4/6/6: Officially the people in Madras don’t know what to do here now that the elections are over. The unanimous decision has been to take bath to beat the heat. So soaps are selling and I still have a job today. I went for a distributor’s party yesterday. They had invited all the company people of the various companies that they were handling. It was the first time I have ever heard of such a thing. Generally, it’s the company that calls all its distributors to a party. Anyway, I reached there and found to my surprise that I was the only ASM who had turned up. The organizers did not have much difficulty in figuring out a chief guest for the day. My feelings about the same were given no consideration. So with much feigned modesty, I took up the centre seat and had people sitting around me facing an audience.
While I had some difficulty in figuring out how position my elbow, how many times to sip the water and how to lean over and say the funny things that people in my position so easily do, I overheard the MC saying ‘And now our beloved ASM will share a few words’. Before I could put together a decent protest, a mike and a pin drop silence were held in front of my face.
I apologized to any staunch Tamilians present for the murder that I was going to commit there. When I got some measured laughter in response, I rattled on about families and businesses. The applause I got lasted a few seconds, but went on for minutes in my mind. Had I announced chief minister candidacy, there and then, I was sure to make a few votes at least. After that I had to hand over some gifts to people. The usual ‘Shake-Speak-Gift-Hold-Smile-Click-Shake-Bye’ procedure. Only this time I was at the giving end. Then someone came up and handed me a small package as a small token of their appreciation.
We had a buffet lunch, where for decency sake; I restricted myself to one serving of the food and three servings of the dessert. After that I went around shaking everyone else’s hand now a seasoned campaigner for the next MLA seat. After that I had an escort, walk me out all the way to the gate of the hotel. After I finally got him to leave, I eagerly tore open my little package. My eyes popped out of their sockets.
Staring at me quietly and innocently inside the box was a beautiful Titan Gold plated watch with a humble brown leather strap. While I gulped at how I could not accept this kind of a gift and how it was so improper for them to offer me something so expensive, I silently blocked off 4th of June 2007 for a ‘Do-not-Miss’ appointment. 😉