'Beware of politicians...'

Working for politicos has not fetched anything to this 75-year-old man

'Beware of politicians...'

The make-shift tent of Ramesh. dh photo

This is the advice Bullock Cart Ramesh gives to the budding politicians. Ramesh who was famous as ‘Mike Ramesh’ in the city once upon a time, is now a security guard at a mango grove near Muguluvalli.

Ramesh considers his own life a moral lesson to others. The three words he utters frequently are: “Don’t believe politicians”.

Now, listen to his story in his own words:

“Mallandoor Road, Pooja Talkies, Vijaypura, Gowry Kaluve, Basavanahalli, Hanumanthappa Circle, Market Road... People in all areas of Chikmagalur know me very well. Whenever an election is announced, my cart should get ready with mikes. I should canvass for somebody throughout the day for the little penny they throw at me. In the meantime, I was losing my regular income though it was also meagre...

“I was earning Rs 400 a week till the existence of Pooja Talkies. I myself was canvassing for films. The talkies got demolished. At the same time, my cart met with an accident, and I was severely injured. The politician for whom I was canvassing all through life had totally forgotten when I was in deep misery...

“My wife went up to Bangalore and explained our plight to that politician but he said he did not remember somebody called Ramesh at all...

“If I had worked hard instead of going behind politicians, I could have saved something. At least my children would have looked after me. Write my story in the paper sir... Some people in villages who always go behind these politicians will be cautious hereafter...”

That is how Ramesh narrates his story. Ramesh is aged 75 years now. His children are avoiding him. Only his wife is accompanying him. Because of his leg pain, he cannot go for hard labour. However, Ramesh is not somebody who keeps himself lazy. He works as a conductor for a school bus in Chikmagalur. Whenever there is holdiday for the school, he works as a security person at the mango plantation of Apsar Sahib in Muguluvalli.

“I have no retirement sir... I stop working only when my heart stops working.” That is Ramesh’s philosophy of life.

“I worked for the victory of three leaders I liked. But even today I am denied from a ration card, pension and a house,” laughs Ramesh.

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