This is a post long long overdue. Was out of town when I heard about this. And yes, it shook the hell out of me, in more than one way.
I am sure by now, everyone would know. Mr Ayaz Memon, Editor, DNA, has put in his papers. There were guesses that politics played its part, in a rather ugly way. What happened? I don’t know. Actually, I don’t want to know.
The first reaction, but obviously, was, BUT HOW?
It’s not like people don’t quit. Hell yes, they do. But having worked with Ayaz for more than a year, I KNOW what the publication means to him, and he couldn’t have quit just like that.
The man was looked up to for more than one reason. The taskmaster that he was, the way he dealt with slackers, and yes, the way he patched up with them the next day. His irrevocable energy, his spirit, his ideas, his motivation to think, emphasis on quality, everything! And most importantly, the fact that he NEVER ever looked down on his subordinates, no matter how junior they were to him. I was a fucking trainee when he came over and INTRODCUED himself to me on my first day at DNA. Who does that?
In that one year, there were N number of instances when I hated him… a lot! There were times when I felt he was overtly demanding, unreasonable, way too ambitious, far from grounded, hell moody and so unpredictable. Today, when I look back, ironically, his ambitions seem like worthy aspirations. And his mood swings? Somehow, I don’t mind that as much. Bosses tend to be moody, I guess.
I learned a lot under him. It meant a lot, for a newbie like me, to interact with a stalwart like him, that too on a daily basis. One day, when I was harrowed with work, Ayaz came, and asked what I was up to. I gave the shortest reply possible - ‘Pages’. Just like that, he took me by my arm, and announced, ‘We are going to watch a match!’ I refused, giving the usual ‘No. Too much work’ crap. But he didn’t listen. That day, I saw the India – Australia match at Wankhede. His gesture meant a lot. I don’t work for him anymore. But even today, I have that ticket pinned up on my desk. Thanks Ayaz sir. Thank you.
Now that his name isn’t synonymous with DNA, all I (read: we) can do is wait, for his next project. I can only imagine how GOOD it would be. Maybe he will write a book. In fact, it’s surprising he hasn’t written one already cause that man has an anecdote to share about anyone, just anyone!
Lastly, here’s a list of choicest quotable quotes by the man himself, the ones I remember and treasure. Sounds like I am sucking up? Hell yes, I am.
Opinions are free. News is sacrosanct.
Where’s the BRIEF? And where’s the REPORTAGE?
Let quotes be damned and hanged.
Don’t put the cart before the horse.
This means you don’t know your onions! *referring to a fuck up*