Archive for August 2012
As the local train neared an important station, the passengers inching their way to the door started getting impatient.
“Hey you, young man, yes, I am talking to you,” barked out a retiree with a long flowing white beard like Rabindranath Tagore’s. “Will you remove that huge haversack from your back? It is hurting me in this crowd.”
Without a murmur, without looking back even once, the young collegian slipped off the bag from his shoulders and held it in his hand.
Mission accomplished, the old man then went on a tirade: “Why can’t these young fellows hold their bags in their hands like everybody else does? And why should they use these stupid bags? What these boys don’t know is that excessive use of these bags will affect the nerves on their shoulders. They will not realise it now but will regret once they become a little old. I say, it’s just fashion and nothing else. There are so many other better options available but these boys are just aping their peers in the use of these silly bags.”
Had a shock of my life yesterday on reading this headline in the morning paper: `Raj Travels owner leaps off Sea Link’.
Lalit Sheth used to be one of my regular journalistic `contacts’ – someone you could call up and meet for a round of gupshup over coffee. Often, you didn’t even have to call. You could just land up in his office, knowing fully well that he would stop doing whatever he was doing to accommodate you.
We went back so many years that I don’t even remember when I first met him – in my Business India tenure, or earlier, my Bombay magazine days. But I always remember him – and now this is beginning to sound like an obit – as someone affable, perennially smiling.
He was always optimistic, about his industry, his own business plans. He would share with me with great excitement plans for his ventures that went dud – an airline, a range of budget hotels beginning with one in Ahmedabad.
The lad from Calcutta had come to Golden City Mumbai with just a few thousands in his pocket to turn the package tours industry on its head.
Seeing his cheerful outlook, you could never guess that there was so much turmoil in his life, all boiling over to his ultimate suicide.
But then, as they say:
Yeh chehra to zamane ko dikhane ke liye hain
Yeh gum to seene mein chupane ke liye hain