Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Catching up with AKB

A very pleasing encounter at Kunzum, Greater Kailash-2, a few days ago: I met AK Bhattacharya (or AKB as we always refer to him), the Business Standard editorial director, after what must have been 15 years. From this person flowed many of the kindnesses that enabled me to get started on a freelance career in 2006. He was the big boss who made me the offer I couldn’t refuse - a retainership with Business Standard that would allow me to work independently and write for others - but even before that, at a more personal and friendly level, he had been very encouraging about my blog and would often come by my desk to mention a post he had liked (or something he wanted to correct me about, mainly pertaining to Satyajit Ray). Given the big hierarchical gap between us in office, such interactions were unusual, but he pulled them off warmly and without fuss - and he greeted me much the same way at the bookshop yesterday (where I also got my signed copy of his new book about India’s finance ministers between 1947-77).

Great to see him looking as fit and spry as I remembered, and to find that he often uses the metro for traveling (something that many of the much younger people I know regard with disdain, as if it lowers their status or some such). We’ll catch up again soon, possibly in his lair, the Business Standard office...

1 comment:

  1. A gem of a human being and editor. Always, "Fair Enough" ;)