Most Secretly Done
And so the boy who plays for our city has tied the knot. And did it, as the Man from Madras Musings notices, with a secrecy that would do any conservative Tam Brahm proud. Not that Tam Brahms are conservative any longer. Today, their weddings have become big and fat, encompassing such “essential elements” as sangeet and mehndi ceremonies, events that MMM thought were celebrated only north of the Vindhyas.
But to come back to Chennai’s boy and his Super secret wedding, the electronic media was understandably miffed. After all, they strut around imagining that they have complete rights over anybody and everybody’s life and cannot imagine that such a wedding could have taken place without their knowing about it. And so, each channel, MMM noticed, scaled greater heights in ridiculousness. One kept flashing photographs of the bridegroom with the usual caption of “Breaking News” below it. The same photos were reversed after an interval to give you the illusion that these were new. As for the bride, most could get visuals not bigger than an effigy on a postage stamp and then it could have been anyone. Another channel decided that this may be the best and most tactful moment to have a retrospect on all the women that our boy was linked to, all these linkages of course being fanciful speculations on the part of the media itself. Photograph after photograph of these women was displayed and MMM shudders to think of what the bride’s feelings would have been had she decided to channel surf on wedding day. A third channel decided to interview people on their reactions and for this they chose those who were as connected to the celebrity groom as MMM possibly was. Most of the respondents looked as though they were happy to be on television and one, a music director who had clearly never held a cricket bat in his life, even speculated on whether marriage would affect hero-of-the-day’s game! And so it went on. All it lacked was a Big Fight programme starring some of our politicians on whether the wedding had their blessings.
The next day, having given up the whole quest as a lost cause, one channel decided to speculate on where the honeymoon may be. And so it goes on. MMM is waiting for the day when the union will be blessed and we are treated to a survey of gynaecologists and maternity hospitals that may deliver the bundle of joy. Some environment friendly channel may even attempt interviewing the stork.
Do It Now
The Man from Madras Musings lives in a house that is large enough to give each of his family members a certain amount of privacy, but the television, which is located at the heart of the home, penetrates through sound where others cannot. And MMM without an option, has to listen to a daily forecast of what the stars foretell. The character who rejoices in the role of astrologer is a cherubic individual, all ash and vermillion and is usually positive in his outlook. But there are days when in MMM’s view, he oversteps his.. er.. brief.
What MMM means is that Monday morning is hardly the right time to advise a sun-sign that this was the best moment for thinking of progeny. “Venus and Jupiter are in the right positions,” he said, without batting an eyelid. “If you are thinking of having a baby, this is the right time” he added without a blush. “Don’t postpone” he continued just in case some of his flock were having ideas of going off to work. MMM could imagine hundreds of hopefuls calling up their respective offices to ask for permission for other and more pressing duties. Well, good luck is all that MMM has to offer them in their endeavours.
Torch and Sword
Last week MMM was on one of his walkabouts and what should he see but a group of self-appointed law-enforcers going about a main thoroughfare tearing down sign-boards in English. They were of course well within their rights for these shops had not yet implemented the new order. The police ensured that there was no untoward incident as the papers are fond of saying. In any case, whoever the person was who had selected these uprooting agents had done a good job. Each man’s strength was the strength of ten judging by the ease with which they plucked off sign-boards and felled iron posts with a simple wave of the hand.
But they could have at least spared the road signs that said “No Left Turn” etc. These were also uprooted and taken away in what can only be described as maniac zeal. Of course, none of these was really carted away. The mandate was to uproot and cause chaos and that was that. So the sign-boards and hoardings remained where they had fallen, hindering an already chaotic traffic. The next morning, the garbage collection agency had a good time. For are they not paid by weight for the garbage collected?
It is for long that the Chief and the Man from Madras Musings have puzzled over who this road could be named after and then we finally gave it up. But the Corporation, perhaps enthused by this search has embarked on a process that, so MMM learns, is referred to technically as the milling of roads. This has given most of our thoroughfares a curiously grizzled look as though they had been shaved with a blunt razor. This is a precursor to relaying the macadam and in a departure from the past, it also apparently prevents the continuously rising road levels, which as you know hold the secret to your garden one day becoming a kind of sink for all the neighbourhood storm water. But what puzzles MMM is that after the milling, nothing much has happened. The rains came in most unexpectedly and deepened the ruts caused by the milling. After the milling, when will be the filling?
No matter how much the powers that be try and inculcate a love for the local language, the Man from Madras Musings notices that it is everyone’s aspiration to speak the Queen’s, no matter that such persons are labelled in our rich local lingo as either Peter or Mary depending on gender. A friend who was unfortunate enough to have a burglary went to lodge a complaint and was asked to write out a First Information Report. He, being familiar with the lingua franca wrote it out effortlessly in Tamil and was even complimented for his talents by the local police officer. And then the man decided to impress MMM’s friend with his English. “I am sorry sar,” he said. “You are having an untime”. MMM’s friend understood it to mean that this was a bad period in his life which was why the burglary. As long as the message got across, we have to be thankful.