Monday, August 17, 2009

MADRAS WEEK – DAY 1 – 16TH AUGUST 2009 – PART 2

A friend, Sivakumar, my wife and I reached the Park Sheraton at around 1520 hrs, well in time for the first of the Madras Musings Lecture series scheduled for 1600 hrs. The venue was Dublin, the discotheque of the hotel. A very apt venue indeed, for a speech titled ‘Some scandals of Madras.’ The speaker needs no introduction—Randor Guy, the evergreen legal eagle, historian, film buff and what not.

Not having stepped into Dublin earlier, we took a rather long time finding where it was. We had to ask at least three people to get there, only to be welcomed by a “Sorry, Sir, the disco opens at six.” We explained we were there for a lecture—I am sure the guy at the entrance couldn’t figure out how on earth could we spend time on a dance floor—a paunchy 43-year old, another white-bearded 43 year old and DVT affected lady! Thank God we were there early—the seats were full at about 1545. Additional seating was arranged, and we were invited to some wonderful cookies, fruit juices and a great filter kaapi.

The setting was perfect, dim and diffused lighting, just like they say the time when scandals happen. The anecdotes came thick and fast from Randor; he did not name any person as he espied that there were some descendants attending the speech. The scandals he touched upon were the one involving a Maharajah (who was a zamindar and liked to call himself a Maharajah!) and his wife and children; the English wife of an English principal of an ‘unapproved’ college who it seems loved to move the students from their class desks to her bed; the one involving a rather poor but in Randor’s words ‘curvaceous, bosomy Sita’; and one that probably smelt all the way to a vice-president!

There was a tinge of disappointment, though. Randor must have held back deliberately—the punches were a tad lesser than in the previous years. But whatever was there was lapped up in glee and loud laughs by the audience, which had by now swelled to people sitting on the stairs. When it all ended, many must have felt that the dinner was over with the appetiser! We were all waiting for more, if not in terms of more scandals, just for the sake of hearing a no-holds-barred Randor. There is always a next time, and I only hope that the Randor Guy will speak on ‘Some more scandals of Madras,’ or at least ‘The cabaret dances of Madras,’ and the venue is Dublin again. Would it help to have a performance as well, if the topic is the latter? No harm done, more than half of us there were beyond the sell-by age!

4 Comments:

Blogger Vaidehi.S said...

Hi,

The English lady story was already a published one. My point is why so many people are going for the lectures like this? I agree your opinion about guy as well. You could have added more points Sridhar!

I enjoyed reading.

Vaidehi

10:22  
Blogger rajaram said...

Machan

guess everybody felt like what you had expressed. sashi nair too in his blog felt the same that randor wasn't so candour about these scandals...

however, i don't know how to react to vaidehi who is asking why people are going for lectures like these...any topic, if presented nicely, is worth listening, esp if talks any aspects of olde Madras....
however, it appears that randor had spelt out only juicy scandals, right...perhaps, vaidehi would one day turn up to talk about the Muster roll scandal too....i for that matter, would certainly be ready to hear her too....

14:54  
Blogger Jayanthi said...

I am not a blogger...but am compelled to add my comments on reading the pieces on Madras Day. Having been an active participant at the week-long, now month-long, events during the 'festivity', I am now relocated and missing the excitement that only good ol'madras can bring about! Randor Guy will be Randor Guy and make no mistakes about that!!!

14:30  
Blogger Steffi said...

Interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you.
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09:05  

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