Saturday, November 27, 2010

My good self at a Clarion reunion.

Excuse me but I’m a bit allergic when it comes to reunions. I don’t quite fancy gassing about good ol’ times half of which I cannot quite recall with guys I once knew well but have been out of touch with for a long time. I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings when I state this. But then as time goes on, people change. I am not the Deepak I used to be in Clarion-McCann. Anyway, an email invite from Rajan, a follow-up call from Jitu Kothari and a not-so-gentle nudge from Ujwal sent me scurrying to Pritam Restobar in Dadar – a place I don’t much care for – on Saturday, 27 November, a day after the second anniversary of 26/11. It was good to meet the Clarion crowd, though, despite my apprehensions. There was good ol’ ARK Pillay, then accountant now heading several NGOs, reminding me that I was somehow responsible for getting him his first landline connection through my friend Vairale. There was young Bhawsar, then art director now graphic designer/"tutor", gushing about how active he is at his age despite his heart condition and diabetes and how he will be going for the umpteenth time to the US of A next year. There was Jitu who hadn’t lost his talent for keeping in touch with people out of genuine affection and who reminisced about a crisis he faced when the journalists he was herding did not reach a CIDCO inaugural function in time because of a mix-up about the address of the site. There was Robin, then an Account Executive and eternal victim now a happy retiree in Goa, sounding really excited over the cellphone about hearing my voice. There was one gentleman who apparently joined Clarion much after I’d quit and whose name I didn’t quite catch. And, there was ever-smiling Rajan, then AE now heading his own ad agency in Chennai and an acknowledged expert in rural marketing all over India, telling me how much he had enjoyed living his life, handing me a copy of his self-published autobiography and asking for a feedback. Mrs Rajan was there too watching the proceedings with a half smile. A couple of mugs of draught and a vegetarian meal rounded it off. Short, sweet and memorable.