And so, local boy Handsome Charity has made it big. The Man from Madras Musings waited to see how long it would take for local worthies to claim some form of kinship or the other. And MMM was amply rewarded, with several people telling him, in complete confidence, of course (you know, my dear MMM, how I hate publicity of any kind), that they had a cousin’s brother-in-law who knew of someone who regularly bumped into someone else who frequented the water-cooler just when Handsome Charity also did. Even the local political hopeful who goes by the nickname of a junior army officer joined the bandwagon. He gave a statement to the effect that it was every Chennai person’s duty to congratulate Handsome Charity. Only he got the name wrong, as is his wont. He kept referring to Handsome Victory. But MMM supposes that it is just as well. Had Handsome remained just Charity without this Victory, our city would not have noticed. But MMM wishes the man well and hopes to soon know someone who knows someone else who in turn has some nodding acquaintance with Handsome Charity’s charlady.
There are other aspects as well. MMM has it from reliable sources that sabhas of Chennai are contemplating whether they could get Handsome Charity to come down and inaugurate their December music festivals and also loosen the purse strings of his company in their favour. But more importantly, MMM also understands, his elevation has resulted in a feverish search for old records in several schools of the city. The chain of institutions run by a powerful matriarch was the front-runner in the claims made. But this was soon shot to the ground, for it appears that our Handsome Charity changed schools somewhat and the final honours went to First Prime Minister School at Violent Emperor turned Buddhist Nagar, and a Government run school inside the IIT campus with a forest deity kind of a name.
This was however not before an editing battle broke out on the internet for changing Handsome Charity’s public profile. This entry, which had remained unnoticed for months, suddenly began to undergo changes every minute, with several schools getting onto the site to make an inclusion in their favour. At one stage, it almost appeared as though Handsome Charity had shifted institutions every day of his student life. Matters came to such a head that the administrators of the site had to lock the page to save it from further mutation. It would appear that the truth came out late in the evening and the two schools named above survived to tell the tale.
What MMM now expects is a series of disclosures – ‘how I gave Handsome Charity five of the best with a cane for not turning up in the right shoes’ – may not surface as Handsome is now so exalted that many would want his Charity. But there will be others – the ones who taught him Maths, the one that held his bicycle as he first wobbled on it, the ayah who… (but let us not get into that) and the uncle who told him that a new world awaited on the other side and our country has gone to the dogs anyway. Mind you, MMM is not complaining. It is a time to celebrate and so let them all come forth. It is just that nobody claimed kinship or acquaintance with Handsome Charity or Truth What’s his name or our girl who is the boss of the cold drink company till they became head honchos.