The buzz began the moment the announcement was made that the Mega Man of the Moment (MMM) was meeting his Chinese counterpart at Mamallapuram. The man from madras musings (who in deference to the other MMM will be mmm for the purposes of this column alone unless such a term is deemed objectionable by parties of either part) knew that he would soon be getting calls from journalists, especially those from other parts of India, wanting to know about the history of the place. And so he, mmm (and not MMM), girded his loins and waited.
Sure enough, he was not disappointed. The first call was from a channel up north and it wanted to know if mmm could speak in the lingua spoken up there. On getting to know he could, though not as well as MMM can, the channel expressed delight and sent its questions across. On reading them mmm realised that it was all downhill from then on. Sure enough there were plenty of other calls and since the content did not vary all that much, mmm is giving you just a sample –
Q – Don’t you agree that it is great that our PM is meeting the Chinese President at Maamlapuram/ Mumalpuran/Mammalpuram/ Mamalpur?
A – Yes (mmm could hardly say no and invite the interest of the Enforcement Directorate, could he?)
Q – We have been given to understand that the place has an ancient Chinese connection that goes back to the time of Mahendra Pallav who we have come to know entertained the scholar Hieun Tsang here. Comment?
A – Well, yes and no. You see that meeting happened not exactly at Mamallapuram but at…
Q – Sir, we have come to know that Bodhidharamji, the great monk was born here and took Kung Fu to China?
A – Have you been seeing the film 7am Arivu starring the Sun God who after acquiring the physique of a Greek God went about shirtless for quite a while?
Q – Yes sir. We want your confirmation that it is all fact.
A – Not exactly. You see…
Q – Thank you Sir. That is all and now we would like to remind our viewers that this meeting is historically significant. As confirmed by our guest Mr mmm, this was where the King Mahendra Pallav met the scholar Hieun Tsang and it was also here that the father of Kung Fu, Bodhidharamji was born.
After a while, mmm ceased speaking and merely nodded acquiescence. A little later, mmm began refusing interviews on the subject. He recommended to interviewers that they would be better off seeing the film Seventh Sense starring shirtless Sun God.