Do I know the man? That’s the first question that came to mind, when the subject of this piece called to ask for my thoughts on ‘Bipin Pandit’, in the form of a written article. All I knew was that he’s handled many a prestigious event for the Ad Club, Bombay. I knew that he has a keen interest in music. I knew for sure that he is a pleasure to interact with. And I knew that he’s a delightful comrade who helps get things done, as long as you’re reasonable. But was all that evidence enough to write on the person? No, I thought. The more I thought about it, I started wondering, ‘Why not?’ On second thoughts, I realised that there are some people with whom a comfort equation is formed over time, if not in the first interaction. For me, Bipinji, as I have come to call him, has evolved to become a comfort zone. This evolution and his warmth have had nothing to do with the fact that I was from the media fraternity. I realised this soon. And this understanding was underlined when I ceased to be the editor of an advertising and media magazine – one that diligently reported and partnered most events of the Ad Club, Bombay. There are some instances which are top of mind, from among my many interactions with Bipinji. I remember the passionate calls he would make diligently, to urge me to do what I thought was ‘fair and right’ in our coverage of events. I also remember a call from him post our coverage of an event, where our reporter had written one (arguably) unfavourable line in an article of a few pages. His only plea was: ‘You could have asked for our point of view too, on the issue.’ He couldn’t have been fairer; he couldn’t have been more passionate about The Ad Club, Bombay; he couldn’t have been more professional in the way he brought up the issue. These are the things which make people like Bipinji endearing. I continue to enjoy my conversations with him. And I continue to admire the way he culls out points of view on key developments, and key stories, from those conversations, and brings in his own perspectives. At a time when (even) some Public Relations professionals continuously remind you that your position, and the media house you belong to, will determine how (and how frequently) they interact with you, Bipinji has been a revelation. Never mind those who make fun of him for things other than his stage humour – they are either pseudo-sophisticates who mock at his simplicity, or they simply don’t know him. I do, and I am grateful that I do. Simplicity, and warmth, make Bipin Pandit what he is.

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