Day 21 - 16 August 2010
Rachna and Shalini set out early morning for the Parliament. They have been visiting the Parliament since last week in order to get endorsements from different Members of Parliaments. A week later, both of them seem to know a lot more of the Parliament and its many curves and lanes. At the same time, their faces have become familiar to lot more people. No wonder, when one is missing among the duo, the other is often asked by the security guards and other staff, ‘how come you are alone today, where is your friend?” Finding friends in this giant and seeming cold building is no mean task. And this is what both these ladies have been trying to do for the last six days- finding friends for Bhopalis among the Parliamentarians.
The experience so far has been bitter-sweet. Today was no different. They waited outside the Parliament for the person who was supposed to help them with the entry passes. After many unacknowledged, unreturned calls they decided to contact someone they met a day ago in the Parliament. He is Personal Secretary to a MP and he had been very forthcoming with his support. On a single call he ensured we get the passes. Our first stop being the alley near gate 2 close to Lok Sabha Gallery. ‘Abhi aapka stock poora nahi hua madam?’ asked a PS sitting next to us. We smiled and mentioned how we are trying for some more endorsements in order to have representations from different political parties. Two-three more PS sat next to us, discussing among themselves the status of politics, how parliamentarians are now demanding a salary raise from Rs 80,000 per month to Rs 1,60,000 and making playful bet on who would win the elections in Bihar this time and amidst all this euphoria remembering to give us a meaningful nod whenever a MP passed by. Soon we collected ten more endorsements.