Open Ballot

Open Ballot: How to Evade Voting

Open Ballot: How to Evade Voting

I had no clue that a simple voting competition would open a whole new world of revelations.

The voting started with a few friends pitching in. Sending their best wishes along. It was Fun! I immediately climbed up on the leaderboard, with a little more than 40 votes in 2 days.

Another day of casual requests to vote and ‘fun’ voting, while the volumes of the leaders crossed 3 figures. My efforts to seek votes, which were as of now only asking the people we would see online, changed to sending email requests and Direct Messages on Twitter to close friends.

Strike 1: Since a lot of my friends are from photography and related fields, many Registered for the competition. What started as a mutual ‘let’s vote for each other’ turned bitter, in just a single day.

Strike 2: New leaders appeared on the board. Some friends, some not. Now I faced the dilemma of whether to go ahead and shamelessly ask everyone we had access to, to vote, or just continue chilling out :p This is when the fun started…

Restless Butterfly and a whole lot of voters (whom I do not know), voted for me regularly and kept my morale high throughout the competition. I wish I could thank them all personally. Their votes were the initial boost that took me to the top of the leaderboard.

With the two weddings I attended and photo assignments I had to deliver, the top of the leaderboard started dodging me. Gosh I was so stuck at #4

Nidhi Narula, Bhawana, and @Pacoblue made sure they updated their status messages/posts on twitter and steadied the inflow of votes along with encouraging chatter.

From friends who wouldn’t care to reply as soon as they heard about the competition, to acquaintances who would vote for everyone so that nobody exits and of course those relatives, friends and acquaintances who went out of their way to help, this ‘Open Ballot’ saw it all. *Thanks to Kingfisherworld, for keeping the Votes Public.

Some more instances which I would like to share:

*My Dad, a retired Army officer, loves to spend his time playing Sudoku and taking mom out to her oh-so-frequent visits to the relatives, got on with his military-like organizing skills. He got the whole family to vote for me – from my grandfather, to his cousins, to his retired colleagues, and quite surprisingly, the domestic help and his college going kid! everybody with an email id was now voting for me! So much so that they’d come home regularly to Vote. Fear Factor or just plain goodwill. Dad spread the message real quick. A #win +50. *He is back to Sudoku :D

*Special mention here, of my little cousin Neha from Agra. She’s all of 12 years and despite her weak health and barely managing to finish her homework, she made sure everybody she knew in Agra voted everyday. Another #win +20

*Ramit Grover, the only Ramit I know of (other than Ramit Sethi) made sure everyone around him, put in their share votes everyday

*Cathy, Laureen & Neha Batra – The three ladies here displayed quite remarkable networking skills when they got their friends and acquaintances from the US/UK and Australia to vote for me. International Votes #win :)

I’d like to mention here John Pfeiffer, a dear friend of Laureen’s, who also voted for me. At Laureen’s request he voted and that was among the last few things he did. John is no more. My heart goes out to John’s family.

*The Frameboxx GangSachin Bhatnagar (North), Sathya & Reno (South) and Manish (West) helped with votes from faculties and students.

Mahesh Gaba never fails to add some spice to your day with his sometimes naughty and sometimes deeply profound SMSes. Swami Gaba ji helped us reach the hundreds of contacts he has access to.

Inching towards the end of the competition, I wondered how could I reach more people, and despite the constant inflow of votes, come unstuck from #4? Asking my Salsa Gang for votes, Salsa King Kaytee Namgyal and Vineet Bangera made this magic happen just like their dance.

They say there’s always a cloud in the silver lining… (I still don’t know who “They” are!)

I was quite saddened by how some cousins & friends reacted to the whole voting scenario.

Me: Please Vote for me…

Cousin/Friend: What do I get if I vote for you?

Me (Dude! I’m not standing for the Delhi Assembly elections promising regular supply of batti-paani. Besides, your Profile Picture has been clicked by me, isn’t that good enough for one vote? Of course I didn’t say that, out of politeness): How ’bout a nice new DP? :D

This always works, I guess I should add ‘Provides Free Profile Pictures’ in my Resume! :p

I don’t know if I’ll win this competition or not. But I know this for sure, a lot people want me to.

Latest Update – Rank #3 was not good enough. The First 2 contestants were declared Winners.


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