Chief Guests at various functions, convocations, meets and seminars are often political leaders or celebrities or men of accomplishments. People curiously observe their behavior during the proceedings of the events. During elite functions, a chief guest needs to be fully alert and live up to the image he or she carries in the public.
Humbleness and alertness of chief guests has a magnetic effect on the people. Once, during an event of a gymkhana club, the chairman of an organization was the chief guest. As he occupied his chair on the dais and viewed the audience, he found a senior but now retired officer of his organization sitting in the second row. He stood up immediately and called for him. The retired officer waved his hand, conveying that it was all right for him to sit among the audience. But the Chief Guest insisted, ‘Either you come to the dais or I’ll have to come down to bring you here’. As the retired officer rose, a big cheer for the chief guest came as an instant reaction from the audience.
Being on time is another attribute that draws people’s admiration. These days, only a few minutes delay is tolerated by the people. Long delays irritate them and they lose respect for the Chief Guest.
Once I was invited to attend a prize distribution function of an university. That day, I reached the university at the specified hour and occupied my seat. The chief guest was dot in time. Except his white beard, he showed no signs of being old. He had an athletic built and walked with a spring in his feet. He wore an open jacket, seemingly not dressed for the occasion. Soon his mannerism and interest in the arrangements wiped off the dress lapse. His arrival electrified the organizers. All heads of the departments were also in time. Perhaps they knew of his habit of being punctual.
Prize distribution ceremony was the last of the items. Earlier to that, the degrees were to be distributed amongst the post graduates and various departments had to read their annual reports and achievements. Heads of the departments came one by one to read their reports. The chief guest listened to them attentively, quite contrary to the usual show of getting bored or passing muster. At times, would scan the rows of students sitting in the auditorium. He seemed to be in full command of things.
A department was headed by a lady. She came to the dais, opened her file and started reading. The mike was positioned much above her mouth and she was barely audible. However she continued to read oblivious of her voice not reaching the others.
For a few moments, the chief guest watched her speaking. He looked around at a few people, got up from his chair, went to the dais and adjusted the mike. The voice was audible now.
Seeing the chief guest moving, there was a commotion. A few people ran to the dais. By that time, the job had been done. The mike had been set in position. The lady on the dais was wonder struck and had paused. The Chief Guest motioned her to continue, went back to his seat and occupied it. As the perplexed organizers moved back to their seats, the awe struck hall broke into a loud applause for the Chief Guest!