I was once travelling with a senior colleague of mine, somewhere in Uttar Pradesh. We were on a long and arduous company tour. To launch a few of our products that had a rural flair. Having been out for about twenty days now. Homesickness was but evident on our faces. And a deeper look even revealed we were famished.
This colleague of mine had a weird sense of humour that often hyperlinked you to a jolly laughter a little later. He was also a voracious reader, mostly of management books which he preferred to expeditiously lay his hands on. Much before the company moguls did. Largely, to orchestrate is own personality … ‘Ya-ya, I too, have read it.’
Amid the pile-up of fatigue, and on a sweltering Sunday we were roughing it out, from one meeting to the other. Talking vivaciously about our product, is when the day finally merged into a lazy evening.
We finally returned to the hotel. Where, we were sharing a room. On our way back we had picked up some chilled beer as hotel bar was indeed, expensive.
The plan of action now was to have a quick shower. Even when, the tap water was boiling hot, owing to the severe heat of summers. So as to, catch the beer within drinkable temperatures. Mind you … the room did not have a fridge.
So, as a senior he barged into the toilet first for a shower. But only to return within minutes, since the water was so very hot, is when I followed suit. Where, while rushing through a quick shower. I couldn’t help but notice, his severe hair fall that didn’t speak well of his scalp.
After I was through, we finally decided to uncork the bottles. The beer was still drinkable. So we gulped down the first sip after a well deserved cheers, followed by a concomitant munch, is when I said,
“Dada you’re losing a lot of hair. I just noticed in the toilet.’
Upon hearing me, he had another draught followed by another munch— some spicy peanuts. He then looked into my eye and very seriously said.
“Arrey baba, mein toh chahaton hun ki sab bal gir jaye aur mein General Manager ban jaun.’
As a tube light. I flickered for a few moments before I understood what he actually meant, when we both started laughing.
Those days the General Manager and Head of our Marketing division, was a bald gentleman.
This causerie is only a tribute to my senior colleague Debashish Gangully who died of cancer in the US some time back. The General Manager and Head of Marketing then was Mr. V. A. Pemaiah, who took the joke quite sportingly when we told him later. But, I really don’t where he is now.
In this busy life of ours whenever you look back you’ll find. Over the years so much has happened, that is so very captivating and worth remembering, but unfortunately we don’t have the time for it.
By Kamlesh Tripathi
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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:
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GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE
(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)
ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY
(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)
AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES
(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)
REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD
(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)
TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN
(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha
(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)