Posted on September 26, 2007 by gvk2
My post on the demise of an old friend M Shamim evoked the following response from a couple of media colleagues.
Tyagaraj Sharma, The Statesman, Bangalore:I used to interact with Shamim while he was the chief reporter, The Times of India (Delhi), and I, a junior reporter in the Economic Times,Delhi. Both the papers were housed in the Times House.And their editorial staff shared a huge hall on the second floor. Never once did Shamim refuse to share a reporter’s story with me. In ET we did cover occasional routine city stories and he always obliged, considering that my beat was more to do with the chambers and industry houses.
Your recollection of Shamim as film critic also reminds me of the numerous actors, big and small, who used to turn up at the TOI office in the early seventies to meet him. As youngsters we always used to envy him his circle of good looking ladies.
For me, Shamim symbolised a journalist who never said no to a young reporter. He went out of his way to help his junior colleagues as well, something we do not see much of these days.
K T R Menon, Former chief of The Times of India News Service, Delhi: He was a reporter who had the nonchalance to borrow a pen from the mighty Mrs Gandhi when his ballpen ran dry, at a rare interview during the Emergency days. For someone who rubbed shoulders with a whole range of personalities from Raj Kapur and his ilk to PMs and Presidents he had no airs about him.
For our housing societey (Saket journalists colony, Delhi) Shamim did so much even after his health began to fail and he could hardly breathe normally.
Another journalist colleague said in recent months Shamim used to be in and out hospital so much that the end came as a relief.
During the Emergency (1975-77)I recall Shamim was one of the few favoured journalists to have had access to high places in New Delhi; he was granted by PM and senior ministers a rare interview and was briefed by officials on the affairs of the state. Such official favours didn’t endear Shamim with his peers. Those were days when most editors were treated like doormat by the then I&B minister V C Shukla. He had this penchant for summonning them to his office for a dressing-down.It was in such socio-political environment that Shamim was appointed a director of Samachar (a news agency founded by merging PTI and UNI). Of course, he had a god-father in Md Yunus, who was close to the Nehru/Gandhi family.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Media | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 18, 2007 by gvk2
Philanthropic NRIs are known to have funded a school, community centre or a dispensary in their native town or village. I chanced by an NRI-funded police station at Frazer Town, Bangalore, as I was travelling in a three-wheeler from Khammanahalli to M G Rd. the other day. The name of the family that financed the building is painted in red bold letters on the arch of this imposing kerbside bungalow that houses the Frazer Town police station.
I spent rest of my auto-ride speculating who would want to fund a police station building to perpectuate the memory of the donor family in its native town. Maybe the NRI was once a policeman, or son of a cop. For a fleeting moment the idea of donor being a reformed person, with past association with the police, crossed my mind, only to be dismissed as nonsense. Surely, no government would accept the benovelance of individuals with such a past. The building, a bungalow with a front-yard and drive-way, probably belonged to a family that had left the town for greener pastures. Maybe, the family that gifted the building to a public trust or charity, subsequently taken on rent by the government, had no clue that that their property would eventually house a police station.
Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 3, 2007 by gvk2
This morning’s mail in my inbox contained an invite to join Shelfari. Initial instinct was to go for the ‘delete’ button. And then I saw it was from my young friend Anand Balaji. I don’t know him as a compulsive ‘forwarders’ of serial mail. So I chose to open, to find it was about books; about networking one’s book-reading contacts. I reckoned Shelfari would be a window to show off my collection. Plus, I could browse other people’s book-shelf, and engage the interested few in a chat on our mutual collecions, readings and book gossip.
Though I haven’t been reading much of late I boast of a sizeable collection. I am among those who like bragging about my books; and, to get listeners, I am even willing to loan them, even though I know most borrowed books are rarely returned. A few months back I discovered the Library Thing, where I catalogued my books. But then, after listing a score of books there (which was labour-intensive) I found something else to do. And my Library Thing list remained un-updated for a while. Now I am into Shelfari. And I have made a fresh start at listing books….I know what you might be thinking. Wouldn’t be surprised if this list goes the way the other ‘Thing’ did.
The thing about my collection is that I picked nearly all titles on my shelf from pavement spreads in Delhi, Hyderabad; from used-book sales abroad, for 50 cents or a dollar a piece; some have been gifted by friends; or sent to me for review. Admitedly, there are a few titles I had neglected to return to its rightful owners.
Over the coming days and weeks I hope to catelogue them online in ‘My Shelf’. And my e-contacts could count on finding in their Inbox a Selfari invite. Hopefully, we could put in place a network to access one another’s book-shelf online.
Filed under: Uncategorized | 6 Comments »