With his quintessential cap, glasses, sweater and muffler in place, this mini Arvind Kejriwal stands up on the bed for his mother to draw him a moustache with an eyeliner-pencil. All of 3 years, Rudra Pratap Singh Tomar achieved mini-celebrity status after dozens queued up to take selfies with him after he first sat next to the AAP chief at his public meeting in Babarpur on January 28.
Youngest of three siblings — all born on January 5 years apart — RP, as he is fondly called by his family, is playful among his siblings and cousins but shy around strangers. Son of an AAP volunteer Atul Tomar, RP is quick to complete the AAP’s election slogan. His uncle Rahul, also an AAP volunteer with the party’s Babarpur unit, says, “Paanch saal… “ and the young look-alike promptly says, “…Kejriwal”.
RP attends the Bachpan playschool near his home in Babarpur and the pink walls of his home are adorned with his crayon scribblings. As he picks up a blue balloon floating around his house, the other children in the room cover their ears as RP is known to scare them with the sound of a bursting balloon.
As his mother Namrata pulls out a grey V-neck sweater, a checked muffler and plastic glasses that she painstakingly looked for in the nearby Rohtash market, RP’s transformation to the leading politician is a tantrum-free affair. As his father carries him out on the streets, RP is greeted with a number of admirers who come forward to shake his hand.
Standing in a roofless jeep and waving out to the crowd in Mandawli on the last day of campaigning , is another young Arvind Kejriwal, 11-year-old Yavanpreet Singh. His former favourite superhero Spiderman, he says, recently made way for “Mufflerman.” Singh too shared the stage with Kejriwal when he was in Mandawli for a public meeting and rapped a Mufflerman song.
“Earlier I wanted to be an IAS officer but now I want to be a politician like Kejriwal uncle. He never lies,” said Singh, whose mother Gurpreet and uncle Gaurav are both AAP volunteers. He fumbles for an answer when asked what he understands about politics. “I like Maths and Science. History and Geography are boring. And Civics is even more boring,” Singh says shrugging.