How do you write about a man who asks the cab driver to say, to a foxed security guard outside a client's office, "Bolo password Superman hai." Then walks up to the reception and signs himself in as Robert Redford, follows up with spell binding the audience with a strategic idea while actually thinking about where to have lunch.
Partha is not normal by any definition. His mind is not only racing ahead at any point in time, it is racing in diverse directions. It is quite natural for him to break off during an involved discussion and start admiring a colleague’s socks and wax eloquence on the latest range of socks from Paul Smith.
And it is because of all this that you can’t help but admire the man. Who still does intense homework before coming into any meeting. Thinking for him is not an impulsive job. The impulse must be fed by facts, contexts, history, culture, behavior, change...strategic ideas do not come out of “Let's brainstorm” mtgs according to Partha, such mtgs usually end up with only one conclusion...when to meet next. Sharp ideas emerge at the cusp of change and it is this change that he follows relentlessly.
Partha is an ideal partner to a creative person. A good creative person. He ensures that his strategic brief is actually encapsulated in a creative line. It is then a challenge to the creative person to go beyond. He has written baselines and even scripts when confronted with creative that were not going beyond his brief.
If Partha stays quiet for longer than 2 minutes, there is obviously some serious problem. The man can, and does talk about any subject with intense passion. And he won't simply talk idle, he will have an observation and a theory around subjects as diverse as why a footballer chose to change his club to why the art in Batman comics has turned dark. And the conversation will be dotted with anecdotes.
He enjoys interacting with young colleagues, chat with them on subjects close to them, seeking their opinions and encouraging them to talk. He does this simply to explore the quality of people working in the agency, do they have a point-of-view, are they passionate, do they read, explore and have a mind worthy of interaction. Partha would know the people in the agency better than a branch head would simply because he engages with anyone and everyone and his mind is reading and recording people constantly.
It is a pleasure to see a presentation from Partha, I mean before it is put into a powerpoint by someone. Partha has a pristine handwriting, he actually prints each alphabet making what he has written a joy to read. Once the thought flow is clear in his mind he will pick up a few sheets of paper from the printer, a sharp pencil and sit quietly and write out the entire presentation, usually on a single sheet of paper.
Partha has the curiosity of a child. He won't skim at the surface of any problem/opportunity, he will explore the Whys, Hows, Whats, Whens and tease them with a Why Not. Not only does he have a colossal curiosity index, he matches it with an indefatigable store of energy to explore, peruse, read, observe and interpret.
If Partha was not in advertising he could have been anywhere, as an industry we are lucky to have a bright, hungry child who thankfully refuses to grow up.