What begins as a soft tune in the heart and reaches a final crescendo of…Read More →
My world gets smaller and smaller with the passing away of my ex-boss, mentor and friend Ram Ray.
As I type his name, it keeps popping up as a tag on this post.
We met 23 years back in Calcutta on an Ambuja pitch meeting and he decided to bet his office and money on me and we kickstarted Public Response the PR department of his agency Response in Calcutta.
RR was a legend and an extremely encouraging boss and mentor. A stalwart in his field and an immensely witty, creative and well-read man.
No Calcutta trip I would miss without a meal with him and he would always take out the time to see me. Encouraging me to join social media that I was averse to.
Just 6 months back one late night I was feeling daunted with my return into a world of work that had changed and ageist was the new way to make me feel lesser as a woman in a patriachal society. Most said ”come on, just take it easy now.’
But once you’re a professional you are like a bug wanting the strength of a tree bark to climb on and not be at the ground below. You need the height to see the world below with a refreshed perspective of the changing world.
I began writing and felt insecure. I once texted midnight telling him, ”RR I feel insecure, I have written some unhindered pieces and fear social isolation.” He always texted me back and he said “You just forgot who you are, welcome back “
Those words and also “well written” on some of my writings that I sent him midnight were my words of encouragement. If RR said it’s well written it must be good.
I recall a Saturday in Response as we sat to eat lunch, it was rice and mutton curry with potatoes cut the Bengali way. I missed my Ma & Baba and my home food and as the tears dropped on my plate, he picked up the largest potato from his plate and put it on mine. I burst into tears because he understood I was missing home and familiarity as a young married, lost, quintessential Delhi Bengali girl in Calcutta.
My world just shrunk with RR no more in my life on my Whatsapp. The steps, the lift to my ex-office, his room with the caution board sign and the agency would be different here on.
I just lost a mentor, a friend and the advertising world lost a guru. My heart is broken.