Tag Archives: ADC

And Asia’s second oldest newspaper is…

Asia’s second oldest newspaper, the Bombay-based Parsi daily, Jam-e-Jamshed, turns 180 years old this year. Its editor Shernaaz Engineer, a former journalist with the Afternoon Despatch & Courier, in conversation with Prabhat Sharan of Deccan Herald:

What does Jam-e-Jamshed mean? And is the origin of newspaper connected to the growth ofMumbai as a trade post in the early 19th century?

Jam-e-Jamshed is the second oldest newspaper in Asia; the first being Mumbai Samachar, which interestingly still comes out from the same place where it was started. Jam-e-Jamshed also had its own iconic red brick building at Ballard Pier near Mumbai Docks before shifting out.

In Persian language, Jam-e-Jamshed means the goblet in which you can see the future. The paper was started by the extremely influential Marzban family of Mumbai. This was the time when Gujaratis, Parsis and Bohras—the three key trading communities—were slowly establishing themselves in and around Mumbai port.

And with the trade bourse coming up, the emergence of  a newspaper was bound to be there. And the first newspapers carried reports primarily revolving around businesses in Europe as well as events that affected the Indian sub-continent then.

But has the newspaper always been catering to Parsis? Did it have a spectrum of diverse readership from other communities?

The newspaper primarily had a readership from the trading communities. And Parsis, of course, comprised a major chunk. But then other huge chunk of readership came from the Bohra community. Both are  business communities. And since Parsis are the original “argumentative Indians” the newspaper also had moorings in carrying extreme views and debates on every topic on the earth.

Read the full interview: Providing a platform to Parsis


TOI reports first Indian sub’s death after 22 days

The Times of India doesn’t usually run obituaries of its staffers. But the paper makes an exception today, June 22, to mark the demise of its first Indian employee who passed away on June 1:

“Veteran journalist, historian and author Alfred D’Cruz died in Bandra after a brief illness. He is believed to be the first Indian to have been employed by the editorial department of The Times of India way back in 1947. D’Cruz was 91. D’Cruz is survived by his son and three daughters, one of whom was also employed at TOI.

“D’Cruz was handpicked for the job by the then British editor, Sir Francis Low. “There were no Indians as part of the editorial team at the time. My father often recalled working till 4am, struggling with the hot metal press to prepare the blocks for photographs because computers were yet to arrive on the scene,” his son Sunil said from Muscat.

“In 1982, D’Cruz retired as editor of TOI‘s ‘Who’s Who’ yearbook but remained active for years after that. At the age of 69, he joined a newspaper in the Gulf and worked there until the Gulf War.”

Let the record state that the news of D’Cruz’s death was reported by the Bombay-based Afternoon Despatch & Courier on June 7 and the Oman Observer on June 14 and The Times of India on June 22.

The obituary in the Oman Observer records:

Writing under the pseudonym Afie, Alfred D’Cruz was the only scribe to write the Round & About column in the Evening News of India [the now-defunct evening newspaper from The Times of India group] for some time when the late ‘Busybee’ [Behram Contractor] was on leave.

Also read: Tarun Sehrwat, 22 and killed in the line of duty

Chari, a lens legend at The Hindu

Harishchandra Lachke: A pioneering cartoonist

T.N. Shanbag: Man who educated Bombay journos

Rajan Bala: cricket writer of cricket writers

Jyoti Sanyal: The language terrorist and teacher

Russy Karanjia: The bulldog of an editor

Sabina Sehgal Saikia: The resident food writer

M.G. Moinuddin: The self-taught newspaper designer

Naresh Chandra Rajkhowa: Journo who broke Dalai Lama story

J. Dey: When eagles are silent, parrots jabber

E. Raghavan: Ex-ET, TOI, Vijaya Karnataka editor

Prakash Kardaley: When god cries when the best arrive

Pratima Puri: India’s first TV news reader passes away

Tejeshwar Singh: A baritone falls silent watching the cacophony

N.S. Jagannathan: Ex-editor of Indian Express

K.M. Mathew: chief of editor of Malayala Manorama

Amita Malik: the ‘first lady of Indian media’


K.R. Prahlad: In the end, death becomes a one-liner

M.R. Shivanna: A 24×7 journalist is no more

C.P. Chinnappa: A song for an unsung hero

RAJAN BALA: Cricketers, write your own columns

KPN photo

The death of the veteran cricket writer Rajan Bala has thankfully not gone unnoticed.

ANI reveals that his real name was Natarajan Balasubramaniam. Cricinfo, the Bhagwad Gita of the Beautiful Game, has a short obituary. The Times of India‘s Satish Vishwanathan uses a Sachin Tendulkar anecdote to demonstrate Bala’s hold.

His protege, Suresh Menon, writes of walking into the offices of Deccan Herald in Bangalore over a quarter of a century ago:

“On my first day at work, fresh out of university, I asked hesitantly, “Is it all right to smoke in here?” and was welcomed with the memorable words: “So long as you don’t f**k on my table, you can do what you want.”

Here, Hemant Kenkre, the former Cricket Club of India captain, a first cousin of the legendary Indian opening batsman, Sunil Gavaskar, pays tribute.


hemant kenkre

By HEMANT KENKRE in Singapore

I first met Rajan Bala when he came with Sunil Gavaskar to our family house at Forjett Hill in 1971.

The 21-year old maestro had just come back after his epic debut in the Caribbean islands and had brought along Rajan when he came to meet his uncle, Shashikant Gavaskar. As a 13-year old, I listened, with rapt attention, the discussion (on cricket) they had which went on till the wee hours.

Over the years, I kept reading Rajan’s columns in newspapers where he held forth as the sports editor—from Calcutta, Chennai to Mumbai. His views were always forthright and came straight from his heart.

Whether one agreed with them or not, one always admired the way he put things/issues in perspective. Whatever the topic, Rajan had a distinct and a unique point of view.

Once Rajan was convinced that a person had talent, he would back him to the hilt, irrespective of the player’s performance!

A cricket romantic to the core, Rajan essentially belonged to the era of the ’70s, the days when international cricketers carried small kit-bags containing sparse equipment; a bat, few clothes and necessary guards.

The days when Walkmans and iPods did not keep cricketers from discussing the game and the times when cricketers (most of them)—after a game—went straight to the bar before they went into their rooms.

M.A.K. (Tiger) Pataudi, M.L. Jaisimha, Bishen Bedi, Ajit Wadekar, Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwat Chandrasekar, Gundappa Viswanath, Dilip Sardesai, Salim Durrani, Eknath Solkar and Gavaskar were some of the super humans whom Rajan made superheroes with this dispatches and columns.

Jaisimha, in particular was one of Rajan’s favourite cricketers.

I distinctly remember meeting and travelling with Jaisimha during the India-England series (1992) and the many post-match drinks (not cocktails, mind you) that the debonair Hyderabadi shared with Rajan.

From Chennai to Jamshedpur, most of my evenings were spent in the company of these two titans, soaking in stories about Sir Garfield Sobers and Rohan Kanhai, Pataudi, Wadekar and Gavaskar, and about the trials and tribulations that Indian cricket went through during the ’60s and ’70s.

Rajan was also a keen music buff. Knowing my how obsessed I was with Rahul Dev (Pancham) Burman, it was Rajan who told me stories about Dilip Naik, the guitarist who played most of his opening riffs from Teesri Manzil onwards.

He used to narrate graphic stories about Sachin Dev Burman’s exploits with the tennis racket while he sipped his drink in the company of his senior K.N. (Niran) Prabhu, (Matunga Gym friend) K. Satyamurthy and Priya (Rajan’s lovely wife) after a hard day at work.

It was his encouragement—having given me a weekly column in the Bombay tabloid Afternoon Despatch & Courier (ADC)—that made me write on the game. His (tongue in cheek) quip then still rings in my ear: “You know son, cricketers should write their own columns.”

Whatever the opinions that people may have about Rajan, I will always remember him as not just one who loved the game as a passionate romantic but someone that understood Indian cricket.

Wherever he is, I know, for sure, he is in the company of his mates including Jaisimha sipping a drink and discussing whether two-sided bats, power-plays and the reverse sweep are good for cricket.

RIP Rajan: I will always miss you, and thanks for everything!

Also read: Rajan Bala, a stellar cricket writer, is no more

For our own cricket correspondent, Rajan Bala