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Obituary: Amitava Guha bids adieu to the world

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | November 04, 2011
Guha, the AVP media marketing at HT Media, breathed his last on November 04.

Fondly referred to as Goldie da, the fun-loving Amitava Guha breathed his last on November 4. The 56-year-old industry veteran succumbed to septicemia.

The assistant vice-president, media marketing (international business) at HT Media, is survived by his wife and a daughter. Guha started his career with the Ananda Bazar Patrika Group in Kolkata and later on he moved to Mumbai and was associated with several advertising agencies. In 1986 he shifted to Delhi and made a comeback in media by joining The Times of India. After a few years, in 1992, he moved to Hindustan Times as advertising manager and handled many key positions at the company.

This arts graduate from St Xavier's College, Kolkata, who was known for his sound advice and fun-loving nature, strongly believed in the adage 'have food as medicine, else you will have medicine as food'. He was cremated at the Lodhi Crematorium, Delhi.

"He gave us lots of reading material on marketing, readership and consumer behaviour, and stressed on the need for knowledge. He believed that knowledge is very important and he always told us to remember that we sell mind products," says R Rajmohan, whose association with Guha dates back to 1987, when Rajmohan was interviewed for the post of a trainee at The Times of India, with Guha on the interview board. Rajmohan also worked with him at Hindustan Times, and over the years, Guha became his close friend.

"He was a wonderful person, and was a close friend and guide. He livened up the atmosphere wherever he went," recalls Rajmohan.

Another ex-colleague, Biswadeep Ghosh, editor, Pune Times (a lifestyle and entertainment supplement by The Times of India), remembers Guha as an exceptionally tall guy, who was full of life. "I remember this peculiar thing he always used to do back in the '90s, when I worked with him. He would run and then suddenly jump to touch the wall. That's what he was -- a child at heart, fun-loving, and always gesticulating. He was ten years younger at heart than his actual age."

Ghosh further adds that music was Guha's fuel for life. "The hard core rock music of the '60s was what he enjoyed. He would also tell me stories about how he proposed to his wife. It's a great loss to all those who knew him. You don't have people like him anymore," says Ghosh.

Remembering Guha, Rahul Thappa, chief executive officer, Mail Today, posted on a social networking site, "The media industry is poorer with the passing of Guha. Goldieji, I'll always remember you for your warmth, your sagely advice in times of trouble, and for that ever-present twinkle in your eyes. Rest in peace, for you were one of the few good men in this world."

Sanjay Bahadur, president at Marke Cerebre, who recalls a 5 am drive to the Dakshineshwar temple, near Kolkata, with Guha five years ago, wishes Guha eternal peace.

(Correction: As stated earlier, Guha did not succumb to cancer but died of septicemia. The error is regretted.)

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