Monday, December 12, 2011

'They also serve who only stand and wait'

John Milton, who authored this line, presumably, had in mind the likes of Rajesh, Manikandan (the security guys), Sachin, Balaji (of PropCare) and many others who contributed, in their own ways, to making our Sunday meet happen. That the numerical turnout at the first ever meeting of Mantri Synergy apartment owners fell short of the legal requirement (131 against 198) does not minimize the importance of the December 11 meeting. This blogpost is devoted to those 'who only stand and wait', and thereby, 'also serve'. These are persons who set the stage for the main players in their efforts at association formation.
The man in the middle (in the photo),hanging out near the clubhouse library, handed out slices of fruitcake to all comers. In my book, Mr Ramana, an apartment owner,was furthering community spirit. Which is the purpose of forming the apartment owners association, according to Mr P K Nair who presided over the Sunday meeting.
His observation found an echo in Ms Geetha Viswanathan's remarks about the need for us to bond as a synergized Mantri family. The Mantri Synergy family is an entity that is wider in scope than the apartment owners association. For, unlike the owners association (which is required under law), the Mantri Synergy family embraces all those who contribute to our community living - owners, tenants, the security and support services staff. Viewed in this perspective, Ms Geetha Viswanathan made much sense when she expressed gratitude to Mantri's for giving us this Synergy residential project that brought us all together in this 765-apartment exercise in community living.
The lone voice in the audience that took exception to her remarks about Mantri may not appreciate the contribution PropCare people have made to facilitating the Sunday meeting at the clubhouse. We had Mr Sivaram working overtime for the past few days on the nitty-gritty. His colleague Mr Balaji turned up an hour early, this too, on a holiday, if only to 'stand and wait', and thus serve us. Mr Sachin, another PropCare person, was deputed to oversee arrangements for tree-planting that was to have taken place near the 'Wishing Well'. Mr Ezhumalai, of the maintenance staff, was on hand to ensure we didn't have problem with power supply, lift operation, at the clubhouse during our meeting.
And then we had Manikandan and Rajesh (both from security) deployed on the clubhouse detail to facilitate oldies (such as yours truly) to make it to the second-floor library hall. Rajesh and Manikandan, doing Sunday overtime, are college-going young men who do security duty at night, while attending daytime classes.
We had volunteer and apartment owner Mr Ujjal Mukherjee (of E block) who ran errands for the core group engaged in organizing the meet. Mr Mukherjee also kept an edgy participants at the library hall posted with the factors holding up the start of proceedings. Mr Ramkumar (H block),who (bless him) became father a second time only the other day, took time off from baby care at home to volunteer at the residents meeting.He was seen serving coffee to invitees to the meeting who couldn't be expected to muscle their way to the coffee counter on the second-floor corridor.
Several others at the hall promptly gave up their seats for the elderly participants, of whom there as a sizeable turnout. In a standing-room only corner of the hall I reconnected with Sunil and Santhosh. They who 'stood and waited' (giving up their seats to others) were also engaged in community-building activity. Sunil has coined some catchy slogans that are fit to be printed on customized Mantri T-shirts. Santhosh volunteered to serve the residents working committee as E block representative. A student at the adjacent Hindustan University, Santhosh can help build a positive rapport between students who are tenants and rest of the residents community.
A notable aspect of the Sunday meeting was that it engaged in community-building efforts, a small, but significant,and silent minority of residents. Included in the agenda of the meeting that couldn't be held was the ceremonial lighting of the lamp - Kuthivilakku - by the Nambiar couple. The Namibiars are the first occupants at Mantri Synergy (from February last).The problems we face at Mantri's today sound like Sunday picnic when we get to learn about the hardships the Nambiars had to endure in the early days and months of their living at Mantri Synergy.

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