JournalismPakistan.com October 28, 2018
Why is it that we introduce chief guests as people who need no introduction and then we proceed to send everyone to sleep with a lengthy introduction of their stellar achievements?
In a reply that worthy will then say he will only speak a few words (or briefly) because he doesn’t want to stand between you and the entertainment or whatever. Your heart sinks like a non-swimmer in the deep end because you know that sunshine will still be blathering on 20 minutes from now, his few words multiplying like rabbits on the rampage.
Then he will always tell you how delighted he is to be here tonight to address this august audience and he deems it a great honor. And you look around, and you cannot see even a spoonful of august-ness, more like a glob of October-Novembers, and a few young March-Aprils dragged in by mum and dad, and as for the honor, that’s dubious at best.
It would be so refreshing if some speaker came up and said, frankly, this evening was up for grabs. I am getting paid for this and getting a decent gift, no, not those silly bouquets that get left behind, something tangible. Since the large majority of you don’t give a fig what I am going to say, I’ll place my thanks for calling me on record and spring off the stage.
Then the emcee comes along and mangles the pronunciation and designation of the top honcho for the night and begins to sprinkle all those excellencies and honorable and sundry other honorifics that fall on us an aspiring august lot like confetti.
But then what ticks me off is the ‘travel economy class by air’ attitude to the majority of us. It doesn’t matter whether it is a school or a seminar or a high profile convention after they have gone through the whole pack of cards they refer to the 2 of clubs as ladies and gentlemen, total common garden variety.
Above us is the other 51 categories looking smug. Now, I may lack majesty and am not a highness, nor an admiral nor a chief anything and my wife will gladly confirm that ‘distinguished’ is not the first word that leaps to mind when in reference to me but when it stretches to dignitaries, and I am excluded I feel the pain. What is a non-dignitary? After the nine-yard litany, you get the bit about distinguished guests, dignitaries and then L and Gs. Thank you kindly. If I couldn’t even make the cut for dignitary why did you invite me to your function and what sort of organizers invite those whose dignity got left behind. To fill the auditorium, probably.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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