Saturday, April 23, 2011

Karl Mehta R.I.P.

I knew Karl Mehta when I was executive secretary of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and he was, sort of, my boss. Well, he had quite a reputation as the publisher of Blitz, Cine Blitz and the group publications founded by Rusi Karanjia. In fact, he was Karanjia's son-in-law. He was a shrewd businessman and it was due to his efforts that ASCI was revived when they were thinking of closing it down. I was the man entrusted by him to revive ASCI. 

He had his typical Parsi quirks and once when an employee hesitated at the door to ask him permission to come in, he said, "Either you come in or you go out." He was a good boss to work for, but an exacting one. He saved my ass a few times when the then managing director of Times of India, and a few other industry biggies were out to whack my misshapen behind (meaning out to get me, do not take in literal sense, pliss!). Those were hard days for me. He used to smoke continuously and being the gourmet he was, used to instruct the cook at home what he wanted for lunch and dinner and how to cook it. 

Once while on our way to a meeting in Worli his car rammed into another one and I was thrown against the windscreen. I was shaken. Luckily no injuries resulted. Then whenever we would pass that spot he would remark, "John, you will have unpleasant memories of this place," and laugh his deep laugh. I met him a few times after that. But the news of his death in yesterday's paper was a shock. 

Karl Mehta, Rest in Peace.

1 comment:

Jason Dias said...

Hi Mr. Matthew,
I was a computer operator for Blitz when the legendary R. K. Karanjia was alive. Sarosh Bana was the executive editor. Devendra Mohan was my major influence at that time. Have you met Devendra Mohan, because it has been a long since I have met him. My name is Jason Dias, hope to hear from you soon.