A MODERN MALADY
What ails the 21st century man? I think I know the succinct answer — Seminaritis - This is a disease as contagious as measles and mumps. You just open the morning newspaper and glance through the ‘Engagements’ column and you will find it breaking out in a virulent form in one part of the city or the other. The principle vector carrier of the seminaritis virus is a social gadfly who thinks cockily that he has got a solution at his finely manicured finger-tips for practically every problem under the sun — the solution being organizing a seminar. He is a versatile chap who can get a seminar going in a trice on topics ranging from ‘Emerging Trends in Indo-Rwandan trade ties’ to ‘whither the uni-polar world’ to ‘the Sex life of the Mediterranean fruit-fly’.
|A promising line of treatment being pursued is to vaccinate all potential delegates to seminars, round up all the keynote speakers through a dragnet and cordon – and - search operation and exile them permanently to Outer Mongolia and organize a 2 - day seminar on the theme Need to ban all seminars.|
Seminaritis, like Japanese encephalitis can break out during any time of the year and its progress is swift and well-charted. The symptoms usually appear in a mild form around 9.30 in the morning with the arrival of well-heeled delegates for registration followed by the day’s first cup of high tea. The symptoms become more marked when the seminar organizer — our old friend the gadfly takes, or rather ‘hogs’ the microphone to expound for about an hour and a half - after begging the audience’s indulgence for just 5 minutes, of course, on the theme of the seminar. The symptoms become more acute when the keynote speaker gets behind the lectern and adjusting his horn-rimmed bi-focals at a jaunty angle on his beaky nose hits his stride. He is the world’s biggest windbag who does not need an air pump to prime him. Epidemiologists have identified the keynote speaker as the vector carrier of the more virulent strains of the seminaritis virus and all attempts to isolate it have failed.
There is a mild regression in the progress of the disease when the delegates knock off at around 2 o’clock for a 3 - course gourmet lunch and when they file back the malady strikes in a deadly form and when a gaggle of chairpersons and rappoteurs take the floor to sum up the day’s proceedings and when resolutions are being drafted and hand out the proceedings the victims frequently succumb to seminaritis.
Virologists are taking steps to tackle seminaritis before it becomes a global pandemic like H1V1. A promising line of treatment being pursued is to vaccinate all potential delegates to seminars, round up all the keynote speakers through a dragnet and cordon – and - search operation and exile them permanently to Outer Mongolia and organize a 2 - day seminar on the theme Need to ban all seminars.
By S. Raghunath
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