For 36 years after he created Busybee, India's most widely-read nom de plume, majority of his readers did not know that the distinguished editor and journalist Behram Contractor was also the quirky Busybee. That's because the name Behram Contractor was a recognised as Busybee's. Here, was a journalist who rose to great heights of distinction in the media, first as a brilliant reporter, then an editor with a vision far ahead of his times.
He began his career in the Free Press Journal in 1955, then went on to join the Times of India where he introduced Busybee to Bombay in 1985 through the Evening News of India. Behram Contractor continued to be a reporter with the Time until 1979, when he started Mid-Day as Chief Reporter. In 1985, when he quit Mid-Day as executive editor, to start his own newspaper, thhe Afternoon Despatch & Courier, Behram Contractor was already Bombay's most popular editor.
As Busybee, he wrote the hugely successful Round and About. And also a very tasteful column on restaurant called Busybbe's Guide To Eating Out.
As Behram Contractor, he continued to report on whatever called for his unmatched skill of observance and description. He also did a series of celebbrity interviews that brought out sides to personalities like Amitabh Bachchan and Balasaheb Thackeray, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Godman Chadraswami, that nobody had read of before. And Behram Contractor did evocative edit page articles and colourful travelogues. For all of which he was honoured with numerous awards, including the B.D. Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism and the Indian government's Padma Shri. Secretly, unknown to any reader, Behram Contractor and Busybee hid behind the pseudonym Edward H. Phipson to write theatre, art and film reviews. When readers demanded to know who was this stylish writer, Behram Contractor would say, "Our occasional critic."