RAJAN NARAYAN, MY FORMER BOSS WAS A MENTOR! BY SUSAN REBELO

Rajan Narayan, editor of Goan Observer, in wealthier, healthier times (former chief minister, Digambar Kamat, recently said ‘Wealth is Health’)!

By Susan Rebelo

WOULD you like to come and work with me?“ The word “with” and “for” was what struck me the most in the question asked by my former boss in 1997 – then editor of the OHeraldo – namely, Rajan Narayan. Perhaps it reassured me that here was someone who would not so much be my boss, but a mentor as well as a friend.
I first worked in the Editorial section and later was in charge of the most important task of editing the editorial. They were straight forward edits sometimes handwritten or most often dictated by him. Though they were extremely thought-provoking and hard-hitting, I sometimes found it hard to decipher both his dictation and his handwritten edits.
Interestingly, there was this funny episode (which I can now see the humor in) when Rajan asked me over the phone “Don’t loose the edit” and I very distinctly heard “Don’t use the edit.” So the next day when the edit did not appear, I was questioned by Rajan but in a very calm voice, unlike any other boss who would have thrown a fit.
Some may disagree about his temper, which I had only heard about. So much so that I had even turned down working with him the first time I was offered the post. But then Rajan sat me down and explained past events to me which involved him being beaten up by goons when he was trying to get some justice done. This, coupled with his steroidal medications, occasionally led to his sudden outbursts of anger off and on. He was in physical pain. However, fortunately for me, I never ever saw this side of Rajan.
I first head of Rajan Narayan during the Konkani agitation in Goa. When he had created such a strong awakening in the pages of the Herald in support of the language. Never did I think I would one day be working with someone who had so much of wisdom and experience to share as a journalist.
As a mentor, he taught me that no one is superior or inferior to you — be it a politician, a leader or even the king. My job was only to bring out the truth with no fear or prejudice. And this I did in my seven years of working at the OHeraldo.
I whole heartedly congratulate Rajan for this much deserving lifetime achievement award, especially for his unflinching work that he has done for Goa and the people of this state, which I am sure he will continue to do so until his last breath. All the best to you, Sir! Goa still needs you — more so now than ever.

(Note: This tribute was written before the news came of the lifetime achievement being withdrawn at the very last moment for reasons best known to the Goa Union of Journalists .)

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