Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Remembering ‘The Blitz’


Flipping Through my diary 2008 …

 The World of Journalism becomes poorer by the sudden death of Rustom Khurshedji Karanjia, the editor of the Blitz, a magazine that reveled in felling many a bad sky during its regime. The prominent place Karanjia had occupied in the portals of journalism will never get filled-up. True to his journal’s mantras – ‘Free, Frank and Fearlessness’, and the masthead of a bulldog-- Russi Karanjia, with a rare daredevilry, uncovered corruption in all walks of life.

 Blitz never trotted on beaten tracks like its fellow-journals who, for their existence, chose to play safe. Being a different mettle, and a wrought iron at that, Karanjia took up cudgels against corruption and aberrations in public life; unmasked those who’d used their positions and public offices for their self-aggrandizements; and he thus caused ripples in the stagnant waters of Indian journalism. A true, no nonsense investigative journalist, Karanjia strove hard to bring cleanliness and order in public life thru various scoops and investigations, which stoked fires of a neo idealism in the young and budding minds of his days.

 Quality Journalism and honest reporting of truth were the watchwords of the Blitz. Features like ‘The Last Page’ by Mr. Abbas, and the ‘I don’t know son’ humor lines heightened the mag’s standard and brought to its fold scores of young and old. I still remember that I’d walked miles from my house just to get a copy of the paper every Saturday from a faraway railway bookstall. I never regret having done so because Blitz had then become one of my acquired tastes and, holding the paper on hand, I tried to convey to the youth of my age that I was a notch or two higher than them in realm of knowledge and intelligence.

On the flip side, damsels [with wardrobe malfunctions] appeared in the pin-up columns of the journal hooked us every week and made our young hearts palpitate so rapidly. We were thrilled and excited when the pin-up girls started doing rounds in the classroom under the cover of note books. But as bad luck had it, our caressing of the girls with our eyes would not last long. For, our History Prof, a la Vishwamitra, caught us red handed many times and sent us out of the class as punishment. But then, such a happening came as a blessing in disguise for us and enabled us to go to a nearby theatre and watch an English movie more profane than the pin-up girls.

 I got all my memories and thoughts of Blitz relived when I recently read Mr. Sainath’s tribute to Karanjia in ‘The Hindu’. The fact that Karanjia had memory loss at the fag end of his life triggered me thinking: how could a colossus of intelligence, a sterling journalist of great acumen, and a fire-breathing dragon loose his memories and live with a mind, so bald and blank. I still keep some of the back copies of the paper in my scrapbook as my treasure-troves. Whenever I glance at them I feel as if I’m being transported back to the world of my youth, - my dreamland-, which in every respect was different and distinct from the intriguing one that’s going around me now.


Image courtesy: Google

22 comments:

  1. My heart-felt thanks for your visit and comments.

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  2. An excellent tribute and an enjoyable read Easwar.

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  3. Easwarji, your tribute did refuell those memories of the magazine, the last page by Abbas and yes the witty "Yes my son" page.

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  4. An excellent tribute which also brought me back my
    childhood memories.

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  5. Excellent write up and a great tribute!

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  6. Blitz indeed was true to its tagline of Free Frank and Fearless! A tabloid in its true sense!!

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  7. Beautiful flow of words and equally good vocabulary. Readers delight !

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  8. Sir Rustom Khurshedji Karanjia would sure be remembered for his work! May his soul rest in peace.
    Memory loss at old age is indeed excruciating both for the person as well as for people around!

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  9. Karanjia had his own style in many matters.Anyway a journalist will not have true friends for different reasons.I could say it through my experience.Nice write-up...!

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  10. I didn't know this magazine, my poor GK. But a great write, it sounds invaluable.

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  11. U really made me travel down the memory lane.i was a die hard fan of Blitz and Karanjia too.In this time of paid journalism these are some gems we all look upto .Great piece.

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  12. thanks for sharing the past sir !! i frankly had no clue about the mag

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  13. Great post :)
    And a great tribute too !

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  14. Have not heard about this mag earlier.....Superb post.

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  15. In the formative days of my life I would read the fiery weekly Blitz every week at the local library. The nature of his fearless journalism would ever imbue the best of the minds from the Fourth Estate with a zeal to come forward to fight in a relentless manner through coverage and incisive words. Your tribute to the great master of Indian journalism is sincerely appreciated.

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  16. Loved the tribute Sir. thank you for introducing me to this legendary character.

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  18. wonderful way of tribute.. an excellent write up sir.

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  19. I was not aware of this part of history. Thanks for sharing.

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