Poll tales from Mumbai: Celebs, power cuts and ambulance
Filmstars, 111-year-olds and hospitalised people travelling in ambulances -- all took part in the democratic exercise in Mumbai and nearby areas Thursday.
* Bollywood and Marathi celebs
Mumbaikars did not miss a chance to catch a glimpse of their favourite Bollywood and Marathi filmstars as they came to cast their votes. In polling stations where celebrities were expected - like in Bandra, Khar, Santacruz, Vile Parle, Andheri, Oshiwara - the crowds were unusually thick.
On their part, even the reserved filmstars were more down-to-earth, and smiled and interacted with their fans and the hordes of media persons. The celebs also urged people to come out and perform their national duty by voting.
* Names missing again from electoral rolls
Many Mumbaikars were apprehensive of their names going 'missing' from electoral rolls. But top businessman Deepak Parekh had least expected he would be part of that list.
A visibly irritated Parekh said that when he learnt of the faux pas, he tried his level best to cast his vote, he carried his passport and other documents, but to no avail.
Bollywood actors Bharat Dabholkar and Atul Kulkarni also discovered they were 'missing' from the electoral rolls and could not vote.
Meanwhile, Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar flew down from Dubai to cast his vote along with wife Anjali.
* Large turnout of Muslim voters
A large turnout of Muslim voters was seen in minority-dominated pockets of Mumbai like Borivli, Kandivli, Malad, Jogeshwari, Andheri, Santacruz, Bandra, Mahim, Mumbai Central, Mazagaon, Kurla, Mankhurd, Byculla, Nagpada and Colaba.
* Centenarian votes
A 111-year-old woman, Mariambi, accompanied by her 40-year-old grandson came to vote in Khar and said she wanted to vote even in the next polls!
* Wheelchair and ambulance
An 84-year-old ailing Fatimabi Abdul Quadir was brought down the stairs from her fourth floor apartment in Nagpada on a chair and then taken in a wheelchair to vote in a nearby polling station. She said this could be the last time she would vote but wanted to die peacefully without any communal divide affecting the country's future.
Anita Manjrekar, who is undergoing treatment at KEM Hospital, also expressed a desire to vote. Hospital authorities and her family arranged an ambulance for her to Dharavi where she voted at a polling station at the SSL School there.
* Power outage
There was a power breakdown at a couple of polling stations in Thane in the afternoon. No problem. Polling officials wasted no time, ordered some candles and voting continued without a break!
* Excited youngsters
Youngsters, especially first-time voters, appeared to be the most excited at all polling stations. Not only did they eagerly wait in long queues but came out laughing and hugging their friends after casting their votes and displayed their inked fingers!
(Posted on 24-04-2014)