Wednesday, October 7, 2009

RIP Allen Mendonca my good friend and journalist from Bangalore india

India Trip 2007, originally uploaded by ShashiBellamkonda.
In this picture taken in 2007 Allen ( center with beige jacket) had come to a get together in had helped organize in Bangalore to meet old friends. Allen Mendonca a world class Bangalore-based award-winning journalist with over two decades of experience in reporting and editing for some of the countries major newspapers and magazines worked for the Indian Express ( a leading Indian newspaper) when i first met him. Even though we had not kept in touch at this meeting we started off as if it as the old days again. He passed away in his sleep on Sept 28th at the young age of 49.

Here is what my friend Vijay Bhasker chef of the LE Meridien hotel wrote:
To write about a journalist friend – who wrote into people’s heart is some task that too for a Chef, Any way I am trying a bit.
Our dear friend, Allen Mendonca, who left us late last month not only wrote his way into peoples’ hearts but every action of his was always that way. I knew Allen from mid 80’s and can’t forget the movies at Plaza, Rex et al. Not to forget the lunches at the Chefs’ cabin in Ashok hotel or at the Airport Restaurant.
The last two months were memorable for me as I had met Allen many a time and all the time it was filled with heart. He was at the Bangalore Dive club launch event where in he had commended the Biryani Chef in his own inmitable way, and his interaction with my Junior Chefs was one proud moment for me as he would heartily mention that ‘your boss is my good old friend’. Couple of more meetings were for 080 and as usual they were always heartily charged.
The next one was for the Le Meridien coffee challenge contest, and Allen was invited to be the Judge. He did not just judge and leave which normally is the practice. He spoke to each of the contestants very passionately and gave them a lot of ideas and tips and his motivating talk to the participants was from the heart , the only place where Allen always spoke from.
Then came the meeting at my residence over a cup of tea. I had earlier casually mentioned to Allen that my daughter Sandhya was into music. He heard her play the piano and his advice and encouraging words for her came straight ,thick and fast from the usual place – His Heart.
Next one was at a dinner and he enquired about my daughter’s music and offered to lend some classical western piano CDs and we had innumerable discussions on Gucci, Armani and Music, and as always Allen spoke his heart out.
And that he isn’t among us now wrenches our hearts, but you know, he lives on in so many peoples’ hearts; and for me,the loss of another dear friend is hard to describe in words but I know he is in my Heart.
For folks who do not know Vijay Bhasker and me were colleagues at one time and I was a chef in this former life. When my assignment was a posting to Moscow I sent all my friends a good bye letter and among the recipients was TJS George whom I have met at the Ashok Hotel where I worked. George called Allen and asked him to do a story. Since Allen and me were friends he could not stop laughing when he told me the story of he came to Interview me. The article got published on the front page of Indian Express with the headline " King of the Kitchen" . I have been to Allen's house and met his parents, brother and sister and they are a wonderful family and will miss Allen a lot. Sandhya, Allen's wife is also a good friend and my condolences to her, son Aditya and the rest of the mendonca family and friends.
RIP Allen.


Aditya Mendonca said...

Hi , this is Aditya Mendonca,
please join the "Allen Mendonca group" on facebook

Anonymous said...

Very nicely written. I still cry everytime I read something on Allen. We miss him so much. Its been years since we saw you. My email id is - my parents send u their regards. They are in the US with my 2nd brother for a bit. Mavis.