‘Tis that time of the year again – what The Man from Madras Musings terms as “Daft Suggestions Fortnight”. This usually comes about immediately after the Chief holds freth the first of at two press conferences announcing Madras Week. A whole host of “why don’t you” emails immediately crop up, every man and woman wanting the Chief and immediate coterie to take up all kinds of impossible tasks. Mind you, they are all good suggestions but pretty nigh impossible to fulfil and the persons who come up with them invariably have no clue as to how to go about any of them anyway.
In this connection, MMM would like to quote verbatim from two of the emails received:
“It’s great to hear about the Chennai Week. In this moment, We not only think about Chennai memories,We should also try and restore its values and ambience. In this great moment we will try to make our city much greener by planting more trees. As Chennai is the less polluted among all metro cities we can make it least polluted. As I do not know you might have planned already about this. I request you to organise an event for planting trees as a part of the event. Kindly invite actors like Vivek who had planted 25 lakhs trees all over Tamil Nadu can attract more people to involve more in this event.
“Many people like me are more interested to involve actively for a social and environmental cause which will directly benefit people and citys look.. Kindly Consider. I feel happy to share my feel to you, and you can make it last long.”
MMM had visions of the Chief himself and sundry hangers-on (the lady who writes the occasional humour column in particular) going around arm-in-arm with the film actors. At strategic spots, the group would unlink hands and then get down to work – MMM digging, the Chief placing the sapling, sundry hangers-on clapping and the actor smiling and bowing as though he had done all the hard work. And so on from sapling to sapling till the 25 lakh trees, or whatever the chosen number was, was completed. Come to think of it, why just 25 lakh, why not 376 lakh?
The other missive reads:
“No other city in India has heritage and celebration like this. But do you know that Chennai city is the city with least green cover in India. What are you celebrating about? More street side shops occupied platform than any other metro in India. Less number of parks and less number of water bodies.
“Even Maylapore tank is surrounded by illigal platform shops. Traffic is getting worst day by day due to CMDA and Copn poor foresight and planning. Plan sanction is a piece of paper with no scantity. No malls, store, restatement need to follow rules. I don’t know what you are celebrating about. If you are concerned, plant more trees and remove garbage on that day, rather than having a lame photo exhibition and chat forums. Sorry to have been blunt, as native of the city I feel we have to do much more than talking.”
It takes all kinds to make up the city, does it not? The point about Madras Week is that it is everyone’s festival. If these letter writers and others of their ilk feel something has to be celebrated or changed, it is up to them to do it. There is nothing to be achieved by sending emails to Madras Musings commanding the team to do things or whining about matters that don’t change.