Thursday, September 26, 2013

Journey of a Journalist VII



As an avid film buff, I used to read all about the Holi’ celebration at RK Studio, in the film magazines. What a thrill when I got an invitation from Rajji. I went for the most glamorous event, in a bus! Starry eyed fans thronged the gates to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars as they drove through in their fancy cars. At the bus stop, I hopped into a cab to take me into the studio. I sat alone, watching the revelry. I did not belong there as the guests were stars and knew each other. But Rajji, sitting next to his wife, caught my eye and waved. Lunch time saw everyone thronging to the lavishly laden tables, ‘we have vegetarian food’, said Rajji, coming up to me and escorting me to the tables. Photographers frantically clicked as he took a pinch of red powder and smeared it on my forehead. He gave me a hug and announced ‘she is like my daughter’. Cameras stopped clicking!

When Rajji died, it was a personal loss to me. I had met a man who was the nation’s most loved hero and film maker but I saw in him a wonderful human being. Generous, excellent host and above all, so sensitive. He went through the trouble of giving a green horn like me a screen test, all because he had seen a lock of longing in my eyes. I stopped writing about stars after meeting Rajji. Who wants to go trekking on hillocks after climbing Mount Everest?
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It was time to explore more avenues in writing and an opportunity to be a ghost Editor for the District Governor’s Newsletter helped me understand the Rotary ethos. As associate Editor of Solus, the Ad Club bulletin, I got to meet the stalwarts of Advertisisng.Working on the Taj Hotel special food festival Menu cards was fun. An interesting assignment I loved was writing a coffee table book to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Bombay Naval Dockyard. It entailed sifting through hundreds of files and escorting an industrial photographer to take pictures. This was followed by a commemorative book on the 40 years of Canteen Services.

The next step was to write a book. A happily married woman, I wanted to share my secrets about conjugal bliss and How to manage your husband was my maiden publication.Jaico published it in 1986 and you can still see it on the web though it is out of stock! As a sequel, I wrote How to cope with your wife and published it myself under the banner of Shabdanjali Communication services which I started as a proprietary consultancy outfit. Ten years later, I combined the two and brought out Marriage Masala-what every man/woman must know before tying the knot!