Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Wedding Planner

Goan for the Jocular
by Cecil Pinto
--------------------

Met my good friend Micheal D'Costa yesterday after a
long, long time.
Micheal and me had studied together at St. Xaviers
College in Mapusa and had kept in touch ever since,
whenever we occasionally bumped into each other.
Micheal calls himself a futurepreneur. That exactly
what his business card says - FUTUREPRENEUR. To
enlighten you Micheal has been into every possible
business long before others jumped onto the bandwagon
- STD booth, Cybercafe, Event Management, Computer
sales, Cellphone sales, Wildlife Treks, Webpage
Hosting, Beach Shacks, Discos... Micheal had started
all of these long before anyone else saw the
opportunity coming.
And once the market got crowded Micheal would swiftly
change his line to something new and the rest would
follow in a few months. Truly a futurepreneur. A man
before his time.

" So Micheal what are you up to now? " I asked, " Last
time we met you were offering an entire Wedding
Package at Rs. 250/- per person. But now many others
are doing that sort of thing."

" That is my life and my curse. I think up a good
business plan and do all the research and pricing and
then set it up. Next week another guy copies my idea
and competes with me on price. It's quite sickening.
Since you ask, I will tell you as a good friend. But
this is Top Secret. I'm still in the wedding supplies
business. Mood Guests. "

" What exactly is that? "

" See sometimes you go for a wedding and it's quite a
flop because the guest mixture is just not right. Too
many old people, or too many young disco dancers, or
too many drunks. The whole wedding reception, which
the
bride and groom spent months on planning, goes all
awry because the Guest List was not balanced. I help
balance it out, so the wedding is a success.
Just hold on Cecil my mobile's ringing…" Micheal
reaches for his mobile.

" Hello Mood Guests On Call, Micheal speaking... "

" Jerry! Tell me. Cotta Mansion? Ok! How many? Three
couples enough? Done! They'll be there in twenty
minutes."

" See Cecil. I deal with all the top MCs at weddings.
They appraise the situation and give me a call. Now
you heard that last request. Things are moving a bit
too slow at a wedding in Agacaim. Nobody's dancing.
I'm
sending across three lively young couples. They do
some sizzling Salsa and all the other guests will be
out on the floor before the set is over."

" Hello! Trevor. Hello? How many? I think two couples
will be just right.

" There see again. There's a wedding at Mapusa where
there isn't a single foreigner present. How boring.
How can you have a wedding in Goa without the
obligatory few whites? What will the guests say? I'm
despatching two European couples to add some colour to
the occasion."

" But Micheal, how do you pay all these people? "

" I'm still working out the rates but my mood guests
don't expect to be paid much more than petrol money.
After all they get to enjoy themselves, drink, and eat
some good food. All they are required to do is dress
well and play their part. Hold on! There's another
call coming through "

" Hello Alister, too noisy you said. Done! Four
couples middle-aged, plus one real elderly pair from
UK in case that doesn't work.

" There see Cecil. This wedding at Margao is getting a
bit out of hand with too many drunk stag dancers
crowding the floor. I send some decent middle aged
couples there who will do some classic ballroom
dancing and bring the equation back in hand. In case
that doesn't work we bring in the heavy artillery.
This stiff upper lip couple from UK. Their
ramrod-stiff dancing and disdainful looks will have
everyone in line in minutes "

" Hello! Carl! Hokay. Nobody's drinking? A stiff sober
occasion. I can spare three guys max. Sure guaranteed.
They will drink themselves silly and set the house
rocking as they attempt to sing along the Mandos. Sure
to get things moving. You need more than three. Uhhh.
Hold on a minute… Cecil, are you free for a couple of
hours? "

---------
The humour column above appeared in Goa Plus the
Friday Magazine section of The Times of India on
24th January 2003.
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