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   There are times when I regret... (August 3, 1990)

There are times when I regret the fact that most of my colleagues and contemporaties have retired and are living lives of peace and comfort while I still have to go to work every morning and earn a living.

Happiest among my contemporaries must be M.S. Kottaray, who worked as a scheduling clerk, one by one, in almost all the Times publications, and who, after a life of not excessive work, has taken a bucolic retirement, first at a swamiji's ashram in Nashik and now at a family poultry farm in Karjat. He spends his days, praying, contemplating and watching the hens lay the eggs, though it is not his duty to watch that.

My old chief reporter, V.N. Bhushan Rao, has preferred to remain in Bombay, a city where during his working life he secured himself a house and enough money to retire on. He still does send an occasional story to the Daily Telegraph in London, but less and less each year.

D.F. Thomas, who was hyperactive in his working days and made both his life and the lives of those working under him miserable, has become a truly retired gentleman in his old age. He has exchanged his house in Bombay for a better one in Koregaon Park in Pune, and he spends his time praising Poona bread, reading the Poona Herald, and travelling to Bombay once a month by the Deccan Queen to visit the Royal Asiatic Society Library and Mr. Shanbagh's Strand Bookstall.

My other chief reporter, B. Sheshagiri Rao, who did not have the wisdom to save enough money for his retirement, spends his time writing biographies of other retired personalities. It is a pleasant occupation, not too demanding. Though in his case, I think, it is only semi-retirement. Still, he does not have to get up in the morning and rush to work, even on Saturdays.

My friend, V.T. Deshpande, edited a paper in Belgaum after retirement, but now he has retired from that also. And K.N. Prabhu, once India's greatest cricket correspondent, now writes an occasional literary piece and watches old MGM musicals on him video.

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