Election day today – the largest and most expensive election in the world. We are at dadi’s, getting spoilt in her Raj. She cooks, she directs, she beckons and she reprimands. Kiki is skipping along singing Happy Birthday, in the tune that she has made up all by herself. Dadu hands you gold coins that you think first about sharing with your best friend, Ansh, and later about hiding. Your dad and us go downstairs to vote – you’re still in your pajamas – not happy about this at all, whilst kiki is being fed her raab by Samik. We enter the polling station, I go in to find my number, you watch and learn how your mama gets work done. You declare you don’t want to be prime minister, and you don’t me to be one either. On further discussion, you finally agree that I could once you’re 18 years old.
You get an indelible mark on your finger by the guy who’s doing it for the adults. He refuses to at first, then your mother convinces him that it’s a good thing to teach children the importance of voting and he concedes, while the rest of the polling booth staff smiles as your face lights up with joy. We go back upstairs and you are thrilled to have a bath in the bucket with Papa whilst we pack up and rush everyone because we want to leave before the traffic hits. Dadi rushes upstairs to cut ajwain leaves from her plant for our chutney tomorrow night and an aloe vera stem that we need to get replanted so we can use it for Kiki’s and your baths. We reach home and are each filled with the utter anand that coming home brings, even if it’s only after less than 24 hours.