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E4mChillout: I binge-watch the news: Ashish Bhasin, Chairman, CEO, South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network

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Every hardworking person, especially a high-functioning, always-on sort of individual needs some down time. Or so we mere mortals would think. For Ashish Bhasin, who enjoys work and everything it entails, a designated chillout is hardly a priority.

When we approached the 53-year-old Chairman & CEO, South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network, he first said: why me? I don’t even chillout! I am a boring guy! We said: Challenge Accepted!

Turns out, Bhasin is not restricted by the formulaic idea of chilling out. He believes in the old-school kind of relaxing. A day spent with family chit-chatting over a home-cooked meal is all it takes to revitalise himself for the week ahead. “My ideal way of chilling out is not doing much.” Bhasin who has a holiday home in Lonavala, takes off to the hill-station whenever he finds the time. “Unfortunately I don’t get to do enough of it; holidays are very precious.” 

He may want us to believe that he is boring, but Bhasin has traveled to Rwanda to see the endangered mountain gorillas of the region. With only around 800 of these gorillas left, “they may go extinct very soon. So I spent time in the jungles between Rwanda and Congo.” He has also been on a Safari deep into Serengeti. “I love to travel only for pleasure, not business,” he adds. 
He also loves watching the television. Be warned, he loves binging on news channels! “I am a news junkie, I love to watch every news channel. I can actually binge-watch news! I can tell you the headlines on every channel from BBC to Republic TV.” Does that entertain you or inform you, we wonder. “News is only entertaining these days. It is more GEC than it is news!” He continues, “That said, I like to stay informed. Even when I wake up in the middle of the night, I check the news.”

Not only does the news junkie love watching TV news, he also reads three newspapers a day and five on weekends. Phew! He also spends time reading non-fiction books. He is currently reading Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind. “I don’t read as much as I would like to these days. At one point, I used to read one book a week (around 50 books a year). Now it is down to one book a month.” The internet and TV has eaten into his reading time, he complains. Because he does not like to start a fresh book when he is reading one, Bhasin tends to build a little stack of books that are waiting to be read.

He hopes that one day when he has all the time in the world, he would sit in his library in his Lonavala home and read to his heart’s content.

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