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A Court Jester in a Board Room!

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Meet KSM ( A short story)

    Kota Srinivasamurthy (KSM in short) studied Indian History in his college. He belonged to the times when the Principal of the college decided what was good for you and allotted you to that class. So KSM had history thrust upon him and he accepted it manfully. In any case, he had no clue why he was in the college in the first instance, being the sole heir of a wealthy industrialist. He knew he had to be in possession of a Degree, which was what his strict father had stipulated as a precondition to his induction in the Board of his company.

    KSM was in a way thankful that it was to be history that would earn him a degree. He knew there were other equally loathsome subjects, as mind-boggling as botany and zoology, of which he had as much idea as a carpenter would have about flying a Boeing 747. Let this not make you think that he had a keen mind for history. He was thankful because he had read something remotely connected to history in his childhood as the stories of Tenali Ramakrishna and Birbal. He had liked them immensely and hoped that with such a strong foundation, it would be easy for him to earn the dreaded degree.
    .

    So in due time KSM himself created history by clearing the final examination on his very first appearance. He was eternally grateful to Tenali Ramakrishna and Birbal who gave him the confidence to take on history head to head. He never ceased to marvel at their sagacity. But at the same time, he was intrigued how such busy monarchs like Akbar and Krishna Devaraya could find time to indulge in all kinds of pranks all the time. He was amazed that these kings were able to indulge in such frivolity while attending to some very serious administrative work. He could well imagine how tough it must have been to rule a kingdom and his admiration for them grew every time he thought of their penchant for jest and merriment despite being so pressurized. He had seen his father conducting the Board meetings and remembered how the bulging nerves on his forehead pulsated furiously when things were not going according to his plan. Against this backdrop, the equanimity and poise of the kings of yore in times of crisis which were a million times more complex than his father ever faced stunned KSM.

    KSM’s father kept his word and on an auspicious day inducted him into the Board. KSM’s first Board meeting turned out to be eventless but he felt very uncomfortable in his formal attire. The rickety air conditioners were making more of noise than performing their allotted task of bringing down the temperature of the room. His mind drifted back in time as it was wont to do ever since he became a student of history. He visualized Emperor Akbar sitting in his crowded court attired in glittering silk and bedecked with a few kilos of jewellery on a hot Delhi day. The ‘punkha’ above the Emperor’s head was swaying lazily producing an occasional whiff of air. Akbar looked the least bit uncomfortable and this vision took KSM’s admiration for the Emperor several notches up.

    One fine morning, KSM occupied his father’s chair after the old man lodged himself behind an expensive gilded frame. The genes in KSM’s system had to work overtime to ensure that he could continue the excellent work of his forefathers. The going was tough but he could manage the show admirably though KSM wished from time to time that the tensions were far less. It was then it struck him that it would be a wonderful idea to try out the examples of his idol, Akbar. He decided to induct into the board a classmate of his who always kept the classroom roaring in laughter with his pranks. He positioned him as some kind of a stress buster in the Board on the lines of Birbal and Tenali Ramakrishna. It was this chap’s job to provide comic relief when things threatened to get nasty. Things went on smoothly for a while and KSM patted himself on the back for introducing a time-tested remedy to combat stressful business meetings.

    The euphoria did not last long. KSM found that the practical jokes of his classmate were highly enjoyable and soothing but, for some strange reason, causing discomfort and tension to other members. Soon he found that the pulsating nerves on the forehead of his late father started showing themselves on the foreheads of other members. Every time his classmate stood up to speak, others clenched their fists and looked at him with blood shot murderous eyes. KSM started introspecting the wisdom of having appointed a stress buster in the Board.

    It was on a fateful AGM that the climax was enacted. The Board was discussing the depressing performance of the Company. The huge board on the wall bore a graph that was steeply plunging as if to explore the center of the earth. Explanations for this dismal performance were demanded from every member and remedial actions were put forth by everyone. KSM’s classmate rose and declared that he had a wonderful idea to reverse the downtrend in a jiffy and everyone looked askance at him. He walked to the Board, took it off from the wall and hung it upside down! The graph now pointed skywards and he looked around the room with a beaming face. All Hell broke loose in the room and as the stress buster left the room in tattered clothes, KSM wondered how Krishnadeva Raya managed Tenali Rama!
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
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  2. Tamildownunder

    Tamildownunder Bronze IL'ite

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    Intersting article. I am reminded of the similar event happend during the last Commonwealth Games held in March 2006 here in Melbourne. During the closing ceremony, there was a strange sight in that the globe picture was hung upside down to bring Australia on top which in normal picture lies down under.
     
  3. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri,
    Now that your words of wisdom ( I hate to use the words, senile ramblings!) have been arranged in a sub-forum, reading all, without missing out, is easy.
    Since the words “court-jester” and “board-room” are as mismatched as Amavasai and Abdul Khader, I read this first. So far (of what I have read of yours) easily, the best !
    Now, after becoming your fan, I am afraid I may repeat the same words in every feed back. But I know, it will only make you more & more happy !!:)
    Well, you have used the phrase
    he accepted it manfully
    I wonder ! Accepting comes better to a woman, more choicelessly, on many occasions in life, starting from living with the man who becomes her husband. Well, let me not start off a controversy !:evil:
    The lighter vain, injected by you as the enjoyable climax, is without par, Sri ! Some serious situations in life , have to be laughed away, atleast for a while, before we go on a retrospective inspection of the situation and analyse it. We get over “the pulsating nerves on our foreheads” and a better clarity of thinking emeges.
    I am amazed at you ability to “spin” a beautiful & thoroughly enjoyable middle around a simple spark – you are a master strokesman, my dear friend.
    Though younger than you, I say God bless you, to interest us with more & more enjoyable posts. We need stress-busters too in our daily life; please provide us with the same in your inimitable way !
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  4. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra
    So much appreciation from a seasoned writer who has over 7000 posts to her credit is ,to say the least, most intoxicating! Thank you for your words which egg me on to write more.
    You have set me thinking about the phrase 'manfully'.
    I guess it took its root at a time when a man was a man and a woman a woman! I mean when Adam had to take the first bite of The Forbidden Fruit. The word as you point out may not be very relevant today when the gender war is over and women enjoy equal rights and responsibilities if not more but like all other English words , manfully has also come to stay! Probably this word may be even taken as a mute witness of the roles that men of yore played!
    I remember an article on Indra Nooyi when she was crowned the Numero Uno of Pepsi which described her acceptance of the responsibility at such a troubled time as 'manful'!
    Now that you have brought it out well, the word even sounds like a kind of dig at the present male of the species!
    Sri
     
  5. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri,

    I am a year too late to read this wonderful blog of yours.Im still laughing, u have one hell of a sense of humour.HAHALoved that fellow, and his court jester, the graph upside down, and the tattered clothes.Superb.

    Regards.kamal
     
  6. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamal
    You wont believe it but this is my most favourite one among the blogs written by me! Thanks a lot for reading it and writing an appreciative FB. I feel sad that this blog did not do well at the 'box office'!
    Sri
     
  7. Mindian

    Mindian IL Hall of Fame

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    dear cheeniya sir,
    this is truly one of your best and I am glad to have stumbled on it today...for that matter any of your posts is always a"stress buster"..also teaches one to always look at life optimistically...one should be thankful to the presence of such people(like the court jester,the friend in the board room) for they always lift up your spirits..am very glad to tell u that my dh is that person in my life...
    Mindi
     
  8. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Mindi
    Thank you for your very generous compliment. To tell you the truth, this blog of mine gave me more satisfaction than my other ones! I always think that humour is the greatest weapon God has given us to ward off depressions of all kinds. The ability to look at lighter side of things can ferry us comfortably through stormy situations in life unless of course it turns too stormy like what is happening in Mumbai.
    I am so happy to hear that your dh is your stress buster. There is no greater thing than having the spouse in that role!
    Sri
     
  9. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri:

    One more gem from you, though I have to admit that I foresaw the last bit. I mean the upside down idea. But that does not matter. What matters is that I was simply charmed by your narrative power.

    Till today I never thought what I am going to tell you now. After reading this particular piece I felt, for a reason I can't figure out too clearly myself, you have an R. K. Narayan hidden somewhere inside you. This story in particular almost started off with an unadulterated Narayan flavour. It was splendidly Narayan-like.

    I simply keep on marveling at your ability. More than that, your endless store of ideas and characters simply amazes me.

    I have not known a genius at close quarters. Yet I feel that you are pretty close to being one.

    Best regards.

    oj






     
  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear oj
    I am just speechless at this lavish praise. RK Narayan and PG Wodehouse are my two role models and to be told that I write like one of them is the ultimate appreciation. And that 'genius' bit in the end makes me feel almost uncomfortable. That hat could be too big for me to wear, so big that it could cloud my vision!

    KSM is not a fictional character. In fact, you could meet quite a few of them in the rich belts of Godavari Districts. They are disarmingly simple despite being 'stinking' rich and in due time, when they are pushed to occupy the family throne, a dramatic change comes over them. I have just narrated the story of one of them!
    Sri
     

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