The Man from Madras Musings has been flooded with queries from readers wanting to know if he, MMM, did attend the Government sponsored event in which he was asked to address bureaucrats on heritage. For those who did not read it, a quick look at the previous issue of Madras Musings, either in paper or electronic form, should fill you in. And talking of electronic form, yes, the good olde webbe site was down for a good fifteen days and gave the Chief an opportunity to rail at all these new fangled notions. After all, you don’t see a paper copy of a magazine becoming unavailable, do you, he appeared to imply. But anyway, the web site is up and running once more.
But to get back to the story of the Government Saar’s heritage event. MMM kept mulling over whether he ought to go or not. He looked at the paper invite and its e-cousin and finally decided against it. The hotel where it was supposed to be held was somewhere in the boondocks and even though the voice on the telephone had rather tantalisingly held out a lunch invitation, MMM decided against it. Talking about lunch invitations, has MMM ever told you about the time he was invited by one of the Saars of I Am Superior cadre for breakfast at a five star hotel? This was an old school chum of MMM’s who is now holding a fairly senior position in a neighbouring state. Back in the old days he had been a fairly simple human being, but becoming a Government Saar had given him ideas of immortality. In short, he had become the kind of stuffed shirt that gets so liked in the service. Anyway, MMM drove all the way to the five star hotel only to be met by His Highness who shook hands and said that he was glad to have met MMM but he was going to have breakfast with his minister and so that was that. Not an apology, mind you! MMM drove back home to a rather amused She Who Must Be Obeyed also known as his Good Lady and had breakfast with her.
It was a recall of experiences such as these that led MMM to the conclusion that the present heritage event was better off without him. He would in all likelihood not be missed anyway. What the panjandrums needed was a record for the files of an event having been held and what did it matter if MMM was there or not? And so MMM fished out the email ID to which a reply had to be sent and typed out a regret email. He did not expect any acknowledgment and nor did he get any. But a day before the scheduled event he got a call asking if it was indeed Saar at the other end of the wire. MMM assured the voice that it indeed was. Whereupon the voice said in a tone of barely suppressed glee that it was sorry but the event was off. The transfer of Saars had resulted in a new Saar taking over from the old Saar and new Saar, on the first day in his new posting did not want to be part of an event planned by old Saar. It was clearly a case of Saar gripes. MMM replied that he was not planning to attend anyway and had sent an email to that effect. To that the voice retorted that nobody read emails in its department and MMM, if he needed to communicate, was best off sending his letters by registered post with acknowledgment due.
MMM must here tell you that no matter how backward these Saars are in their official correspondence, they are pretty much up to date in their private emails. After all that is how they fix their post-retirement directorships and international assignments. But old habits die hard, as MMM realised, when he began receiving emails from a retired poobah. They were all neatly numbered and the latest rejoiced in SCIV-GF-MFD1 7032013270! Can you beat that for gobbledegook?