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Modi's wife, Rahul's girlfriend and Kejriwal's family top political Google searches

The love lives of top politicians aren't election issues. But that doesn't mean voters aren't curious about them.

You might be more likely to become India’s Prime Minister if you are single, but that doesn’t mean the electorate isn’t curious about your partner — or lack thereof. According to Google, the top searches for Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal all include some variation of a query on their personal lives.





The differences in the search terms are also telling.

Narendra Modi

As with everything else regarding the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, the searches for his wife carry with them an undercurrent of conspiracy, or at least of something hidden.

In 2009, Open magazine tracked down Jashodaben Chimanlal Modi, a schoolteacher in Rajosana who is reportedly married to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate. Modi never contested the claims made by the magazine, prompting many to believe that there must be some truth to the story.

His marriage remains a touchy subject, partly because of rumours that it was a child marriage and partly because of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, of which Modi was a member, requires cadres to take a vow of celibacy. One frequent theory suggests that Modi was married as as a child, but never carried out the gauna ritual, where the couple who were wed in childhood consummate the marriage as adults. The 62-year-old Jashodaben told the Indian Express earlier this year that she got married to Modi at the age of 17, and they separated three years later.

On his part, Modi has always maintained complete silence on the matter.

Rahul Gandhi

The Congress vice president and heir apparent Rahul Gandhi has been a little more forthright about his personal life. News articles often turn up referring to the Nehru-Gandhi scion as India’s “most eligible bachelor,” but in an interview last year Gandhi said he wasn’t interested in marriage. That tune seems to have changed, with Gandhi telling PTI just a few days ago that he will marry when he “finds the right girl”.

The search term that is most popular, though — as with his mother — has a foreign connection. Gandhi was photographed with a foreign woman at a Cricket World Cup match in England in 1999, around the time Sonia Gandhi’s citizenship had also become a political issue, and then again in several photos since. By 2004, the press had anointed the woman ‘Juanita,’ and she was widely referred to as his ‘Colombian girlfriend.’ Until, that is, Gandhi told The Indian Express in Amethi that, “my girlfriend’s name is Veronique, not Juanita... she is Spanish and not Venezuelan or Colombian. She is an architect, not a waitress, though I wouldn’t have had a problem with that. She is also my best friend.”

Arvind Kejriwal

True to form, while Modi and Gandhi have complicated answers to the relationship question, former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is much more transparent. Kejriwal’s family appears to be the second most common query about him on Google, after ‘news’ and above ‘resignation.’

Kejriwal lives with his wife, two children and his parents. The family is regularly profiled in the media, and Kerjiwal — who is a fan of referendums — reportedly went to them first when before going to the public when deciding whether he should take up the post of being Delhi’s chief minister.

 
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Eleven ways Indian college life teaches you not to waste anything

College, they say, prepares you for life. Sometimes in the most unexpected ways.

Our quintessentially Indian ability to make the most of every resource has weathered us through many a storm in life. But this talent, as it were, is developed and honed to a fine art only in college. Frugality is a prominent feature of college life—more by circumstances than by choice and perhaps the most important skill we learn is nearly 100% efficiency when it comes to making the most of resources or opportunities. This “no wastage” policy is learned through many ways in college.

Academics
When it comes to studying, the art of “no wastage” is refined in college.

1. Exam papers. We’ve all been there before: you’re in the flow and trying to pen answers quickly in your answer sheet but you’re running out of space. What do you do? Fill up your existing one, of course. Write in tiny handwriting and occupy every bit of space without wasting the margin either. A great example of how college teaches you to waste nothing.

2. Photocopier bulk deals. In college, after you convince a kind-hearted classmate to let you copy their notes, you negotiate a bulk rate discount with the photocopier uncle and share the wealth with your classmates. It saves you time, money and the collective shame of failing together.

3. Stationery. Pencils are worn till they reach a stub. Broken rulers are used as long as you can still draw a straight line on them. Pens are borrowed and reused until their ink is sucked dry. Stationary is rarely wasted in the life of a college goer.

Food
Food occupies a special part of a college goer’s life and there is only one rule when it comes to food: don’t waste any.

4. Thalis. College kids are always hungry, and there are few options that provide better value for money than thalis. Thalis come in all sorts—the Gujarati kind on copper plates, the south Indian variety on palm leaves, or even the Punjabi “mini thali” found in restaurants all over the country. No matter what form they take, no food goes waste.

5. Shaadis. Speaking of food, you never say no to a wedding invitation when you’re in college. An invitation missed is a buffet meal wasted. The only price is to put on a half-decent looking dress or a pant and shirt that have been pressed. Then enter the hall, say your hi-hellos, and onto the food. No opportunity to attend shaadis is wasted during college, and rightly so.

6. 50p toffees. Those were heady times when things had the decency to cost nine rupees fifty paise instead of a full ten. The remaining 50 paise left over as change would not go waste either, and would return more often than not in the form of a chewy toffee or mint.

7. One-by-two coffee. Because coffee shared is friendship enhanced. In college, a full cup of canteen coffee was always cheaper than two half cups, and nearly impossible to finish owing to its milky sweetness. Converting it into a one-by-two courtesy an extra white styrofoam cup ensured that neither the extra coffee went to waste, nor a chance to make a friend happy.

Travel
Space is to be shared, not hogged. Every seat in college be it on the bench or a bike or a rickshaw would be occupied till its last inch.

8. Triple seat scooter rides. College-goers of a certain vintage remember that scooters were made to accommodate more people than cars. One person riding, another in the back, and at least one if not two people sandwiched between them. While this ensures no wastage of space, it’s not to be tried by the faint-hearted.

9. Share autos. The cheapest way to travel, of course. Share autos are a lifeline for college goers. Load up your friends in an auto, share the fare, and end up with more money in your wallet.

10. RAC tickets. Among the great innovations of the Indian Railways is the RAC or Reservation Against Cancellation ticket, which ensures that travelers can travel on the train even if they do not get a full berth to themselves. More often than not, two travelers split a seat. A boon to college students who don’t mind roughing it a little to get to their destination on time.

Freebies
College teaches you many things. The ability to not waste freebies is prominent on the list.

11. Buy one, get one free. The five little words that every college student wants to hear. Be it movie tickets, rock concert tickets, clothes, books or meals, a “one-on-one free” offer would always be utilized even if you didn’t need what the offer was selling. An unwritten if long-standing rule in college.

The fine art of “no wastage” is learned painstaking through college. But it’s good to know that you can enjoy “no wastage” after you’ve left too. Airtel’s MyPlan ensures that customers make the most of their mobile expenditure and waste nothing. Airtel’s MyPlan allows you to pick data, local, SMS, STD and roaming according to your needs. You also have the flexibility of changing your plan whenever you want and can optimize your phone bills to save up to 30%. Not just that, under the plan, you can also share the benefits with their family. For more information, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Airtel by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.

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