THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a quarter to 2 pm, the atmosphere outside the Juma Masjid in Peroorkada was steeped in a pious aura. Waiting patiently outside the mosque was UDF candidate Shashi Tharoor, happily obliging to selfies and greeting the people who passed by.
It has been four days since he sustained a major injury to his head, but all he did was up his ante on campaigning. After the prayers drew to a close, people came out, swarming Tharoor, greeting him and enquiring after his health. Even as he stood smiling and merrily posing for selfies, some assured him of their votes while many said they will offer prayers for him.
"Like Vivekanandan," a faithful quipped nodding at the bandage on Tharoor's head to which he responded gaily.But the bandage and the injury are not that innocuous, as Tharoor makes it to be. A staff always stands next to him, bearing an umbrella, so that the wound doesn't sweat."It is a bit of a strain in the heat because the doctors have said the wound must not sweat, as it could lead to an infection. So this chap always stands nearby," Tharoor smiles.
Despite the doctors advising him to take rest for a week, Tharoor took to the campaign trail, as this is an election he cannot take lightly. The pain is much less and the stitches will take another week to be removed. Otherwise, I am pretty much okay," he says. Although he lost out on a few days and a couple of events got cancelled, Tharoor is positive that it would not have much bearing on the people. "I did rest for a full day after coming out of the hospital.
But thereafter I had no choice but to get back on the trail. It is a bit taxing as the body has taken a bit of the trauma. But one knows that it will pass. And fortunately, the voters have seen me around for ten years. They know what I have done for the city. So I can't believe that my absence from the campaign trail for a couple of days alone is going to give me any serious political damage," he says. It has been six weeks of very intense campaigning, and it will continue to be, he says.
The campaign has also allowed him to spend some quality time with family. His two sisters came from abroad to provide moral support during the campaigning time. "It is nice to have a loving smile when you come home at the end of the day, which is a blessing for anyone. Shobha has been a strong pillar of strength," says Tharoor about his sister.
The Vishu has also been special to him, with them being together on a Vishu day after four decades. "We all live in different countries. So we could be together this time and this made it very special," he says.