An impossible Person
‘‘For it was odd, nor man nor God ?br> Who had apparently put a curse on
My life, and I must pay for it ?br> Could bring me simply to admit
I might be an impossible person
But that perhaps was grounded in
My sense of being right and good ?br> A stubborn sense quite feminine
Or childish, of the love within ?br> Sorrow that it could be withstood.
Therefore I would go on in pain,
And still come back however often
Disappointed ?tug the chain
That cut the heart ?and try again,
Rather than be appeased or soften.
It would be wrong to make too long
A catalogue of miseries!
I also came to talks and books ?br> Walks by the river ?swans and rooks,
And sunset reddening through bare trees.’’

                                                                                                       
F. T. Prince

Impossibly Sohrab

Several years ago, on publication of my book of short stories (Masks and Faces), I was interviewed by Meher Pestonjee, herself a fine writer of short stories. She enquired about my next project. I told her I’d very much like to do a book on Sohrab Godrej for two reasons. One, the complexity of his character and interests and, two, the graciousness of his personality. Then again, never one to admit that he was quite an impossible man, I mused. Impossible? Meher queried. Indeed, and always seeking to make the impossible possible.

Each time I read Frank Templeton Prince’s beautiful poem (printed alongside), Sohrab comes to mind. Central to an understanding of him was the diversity of his interests eternally in conflict with his attempts to give the maximum attention to the minimum things, his restless striving. He was a 48-hour man caught in the time frame of a 24-hour day. So that working with him too could be an annoying, frustrating, sometimes bewildering experience ?tugging ‘‘the chain that cut the heart’’.

And if, at day’s end, the experience nevertheless turned out to be strangely fulfilling and enriching, it was because of his inborn graciousness, his deep-rooted conviction that noblesse oblige, his sense of conscience and of duty, ‘‘the love within ?sorrow that it could be withstood.’’

He couldn’t take things easy. He deplored the unrelieved politics of self-preservation, the flagrant neglect and pervasive corruption it produced. In the evening of his life, growing increasingly desperate, he made the fervent plea ?help bring our India up, quickly! It was like a death wish. It died with him.

He cared, his concern all-emcompassing. Unsparing of himself, punishing his body to the limit. His weakness, his strength ?he just couldn’t let things be.

 


Cartoonist R. K. Laxman’s precious gift to Sohrab still adorns the wall behind his desk.

 

Editorial Consultants
E.J. Kalwachia
A.C. Patankar

Correspondents
F.K. Khapoliwalla - Mumbai & Kolkata
Dhruv Sharma - New Delhi
Vinod Kumar - Chennai

Distributors
N.D.Bacha
S.R.Marolia

Contributing Editor
P.D.Muncherji

Copy Editor
Delshad Kumana

Assistant Editor
Rashna Ardesher

Editor
B.K.Karanjia

With this issue, the feature "Know Your Founders" ends. Still, so much remains unacknowledged, so many. Trusted men and talented managers, much before MBAs thronged the corporate horizon, who helped the founders achieve their aims against almost insuperable odds. Doughty warriors, and their rough and ready means.

Not many may be aware that under Sohrab’s inspiration ?mountaineering was a passion in his younger days ? Godrej sponsored Indo-British Himalayan expeditions to encourage the spirit of adventure in Indian youth and strengthen the goodwill ties between the two countries.

The panorama of the industrial garden township, Pirojshanagar, in pictures and in words, to commemorate a great dream and its fulfillment.

Oddities, Eccentricities, there always will be. International Friendship Days, like Forest Days, will recur. Conscientious journalists will continue penning articles Of Enduring Interest. Corporates will concern themselves increasingly with their social responsibilities, and there always will be men and women who make it their life’s work to bring succour to those less fortunate than themselves.

And always ?"sunset reddening through bare trees."


Mr. B.K.Karanjia      

   
 

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