Sunday, June 18, 2017

The D day.

Dateline 17 Jun.

Had got up at 6 and went through the chores with gusto. Was ready well in time and after a quick breakfast, since the drivers took time to come down, there was a bit of a panic. Maman, as well as the staff, had gone off with our friends from Nenmara to set up the office because of the requirement of attending to our invitees at the venue. I, along with the cars, reached soon after. The funniest thing was that my own security clearance pass was with our staff who'd already left.

The situation was all too familiar. The police had already started adopting tough postures blaming the SPG for their strict security requirements. Getting into our 'temporary office' looked a Herculean task, albeit, for a very short while. Two members of our staff, with the entire list of invitees, were positioned at the gate to ensure that they're let in without any problems. Our family was brought in and allowed to settle in their seats as previously directed. There were a number of people who'd come by and had problems at the gate were let in with timely interventions but I'm also aware that there were a few who had to go back disappointed as they're late.

The programme went off fine and the Prime Minister seemed to have gone away pleased with his brief stay, for half an hour, with us.

The rest of the time went away without me being aware of its passage, I must admit! After spending the afternoon at our room we're off to the airport to see off Dr. Shadrach, the man who'd made the occasion possible and it was really a touch and go because we'd not got his flight's time correctly. We must have given him certain anxious moments for sure!

Our course was shaped towards Thiruvananthapuram by about a half past 7 and the route via Kottayam was taken. There were quite a few stretches where road widening/repairs were going on and since the weekend traffic was heavy, our progress was hampered initially but Alex, our 'saarthi' maneuvered expertly through the melee.


My candid observations.

 * PM Modi has a large number of followers across the population cutting across age.
 * People want to find themselves in a photograph with him, a few enthusiasts even wanted to have a
    'selfie' with him and there were yet others who kept clapping whenever his name was mentioned.
 * The way the college and the yoga institute tried to project that the programme was made possible,       thanks to their efforts, gave a comical touch.
 * The college - through their staff, in a subtle manner - was able to get quite a few concessions from
    the security apparatus set in place which acted advantageous to us. To cite a few, we're able to get
    the following items into the dais even after the final security sanitisation:-
           (i) A small lamp for being lit in front of PN Panicker's photograph.
          (ii) Camphor for speeding up the lighting of the wicks of the lamp. Despite that the lighting
                of the lamp was delayed showed that the Mac Murphy law does kick in at inopportune
         (iii) The drinking water for the PM was provided by the government's tourism department
                 in the end. They'd made us buy a particular brand of water which remained as unused
                 stock, in the end!
 * There was one thing that baffled me, however. We're clearly told as to who all will be on the dais
    and that diktat notwithstanding, a lady of the yoga group walked up to the dais and had distributed     the leaflets to the guests.  


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