She spoke her mind. She said what she felt. She wrote what she believed. Gauri, 55, was a sharp and brave woman.
Her views were considered leftist and anti-Hindutva. Not the most popular stance in the country right now.
In 2013, I asked Gauri to join a meeting over dinner with Prannoy and Radhika Roy as they toured Karnataka ahead of the last election to get a feeling of the different ground realities. Her views on state politics came from the left - and were clear and strong. As was the way she questioned me later about why I had invited some of the other guests!
She was an articulate, strong voice for issues like communal tension, Naxals, the murder of rationalist and writer M M Kalburgi at his home in north Karnataka just over two years ago. In the last few months, I often asked her to join in such discussions on our channel. If it clashed with her Thursday deadline for the weekly Kannada paper she published - well, nothing would divert her from that.
The last time we met, after a hug, she gave me a message for my husband. He had been shooting for a film directed by her sister Kavitha in Chikmagalur. And much of his time on set had been spent with Kavitha's feisty dog, Bhima. Also a dog lover, she said, "Tell Nandu that his and Kavitha's dog is being thoroughly pampered." That is the last time I saw her.
Gauri, can you see them both now?
(Maya Sharma is NDTV's Resident Editor in Bengaluru)
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