For a metro that has mourned several remarkable fathers – including Charles Correa, Alyque Padamsee, Anil Dharker – our recent loss leaves us especially bereft.

Yet, the best tribute to activist, adman, theatre actor and poet Gerson da Cunha, would be to continue living by his beliefs. Celebrating his immense knowledge of and hope for the city he held so close to his heart.

Besides inspiring deep admiration for multiple civic affairs and artistic concerns he worked dedicatedly for, Gerson exemplified twin qualities stunning us all. Ebullience and energy.

Even in his eighties, he marvellously focused on back-to-back meetings in a day (think CRY, AGNI, Mumbai First). That same evening he’d attend a fundraiser music show at the NCPA, crisp in white chikan kurta-churidaar, his concert ensemble.   

Gerson graciously acceded to any request. Low on ego, high on soul, the sensitive journalist in him respected every writer. When I wanted a jacket burb for my recent book, he obliged, in a week when he wasn’t well, with a wonderful note exactly the 100 words specified: “I know the tyrannies of space and deadline, my dear.”

He has left a tremendous legacy. Ours to keep alive the passion and power of his principles.


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