If only Going Glocal was like this

Think Global, Act Local was the first expression that came to the mind of the Man from Madras Musings. This hackneyed phrase used to be bandied about quite a bit when MMM was a junior executive in an advertising agency. At that time most people on the rolls had no idea as to what global meant and that included MMM. It eventually was shortened to going glocal by Advertising Personified, who when he was not acting in plays was running the ad agency that MMM worked in.   All of this came back in a flash. And it seemed to be pretty sage advice. But hang on, MMM realises he has jumped the gun and got on with the story without filling you in on the background. It is an old MMM failing, one that the late Chief often tried to correct.  

Food Riots at Five Star Hotels

MMM and his good lady, also known as She Who Must Be Obeyed were at an embassy dinner some months ago. The speeches had gone on for long and the stomachs of the audience were all collectively baying for the food on offer. In fact you could hear the growls – like a murmuring of an ocean. There were some others who were also fidgeting for the drinks, and the starters. Perhaps even the speakers soon felt the pangs for the talkathon ended and the host announced that the bar was open, as was the dinner buffet. The audience cleaved in two – one large and solid pack heading to the dinner and the lesser group navigating towards the booze.  MMM, not being of the imbibing variety, circulated along with his good lady, biding time till the buffet cleared a bit. This usually takes ages for MMM has noticed that the first movers at such events are usually voracious feeders satiated only after numerous helpings.

Going Glocal Does Not Help

But this time it was all different. Large chunks of the first feeders were breaking away and coming to the drinks section, disappointment writ large on their faces. It appeared that the embassy, good host though it was, had decided that the menu would be what was served back home. Of the local biriyani, curd rice, butter chicken and paneer there was not a sign. Even gobi Manchurian was absent. It was a blow. Evidently, none of those assembled wanted to try various kinds of nuts, unheard of vegetables and some strange sea creatures fried in palm oil. 

Mineral Water to the Rescue

There is no greater fury than a dining populace denied the food it wants. The crowd fell upon the starters with a vengeance and soon it had all run out. The boozers were left feeling cheated and began harrying the hotel staff to hurry up with further supplies of wafers and other such munches. But the staff, having clearly been instructed by the embassy to offer only so much, was not obliging. They promised quite a bit and vanished into the pantry, not emerging till the all clear had blown. This did not take long. Realising that not much would be forthcoming, the crowd began to leave. Mutters of discontent could be heard, and the atmosphere was just right for the commencement of yet another global conflict. Fortunately, this being Chennai, a peaceful backwater, none of that happened. The invitees left, taking bottles of water as compensation.

Mulligatawny – the old Going Glocal

MMM is reasonably sure the embassy staff must have feasted on the piles of food left behind. It was perhaps an elaborate joke on the freeloaders or maybe it was a way of keeping costs down.  MMM and his good lady having prudently dined before setting out for the event were not so badly affected. On the way home, just to make sure that there were no pangs of hunger at midnight, a pit stop was made at Ye Olde English Club of the city. Mulligatawny was had and it came home to MMM that going glocal had been perfected here long ago. 

This article appeared in Madras Musings dated July 16, 2023