Photography by Arko Datto

Election time is a stressful time for the country. Politicians seek to redress complaints, answer for their negligence over the past years and make new promises to the public. Not everybody is complaining however.

Roughly a month before the elections, a leading political party offered the residents of Gadav Naka, Bhandup an open-air gym. A plot of vacant land reserved for the construction of a new road has been renovated and fitted with fitness equipment for everyone to use.

Ladies on their way back home from the bazaar stop by for a short workout. So do retired residents of the neighborhood and others returning from work. The newly-created park has been fitted with bright lights and benches and so has already become the new hang-out in the locality, for young and old alike.

Every act in India is measured in terms of the political leverage it brings. Conspicuous plaques all around the park and on the benches make a point of telling everyone who is to be thanked for this act of generosity.
‘This was done purely for the elections and will probably be taken away once the elections are over’, says one resident, ‘So let’s enjoy it while it lasts.’

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