Obituary

Adyar Times editor and publisher, an enterprising person who took over the mantle as the Publisher from his father S.P. Ambrose (IAS Retd.) in July 2004, passed away at the age of 61, on Feb.12.

A Civil Engineer by profession, an avid reader, and a literary enthusiast he started his journey at Adyar Times as its General Manager in 2004. He published a series of Guide books on various topics and the Wall calendar for the years 2007 and 2010, which were circulated along with the edition. He was also instrumental in coming out with a Map of Adyar area in August 2014, which was appreciated and used by many in the neighbourhood. The ECR-OMR edition was launched in Dec. 2014, and he was the brain behind the inception of this offspring of Adyar Times.

A resident of Sastri Nagar, he was a proud alumni of MCC School, Chetpet. A civil engineering graduate, he started at PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, but later transferred to College of Engineering (CEG), Guindy and graduated from there. He cherished his time at CEG and often peppered his talks with fond memories of the time he spent there. Ranjan was also a keen hockey player and represented his college team. He started his career at Larsen & Toubro and had worked across locations like Chennai, Delhi, Singrauli and Sri Lanka. He spent several years in the construction business in Botswana, Southern Africa before his tryst with Adyar Times.

Ranjan always had a flair for construction and often appreciated good buildings with solid structures. His skill in this area was recognised by many who entrusted him with the construction of large Malls, executive bungalows, government buildings and Hospitals in Botswana. He planned to write a series on the plan and layout of residential areas like Indira Nagar, Gandhi Nagar and the likes in Adyar. He never failed to put down his thoughts on encroachment and lack of civic sense of the motorists and the badly laid roads.

As an editor he gave importance to young talent and budding entrepreneurs in the locality and encouraged writing about them. ‘Letters to the editor’ was, according to him the most significant page of the paper. He was enthusiastic about writing about the open spaces and parks in the neighbourhood.

Being a neighbourhood weekly, Adyar Times conducts community events like the annual Kolu Contest and the Santa Tour during Christmas; it also sponsors the annual Adyar Times Chess Tournament. He embellished these events by adding more flavour to them every year.

Always simple, he comes across as a friendly leader to his employees and often joked ‘I am not yet knighted’ to anyone who addressed him as ‘Sir’. He regarded his employees as a family. During the recent Chess Tournament conducted on October 2017 he honoured his employees who attended the tournament by letting them award the winners. Such magnanimity is rare among entrepreneurs.

Neighbours remember him as the man who rode the Electric Car, as he always drove a white Mahindra Reva, one of the few in the locality. Fascinated by James Bond movies, he addressed himself as Bond and joked about purchasing an Aston Martin car. In his younger days he owned a BSA Bond motorbike just for the sheer pleasure of the name of the vehicle. He enjoyed the poems of Lord Byron and Kahlil Gibran and often quoted them in contexts to pass a message which he couldn’t express in his own words.

The Staff of Adyar Times have a special place for him in their hearts and consider him as family.

His sudden demise has left a void among his friends and family. He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered for the lasting memories he has left behind.

A.D. Ranjan is survived by his wife Damayanthi and children Vikram, systems engineer, Intel Computers, California and Vyjayanthi, policy analyst, Canada Food Inspections Agency, Canada.