Shamim as they saw him

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.


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