1. He is handsome; no one will take a second look at me.
2. He has had a brilliant academic career; I barely scraped through my school.
3. He is a reputed author; my read does not go beyond the newspaper.
4. He has held exalted assignments; I am a lower division clerk.
5. He is widely travelled; the farthest I have gone to is the taluk headquarters.
6. He is highly-connected; the most powerful person I know is the secretary of the party in my village.
7. He goes around wearing natty suits and rimless glasses; I have no such accoutrements.
8. He sends email messages from his Blackberry; my prepaid mobile does not work because I have not recharged it.
9. He is proud of his Malayali lineage but spells his name as Shashi, not Sasi.
10. I am a progressive Keralite, but his name does not tell me what caste he belongs to.
For those who have not been watching the election scene in Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala very closely, Dr Shashi Tharoor, author and former UN official is a candidate. Though a Keralite by descent, he was educated elsewhere (Kolkata, Delhi and abroad). The average Malayali who has not had the opportunity for such exposure just cannot stomach the possibility of his making it to the Lower House. These are the typical thoughts (slightly exaggerated, of course) that go through their minds (Forget that true to their intellectual pretensions, they might put forth more rational arguments). How do I know? Simple: I am one such.