Those who are in the know will know that Madras Musings has its offices in a fairly central spot of the city. As The Man from Madras Musings sits at his desk and writes these lines of immortal prose, he is aware that the stately home of the Nawabs of Arcot is a stone’s throw away. Not that he, MMM, would dream of casting a stone at those regal personages. A little further abaft is the temple of the moustachioed God. Then the sea. You get the picture. MMM sits in the middle of history and may he never be expelled from this Garden of Eden.

But in all this paradise, there is the odd serpent and by that MMM alludes to Yonder Meeting & Congregational Amenity which is a vast ground owned by some young men who associate with the good man who died on the cross. At least that is what the name of the association indicates. Several years ago, when MMM was on his way to becoming MMM, one of the functionaries of this association, who rejoiced in the Biblical name of the Stone of All Help, met MMM, gave tall talks on how the whole empty space was going to be remodelled into a world-class facility with rooms to stay, a gym, a restaurant, etc and made MMM part with some money for being enrolled as a member of that Valhalla when it would be eventually built. MMM still has the card to prove it. MMM is fairly certain that the man had coaxed several others the same way.

Since then nothing much has happened. The space remains empty. Except on days when political parties hire it for conventions, weddings, mass enrolments and what have you. Nowadays these days have become increasingly frequent and you can imagine the chaos that results. The road is usually awash with the unwashed. Very frequently they think they can wash at MMM’s office space. Then there is the noise – our leaders today do not like it if they are not received with drums from a neighbouring state being beaten for hours before their arrival. And these drums would be audible even if they were beaten in the neighbouring state. Post the drum beating session, you have the firecrackers. Traffic is held up even as the faithful stretch out hundreds of these all tied on a string and then set light to them. It is fortunate that the building where Madras Musings is located is of a solid construction, for otherwise we would be on the streets, along with the unwashed.

Once the crackers are burst, we have singing of songs, all of them off-key but rendered with a brazen boldness that makes all the difference. Once this is over and done with, we have the sirens announcing the arrival of the leader(s). Then we have the loudspeakers blaring out the speeches. And then the leaders depart, the loudspeakers are taken down and the ground empties, leaving behind enough debris and rubbish to make a rag-picker scream in delight. That Yonder Meeting & Congregational Amenity is just opposite a hospital is, of course, of no consequence. This is after all a Government-run health facility where nobody but the poor would ever dream of going, and they don’t count, do they?

MMM at least gets to go home at night, but not so is Young Lion, who resides right next to Yonder Meeting & Congregational Amenity. He has taken to writing letters to Madras Musings complaining about the state of affairs. As to what MM can do about it, is beyond MMM’s comprehension. Perhaps the Chief can throw some light.