After a night of peaceful sleep, it’s yet another beautiful day at Koltey Gaon, Darjeeling. If any of you guys don’t know where Koltey Gaon is, your life in the hills must be a lie… But then, let me tell you. Koltey Gaon Darjeeling is an unusually “mileko” village with an even count of 108 houses. The village can basically be divided into the Upper Koltey Gaon which is just above the Bich Kamaan and the Lower Koltey Gaon which lies just below it.
The village is very proud of itself. The development is such that people walk barefoot on the tiled streets to prevent it from getting dirty. So much so, that the villagers have shifted from vehicles to ponies to preserve the sanity of the place. The walls of the Upper Koltey Gaon are all painted white with stripes of blue on it, and the Lower Koltey Gaon is painted blue with a stripe of white on it. Legend has it that those new to the village would never be able differentiate between the two.
Nevertheless, the two parts are united skin and bones to each other, and the bond is based on the 2017 andolan sandhi. Legend has it that the police and CRPF raids which were an everyday phenomenon in Koltey Gaon, Darjeeling stopped the day this sandhi was signed, thanks to the unity between the Upper Koltey Gaon and Lower Koltey Gaon. The treaty after a many rounds of meeting finally could establish peace by mandating for the football team of the village – the KFC (Koltey Football Club) at any time to have the Goalkeeper and Striker from the Upper Koltey Gaon, while the Cricket Team (Koltey 11) was to have the best player of the Lower Koltey Gaon at any time as the team captain, who would also be the first bowler and the opening batsman.
Though the village has no playing ground for itself, and the children aren’t allowed to play on the streets for the fear of the tiles getting destroyed, it’s their love for the sports that has led them to win the ever prestigious “Mul Daara Open Tournament” and the “Taarey Bhir Bronze Cup” year after another.
Again, every other person in the village is spiritual, all of them being dedicated followers of Baba Ram Rahim Insaan, but there is no political interest in anyone at all. In fact, the village follows a strict non-political policy since time immemorial. To say the least, the village in its life has never seen a single political rally till date, except for the time when once General Aladdeen of Wadiya had decided to visit the village and had delivered a speech at the village community hall. That was the only time that the villagers had seen camels.
But that is going to change soon.
A meeting had been called recently at the village community hall to rediscuss the non-political policy of the village. It all started recently when some in the village began to realize that they were Gods gift to the community, and that they could actually show the rest how people actually deserved to be governed. A little more research by the concerned villagers brought forth the fact that owing to the lack of political interest in the village, though development was friendly with the village, the pursestrings of development were not, and so the villagers now knew exactly what they needed to do.
A resolution was passed unanimously by the members of all the 108 houses to drive the village ahead in the political scenario. The plan was to start by contesting the upcoming by-polls in Darjeeling, and thus becoming a Cabinet Minister in Bengal. Later further, it was decided that the village would send candidates to contest the GTA and Lok Sabha elections too, and slowly capture all the important seats. And later when everything was under their control, implant their own members in all the Development Boards, School Boards, College Boards, Black Boards, Green Boards too. There were also talks about transferring all the important administrative offices of the region to their village.
A meeting was called to decide the MLA candidate from the village where nominations from interested candidates would be called and each house would vote for the candidate of their choice. The candidate with the highest number of votes would go on to file his/her nomination for the election. When a youth who had been studying in the town raised his voice saying, “Hamile candidate pathaayum vaney vote bandaa huncha”, one of the villagers was prompt to reply, “Tero baw ko baari bandaa vaako jasto laagyo hola daaju-bhai ma… vote ho vote!!” The youth could not reply a word. This kind of debating skills had made it certain for the villagers that in the coming years, they could have a CM from Koltey Gaon, Darjeeling.
A total of 107 candidates came forward from every house in the village except for one.
Going back to the meeting, of the 107 candidates, 106 got 1 vote each, and luckily Tulkey who was the only person in the village to marry inside the village, was selected to contest the election with 2 votes for him. For once, some villagers thought of chasing out Tulkey and his wife and conduct the voting again, but they had no grounds to do so.
Just then a man from behind the crowd shouted, “Aajkal ta bazaar ma sabai nai vote ma uthcha harey ta… Hami ni 107 nai jana uthyo vaney k jaaney ra?” The idea was indeed liked by everyone and the hall in no time was filled by murmurs.
Right then someone in the middle stood and said – “Paisa chai kolley diney anta?” That was there… the lack of funds. The equation went back to Tulkey and he was announced as the sole candidate from the village.
Thus it started – rallies and promises. Tulkey wasn’t afraid. “Vikas moh lewchu” – Tulkey would say addressing the biggest rally the town had ever seen, though he didn’t know how. He also once talked about shifting the entire Gorkhaland region to Koltey Gaon as the atrocities of the law-enforcements in the town was on all time high. “Hamro gaon ma ta posney aat gardaina ni”- he would say. Nonetheless, he was true to his commitment towards Development. Wherever he went to do his rallies, youths, mostly addicts, developed instantly, and bought new motor-bikes and fancy clothes. Infact, his commitments to development were so visible that some parties even abandoned their own candidates to support him.
And to not of a very big surprise, Tulkey won the elections by a record margin of 10 lack votes. None of his opponents could cross the double digit count in votes. He became an overnight sensation all over and started getting calls from the biggest parties in the country. He was even made a Minister in West Bengal looking at his popularity in the hills. He swore in as the Minister of Unemployment and assumed his office in no time. As per his wish, an office was set up at his village for him to operate while being at home. Now, even those controling the pursestrings of development realised how important the village was. Soon, the village started getting covered with green and blue roofs, and blue and white tiles all around – everyone in the village being super happy.
Tulkey was living his dreams.
One morning, he reclined on his super comfortable chair in his office and reflected on how happy he was and how happy his village was. He was now planning to contest the MP elections himself too, when he faintly started hearing his wife’s rant over something. He was just trying to concentrate what she may have wanting to say, when he felt water splashing on his face. It was him on his bed, not an MLA, not a Minister. His wife shouted – “Ghaas kaatnu kosko baw jancha?” …
Tulkey got up slowly and said not a word. He was dreaming a dream, that most in the internet are doing these days.