November 6: Mundane, Memorable (and Obama Reelection Too)

This is exactly where I was!

11.45 P.M.

Congratulations, President Obama. And more congratulations to Elizabeth Warren.

I hope your second term is pro-people and radically different from your first term. Make Warren the Wall Street watchperson. Bring back Glass-Stegall. Pass Employee Free Choice Act and Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Bring back the New Deal economy. Reward work and workers. Stop all wars and bombing and droning.

The American people have kept faith in you. You show us how pro-people you are. It’s time to sever ties with the same-old iron-walled elitist politics.

Come down to earth. This is where God is.

____________________________________________________________

This is what I wrote this evening, before Obama’s re-election. I want to remember it, for reflection and posterity.

November 6, 2012. Election Day. Barack Obama wants to be re-elected today. He knows it’s not easy this time. Well…we’ve talked about it over and over again. It’s not my fault if he loses.

But I do hope he wins. ONLY because I never want extremists and war mongers to win.

Anyway…it’s too early for politics.

5 A.M. — Alarm rang. It’s too early. Too dark. Had to wake up. Got stuff to do.

5.30 A.M. — Started that old car and warmed it up for a while. That sucker may not run in this cold. Man, it looks like freezing chill in the backyard.

5.45 A.M. — Drove a sleepy wife to the polling station. She works there every time there’s an election. She is really the helping type. Always helps. Wants to help. Just a couple of days ago, she went to a shelter at Brooklyn Armory where hundreds of people began spending nights since that hurricane Sandy struck. She distributed food. She cooked food. She took a whole bunch of blankets and sweaters and shirts and pants, without asking me, and gave them away. Ah, well…I did my part too. Calcutta, Bengal, flood, drought, collecting rice and dal and clothes…campaigning by car…announcing with a hand-held microphone…truckloads of donated supplies…some money…completely honestly handing it all over to Ramakrishna Mission…yeah…I did it all!

A shelter for hurricane victims.

6 A.M. — Did not go back home. Normally, after dropping her off, I go back and take an extra hour to sleep. Not this time. Got stuff to do.

6.15 A.M. — Drove up to a gas station where my friend Sinha works as the head mechanic. He said last night they were going to pump gasoline at 4 A.M. today. Had to be there. Sandy sucked New York and New Jersey dry of gas.

Oh God, the line was already so long! Cops were managing the long line of cars and people. Stood behind the line. Turned off the engine. Waited…waited…

Drove up one inch at a start. This stupid, old car is gonna quit soon with so many starts and stops.

Moving…slowly…slowly…like a metallic snail…

America. Energy Crisis. Inevitable.

7.15 A.M. — Finally I can see the gas station. It’s still not totally morning yet. Even though, just two nights ago, they turned the clock back to end the daylight saving time. Without it, it would now be really dark. At least, I can see the gas station and the people lining up long lines…with containers, big water jars, whatever they got…to get petrol.

I kept thinking of my old Calcutta school days when I would stand up behind long lines to get kerosene, or coal, or bread…remembered those war-torn days in the sixties…

7.30 A.M. — Got gas. Filled up the tank. Paid by credit card. Off I go…

I’m not returning home. Let’s go straight to work. Had to work from home yesterday. No gas, no subway. And I can’t fly to work!

8.05 A.M. — Work. Office. Yesss! Turned on my office computer. Turned on my personal laptop too.

Worked. Had tea. Somebody’s class had extra bagels. Picked up a couple. Not bad. Didn’t have time for any breakfast in that hurry.

11.30 A.M. — 12.30 P.M. — My colleague cum director asked us to come out help load some trucks with bags full of supplies for the hurricane victims. That was not bad, doing it like they do it in an army supply line…pick up bags, throw bags to the next person…like passing the baton in a relay race…catching bags…throwing it to the next person over…bags get loaded…trucks full of bags of supplies…not bad…not bad…did something good…worthwhile…

Worked more…putting together materials for classes…labor workshop for next year…other classes…writing reports for past classes…not bad…not bad…

4.30 P.M. — Had to leave. Didn’t have lunch. Hungry. Got a piece of Sicilian pizza and some coffee. Off to the road…back on Jackie Robinson Parkway…Pennsylvania Avenue…Atlantic Avenue…home.

5.30 P.M. — Parked that old car in the garage. It’s cold, man. Chilly! Need to go pick up wifey very late. She says long voter lines. She might be working until 11 P.M. or midnight!

Mundane. Not exciting this time. Not at all!

6 P.M. — Walked to vote at our usual school building. Long line again. Man, this is a day for lines. Lines. Lines. Spiral lines. So many people are voting…Why? What do they think? Next four years will be different from the last four? Sheesh!!

6.30 P.M. — Voted. Filled up the scan sheet. Scanned through the machine. DONE!

Voted. Because I am a completely nonviolent person. Nonviolent thinker. Activist. Writer. My middle name is nonviolence. My second middle name is mainstream.

Regardless of how many vote. Regardless of how many can stay nonviolent.

P.S. — 1 A.M. — I drove my wife back home from the polling center where she worked since 5.45 A.M. (yesterday). She will make a few hundred dollars. Peanuts…compared to what the people who just got elected would make.

That’s the ultimate irony of this so-called democracy!

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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