Classmate: Hey, I’m from Delhi. And you?
Me: Hey! I’m from Punjab.

This information is usually followed by a slight silence. And I’ve been asked more than once if I “live in the yellow flower fields, just like the ones SRK danced in.” Contrary to popular opinion, the cities in Punjab is quite modern, and the fields are a long way off. In a couple of months, the landscape will be transformed into one dominated by huge billboards, posters and little vehicles with speakers proclaiming “vote for XYZ!”

I’ve lived in Punjab all my life, but my most conscious memory of the elections is of the 2013 Vidhan Sabha elections. The year 2013 was significant because I was in class 10th, and the results of the elections came out the day before my social science board exam. Everyone in my family was glued to the TV screens, as the exit polls came rolling in. I had long since abandoned the whole process, and crept out into the garden to revise my portion. Two hours went by, and I’d finally finished my portion. Suddenly, there was a loud BANG, and over-dramatic mind immediately thought there was a bomb explosion. But it turned out my next door neighbors had set off what seemed like an entire shop of fireworks. Why? The SAD – BJP coalition had won.

What do you say to a 19-year-old who’s remained a spectator to the politics of the country and state till now? I’ve had my fair share of people telling me that I’m too young to decide or even know who is right to be at the helm of the government. But I don’t understand why the older generation is so set on discouraging the younger generation. We are branded as the generation who doesn’t believe in serious commitment, addicted to selfies and frivolity. Adults are quite surprised to see us expressing interest in current affairs. Well, I know I speak for quite a few of my peers that we are genuinely concerned as to who becomes the chief minister of our state.

I’m 19 now, and expected to cast my vote in the elections next year. Universal Adult Suffrage is one of the greatest rights granted to Indian citizens, and it comes with a great responsibility on all of our heads. The past six months have seen great controversy surrounding the current government, and once the Code of Conduct gets enforced, all eyes will be on the heated atmosphere in the state. Election time is one of the most exciting times, what with all the sheer adrenaline which is quite palpable. And it’s the first time that I’ll be away at college for the majority of the whole process, which honestly, is quite a bittersweet feeling.