It’s like a Diwali bash or a ritualistic reunion–it happens every year,
there’s a mad scramble at the nth hour despite being planned well in advance
and involves volumes of back-breaking, mind-numbing work. And though you are
relieved when it’s over, you’re already planning how you can do it better
next year–that’s what the Top 20 means for Team DQ.
For Yograj Varma, life’s been one extended excel sheet for
months–he crunched enough numbers to stop wanting popcorn. As his MSN ID said,
he is ‘Getting Numb’er’. Shubhendu Parth, buried deep in the stories that
he wrote at the pace of a tortoise but with the content quality of a lion, was
Varma’s fellow number-cruncher. He christened himself ‘One More Zero’–a
reference to the revenues of one of the companies he profiled.
Shweta Verma, with her “strategic planning and
efficiency”, was the first to hand over her stories, and leave office every
day. Likewise, Amit Sarkar too had his bunch of write-ups ready and done well in
time–perhaps that’s why he was seldom seen in Cyber House after that!
Mumbai and ED (Easwardas Satyan) were the other seldom-found
forces–the former was covered in rain, the latter in a deluge of hate mail
from the copy desk, each demanding either all of his writeups or his head,
preferably both. Composed and unassuming as always, correspondent Shrikanth G
sent his despatches from Chennai. Don’t let his wiry frame fool you–that guy
is all muscle where it counts (!), and all efficiency. Manjiri Kalghatgi used
his performance as a starting point–she finished her stories, cleaned her
copies, conceptualized the visuals, fretted and fumed and struggled with
pagination, and still found the zeal to feed us every evening. She is now
affectionately referred to as ‘Mommy’.
And given its significance on India’s IT map, Bangalore saw
hectic activity. Sarita Rani churned out write-ups, chased deadlines and worked
mostly at night–(“the days are for calling, the nights for
writing”). Surprisingly, she’s still alive after two months of
…As is the desk and DTP sitting at the Gurgaon HQ. Families–children,
husbands and wives were forgotten–as were sleep, food and bathing. Digamber
Prasad juggled with the ad department’s demands for “six strip ads on
consecutive pages, followed by one LHP of editorial matter followed by a full
page ad on the RHP”…Whew! His left arm, Paras Jain, created a new DQimca
Book (sic) record by creating 1,500 complicated graphics in 30 days–needless
to say, his only reaction on being led to a cake on his birthday was–”It
looks like a pie chart!”
DR Lohia was at his creative best (and loudest) as he tried
to shrug off Rajeev Narayan’s diktat’s on colors. But Rajeev is the boss,
and his colors (not necessarily the ideal ones) prevailed. DR managed to have
his way with the section covers though, and they are all his doing (or undoing).
RN was too busy to notice, for he took upon himself the task of attending all
the meetings that we are now globally famous for, and reading every word
published in the Top 20 issues–so any glitches that went through are his
Dhanya Krishnakumar, having got “my news pages, NAs and
FAs” out of the way, was still busy–routing data for graphics to DTP,
surfing to confirm spellings of CXO names and running to MSN to chat up her
latest collections–the latest brood of men trying to marry her. Radhika Bhuyan
was her diligent and I-have-to-get-off-the-desk self”–she got stuck in
quicksand called ‘Jharkh-and Supplement’. Surprisingly, given her (ahem)
nimble frame, she pulled herself out with remarkable ease.
Pradeepta Sengupta had reams of data to type in. He did, and
he did, and he did, and is still doing… On all working holidays (what’s a
holiday?), there were Joydev Chatterjee and his team, Yoginder and Shiv Kumar,
ensuring everything worked, there was cold water around and Team DQ had its
meals–if anyone died of hunger, who would bring out the next issue?!