"Madam, I want to bring to your notice that a certain artist from the Carnatic field who is famous due to public relations (name withheld) is trying to enter the university to turn it into a music sabha.... I am alert about the machinations of this artist through well-placed friends." I thought of the publicity crazy corporate head and the amateur musician with powers assisting this artist but chose not to mention their names.
She frowned "No no...don't allow it. I know about ...."
"No Madam, I am taking full care."
"Good." She nodded, looking serious.
"Madam, for the next Syndicate I request nomination of experts from other fields such as fashion, cinema, visual communication, sculpture, painting etc. The general opinion that the university can't function beyond Carnatic music and Bharathanatyam should be erased. This is necessary for the expansion and development of the university, further this will correct the approach of artists such as mentioned above to convert that Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University into a music sabha for purely selfish gains."
"Ya, send the list of nominees to.... "
I hastily interrupted, "Madam, please, I want to give you the list in person." I couldn't disguise the anxiety and appeal in my voice as the horrific memory of trying to retrieve and rectify my previous list of nominees flashed across my mind.
"When is the tenure of Syndicate members expiring?"
"In another one and a half years Madam."
"That's a long way. What are the immediate issues?"
" For 2016 JAYAM I would like to conduct Srinivasa Kalyanam by Tirumala Tirupathi Devsthanams on your star birthday Makham instead of February 24th which is your birth date. Madam, I request you to grace the function. I will make elaborate and grand arrangements. Please Madam, please don't refuse." My voice ended on an appeal.
She smiled " 2016 February will be crucial what with election campaigning etc. You can have it in 2017."
Words stuck in my throat and I couldn't bring myself to tell her that my Vice Chancellor's tenure would be ending on November 18th, 2016.
I nodded silently.
"How is administration?"
Her gentle question threw me off-guard.
I quickly looked at her and knew I had to convey vital information in the most concise manner. I said unflinchingly, "I feel like and unarmed cop. My job needs me to be bold, vigilant and tough. I am very bold and I don't find this tough to handle."
"Very good." My spirits lifted at her appreciative tone and twinkle in her eyes as she smiled at me.
" Madam, I need to meet you when there's something important."
She smiled in return. She began to look distracted as she called out for someone.
I rose from my seat, "I'll take leave Madam!"