On Sunday, blog-searching, I came upon the blog of JP Rangaswami, confusedofcalcutta.com. That was fortuitous indeed. JP and I were in the same class in college, at St Xavier’s College, Calcutta. The last time I saw him was in 1980, just before he left Calcutta for the UK.
JP is presently CIO of a major European investment bank, he has been in the “information” sector for 25 years. His blog is widely read and discussed in that professional / knowledge community. Which is not surprising, because JP was always an outstanding, gifted, large-hearted - and maverick - character. In so many ways was I formed in my college years - 16-19 - by exposure to JP, he was a window to a wider world. And now, after all these years, to have stumbled upon JP’s blog soon after I started blogging – is fortuitous indeed!
Through JP’s being in my class, I became acquainted with his father, the late CS Rangaswami. He published the paper Indian Finance from Calcutta. My father had been in school with JP’s father, both of them had the name Raju. JP’s grandfather and my grandfather also knew each other, being among the early south Indian settlers in Calcutta, and founding members of Tamil cultural organisations. JP’s grandfather was a man of considerable accomplishments.
After an initial attitude of aloofness and disinterest, CS opened up to me and we became very close. Thanks to him, my first pieces of writing were for Indian Finance. He was the first adult to relate to me like an adult, to give me a sense of self-worth. I valued his opinion, and he was very generous with his encouragement. And above all, he was a warm, affectionate and caring person to those whom he liked. He was like a father to me, intellectually speaking. He passed away suddenly in 1980. But he will always remains alive in my memory.
CS would have been proud of JP, as I am of my guru bhai (preceptor-brother). And the city of Calcutta should be proud of this son, and so its only fitting that for his blog he uses the name of the city where he grew up.
All strength to you JP, may your outstanding accomplishments never cease and may you continue to give pride and joy to your family and friends.