June, 1995. Me and my wet slippers first stepped into the halls of Ogilvy. The floor was gilded with cigarette butts, ash and the crumpled remains of rejected ideas. To be honest, I didn't know who Ranjan Kapur was. And I didn't particularly care.
It didn't take long for that to change.
I can never dislodge the memory of my first corridor gyan session with Ranjan. His left hand was held at a right angle. His wrist drooped towards the floor. The smoke rising from a half ash cigarette caressed it on its way to gracing the nostrils of those who busied around us. His right handed conducted the symphony of wisdom that issued from his lips. I remember thinking, "He's shorter than me" (Comparing heights being the affliction of short men.) Over the next twenty or so minutes, I would learn that I was oh-so-very-wrong.
They say nothing grows under a mighty banyan tree. Ranjan was the rare exception. Many an oak grew tall in the sunlight of his shadow.
He changed Ogilvy with Piyush by his side. In doing so, they changed Indian advertising. They were Dweedle-tee and Dweedle-tum, because they ran counter to most creative-business duos you have ever met. Many times you could not tell who was left brained and who was right.
My heart breaks for his amazing wife Jimi and his lovely daughter Tina. It breaks for all of us who were blessed to have him in our lives.
Yesterday I said goodbye to one of the guiding lights in my life. Yes, I will never again be able to have long lunches with seven courses of debate with him. But I will always be able to talk to the part of him that lives in his immortal teachings.
Bobby Pawar is the Chief Creative Officer and Managing Director at Publicis India.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.
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