The summer had just began, heat was scorching. Dryness in my mouth didn’t deter my need to meet him. Feet on street was must in the very limited time we had to sell our product.
“Hello, where is Dada Patil?”
Interacting with politically engaged people is one of its kind experience.
“He is sitting outside”
I went out side and started x-raying…the flex board/big hoarding suggested semi fair, 5 feet 8 inch, polite(?)… Couldn’t find a match!
Saw a bunch of people sitting…”Hello, where can I meet Dada Patil?”
“I am Dada Patil!”
This was cheating! There was no match to the highly enhanced, photoshopped picture on the flex board! Short, dark and not a pinch of politeness!
I sat and I talked for about a minute. I talked and Dada listened with distracted, attention span. His eyes not settling on me but constantly in search of something. There were moments though, where I felt he listened. At the end of 4 minutes as my sales pitch was midway, my lips became dry…I needed water. Just a sip. Before I could request, Dada shouted at somebody, “पाणी घे रे” – “Get the water!”
Awesome, besides water, now I had this deal! Why else he would sympathize?
I kept talking and talking. At about 6th minute, a lean-ish apprentice came, gave the water to Dada. With the expectation that I am offered the water, I raised my head, lifted my hand…
Dada drank it himself…bottoms up!
Using my toung to get rid of dryness, I walked out of pandol towards a water point.
Two days later the newspaper printed the election results. A newspaper picture with Dada and a huge crowd of thirsty supporters celebrating victory!!!