I have many fond memories of visiting the offices of the Indian Newslink where we would find the charming Arin Lal and Shalini Singh be the perfect hosts, offering refreshments and on occasion some delicious Galub Jamun treats.
That was during my tenure at a newspaper print company.
Any appetite for geopolitics were nourished in conversation with the adroit Venkat Raman, who would offer a hermeneutical analysis of world events, politics and history and I would leave with a funny story or two from Ravin Lal and some jokes to share with my children. Such was the machinations at Indian Newslink that one could not help but be compelled to find reasons to visit their offices frequently.
It is a testimony to this team and Ravin in particular that this newspaper never compromised the ethical foundations which to this day underpins its very existence.
When Mark Twain, Editor, Buffalo Express was asked to comment on journalistic integrity, said, “Money is a measure but not the ultimate goal,” meaning that he would not consider putting revenue ahead of editorial candour.
I am pleased to note the Indian Newslink is one of the few newspapers which feels duty bound to retain these honourable principles in each and every edition it publishes.
As our paths diverged due to career change direct contact was lost however the fondness and respect for the Indian Newslink team led by Ravin and Venkat never left and the news of his passing was a shock one that reverberated amongst former colleagues in print.
A good leader
Ravin was a leader in many ways, one in aspect particular which I thought was deserving of more accolades is the championing of Indian business in New Zealand through the Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards. This event had done more to assimilate various cultures in New Zealand and expedited acceptance of Indian businesses than any other event. I can only imagine the work that goes into organising these events which are of the highest calibre, hosting nearly every politician in the country.
I would find Ravin and Venkat effortlessly conversing with Prime Ministers and business leaders yet never too busy to recognise and extend a warm welcome to friends and to this day I feel humbled to be able to call Ravin and Venkat a friend.
I have always thought that I would like my tombstone to be inscribed with the words “to be remembered as a great husband, loving father and successful in business.”
Ravin Lal was all of these and more, to say that he will be missed is barely capturing the truth.
Numquam oblivione delebitur (Never to be forgotten)
Arthur Lenssen is General Manager, Huber Group New Zealand Limited based in Auckland