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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Old song, old colleague

Suddenly remembered Trevor Manuel, my senior colleague at the Mumbai Mirror, whom I irreverently called, "Trev," as we worked on the Mirror's World and blast pages together. I called them "blast pages" because for three consecutive months, everyday, I made those pages about the serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and Bangalore and follow-up investigative reports. My job was to sift through hundreds of pictures of blast sites (the World pages also featured Iraq and Afghanistan), sometimes 700-odd a day, to figure a few less disturbing ones to put in the paper. Trev, with his humour and stories, was a relief. Once, I was playing Eric Clapton's Tears in Heaven while doing the page when he mentioned it's one of his favourite songs. He often told me, "The only other person who calls me Trev is Sunil Gavaskar." He talked about the start of his career, how he betted on the fact that India would win the 1983 Cricket World Cup even before the match started in England because the page deadline in Bombay for printing was 5pm. After moving to Vadodara, I would make it a point to drop in at the Mirror office for a few years just to say hello to him and then my visits dwindled and stopped altogether. I learned he passed away a few years ago when his brother Mark Manuel posted on FB. It's amazing what music can bring back from the recesses of your mind.

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