March 07, 2006

Elections are here!

Sitting on the sidelines of a meeting of councillors and politicians can give you ideas.
The entrepreneurial one is this - cornering advertising space for the coming elections.
This one looks easy.
You don't have to tender. But the competition has already begun.
Locked bungalows are the first targets. Since the residents are away, babysitting their grandsons in the Bay Area, no one will object. Junction boxes of the TNEB are no good. Our clients will certainly not relish the idea of having men answering nature's call at these corners and spraying on the faces of the contenders.
We must get creative.
I wouldn't mind checking out the Marutis and Ambassadors left to gather dust outside apartment blocks by owners who have recently bought their second car.
Our artists would drool at the idea of converting the cars into election installation pieces.
Consider the idea of letting the 'top' symbol spin on the edge of the 'rising sun'.
If you own a grocery store or a stationery mart, there is an opportunty staring at you.
Postpone the deal you made with the soft drinks company even if summer is going to be with us in April; you can rent the doors, windows and the roof to the contenders.
If you have any more creative ideas to sell to them, like screen printing the party symbol on your paper bags, sell them hard.
I'd rather like the seasonal election graffiti than the sheaves of handbills on masala pizzas and Sunday computer classes dumped on me. But having the party colours painted on eggs sold at the store - now that will make them bristle.
Not because of the bird flu frenzy. This one will die down in the heat of March.
Imagine the stories that our journalists will spin when it is found that eggs with the symbols of the contender's party were thrown on the dais.
If you haven't white-washed your compound wall, election time is the occasion to get that job done - for free.
Anyway, as long as you don't tax your non-co-operating residents to pool in a thousand bucks for the annual job of the common space, your neighbours will not scoff at your idea.
This deal is legislated. That is, political parties must take your permission before 'defacing' the walls with their slogans, mugshots and symbols. The deal includes the onus to scrub the wall and whitewash it after the elections are over.
Politicians rarely keep their promises. So you may consider encouraging graffiti by the colony's kids. Imagine the fine art of scrawling on rising suns, spinning tops and blooming leaves.
There is a lot you can get done on the eve of elections. More street lights, uninterrupted water supply, regular garbage collection. You can even ask for little gardens at the street junctions and have painted storks installed in them.
But I'd suggest you shouldn't get those potholed streets relaid.
The victors will drive by on their thanksgiving rounds after the election results are declared.
A bump and a twist will be natural reminders of the job they have on their hands.

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