Lots of people are writing in Chief and gushing over the way you pulled it off. Some have even appreciated the chap who sang at your book release, referring to it as the highpoint of the Week. In the view of the Man from Madras Musings however, it is however indeed a pity that the chap did not hit the high note even once, singing flat and off key right through.

But be that as it may, several are asking as to why MMM, in his previous issue’s listing of the oddballs that come for Madras Week events, did not include the Horribly Hirsute Hermit (HHH). And MMM hangs his head in shame, for he is not in any way able to explain as to how he left out the Abou Ben Adam of Madras Week. The HHH actually takes off from where one of the veterans left. The latter, now sadly no longer with us, was in the habit of snoring loudly and rhythmically through all events, year after year. He would wake up only during question time and put up his hand with alacrity. His question when asked, was always guaranteed to throw the speaker off his/her poise. If it was a talk on rockets, he would ask what the speakers view was on the courtesan culture and ought it have been banned. If it was a talk on courtesans he would definitely have a query about rockets. He was a man of unprepossessing visage and I trust you recollect the day Chief when you and MMM discovered that the chap had crores of trust properties in George Town, all of them locked up in litigation. You will also recollect Chief that after this MMM used to regularly smile at the veteran questioner in the hope that when he passed on he would leave MMM a crore or two. But in that MMM was disappointed.

But to come back to HHH. He too has a habit of asking questions and some of the more high society attendees have come to classify him as the Madras Week Horror. The man in question always prefaces his query with an introduction of himself to the effect that he is a film actor though MMM is yet to meet anyone who has seen him in any movie. However those who are in the know vouch for the veracity of this fact.

In MMM’s view HHH rose to the heights of horrors not at any Madras Week event but at a literary festival conducted by a lovely lady of the Maha Vishnu of Mount Road stable. An international figure had just concluded a session on what can only be termed as Prattling on the Pudenda. The audience, mostly high society ladies had oohed and aahed about it all. The speaker then asked if anyone had a question. And sure enough, up popped HHH. Having prefaced his query with the statement that he was a film actor, he then went on to tell the speaker that when it came to the part of the female anatomy that she had spoken on, he was the greatest living expert on the subject and she could take a lesson or two from him! Before the speaker could recover, the lovely lady of literature (LLL) whispered a word or two to an unseen hand backstage, which immediately dropped the curtain.

Such then is HHH. Now MMM’s reading public will agree that compared to him the others – namely Granny with many children, sleeveless wonder and the pugnacious looking King Kong pale into insignificance. There are one or two more, and MMM will save them up for another bout of reminiscence on Madras Week, Past and Present.