Papaya sap and some chemicals help do the trick

It seemed like idle boast when a man emerged from the polling booth at the KVNAL School in Jeevan Bima Nagar here on Sunday and claimed that he could erase the indelible swoosh on his left ring finger.

A small group gathered around him and he produced a raw papaya from his bag.

He squeezed the papaya until it started secreting the milky white sap and started rubbing the ink mark vigorously with it. And then, hey presto! The ink started to slowly fade.

Around half an hour later, the same man entered the polling booth again and cast another vote.

The man’s success encouraged other people to follow suit. Several young boys who were campaigning for different candidates a distance from the polling booth got excited by the news of this unusual success. “The tip,” he told his apprentices, “is to apply the sap quickly when the ink is still a light blue. Once it darkens, you cannot do anything.”

One suspects that many raw papayas flew off the shelves in the nearby vegetable market.

At Banashankari Third Stage, a middle-aged woman, who irons clothes for a living, told The Hindu that she and her husband had managed to erase the indelible ink using a mixture of bleaching powder and phenyl.

She also said that when she went to vote she wore blue nail paint. “Of course, the skin is also tainted with the ink. But by painting the nail, I was left with only half the job,” she said.

The couple then left for Kumbalgod to vote again.

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