Friday, October 27, 2006

A Column by a Busybee Called Behram

Read this column by Behram Contractor, by apro (our) own Busybee. Now don’t ask me who is Busybee and I will ask, “What, you don’t know Busybee?” Okay, okay, okay, (throwing up hands, these brash youngsters!) he belonged to another age of Irani Restaurants (not baristas), evening newspapers (Evening News from Times of India, Bulletin from Free Press), and the little column that appeared in Evening News’ last page called “Round and About” by someone called the “Busybee.”

That was another age, wasn’t it? I know, I am growing old, and when I read this piece in “The Upper Crust” magazine’s website, I went all watery in the eye. I met Behram a few times at the David Sassoon Library and we had a few common friends. He was very soft-spoken and would hardly speak a few words at a time. His writing style was something else. Brief, pithy, guaranteed to bring a smile on even the dullest of evenings. On Saturdays he started his columns thus, “Another Saturday, a few observations, a few points of view, all my own work.” And he would go on to make the most pithy and poignant observations about film stars, politicians (his politician friend who lived on the eleventh floor), Irani restaurants, brun maska, tea coffee, and the quintessential Bombay, or, what was then the quintessential Bombay.

Behram was Behram and a Busybee at that, always observing and writing in his engaging style. Folks, read it and enjoy its simplicity. His friends still miss him dearly. I wasn’t so close as to call him a friend, but I liked him and the few times we spoke the beatific smile would never leave his face. Well, as I said that was another Bombay, in another slice of time, that we all forgot.



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