(Sumit Josh, a former sports journalist at The Quint, passed away on 18 May 2021 after a prolonged battle with COVID-19. His colleagues and friends remember him. A loving husband, brother and son, Sumit is survived by his wife, sister and his parents.)
In a parallel universe, Sumit and a bunch of us are currently vacationing in Shimla – something we had been planning since 2020.
Little did I know when I met Sumit and and his wife Debdatta in February 2021 at Bar-B-Q in Kolkata, it would be our last meeting. If I did, I would have ordered another round of drinks for us. I would have stayed back for another hour or two, maybe even skipped work to treasure the rendezvous. But that’s how life is, isn’t it? Unexpected.
But you took all of it on, without ever having lost that smile on your face.
...and that is how we will remember you.
An honest journalist with a calm disposition, I have seen you keep composure even on the busiest workdays, juggling three sporting events single-handedly – yet finding the time for a quick chat occasionally. I remember when I would urge you to finish your work, and you would smile like you always do, and say “o toh hoye jaabe!” (I’ll manage it).
We were friends right off the bat – never colleagues. Later, we became as close as family.
With FIFA World Cup 2018, we started a new trend. Rahul, Anubhav, and I would land up at the office in the middle of the night. We would order food and spend the whole night cheering on our favourite teams as you and the rest of the sports desk toiled away. It was the same story every year for IPL, too.
...and that is how we will remember you.
In between all that were the countless nights we spent drinking until dawn, talking about everything under the sun – our life plans, cringeworthy Bollywood movies, and how were we going to survive office the next day (which was in a few hours). And I guess in those bittersweet moments, I could relate to what Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower said about ‘being infinite’.
As a colleague, Sumit was always, always there – as a mentor, as a sounding board or someone who simply just had your back when you needed help. Politics, movies, sports – he always would have fresh insight and something new for us to learn from him. But even as I write this, all that comes to mind is what a great guy he was. To have seen him grow at his time on the sports desk, turning colleagues into friends into family, Sumit touched many, many lives.Mendra Dorjey Sahni, Sumit’s former boss and friend
Not many know that besides your passion for sports, you had a bent for quizzing and sports trivia.
I remember one of the first evenings with him, hanging out at his apartment in Noida. He introduced me to Sporcle (a website with thousands of cricket quizzes). Even while your other flatmates enjoyed their drinks in the balcony, Sumit and I sat and did quiz after quiz for at least an hour or two. Some years later, Sumit would introduce me to the Delhi quizzing circuit, taking me on board as his partner for a set of quizzes in DU in early 2019. Sporcle went on to become a weekly indulgence for me ever since that evening in mid-2015... it’s not going to be the same. But I’ll try to keep the quizzing flag flying, Mr Josh!Yash Jha, former colleague and friend
Remember, how you were the most excited person at your wedding, dancing to every beat, attending to every guest, and living every second. It still feels like yesterday that we were all gearing up to attend your wedding!
Today, when we wish you a journey to peace and power, I want to keep my thoughts for Debdatta, your wife. Because, on one cold 2 AM during a stressful nightshift, you had told me how much you loved her, how your life revolved around her and hers around you. So, today, when you leave her behind, with a bag full of dreams and hopes for a future together, I hope she finds strength. Enough to cry into the silence once the condolences end and the lonely journey begins. And you, keep watching over her.Asmita Nandy, former colleague and friend
I just wish we could tell you once more how much we love you, how we moved heaven and earth to arrange for a hospital bed, medicines, and oxygen cylinders when you needed it.
We had promised to keep fighting until we brought you home safe and sound. But we failed – and I hope you can forgive us for that.
But, for your fighting spirit, I want to raise a toast for you. Here’s to you Sumit Josh, may you live forever.