This column is my attempt to (in addition to doing something other than programing, eating and HBO’ing) tell (Indians and) the world about some of the wonderful writers of India known for their incomparable style.
In this week, we take a look at a person whose lines “Some of my best friends are people” made him a common mans’ favourite in Bombay (use of Bombay is more appropriate for the rest of this article). When he passed away, Afternoon Despatch & Courier, the newspaper he edited, had to discontinue its regular Letter page for upto six months just to accommodate the tributes that flowed in from his legion of readers around the world.
He began his career in the Free Press Journal in 1955, then went on to join the Times of India where he introduced Busybee to Bombay in 1985 through the Evening News of India. Behram Contractor continued to be a reporter with the Time until 1979, when he started Mid-Day as Chief Reporter. In 1985, when he quit Mid-Day as executive editor, to start his own newspaper, thhe Afternoon Despatch & Courier, Behram Contractor was already Bombay’s most popular editor.
As Busybee he wrote the “eating out ” section that still continues to be one of the best guides to eating out in Bombay. Funny with so many blogs around, very few talk about eating places of our country! I can almost imagine myself commuting for a couple of hours daily, reading his enormously humourous accounts of Bombay and its citizens and his wife whom he called “the wife”. Some of his works can be read here and here . Nothing like returning home from work and reading stuff that makes you feel that someone somewhere had a day as bad as you and when you read it you feel it was funny!!..energises you, at least enough to face your wife and children! I can only imagine how much fun it would be to discuss his latest “round about”s with friends.
I would like to thank Oriana Communications for providing Busybees work online.