THERE are few decent lodging options for a visitor to Rae Bareli, the constituency of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The one most preferred option is state tourism dept’s Saras on the outskirts of the town. And during election time, there is a rush for bookings by visiting politicos from Delhi and Lucknow, as well as journos of various media organizations. Its resident bar is an added attraction and a time saver for the guests. However, the limited accommodation is difficult to keep up the demands as the date for filing nomination draws near. And the front desk staff is swarmed by VIP requests for all over. The lucky ones who find a room, without being a VIP guest, are often offered a word of advise by the staff. “Sir, please do not leave the room keys with us when you go out for the day’s work,” said one staff at Saras. Reason: There have been instances when a state legislator or a political strongman entered the hotel, and solved the non-availability of rooms by forcing the staff to open a hired room, and packing off the belongings of a guest in his absence. “Keeping the keys with you will ensure you spend the night in your room than the dormitory,” advised the good Samaritan.
Best described in the words of Neruda: I'm on my way, with dust in my shoes... send books back to their shelves, I'm going down into the streets. I learned about life, from life itself.., and could teach no one anything, except that I have lived