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
And frankly, who were we to deny him that request?
Francis 'Feni' Onlyneatmen
Feni does not take kindly to being called 'Francis'. In his words, "Only my mudder calls me Francis, men". Which was fine by us. Feni also speaks almost exclusively in the third person. "Feni takes ownership," he pointed out. Which, was again, fine by us.
What's worth pointing out here is that he isn't your average psephologist. In fact, he's more of a tegestologist — a collector of beermats and coasters, didn't you know? — than any sort of psephologist. But his hobby, while time-consuming and incredibly satisfying, doesn't stop him from having an informed political opinion. And voicing it regularly. His latest gripe is that it's a dry day on Saturday.
We did cast our net wide across Goa to see if we could find someone with more substantial gripes, but it turned out they'd all skipped town to avoid the blessed dry day that accompanies every election and counting day in this country.
We're sure Feni will prove to be a barrel of laughs, insight and fury. Consider yourselves suitably warned.
"SCREAM FOR ME, IMPHAL!"
When we tracked Maiden (that's how she likes to be addressed; seems like these days, everyone's picky about how they want to be addressed) down, this is how we found her exhorting a startled group of tourists in downtown Imphal.
A 'heavy metal maniac with a penchant for politics', by her own admission, the Assembly election of 2017 was the second time Maiden voted in an election. Now, while she might not necessarily recall the recipient of either of her votes, she vivdly remembers the song that was blasting through her headphones each time she entered the polling station.
A college graduate from Manipur, Maiden spends most of her time trying to make her fictional five-piece thrash metal band a reality. And when she's not busy with that, she's yelling heavy metal clichés at passersby. Of late, she's turned her attention to politicians at rallies leading up to the two-phase polls in her state.
Which made her the perfect choice for us.
Patthar Panjabi is a man of few words.
But we can't just leave it at that, so it was his Twitter profile to which we took in order to glean a few more details about this man.
"Poet, philanthropist, adventurer, actor, cricketer, mathematician, mechanic, flautist, daughter, criminal and lawyer... None of these describes me in anyway," it read. A brief telephone conversation with him proved to be no more enlightening.
But we did discover one very important fact about him: Never mind going to SRFTI, ol' Patthar has never even watched a Satyajit Ray film in his life.
Images created by Satwik Gade
Updated Date: Mar 10, 2017 14:59 PM