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Letter From A Concerned Reader: Who is coming for Lit Fest, asks Mr. Mathrubootham

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Respected Madam/ Sir,

How are you? I am fine. I want to ask just one question to you. Who is in charge of Hindu literature festival? Can you please give contact details of the concerned person? Two-three things I want to say to this person.

Yesterday I was sitting at home and reading one superhit Jack Higgins novel, Thunder Point, when suddenly Mrs. Mathrubootham came and said, “Old man have you heard Manisha Koirala is coming to Chennai.”

I put my book down on the sofa. I said, “Kamalam are you 100% sure or this will also become like Suhasini story from 2008?”

Madam/ Sir, what happened in 2008? Let me explain. I had come to Chennai for zonal meeting of branch managers. Meeting was in one three-star hotel near T. Nagar. Conference and all ok, going normal, then during lunch break I got call on mobile phone from Mrs. Mathrubootham.

I said, “Hello Kamalam, any emergency?” She said, “Old man yes, emergency is there, you are in T. Nagar no? One ladies association friend just called and said Suhasini is there in one restaurant in T. Nagar. If you go quickly you can see her, please take the details of restaurant.”

Rushing off

Before phone got cut itself, I ran to zonal manager and said, “Sir, urgently I have to go home, one small family emergency is there.” He said, “Oh my god is it serious Mathrubootham, what a pity, I ordered ras-malai specially for you.” Then immediately I took my phone out of pocket and acted as if call is coming.

“Hello. Hello. Please repeat. Yes, Mathrubootham speaking. Yes, I am aware of emergency. Yes, I am coming. Oh, I can come after 10 minutes? No problem thanks.” Then I told zonal manager, “Sir, quickly I will eat one ras-malai and go, I have 10 minutes.”

Then I got out of the hotel and looked for autorickshaw. As usual when you need autorickshaw not even one in the universe. I thought ok, Suhasini type VIP and all means what hurry is there in life. She will relax and eat food. So I started running from the hotel to the restaurant. Finally, after 20 minutes I reached. No crowd or fans or anything outside. I thought this is the problem with this country. Some buffoon Ranveer Kapoor wearing bedsheet on his head means whole country will come. But real talent nobody appreciates.

No sign of her

I went inside restaurant and said, “Excuse me, table for one person please.” After they gave menu, I looked and looked but no Suhasini. I called Mrs. Mathrubootham. “Kamalam I am in the restaurant, no sign of greatest actress of generation, talent combined with beauty, drama combined with comedy.” She said her friend is also in the restaurant, Suhasini is sitting near one big flower vase, under air-conditioner. I looked again, what nonsense are you talking?

Then waiter came and said, “Sir any order?” I said, “Thambi, where is Suhasini sitting? I heard one rumour she is here.”

He said, “Uncle look there near flower vase, you can see famous journalist Suhasini Haidar. Now please give order, restaurant is very busy sir.” I said whether you can make vegetable biryani without green peas? He said he will ask in kitchen and come back.

I got out of the restaurant and ran back to conference hall. I thought stupid woman has broken my dreams but at least extra ras-malai will be there.

Madam/ Sir, nothing was there. Even gravy of ras-malai was finished by the time I came back. I will never forgive Mrs. Mathrubootham for this.

She said, “No, no old man, 100% confirmed Manisha Koirala is coming for Hindu book festival. Are you going?”

Madam/ Sir, this is original Manisha Koirala or when I reach there I will find out all fraud and chicanery?

Yours in deep suspicion,

J. Mathrubootham


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 3:15:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/who-is-coming-for-lit-fest/article25969283.ece

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