Skip to main content

The Election of Mrs. Bajpeyi

A few years ago, one of our neighbours, Mrs. Meira Bajpeyi, a veritable neighbourhood matriarch (I've never actually SEEN Mr. Bajpeyi - strange - but he's alive that's for sure.  She flaunts her marriage symbols with pride) decided to fight the local elections.  We were all quite pleased.  It would be nice to have someone we know in a position of power.  Contacts are so important.

It was quite exciting when the leaflets came around with the venerable Mrs. Bajpeyi's face smiling benignly.  None of our family got involved with the campaigning but we wished her well of course.  I heard Neil, my son, who was very small at the time going around chanting 'Meira Bajpeyi Patang!  Meira Bajpeyi Patang!'  'Patang' means 'kite' and it was Mrs. Bajpeyi's election symbol.  In India, politicians use elections symbols so that when the voting is going on, the illiterate people who are unable to read will know by the symbol, for whom they should vote.

One night I was standing at the gate with Yash, my husband, talking to some neighbours.  A stray cow wandered by.  Yash had some chalk in his hand - I'm not really sure why.  Anyway, he started writing on the cow.  The message was 'Vote for Meira Bajpeyi'.

Mrs. Bajpeyi's campaign concluded with a huge procession of cars and followers chanting 'Meira Bajpeyi Zindabad'.  It was overwhelming.  The next day was the voting.

While the counting was going on, we saw Mrs. Bajpeyi standing alone in her garden.  We were wondering why she was not down at the counting centre surrounded by followers, checking out the progress of her campaign.  She doesn't speak English.  Yash spoke to her.

She explained bitterly that she had lost the election owing to rigging and corruption etc.  What an anti-climax!  According to my mother-in-law, she was telling lies (she thinks everybody tells lies).

"If no-one votes for you, that's their choice," said my mother-in-law.  What is corrupt about that?


  1. As simple as that! Your mother-in-law sees things pretty simple. :-) Unluckily in politics corruption is everywhere!

  2. How did she know she had lost the campaign if they were still counting? Maybe she was just preparing herself? Another interesting insight into your daily life.

  3. I knew there was something missing in my life: Cows wandering past my gate. Neither do I ever have chalk at the ready when needed.


  4. She should have hired a campaign manager like me or my friend Mayo and it would have been a cake walk. Both of us come quite expensive though!


Post a comment

Thanks for visiting me. Please let me know you were here

Popular posts from this blog


Many years ago, when I lived in Dublin, I met someone nice and started dating. I wasn't serious, I just thought we could have nice interesting discussions about India, which I found absolutely fascinating, as I was working in the Embassy of India back then. I had no intention of getting attached with a foreigner, with all the attendant cultural problems. I was happy living in Ireland and the idea of marriage couldn't have been further from my mind.

We both thought we could just keep things in control. One day, after a lot of emotional turmoil and denial, it hit us both that we were in love. Truly. Madly. Irrevocably. To the point where we couldn't live without each other. I'd known about the Indian system of arranged marriages and when it occurred to me that he would probably be married off by his family as soon as he returned to India, I felt physically ill at the thought. We are both tenacious and patient people. We realised that bringing our two worlds together would…

Five Ways Social Media Has Changed Our Lives

Has social media changed the way we live? You bet it has! I’ve been in India for 22 years and have visited home in Ireland maybe half-a-dozen times. The biggest challenge about this, for me, has always been coping with the difficulty of making contact with old friends and family. However, that’s all over now, thanks to Facebook. I check my phone every morning and read that uncle Ned in Dublin is furious over the biased referee in the boxing match or that my cousin Paula in Dublin went to see Take That in concert (or whoever!). I speak to my cousin Veronica in Scotland every few days thanks to WhatsApp. We haven’t spoken this frequently since we wrote to each other as kids. Social media has definitely changed our lives forever. I can think of at least five ways that social in which it has affected life as we know it.

Social media makes the world more accessible to us. This is a fact. The world is at your fingertips. Find out which of your friends and family are on Facebook and once you …

Kipling Got it Wrong! Or Eastern and Western Culture - Reflections

What Is Culture?
I’m opening this blog post with a question. What is that elusive concept which is commonly known as ‘culture? Culture is way of life. How we live. What our values are.  Our customs, attitudes and perceptions. And also, I suppose, how we express ourselves in art through, such as music, dance, theatre and cinema.  It’s quite a comprehensive area and not too easy to define, really.

The Journey
I was born in what is commonly known as ‘the west’. I lived in Ireland for the first thirty years of my life. When I was thirty, I married my husband and came out to India to live here with him. That was the beginning of an interesting journey, which is still evolving. I must have had some east/west comparison stereotypes in my head. But in India, I found that the people I met had huge stereotypes in their heads about what they called ‘western culture’ and ‘western way of life’. Not long after I arrived in India, I was struck by the number of people who said things to me like ‘in the …