Abhish K. Bose
When it became one year after the departure of VM Sathish, my friend and the journalist who upheld humanitarian values rather than any professional or personal inclination, the huge void he has left behind is still remaining afresh.
Sathish was a synthesis of the rare human qualities. He had an unmatching commitment to the humanity, the unflinching courage to expose even the mighty in the business or politics, a real scholar having deep knowledge in international relations or the migrants issues , the genuine friend who enlivens any discussions with his infectious intellectual energy, he also had that untiring optimism for a better possible world he lived. Despite being a formidable presence in the middle east media for more than two decades he was the most unassuming journalist I have met in my professional career. Ofcourse, he was also the most prodigiously gifted professional journalist I met.
He could have exposed the real big bombastic story of political corruption, nepotism or scams if he had chosen his place of work in India considering his depth of understanding of the origin of the real story. However, he had chosen the despotic middle eastern countries where media freedom is strangulated by eversomany restrictions. Inspite of the privations, he wrote some of the finest sagas portraying the suffering of the migrant workers, the homeless destitutes, and the excruciating living conditions of the diaspora creating a new epoch in narration.
His intermittent stint as a journalist in the middle east for more than two decades was interrupted following false accusations against a story he had filed. He was of the feeling that he was stabbed in the behind by one of his colleagues who was afraid of his rise in the media institution where he was working in a key position. He was a bit dejected by the way he was betrayed. However, undettered by the setback, he came back to Kottayam and launched the bilingual digital malayali and xpats.news which he dreamed would have the potential to change the course of the media practicing of the time. He dreamed a new journalism and its practice for the diaspora community.
Whenever, I used to meet him he used to tell me about his expectations of the future. He was on an ongoing venture to record the life and excitements of the expatriate community, whether it is about the person from Kannur living in Dubai or the Christian woman from Chennai married to a Muslim man after a love affair who is running a road side cool bar at Kollam. I am recollecting a word told to me by a former colleague of him in Dubai ' that he was never worried to give away the money in his pocket to the migrant labourer from whichever part of the globe'.
However, despite his chequered presence as a journalist for more than two decades spanning a number of publications in the middle east from the Emirates 24 seven to Khaleej Times I would like to remember VM Sathish as a wonderful human being who dreamed and worked to make the world a better place to live. He rang up on last year February 4th and evinced an interest to meet me before his last journey to Dubai by gifting me an exclusive story, probably the last exclusive he had thought about. However, that meeting was not materialised and he left us for ever a few days later.
Abhish K. Bose is the district correspondent of Deccan Chronicle newspaper in Kottayam.