Sunday, December 16, 2007


When people we have learnt from and admired suddenly die, it leaves you rudderless and shell-shocked. I first met Tejeshwar Singh when I walked into his office in early December 2003, a young desk editor at Sage Publications. I was being guided around the office and introduced to everyone and this was the last stop. T.S., as everyone in office called him, looked up at me over his glasses, the cigarette in his hand sending up smoky spirals to join the steam leaving his black coffee, and welcomed me to Sage.

Over the next 3 years he grew from distant, scary boss to a closer ally and a colleague, though still scary from time to time. We double-checked all our work, fearing that he would catch a mistake we hadn't, and summon us with a P.D. (Please Discuss) scrawled in his characteristic red ball-point writing.

I last met him at my wedding. He gifted me cash ('the easy way out', he wrote) and a card in which I have his handwriting preserved forever. He was not too happy that marriage was taking me away from Delhi and Sage, and said so, swelling me with pride at all I had achieved in those 3 years in a company I had loved belonging to.

Now, when I look back at Sage and feel like going back in time, I know that the memory is only perfect in recollection, that with T.S. missing, I can no longer go back to it and relive it in its entirety.

I had been in touch with T.S. over the last year and I never thought our association was over. I sometimes thought we might work again someday. Or that he may start another publishing house after he realised he'd retired too early. He was a young 60. Full of ideas and knowledge that he needed to share. And I have so much left to learn.


dipali said...

TS had been an institution in Delhi as a newsreader on Doordarshan. I'd known his wife for years, but since I left Delhi in 1979, our contact was sporadic. We'd had dinner at their house a few years ago, and TS was a warm and lively host. His sudden death has been a great shock to many,
hard to come to terms with.
Profound sympathies, Anamika.

Anamika said...

Dipali: Thanks. So you knew him too. Small world.

eve's lungs said...

Sympathies Anamika . Tejeshwar Singh was a part of growing up . You were indeed lucky to have known him personally.

Anamika said...

Eve's Lungs: I know, he really was, na? DD news just doesn't seem the same anymore, especially amid the more glitzy news channels. But yes, I am very lucky to have known him and also to have worked with and learnt from him.

Aunty g said...

Oh dear, this is indeed sad news! We loved him and his warm voice as a newsreader.
Anamika, cherish, dear, don't lament!

Anamika said...

Aunty G: Thanks. I knew I'd hear wisdom in your comment.

Rrishi said...

Anamika, the photo of TS is really good.

For my part I hoped he would go into radio drama. He said something like that after he left -- actually, on my last day at Sage. Would've liked to do something like that with TS. For lots of reasons a great waste, his death.