We had yet another college inauguration, this time to appease the local political folks and ensure that they don’t give us too much trouble. The chief guest for the evening was none other than the deputy chief minister of Tamil Nadu, M K Stalin. It is a big deal, all these political rallies down south. Yours truly was called upon to deliver the MC job of welcoming the guests and go through the usual song and dance routine. I had a friend well versed in Tamil who quite graciously handled all the tamil bits and quotes, lest my tamil lands me in the boot of the car, next minute I am swimming with the fishes. There was a battalion of journalists from numerous newspapers and TV channels. Tons of supporters of the deputy CM and the usual riff raff that has nothing better to do with life, than to follow politicians along. Lights in my face, the whole show.
Now, a lot of blood has been split in the path of me getting the role of co-host. Not many people were happy that only I was doing the hosting gigs, and wanted a slice of the pie. Anyway, the politics and egos aside, d-day and I am co-host, probably for the last time. Anyway, for a very odd reason I felt slightly pressured by the scenario. The normal cool and calm approach which has served me all these years was found missing. Yours truly was actually nervous. I looked absolutely handsome in a suit…like a young Sean Connery in James Bond if I may say so myself. Honestly, some of the girls did say I looked quite nice in a suit. Needless to say, I was gleaming from ear to ear.
Deputy CM comes, all running like clockwork. I speak loud and well, not a fumble. All running smooooooooth. Too smooth.We come to the end. And then, God decided to pay a dirty trick on me and make me a total…donkey’s behind…in front of nearly 500 people. I see on the sheet of paper in front of me the words ‘ Extremely Distinguished Guests’….but my tongue sees something else. And out on the microphone, just before closing the speech I blurt ‘EXTINGUISHED GUESTS’.
Somewhere, Billy Joel is singing, ‘We didn’t start the fire’.
Two words ruined a days worth of preparations, ruined the glory of the suit and ruined my reputation for being an immaculate speaker. Thankfully, 90% of the crowd were not well-veresed in English, so some saving grace in all this.
YIKES! I just gave the wolves blood for eternity. All well, all great and just two words made everything go down the drain faster than the time it took for you to reach the flush handle. I finish and want to hang myself. Two words… that’s all it took. There were the press guys with TV cameras. I can see it; tomorrow’s headlines:
FAT BOY’S TONGUE SLIPS! FAT BOY ASKED NEVER TO SPEAK IN THE STATE OF TAMILNADU!
And that is how my possible magnum opus went down. In the burning flames of a Zeppelin. Wait, but weren’t the guests extinguished????? As expected, the wolves have got me by the jugular and am the butt of jokes at college. Well, it is a welcome change from all the fat boy jokes at least.