It is common that apartment complexes in Chennai have a security who needs no qualifications or standards to be recruited for his job. No age limit, no personality (which means even frail looking persons qualify ) no commitment whatsoever after getting the job because only their physical presence is needed, (he can be sitting or dozing on his stool ) and most important of all ,he enjoys the privileges attached to his job, (read tips from all the inmates who send him on errands) .
What about independent houses which still exist in Chennai and the lanes they happen to be situated in? Well, engaging a security is possible, however when all those living here have a consensus but if they don’t , the only alternative perhaps is to appoint an Ambassador or have a self appointed one !He enjoys more privileges than even a country’s ambassador does ! Coming to brass tacks, let me share our experience of living in one of the private lanes in Chennai. Our Ambassador , not sure who appointed him fills in all the requirements of a Liaison officer in a company. He is stationed at the gate to the entrance of our lane with his ironing table permanently positioned under a tree near it, sends his employee to collect clothes from the inmates of the lane and also his several other customers and lords over him and pulls him up for a bad job done. He greets everyone irrespective whether they are his customers or not (like us) with a whole hearted smile and a Namaste.
I realized the importance and ‘indispensability’ of our Ambassador when his services were urgently required. Thanks to the storm and heavy winds occurred a few days ago which brought down one of the big aging gulmohur trees, blocking the entrance to our lane .He immediately rose to the occasion displaying not only his P.R.skills but his human resource skills as well which proved amazing .Since everyone only referred to him as “Istriwala’, I thought it was high time I knew the name of this ‘crisis’ manager ‘.Amma, my name is Veerappan’, he said grinning broadly. A new Avatar, I thought ,much needed these days to handle all kinds of people, including unsocial elements!