‘There was a young girl of about eight years, very pretty but very filthy. Wouldn’t have a bath or comb her hair. Her parents and teachers tried to clean her up but never could succeed. Then one day, one of her teachers gifted her a pretty pink frock with laces and ribbons. The kid was so excited. The moment she reached home, she wanted to wear it. She quickly changed and hopped in front of her mother excitedly. But wait! Her dirty face and hair did not go with the new frock. So she quickly had a bath! Then her torn socks looked bad, so the mother dug out a pretty pair of socks that were gifted on Christmas. Suddenly the room started looking shabby… so that got cleaned up. Then the rest of the house paled in comparison… so that got cleaned. The front lawn looked horrible, so that was mowed. Suddenly the neighbours started envying the pretty house, so they started cleaning up their houses! And like this the whole city became clean!’
This was the story Indranil (Indranil Chatterjee, CEO, INCommunications) used to tell every new person who joined INCommunications. His dream was that we should become the pink frock.
I have never known a person who had so many stories to tell. He packed up so much in his short life. He was always in a hurry… probably he knew his life is short. I first worked together with him in O&M in 1991. Not closely though. Met him again in November 2001 as a colleague. The chemistry worked and we decided to venture out together as partners.
In a close three-and-a-half years’ association with him, I had always felt that I was riding a roller coaster. Everyone who knows him will vouch for the extraordinary energy he possessed. He brought the place alive by his sheer presence. There never was a dull moment.
Even while the cancer was eating away his body, it could never dampen his spirits. He stayed cheerful till the end… always believing he would win the battle. I believe his spirit has won the battle and gone to a better world.
Friends meant a lot to him. I don’t know how many stories I have heard about SG, Pranesh, Mrs Tara Sinha, Achin Ganguly, Sanjeev Lamba, Shekhar Kapoor… the list can go on. He had great regards for all of them. He wanted to host a big party for all the people who had so meaningfully touched his life one way or another. Another dream left unfulfilled.
He greatly admired Sunil Gavaskar and used to quote him saying, “Like Gavaskar, even I want to retire when I am at the top.” Sadly. he has retired from life when he was at his peak. He had so much to look forward to.
On April 2, 2003, we started a dream together. He called INC his ultimate destination. So many plans he has left behind. Indranil, we will fulfill your dreams. INC will become the pink frock that you so badly wanted.
If I have to sum up my relationship with him, I would borrow Gulzarji’s words, “He was the longest short story of my life.”
Prayer meeting on September 27, 2005
Arya Samaj Mandir
Greater Kailash II, New Delhi
5 – 7 pm
(Charu Bakshi is Chief Creative Officer, INCommunications)