Our city is flooded with Service clubs of different shapes and sizes and I felt “honoured ’’when one such club invited me to deliver the Thematic Address at their District Conference. Let me share a secret as to how I came to be invited even though I am no celebrity or a big name in the city. The person who suggested my name happens to be a very close friend of mine and I didn’t have the heart to turn down her request. The conference started well past the scheduled time because the Dignitary who invariably is the Chief Guest at the conference of this level arrived late. Let me tell you ,incase you thought only politicians enjoyed this privilege you are mistaken.
I was received with due honours by the members of the Reception Committee and was requested to take my place on the dais. After the customary welcome the meeting started in right earnest with the announcement of Awards to a few women achievers in their respective fields. Their profiles read like cvs of job aspirants, running to pages and pages. I wondered why the organizers didn’t think of presenting an abridged version. It would have saved time and also wouldn’t have put the audience’s (most of them appeared to be more conversant with their mother tongue) patience to test. Suddenly there was a departure from the agenda, since the Guest of Honour was in a hurry to leave. His request to jump the order was acceded and he left after making his speech. Once the meeting resumed, it turned into a family function, beginning with honouring the hierarchy which appeared never ending. I sat twiddling my thumbs till my name was announced after what appeared an eternity, and I walked to the podium after my friend introduced me formally to the audience, most of whom by then had left the posh auditorium. One look at the rest who spread themselves, a few in each row was enough to dampen my spirits. Not to be cheesed off, I began my address with a joke and noticed noone even made an attempt to smile leave alone burst into laughter! Without much ado I came straight to the theme that was given to me and lo and behold, noticed one of the office bearers coming close to me and whispering something into my ear. The time allotted for the Thematic Address was drastically cut by the orders of the Dignitary and I had to wind up abruptly!
When I opened the neatly packed momento after coming home, I felt happy at the choice of the person/persons who picked up such a precious gift and relieved that for once my husband was not invited on the occasion.
n.meera raghavendra rao