It's life as usual for family after Vardhan's visit

Over three days after Harsh Vardhan, the BJP candidate from Chandni Chowk visited “where he was born” at 3240 Fatuk Teliyan, Turkman Gate, the family living there now is still trying to cope with “a day’s glory”.

“Our neighbours kept trooping into the house on Saturday to see Dr Vardhan. It was a moment of joy for us that a VIP came to visit our house to refresh his childhood memories,” said Mohammed Ashfaq, one of the five brothers who live with their families in the house now.

Vardhan had started his campaign from Fatuk Teliyan for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on Saturday morning. The “joint family of the five brothers and their mother”, who bought the house nearly 15 years ago, is, however, unable to cope with the sudden attention from neighbours and media. 

“We did not know till Dr Vardhan’s nephew called that he lived in this house. After his visit, some of our neighbours are claiming that we have received a cheque between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh from him for renovation of the house. This is so humiliating,” added Ashfaq, who is into business.

The inside of the originally two-storeyed house, on which two more storeys were built later, were seen to be in a shoddy state with the walls peeling off.

While 12-year-old Faiz, slurping on an ice-cream and toying with kites, recollected how “Dr Vardhan” spoke to him of “flying kites from the terrace and playing gilli danda as a kid”, Imran, the eldest of Ashfaq’s four children said, “I have a kidney problem since childhood. I asked him if he can arrange a better treatment and a job for me.”

The 21-year-old, who undergoes dialysis twice a month, is sceptical of “calling up the VIP and reminding him of his request”. “We graciously welcomed him in this house. However, rounds of talk about us accepting cheques are disgusting.”

The family hasn’t still made up their mind whom to vote for. “I do not know if Dr Vardhan’s promises of looking into the mohalla’s problems are true. But, he looks like a good man with a clean image,” Imran said.

Some residents of the area said they are tired of “star politicians” in the colony before the elections. “Dr Vardhan was emotional of his birthplace the day he visited the colony. But, it is doubtful if he will look into our problems once he wins a seat,” said Mohammed Iqrar, 55.

Iqrar has decided to avail the NOTA (none of the above) option in this electoral process. “Our colony is in the same pitiable condition as it was 25 years back. We have voted for Mr Sibal (Kapil Sibal from Chandni Chowk constituency) from the Congress for two terms. He has hardly attended to us after winning a term,” said 48-year-old Gulzar, another resident of the area.

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