The ‘bawa’ with the antennae phone: Rajul Kulshreshtha

At 11.30 pm last night I got a SMS from a friend. This is what it read “Just heard from my friend at the Oberoi. The last body out was Rohinton’s! I'm dumbstruck”. The funeral was today at 3.45 pm.

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 1, 2008 8:36 AM
The ‘bawa’ with the antennae phone: Rajul Kulshreshtha

At 11.30 pm last night I got a SMS from a friend. This is what it read “Just heard from my friend at the Oberoi. The last body out was Rohinton’s! I'm dumbstruck”. The funeral was today at 3.45 pm.

Rewind to a few days ago when I first heard that Rohinton was stuck at the Oberoi. I smiled to myself and told a friend. I feel sorry for those poor terrorists. We all had a good laugh. Such was our belief in Rohinton. We never ever thought that we would see this day. Such was my belief in my friend, who I knew for 15 years. 15 years of working with him, fighting with him, playing the fool with him. In fact, I don’t think I ever really did business with him! We were friends. PERIOD.

I remember when he got his first O2. It was a phone he had little clue about. (He mastered it later though). The software did not have the ability to recognise an SMS. And the sender’s name was only a number. It drove Rohinton insane. I had a similar model and I dug into the Net and found a patch. It worked! I called up Rohinton and told him. I could sense the relief when it started working and his calls of gratitude as well as the SMS. That was Rohinton. And when I graduated to a new O2, while he stuck to his old one with an antennae, I always called him and told him if I was speaking to the bawa with the antennae phone? It drove him mad and the usual response was a slew of the choicest vocabulary that the Hindi language can offer.

What will I give to hear that vocabulary again. That jocular face, the genuine concern in his voice for me when I came back from Singapore, always telling me that I should be doing much more than what I am, and that I am worth much more. Coming from him, I always believed him. Such was my faith in our friendship. No more. No more.

Our last time together was at a Goan restaurant that he loved. I even forget the damn name. We had a great time and that is all I will want to remember Rohinton for. He had that uncanny knack of making people love him. “Chief, when you are next in Mumbai, do give me a call and we will get together for a drink. Same place. Yes?” “Of course”, I would say.

Rohinton, my friend, adieu. This is one promise I will never be able to keep again.

(Rajul Kulshreshtha, Managing Director, Motivator, GroupM)

Extracted from Rajul Kulshreshtha’s blog

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