A Letter by Indranil Roy
When he first came into journalism ,it was a few months after Kapil Dev lifted the Prudential Cup on the Lord’s Balcony.
On 2nd April 2011,the day MS Dhoni lifted the ICC World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium , entire first page of Anandabazar Patrika had the match report written by ,you guessed it right,Gautam Bhattacharya .
For number -crunchers , that makes Gautam’s innings in Journalism an awesome 29 years or 10,585 days not out and counting .
And throughout this long innings ,Harold Larwood to Sourav Ganguly , Shah Rukh Khan to Vidya Balan , Aparna Sen to Prasenjit , Princess Diana to Diego Maradona , Mithun Chakraborty to Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi , all have all opened their hearts in front of him .
In fact, talking about his individual stories in such a long innings can be a blasphemous but still some come to mind immediately .
From India it was only Gautam who ever interviewed Steffi Graf’s father Peter Graf or tennis legend Jimmy Connors.
He was also the only Indian journalist who ever entered a super exclusive party hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa
And we’re of course excluding his visit to Don’s house in Adelaide or being the last journalist to interview Dev Anand.
Finally,who can forget his eight column story on the Greg Chappell e mail leak which changed the course of Indian Cricket . Phew! From being threatened by Mumbai underworld dons to being literally worshipped by his loyal readers ,it has been truly been a memorable 29 years for him.
And all these years have seen Gautam writing 22 books , presently Editing the Sports and Patrika department of ABP with elan and panache and being the Associate Editor of Ananda Bazar Patrika.
It’s time actually for us to say Jay He to this modern day wordsmith.