Wednesday, June 06, 2007

An ode to RG

Heard about RG’s death in Bangalore from fellow journalist M R Venkatesh. Chennai-based Telegraph correspondent, MRV, is a rare species in the media that retains relationship with me even years after my retirement. R Gopalakrishnan of The Hindu was a common friend and colleague, known for accurate notes-taking at press conferences and getting the 'quotes' right. I know this, for I have relied on RG’s notes when I had doubts about my own speed-writing at press conferences we have attended together.

Reproduced here is the e-mail MRV sent me on RG:
Could Karma’s Taal
And ‘Rebirth’s dance
Turn a little comical
When similar mortal frames
Are seen on a Contemporary screen?
That’s how Language
Drew a picture
On the mind’s slate,
When years back
I first met ‘RG’,
As the self-effacing soul
R.Gopalakrishnan was fondly known
To friends even outside ‘The Hindu’,
Oh! He seems
Bengal’s great genial actor
Utpal Dutt
Reborn on a same Time scale!
Almost Everything about ‘RG’,
The gait and the cigarette,
Spectacle drooping and studied,
Deep Intellectual anger
Soaring like summer-time mercury,
To the rollicking laughter
That blazoned a Child-like innocence,
Looked an Utpal Dutt reprint!
But soon I discovered,
All these were only the
Bodily chariot
Reined in by a deeper Soul
That ‘RG’ came to signify,
Economics, Marxism
Sociology et all,
Were the rims of a
Rollercoaster ride
With a journalistic leg
On Each side,
His voice of Peace
That climaxed against
His abiding faith
That the down and under
See Secularism as Naturalism
Came as enduring light
Before his Soul flew away!

- M R Venkatesh/Chennai/ June 5, 2007 (After Hearing
of RG’s Death at Bangalore)

Cross-filed in Desicritics
- and Zine5

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