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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Piroj Wadia

Piroj Wadia
The last time I met Piroj was in 2013 when I was in Bombay. I was getting ready to meet her next month when I’d be in Bombay again after a gap of four long years.

But my friend has decided to leave, abruptly and all too suddenly. 

We met at what used to the Wayside Inn, that unique Kala Ghoda eatery that had turned into a nondescript Asian food place. We were happy to meet each other, after so many years. We couldn’t recall when we had last met before that afternoon. I’d called her in 2011 when I was in Bombay, but we couldn’t meet then.

Decades had gone by from the time when we worked together at The Daily, where she’d become the features editor. Her sojourn at The Daily wouldn’t last long because by then (the late 1980s, early 1990s), the tabloid had transmogrified into something rather strange; different from what it was during RK Karanjia’s times. 

There were swift turnarounds in the editorial department, many talented and some not-so-talented journalists came and left. Piroj, along with a few others, were holding a rapidly crumbling edifice of a once-great institution. She left to return to active entertainment journalism, the field she had come from. 

At our lunch in 2013, it didn’t seem like we were meeting after decades. We picked up threads of incidences from our shared past. I had ceased to be an active journalist for nearly two decades. I was keen to know about people who were once so important to our professional lives. Piroj knew where everyone was and how they’d reached where they were. The afternoon evaporated in reverie and nostalgia. It felt great talking to her.

We left promising each other to exchange emails more frequently and, of course, to interact on Facebook. But life has its own agenda, and when you live in a different time zone, it becomes impossible to translate your concern into anything tangible. She sent me a clipping from a feature she did on Parsis in Hindi cinema for a Parsi magazine in Dubai, and we did exchange emails on occasions.

She wrote about her deteriorating health and how she was actively scouting for assignments. I tried to assist her by reconnecting her with common friends but nothing apparently came of it. 
I wish I could’ve been of help to her.  

Farewell, my friend. You’re being missed.

Read a book review by Piroj for my blog: Two tales and a city

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