The crazy Parsi: Anurag Batra

Rohinton Maloo was given a Parsi farewell on Saturday at Dungarwadi. The Parsis are very kind and giving, so when someone passes away, they give away their bodies to vultures and the environment also so that it can be of some help even when they have left this world.

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 1, 2008 8:30 AM
The crazy Parsi: Anurag Batra

Rohinton Maloo was given a Parsi farewell on Saturday at Dungarwadi. The Parsis are very kind and giving, so when someone passes away, they give away their bodies to vultures and the environment also so that it can be of some help even when they have left this world.

My wife and family did not allow me to travel to Mumbai as they felt it is still not safe. On Sunday there was a prayer meeting in Mumbai, and I was not there.

These last two days, I have been looking at the gifts that Rohinton had given me, the emails he had sent me in the last few days, and I still cannot digest the fact that Rohinton is no longer with us.

I have been thinking about the acts of kindness he had done for me and us. I have been thinking about his conversations with me. Between Saturday morning and today, many people who read about him on exchange4media.com have called me, SMSed me, emailed me and echoed the same sentiments of a man who had helped everyone, who was giving and a maverick, who was ahead of his time in the media industry.

Rohinton's energy and enthusiasm for ideas was infectious.

He had introduced me to Hormazd Sorabjee about five years back, saying I should talk to him to see if we could work with Haymarket. When Rohinton was appointed Media magazine’s representative, he asked me for our database and I happily shared our database with him.

Rohinton introduced me to numerous people and always seemed to know someone that I did not know and that was something I found amazing.

He was fond of vintage cars and yachts. When my wife and daughter visited Mumbai last November we all went sailing – I, Niti, Prathna, Nawal and Palak. I reminded my five-year young daughter about it today and she remembers Rohinton as the uncle with whom I was in a separate boat.

When my friend Tony Kelly, who is Editorial Director and Co-Promoter of Marketing magazine in Hong Kong came to India, we again went sailing. When I emailed Tony about Rohinton yesterday, this is what Tony said “Am shocked, that is deeply saddening news. Some of my most endearing memories of India were boating with you and Mr Maloo as he pointed out the landmarks to us.”

Mitrajit of Chitralekha on reading my remembrance of Rohinton on Saturday sent me a mail part of which read, “I have never personally known Rohington, but all I have heard about him was always positive.”

Last week when I met him, Rohinton offered to introduce me to the Metro guys for INS hosted WAN conference and he promptly did it the next day. Rohinton was always doing something that made you feel special.

When we went together to Karachi for a session with Jung Group’s Top Management, Rohinton charmed everyone with his presentation on Digital and Internet and Mobile and had to repeat it thrice on popular demand and he happily obliged.

Rohinton called me on my son Prasann completing one month from Bangkok, where he was on a holiday and he never forgot to wish my daughter on her birthday. Rohinton had bought a new house near Ambi Valley and happily shared it with a common friend on his marriage anniversary like he did with his house in Alibagh.

Rohinton was always full of new ideas and I called him the crazy Parsi (actually I know quite a few of them) and normally always managed to excite me about his ideas.

Rohinton, being the entrepereneur that he was, always tried to guide me. Recently, both of us discussed where our industry was heading and his and mine style of working and quipped in his email to me in response to something I had said to him, “I can work for you for the same amt.... 40lacs a month is gud! Just get me a gud spellchecker s/w... 20$s. And, no, I am not a “solo” player/operator.... as some may think.....”

Rohinton always had a viewpoint and an input on what we did at e4m. He recently asked me about the Impact Person of the Year and if there were any new names. I jokingly said, ‘my name is not there’. To which Rohinton replied, “You have to be in the Forbes’ global list. You will be there, I know.” Rohinton always believed in me and us and what we did. The admiration was mutual.

Rohinton’s last email to me was his desire to attend the Jethro Tull and Anoushka Shankar show. When Hormazd called me on Saturday and I mentioned to him about this last email exchange, Hormazd told me that they were both supposed to go together and now the show was not happening.

Rohinton truly embodied the Joi de Vivre. Rohinton, you will always be in my heart and our hearts and we will always remember you.

(Anurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, exchange4media)

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