Sunday, June 13, 2010

David Davidar: My Hero

Since morning I received three calls and several messages from friends all over. And all were about David Davidar. Why did people remember me when they read about him in their morning newspapers baffles me because I left Penguin 13 years back after what can be called a really short stint. Well, the reason might be because I never stopped talking about David ever since. I have told the denizens of Bangalore about him, my common friends about him, my girlfriends about him, and pretty much everybody that I can remember. Even my wife, who's seen him from a distance like you see a luminary from the fringes of a social do, is at awe. Still.

What did I tell people about him? First that I looked up to him. Literally, because he was 6'3" in 1997 and I a mere 5'7". He would like "Hello" in his booming voice down at me, a scrawny, mongoloid, tongue-tied editorial assistant who was taking in everything he saw and heard. And second, that he was surrounded by a bevy of beauties, who never, ever complained about him trying to make a pass at them. Never. I know because I have been really close with some of them and they would generally complain about lecherous men to me. But nobody, ever, spoke about David. We were all, always, at awe of him. Third, because he would finish reading manuscripts overnight, or write for the Book Talk column (in The Hindu) in a flight! Fourth, because he was as handsome and charismatic as Vijay Amritraj, but never used his power or charms to go philandering about. The publishing world is very incestuous when it comes to wagging tongues and nobody talked about him slapping any woman's bottom or asking them to meet him after work.

I know Shobhaa De will write about this tomorrow. She, in her memoirs, has written about almost everybody, even about Sanjeev Kumar (whom we all have so much respect for) being a lecherous drunkard. But she always had good things to say about David.

David married a pretty lady called Rachna in 1998 after a longish affair. And what happened in the last 13 years that made him fall for someone like Lisa Rundle? Did he fall for her? Were they in a relationship? He says they were friends for three years, so what happened? Did she fall for him and didn't get a response? Is this her way of making some quick buck? At what expense?

I, even after 13 years, will have to stand by him and show my solidarity. Whatever version of truth comes out after the trial.


Lazyani said...

I absolutely understand your standing up for your hero.
I did the same when Azhar was accused of match fixing, Sourav was trying to visit temples with Naghma and my ex-boss in my ex - company was show-caused for 'earning with both hands'!!

Anonymous said...

"Whatever the truth might be."

So this man has your loyalty even if proven guilty? What does that say about you? This one sentence destroys any sense of sincere fairness in your post! Why bother? To tell the world you're such a devotee that nothing will change your opinion? What's up with that?

Oreen said...

well, let's see what comes out...although we know the courts can't always bring out the truth...

and yes, that's a stand... if you say you have absolute faith in god, I don't challenge you, do I? because I don't...

so there... yes, I stand by him... you know people when you know people.
i should have said "whatever version of truth comes out in the courts"...

Anonymous said...

oh please, whatever the truth may be?? that is just blind slavishness.

Anonymous said...

Oye Dada, ur write up reminds me of an article written on Kapil Dev when he was accused of fixing some of games and he wept in a Karan Thapar's show.
Reference article :


Oreen said...

gosh, now i have Lisa Rundle's fans coming and calling me names!

how do you assume what's alleged is true? if it is, who knows, maybe I won't be able to call him my hero anymore... but why do people have a problem with my stand!

wait and hear it out, buddies. ruining his reputation with an allegation is easy. any woman can try to do that. many in India could have, if there were any such instances here... but then nothing like that happened here.

if it IS true, i will be equally hurt. but till then, i have all the right to show my support. thank you.

Anonymous said...

He has admitted 'flirtatious relationships' with two women who worked for him and he has admitted he wanted a more romantic relationship with Rundle. He's her boss and he should have known better. Whether or not he's guilty of harassing her, he's guilty of horrible judgment and should be fired from his firm IMO. When a boss has an affair with someone who reports to him, it makes a stink in the whole office. Other people think she's getting preferential treatment. People resent that she sees him more than they do in a business day. The office gets all gossipy and no one does any work. This is a business, not a brothel.

Oreen said...

yeah, anon, now that he has admitted to having a relationship, things are different.

definitely poor judgment to have an affair with a colleague. one of them should have left Penguin before realizing it is getting serious.

the affair, if you ignore the fact that they were colleagues, is perfectly understandable. people grow, intellectually. some growths are together, some make people fall apart, and some others bring two people closer.

they fell in love, probably. three years after being in a relationship, would you go to court and file a sexual harassment suit unless there's a mercenary angle to your move? they had an affair, they fell apart... IMO, anon, this is where one should say goodbye with dignity.

it is sad for all of us who looked up to him.

however, i am, even in this, despite what you call poor judgment, still with David.

Anonymous said...

I would go to court and file sexual harassment charges if he made my life a misery at the firm after the 'affair' was over. I realize you love David, and I realize that you have no love for Lisa. But please, if you can, try and understand her situation. Your boss wants a romantic relationship. You go along with it. But what choice do you have if you don't want to? Canadian publishing isn't a huge business and there aren't a lot of jobs out there. David was the boss. He controlled everyone in the firm. He had absolute power and he chose to abuse it. If he fell in love with Lisa, if he really fell in love, he would not have made his preference obvious, which it seems he did because everyone in the firm knew about it. He would have maintained a business relationship in the office. So he would not have subjected Lisa to the kind of rumour and innuendo that she had to put up with. People who fall in love are considerate of the other's feelings. They don't put their lover's name out there for all to see. Apart from anything else, it's really inconsiderate treatment of his wife Rachna. What must it have been like for her finding out that everyone in the office knew her husband was having a fling with one young woman right after having had a fling with another. Play away by all means. People are human. But keep such 'plays' private to yourself especially if you're the boss. Otherwise you look slimy. Right now Davidar looks very slimy. He may be your hero still. You may have no interest in the feelings of the women in the case. I do and he's no hero of mine.

Oreen said...

agree with u. i absolutely get your point and i have nothing against anybody...

i guess i should move on to other topics because not being him, not being related to him, and not being even remotely in touch with him... it is unfair if i keep defending him... unfair to someone who might have been handed a raw deal.

can you read my story about the Green Mug now and comment on that?

Naveen said...

Why cant Rundle appear for a Lie Detector test ? She cant because Davidar did not abuse her . Might have joked in office that is part of Office life .
And Not 3 years of Sexual abuse - bitch doesnt she have any problems after she getting the money ?

Penguin Books I will never buy a book published by Penguins .
They should have stood by DAVIDAR . The top brass wanted to make way for smooth promotions for others .

There is a saying Men Always Take steps and Women take elavators .It is a conspiracy .

Dirty politics !!!!!!!!!
One day the truth will come out .

Apparently she paid her home loan after the out of case got settled by Penguin Books - Not by Davidar (he wanted prove the truth ) PROVE IT

Anonymous said...

I find it very odd that, when challenged, you said, "Let's wait and see what comes out!" Whereas you previously announced complete devotion to him regardless. So which is it, exactly? Don't care about the actual facts? Or do?

By the way, his settling out of court, with confidentiality demanded, makes him look really guilty, no matter how he tries to spin this thing.

The facts are she kept the emails that prove her side. As soon as that came out, he was in court settling and silencing her, in record time. Not the actions of an innocent man, in my opinion.

Oreen said...

yeah, the devotion bit is still there because this doesn't do anything to his image in my mind.

everybody in this world has affairs and that's absolutely acceptable. our social, moral, and legal boundaries are rather strict and inhuman...

but yes, he should have shown better judgment than have an affair with a woman who could use it against him later...the only thing this proves is that he is not a good judge of women.

do i still respect him? yes. because he is what he is despite what he has done (OMG, he fell for a woman who also happened to be his colleague!!)