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Books of the Week - Saturday, 22nd January, 2022

It’s A Wonderful World: A Memoir 
by - Khalid A-H Ansari 

About the Book
In its broad, multifaceted sweep of events from his birth in Mumbai’s poverty-stricken Madanpura to a father who started life as an orphan and a mother from a penurious family, Khalid Ansari’s life has been an enjoyable and purposeful journey in service of his fellow human beings. In this ‘donkey’s tale—upar wala meherbaan to gadha pehelwaan(When God smiles kindly, the donkey thinks he’s a wrestler)’, Ansari has endeavoured to capture some highlights of a splendoured life which he has been blessed to live, catching stars while chasing rainbows.
From starting newspapers and magazines; representing his country at the United Nations; accompanying dignitaries on state visits; covering cricket Test matches, nine Olympics, Commonwealth and Asian Games; travelling the world; being honoured with the Padma Shri award—it’s been indeed la vie en rose.
In this memoir, the author has been at pains to prevent this from deteriorating into a ‘I-did-this-did-that’-pat-himself, shabash!’ hagiography or a dry-asdust pontificaltome, by ‘spicing’ it up with dollops of frothy anecdotes and self-critical bon mots even as he has attempted a discourse on the purpose of life, the ‘right path’ and the like.
Since charity and service to humankind are now the author’s obsession post retirement, he has also dwelt at some length upon his private, selffunded charitable foundation and on giving away whatever little material possessions his wife Zeyna and he have acquired in his lifetime.

About the Author
Khalid A-H Ansari has a bachelor’s degree in Law (L.L.B.), a master’s degree (M.A.) in Political Science from Mumbai University and master’s degree (M.A.) in Journalism and Mass Communication from Stanford University, California, USA. In 2012, he retired as founder-chairman of Mid-Day Multimedia Ltd, which published Asia’s leading afternoon newspaper, in two languages from Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore and Pune. Sunday MIDDAY and The Inquilab Urdu Daily was started by his late freedom fighter father Abdul Hamid Ansari in 1937.
After returning to India after his studies in the US, he started the Sportsweek magazine, which went on to become India’s leading sports magazine. At the time of his retirement, Khalid A-H Ansariwas also the chairman of M.C. Media Ltd, whose activities included FM Radio broadcasting (a joint venture with the BBC, London) in eight Indian cities.
Some highlights of his career include being conferred with Padma Shri for ‘distinguished services to literature and journalism’ by President K.R. Narayanan in 2001, being a member of the official Indian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York and Geneva in 1989, covering the Kargil war in 1999, the Fiji coup in 2000, the NAM conference in Harare and CHOGM summit in the Bahamas, in 1985, covering various foreign visits of presidents A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Giani Zail Singh and Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed and prime ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee and covering the Olympic Games in Munich ’72, Montreal ’76, Moscow ’80, Los Angeles ’84, Seoul ’88, Atlanta ’96, Sydney 2000, Athens ’04 and Beijing ’08.
Khalid is the author of Sachin: Born to Bat, Reliance World Cup, Champions of One Day Cricket and Cricket at Fever Pitch.
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