16 Obituary

posted Mar 29, 2018, 9:05 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 29, 2018, 9:05 AM ]

In Memory of Ervell, my friend
Ervell Errol Menezes died March 15, 2018, aged 77.

The last time I met Ervell was just four months ago in November 2017 at his home in Cavel, Girgaum. It was a convivial party, with much joking and teasing between friends and relatives. Little did we guess that it was the last time we'd be together.

I'd like to say a few words about the Ervell I knew, about the journalist he was.

Ervell was a journalist all his life, and the Indian Express was his home. There is a peculiar Express chhap, which every reader knows, and it's in the byline - 'the journalism of courage'. It speaks of the paper's commitment to the values of honesty, transparency, integrity and free speech. It speaks of hard-nosed investigation and of "speaking the truth to power", no matter what the repercussions.

Ervell belonged to this great tradition. Like most journalists, he always held the establishment suspect, and constantly griped about it, even as he drained his whisky.

From a lowly street reporter, he went on to be a sports writer, then a film critic who specialised in the film interview, to politics, and writing his own column once he retired to Goa ("from my balcao").

Around this time, in the 90s, XIC invited him to teach young students the skills of writing good copy, subbing, layout and design. It's then that we met and became good friends.