Posters on Greenways Road

These are ultra sensitive times and so the Man from Madras Musings will leave that heading without using the word black. He does not want the Society for the Eradication of all Stigma against Black or some such fringe body to sue him, but you do get the general message. This was the thought that came to mind when the roly-poly sage from Delhi, who is the other half of the national leader who sleeps for just three hours and boasts a 56-inch chest, came to our city and pronounced us the most corrupt.

In the same breath he also announced that his party is quite open to a coalition (ghatbandhan in non-Tamil and therefore the sage’s parlance) with like-minded parties. The point is, if the State is so corrupt then every party here is equally greasy, which means the clean and incorruptible Beef Jeopardising Party cannot really have a tie-up with any of them. Then how is bearded sage contemplating such a move really puzzles MMM. He also wonders if this label of corrupt includes the local Government, which has after been a sort of B Team for the boys in power in Delhi. If that is so, then the Tweedledum-Tweedledee combo holding office here is likely to be mighty disappointed, for they had always made it clear that they owed everything to the men in Delhi.

The other pronouncement of the visitor was that once his party sweeps to power here it would take the local language, namely Tamil, to the world. Now this too puzzled MMM. For after all we in Tamil Nadu have hosted several World Tamil Conferences and had been given to understand that successive local Governments had been working tirelessly for our lingua. They had even gone to the extent of funding chairs for Tamil in American universities at enormous expense even while refusing funding to local libraries that are doing real service to the language. MMM also noticed that the chairs in local universities are in a pretty bad shape. The last few times that MMM visited he noticed several without armrests, legs and in one instance a gaping hole in the middle. MMM was asked to perch at the extreme end. Surely a tithe from what is being spent on chairs abroad could be expended on keeping chairs here in order. But MMM realises that the latter activity will not make headlines.

On the subject of local language, MMM wonders as to what has happened to the scholar from up north who belongs to Beef Jeopardising Party and who for long professed a deep love for matters Tamil and in particular for the poet who gave us sage pronouncements all set in two lines sometime in the 2nd century. This scholar, who rather strangely shared the same initials as the poet whose works he kept quoting, went to the extent of getting a statue for said poet unveiled in distant Delhi. But he then blotted his copybook by stating that the people up north tolerated us people down south despite our dark skins. He has been cast in to the outer darkness ever since.

Something tells MMM that the blandishments of roly-poly sage from Delhi (not to be confused with local sage of 2nd century who gave us couplets and who as far as MMM can see from statues was quite well-built and not in the least roly-poly) will fall on deaf ears here. And as for bearded sage from up north, MMM has only one advice, taken entirely from local sage of 2nd century – Delight Not In Empty Deeds.