by Dr. A.D. Lazarus
The abbreviation MC stands for Master of Ceremonies. As MC for Anglo-Indian weddings, it takes that extra commitment to make the show a grand success! The Facebook page, Dr. D –The Ever-Happy MC sends a strong message to upcoming MCs in terms of innovation, style, role, and contribution.
I am Dr. Anderleen Diana Lazarus (Ph.D.) Asst. Professor at a large private university in Chennai, the most sought-after woman MC and Event Specialist in Tamil Nadu particularly in the Anglo-Indian community. As many would know, the meaning of the term Anglo-Indian to some degree has been in a state of flux throughout its history. The first use of “Anglo-Indian” was to describe all British who lived in India. People of mixed British and Indian descent were referred to as “Eurasians”. Gradually it changed to “Anglo-Indians”. In other words, an Anglo-Indian is a citizen of India but is a mix of Indian and European ancestry (paternal line of European ancestry). Many of them have emigrated and the rest stay in various parts of India.
From childhood until now I attend almost all the weddings of my community residing in Trichy and even way back as a child, I remember seeing only men being the MC, particularly for weddings/ballroom dances. Well, back in the day it was a male-dominated society. Women were not given enough opportunities and this may be due to the societal structure as well as the nature of the roles they played personally and professionally. Nevertheless now, there may be a few women who take up emceeing occasionally.
It so happened on October 1, 2017, I attended an Anglo-Indian wedding in my hometown Golden Rock, Trichy. The MC for this wedding did not turn up. The senior family members of the bride and bridegroom desperately approached my dad, Mr. F. M. Lazarus, the President of the All-India Anglo-Indian Association, Golden Rock Branch, Trichy, and requested him to be the MC and he passed on their request to me. Though I was the MC for many academic and non-academic programs I was reluctant to oblige predominantly because I had only seen men emceeing Anglo-Indian weddings. Besides adding to the pressure, there were only a few more minutes for the bride and bridegroom to enter the hall. It was my dad who convinced me to venture into this. Finally, I held the microphone for the very first time as the MC for an Anglo-Indian wedding. It was indeed a great experience that enhanced my passion.
Yes, there were a few backlashes but things gradually changed in my favour. I consider emceeing an art. I brought in a lot of creativity and customization to meet the client’s needs while keeping a close eye on sensitivity. People have now understood my dynamics and do appreciate my contributions. I am content on having carved a niche for myself in the emceeing field and as far as I know, I am the first woman MC in my community to have emceed so many events, eighteen weddings, and won people’s hearts in a short span.
I am extremely happy to share that I was awarded “The Best MC” by Chroma – The Business Game Changer team. Even in academia, I am the most sought-after MC for all major events organized at my institution of work as well as across campuses. I became an emcee for Anglo-Indian weddings merely by “need of the hour” as most of my seniors (MCs) have aged gracefully, emigrated and a few reached heavenly abode. I stepped in to fill the vacuum and there is no turning back!
About the Author:
Prof. Anderleen Diana Lazarus Ph.D., Department of English & Foreign Language, SRMIST, Kattankulathur, also serves the society particularly the downtrodden through her zero-cost sessions on English language development, soft skills, student-teacher and teacher training under the banner Philimis Program.