What one is born as is God’s gift to man;
What one becomes is man’s gift to God. —Anon
I was much saddened to read this morning about the death of B.S. Mani (Balasubramanian), the Editor-Founder of, probably, the first Kannada evening newspaper of Bangalore, ‘Sanjevani,’ which remains even today the most popular Kannada eveninger of Bengaluru. It has since expanded and is published from Mysuru too as an eveninger. He also published a Tamil daily called ‘Dinasudar.’ Being a Tamilian that he ventured into Kannada journalism also is much to be commended. It was a visionary decision at a time when one thought it would be impossible to make it a success of a Kannada eveninger.
I first met Mani when in 1989 I personally went to see him in his Queen’s Road Press and Office. I had an introduction from a Marketing Manager of an offset rotary printing machine supplier, a Bangalore man operating from Mumbai Office. The press building was small and the machine room was cluttered with hardly any space to move freely making one wonder at the manoeuvring skill of the men employed to handle the machine. There was a lesson for me too, said Mani who took me around to show the place.
Later over coffee and biscuits, he spoke to me about himself, how he started the press, his close contact with DMK leader M. Karunanidhi and also the Karnataka political honchos. He was not patronising but was guiding me on right lines in selecting a rotary offset machine, procuring of newsprints, inks, plates and related machines. Though I was told that he was a man of few words, it was not true at least when I met him on that day.
As I was about to leave, I remembered the most important request I was to make and in fact it was the very reason I was to meet him — if he could get me a printer for the rotary offset machine I was going to buy. I thought he would say, as usual with mos...more