E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: They met again, sans sidekicks and other official paraphernalia at Ulsoor Lake.
They were not exactly incognito, but nobody recognized them. The elder man, instead of Chennai Super Kings yellow, wore a red and yellow mundu in honour of his partner. The younger one had dressed in his usual spotless white safari suit but had a pair of dark goggles on him.
The elder person was seated on the wheel chair which the youngster manoeuvred with alacrity.
After going round the Thiruvalluvar statue, they parked the wheel chair next to a reclining bench facing the lake.
As they sat, a vendor came hailing ‘Maanga, Thenga, Batani Shundal!’ instead of the usually heard ‘Chukkli, kodubale’ in other parts of Bangalore. They bought two packets for which the host paid.
“Periyanna! How is the shundal?’ asked chinna thambi.
“Thambi! It is just like what I get on Marina beach. Pramadam!”
After chewing the shundal to his satisfaction, Periyanna continued, “These goggles suit you very well. I didn’t know your size, but it fits you very well. You look like our Rajni.”
“I thought you had donated your goggles to me! Thanks Anna. By the way we sent Rajni to you, remember!”
They munched in silence for a while.
Then Periyanna opened up.
“Thambi! The main reason why I dashed to Banglur is, I want to go ahead and complete the Hogenakal project. Please make sure your Karave, Jaya Karnatakam and others don’t create any disturbance at the site.”
This was a bombshell for Chinna Thambi.
“Periyanna! Hogenakal is a part of Karnataka and I have already said I will never compromise with regard to our ‘Nela-Jala-Bhashe’ on any account. Sorry, Periyanna. You can ask for anything else.”
“Thambi, Yedi. Hoge is smoke or Poge. Kal is stone. You will not break your promise if Hogenakkal comes to Tamil Nadu. By the way how is our Kolandai?”
“Kolandai yaaru, Periyaana? I didn’t get you.”
“Namba kolandai Rakavendra!”
“Oh, my son Raghavendra! He is fine. Thanks for enquiring about him.”
“Thambi Yedi… It looks you are not interested in his future.”
Chinna Thambi froze like a statue.
“Why do you say that, Periyanna? I have just made him an MP from Shimoga.”
“I don’t know where Shimoga is and what poor Rakavendra is doing there. If you want him to come up in life, get him to Banglur and keep him with you. Make him mayor of Banglur or minister for urban development or something like that. Let him start a campaign like ‘Singara Chennai’ or what you say in Kannadam, ‘Sundara Banglur’? I put Stalin thro’ all this and now see where he is. He is my deputy. Do it quickly otherwise it will be too late and he will be lost in Delhi heat or Shimoga mosquitoes. Thambi… you have to be fast in these things. Otherwise in Karnatakam some ‘appa, ‘ayya or Gowda will grab the throne from you and our Raku will miss his chance.”
“Romba thanks, Periyanna, for your timely advice! I will ask him to resign his MP seat and stand for some by-election for MLA.”
“Thambi Yedi! You have to learn these things from Madam or your own Deve Gowda. Ask the Ulsoor MLA to resign. I will ensure Thiruvalluvar helps Rakavendra get elected from Ulsoor!”
“Thanks a lot, Periyanna. I will never forget your advice.”
“You are my Chinna Thambi. We are one family. Hope you don’t have succession headaches that I have. So do it quickly, OK? I should be leaving now. By the way, I will change the name of Hogenakkal to ‘Pogenakkal’. Nobody will object to this. Na varen. Parkalaam.”
“Parkalaam, Periyanna,” said, a happy Chinna Thambi.