If only that time I took French lessons as a kid could be brought back, I would ask for a language alteration. Sadly, je ne comprends pas – I don’t understand – doesn’t work at all here in Maharashtra. How urgently I need to understand the language of ikre and tikre came to light at MKCL’s 10th Foundation Day ceremony in Mumbai.
I admit, why we were excited about the trip had a lot to do with the prospect of a working Saturday spent on a long drive through the picturesque Pune-Mumbai highway. It also had to do with a bright and new spirit of loyalty toward your first employer and the enthusiasm to see in person the CM of the state. I am happy to declare that all bullet points were achieved.
The ride to Nehru Stadium, Worli was magnificent indeed – sprawling roads and misty mountains come together to paint a delightful Saturday morning picture. Though we missed a teeny weeny bit of the beginning of the event, it was amazing being face to face with a whole panel of esteemed people – Shri Ashokraoji Chavan and Shri Chhaganraoji Bhujbal, CM and Deputy CM of Maharashtra respectively and Padmashree Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, Chief Architect of PARAM Supercomputers among others. The ‘Dashkarambh Solkar‘ written in bright bold lettering among an elaborate arrangement of flowers looked beautiful.
Now coming to the I-regret-my-French-lessons part: ALL (but one) the speeches were in Marathi!!
We sat there trying to nod intelligently and laugh at the jokes everyone seemed to be enjoying. We jumped on terms such as hard disk and globalization and blessed our English teachers in school who taught us to obtain contextual meanings from large reading comprehension passages.
It took Bhatkar Sir to wake us up… with his fiery style and convincing declarations about India’s economic status, we truly started believing that our land of corrupt politicians and my-neighbour-has-a-bigger-car propounders has it in her to push back China, Vietnam, Cambodia and even the whole of the European union.
By lunch we were plenty hungry and though the big Grandma box didn’t live up to my chocolate brownie expectations, it was good and light on the stomach. Presentations on new products followed…and few pleasures can compare with the delight of witnessing an all English slide. We had to leave before the show ended and the snacks coupon went tragically without use…
Mumbai has a certain something that makes it so photogenic. Even the piles of dirt that line the streets and the wide arrays of discarded polybags manage to look interesting in the backdrop of the blue, blue ocean. Now call this a fluke, or call it a good dose of hidden talent. But I am posting here this absolutely stunning picture Rishi clicked later that evening – yes you can say your thank yous now. If you get random fan mail, I am not to be blamed.
I wish I had seen the Sea-Link.
And oh, this evening I am going to go sign up for Marathi lessons. A week to go and I will be glibbing in intelligent Marathi and smiling superciliously at all of those North and South Indians who stare on clueless.