Stripper

I’m not my father.’ Rián started his election rally with that sentence.

The audience was dead silent.

The prejudice in our hearts has done a great disservice to this land all these years. We would have grown a lot if we had worked together rather than fighting over differences and opinions.

The audience murmured among themselves.

This election is not about left vs right. We won’t do identity politics this time. It is not about good vs evil. Things are not binary. I won’t shy away from appreciating the ruling party for their achievements. I never have.

Some audience stood up started leaving the gathering passing comments.

When I become the new president, I won’t shy away from consulting the blue flag party for their expertise. Their party has some great minds. Some of them are my heroes. They have great policymakers.

Those *** killed your father!’ an angry voice hit the stage.

Rián stopped and replied. ‘He was eighty-seven.

You moron..’, ‘Murderer!’ The audience got so displeased and loud.

He died of old age gracefully.’ Rián elaborated.

A slipper flew past Rián to hit a senior party member on the stage. Another shoe rightly hit Rián’s nose.

Ok. Let's talk about schemes!’ A chair flew across the crowd onto the stage and hit his cheekbone hard. Rián was taken away from the stage bleeding.

Betrayer!’ The crowd was unhappy.

He was treated along the way. The physician did not talk to him. Rián felt ashamed for some reason.

Rián locked himself in his bedroom. Alone. He did not respond to anyone at the door. He did not pick up the phone. The butler knocked at his door for dinner but returned back in vain. He took medicines and slept.

He woke up mid-night. He switched on the TV.

Shortest Political Career Ever?’ The headlines in the blue party television were about the colossal failure.

What is going on in the yellow party? Why was he attacked with a chair? Is this why George did not allow his son to speak at any of his rallies?’ The anchor asked the guest, A senior blue party member.

Yes, we got our answers today.’ The guest said. Both laughed and returned to the straight face.

Is this the shortest political career anyone has ever seen?’ The anchor asked.

Definitely. Got hit by a chair in under twenty words! Can’t be shorter than that.’ The guest added.

The anchor continued. ‘I mean, He was almost named as the presidential candidate. Now being hit by a shoe and a flying chair, what would he do from here? What can he do? What are his options?’ As you can see, these are not real questions. These are statements disguised as questions because of her role. If she were not an anchor, She would have said, ‘Now that being hit by a chair by his own voters, he can’t do much.

The guest replied, ‘He can’t do much.

Now that the yellow party mob voters have started throwing heavy things on their own leaders, what is the state of the party now? What is their way from here? Can they make a comeback?’ She asked with a concerned face licking at her lips.

There is no coming back as far as I see.’ The guest said.

George has always kept his authority in the party until he died. Now that he’s dead, is there anyone as commanding and charming to attract the voters?’ She asked.

There is no one.’ The guest added.

Rián felt hungry. He switched off the television and opened the door. The butler was sleeping on a couch near the door. He walked past him to the kitchen. He wanted to make omelets. The butler showed up.

Let me.’ The butler took over.

Rián sat over the countertop and waited.

Your dad... On any occasion, He gets ten things to say in his head but carefully picks which words make the most impact.

Rián did not respond.

I know that because he tells all ten things when he is drunk.’

‘…’

‘You are like him. but it seems like you pick the least impactful option to say.

I’m not my father.

I know that you are Rián and you can’t be the dead George.

Rián stayed silent.

I hated your father’s politics. But I stayed here and voted for him all these years. Because I hated the opponent’s politics even more.

‘…’

Those *** are as corrupt or even more corrupt than your father has ever been. You are not that naive to not see that.

Corruption is not the biggest problem. The nation is vastly divided now. If my father had stayed in power for four more years we would have had a civil war in this nation.

I agree.

The crowd is just the product of my father’s crooked head.

Meh… Chicken… Egg… problem.’ Butler mocked as he handed over Rián his omelets.

You think I can win this election after all this?

Possible. You got six months. One problem is you overestimate the crowd. If you say, I’m 82% good. They are 79% good! So vote for me! They don’t understand. It should be easier to understand and remember. Your dad literally said in a rally, I’m good. They’re bad. Yellow party good. Blue party bad and won the election.’

‘…’

If you think, you are going to do mature, gentleman-style politics, you can start your own party. You will get five to six people to vote you.

‘…’

from thirty-two states.

‘…’

to be continued…

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Karthick Ragavendran

Fullstack engineer @ atem.green | React, Typescript, Redux, JavaScript, UI, Storybook, CSS, UX, Cypress, CI/CD.