aka the way Government bodies and those in office communicate even if it has to do with fine arts.
Sorry Chief, The Man from Madras Musings is aware of the fact that you do not like the same story or topic to dominate the entire length of this column, but MMM is not yet done with the above seminar. This was organised by one of those Government bodies that have been set up somewhere up north ostensibly for the promotion of Indian culture. And they do so little that they can be said to be In the Cause of Cultural Rationing. And on this occasion, MMM had experience up close of how they work.
The first intimation was through a phone call from a well-known dance personality of our city, a woman of great achievements and erudition. She invited MMM to speak at the seminar and MMM, delighted that such an eminent personage had called him, accepted at once. The danseuse rang off, thanking MMM and telling him that he would soon hear from the Rationing Body mentioned above.
An e-mail arrived shortly thereafter from the organisation, thanking MMM for accepting and stating that as part of the rules, MMM would need submit a detailed article on his theme, which would be included as part of a publication to be released after the seminar. To this MMM sent a reply stating that when he accepted the invitation he was unaware of such a precondition and if this was compulsory he would prefer to be excused from attending the seminar as his time schedule did not permit his taking on the writing of such a detailed paper.
There was complete silence thereafter and MMM assuming that his nomination had been scratched, moved on to other things. But a couple of days before the seminar he got a call from a minion up north which wanted to know as to where MMM’s paper was. To this MMM replied that he had already expressed his inability to write one and had bowed out of the programme. The voice became all confused at this and hung up. A day later came another e-mail, asking for MMM’s paper and giving him details of the venue of the seminar and what time his speech was, etc. It ended with a request for MMM’s paper, which the email sender noted, was not yet received. All this set MMM’s teeth on edge and he called the dancer and asked her what was to be done. She suggested that MMM ignore the missives and turn up anyway. Which is what MMM did.
But the organisation has not yet finished with MMM. Two days after the seminar MMM received an email thanking him for participating and reminding him to send in his paper as soon as possible. MMM wonders if not complying could be a non-bailable offence.