27 September, 2020

Culture In His Folds

Nagarkar’s long-necked grazing on the fields of literature, films, food and his gift for friendship

Kiran Nagarkar (1942-2019)
Photograph by Amit Haralkar
Culture In His Folds
outlookindia.com
2019-09-17T17:31:46+05:30

Kiran Nagarkar lived his entire life like a bomb-defuser with ten seconds to save the Universe... whilst watching his favourite films, reading his fav­ourite books and meeting his favourite people in the same ten seconds.

He could never understand why the rest of us were so cavalier with time. He would say, in his low, alw­ays-breathless voice, his enormous hooded eyes brimming with rep­roach, “Those of you who are healthy, who don’t have to live with constant pain, who don’t struggle to breathe, don’t you see how phenomenally lucky you are?” It would be many years bef­ore I understood that he was dead serious.

I don’t remember when we met. Kiran was one of the gurus of the advertising world in that era maybe forty years ago. I was friends with Tulsi Vatsal, his life-partner. Plus, he had been a mentor to two other friends of mine, both copywriters. I remember being surprised by his appearance. In his voluminous white pajamas and fine handloom kurta, with his close-cropped hair and narrow head atop a tall...

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