Friday, 31 October 2014

Book Excerpts: Round and About by Busybee


Few know him as Behram Contractor (1930 - 2001). For the reading world, he was and always will be - Busybee. A casual observer of public life and its spontaneous commentator, Busybee wrote for the Bombay editions of The Times of India, The Free Press Journal and finally The Afternoon, his own newspaper.

Round and about was the famous column series that Busybee wrote. Many call it a newspaper editorial; Busybee did express his opinion in the column, but always for the laughs. There was a simplicity in the humour and a motley group of additional characters (dog, children, wife) added to the appeal. As adorable were the accompanying sketches by cartoonist Mario Miranda (1926 - 2011).

You may read more about Busybee in this striking obituary (click link & scroll down to read) by the mercurial Khushwant Singh (1915 - 2014).


The following extract is from a 1972 edition of Round and about (a collection of previously published articles). The Indian cricket team had recently registered historic test series wins in England and West Indies. Here is Busybee on the cricketers:

One of the problems that the big employers of our Test cricketers are facing is what to do with them when they are not playing cricket.
And it is not the fault of the cricketers. They have been playing so long and so well that they have forgotten how to work. Some of them have even forgotten who they are working for. 
For instance, I am told that the day after the team arrived, Wadekar went to the Bank of India instead of the State Bank. Asked what he was doing there, he said,"I know I am employed by a bank, but I have forgotten which bank."
Solkar's case is even more to the point. It seems that all last week he has been either standing like a rock or falling all over the Mafatlal offices, depending on whether he is under the impression that he is giving stand to Bedi at Lords or fielding at the Kennington Oval. 
And a director of the ACC was telling me: "You may be surprised to hear this, but Sardesai has forgotten how to make cement."            
I am getting similar reports from all over the country. Some of the cricketers are still walking on red carpets, others opening gifts that have received from all sorts of manufacturers. And it seems most of them stay away from work every time it rains.       


(Article by Snehith Kumbla)

No comments:

Post a Comment