PRAMOD MAHAJAN: 1950-2006

Every journalist will tell you of how media-savvy Pramod Mahajan was. That he surely was. Indeed, Pronnoy Roy publicly commended him for a superb interview he gave to Barkha Dutt after the NDA lost the 2004 election, when none of the BJP's "second rung leaders" had the guts to show their faces.

But the man also had a fine sense of humour. When Khushabrau Thakre's name was being mentioned as possible BJP chief, Mahajan told some of us in the media that "Thakre is going to be the new president".

"Bal Thackeray?" asked a confused scribe.

"Nahin yaar," said Mahajan with a twinkle in his eye, "Bina-Bal Thakre! (the hairless Thakre)".

Rest in peace.