Bhubaneswar: “Hello, I am Bijaya Sahoo,” said a smart gentleman as we shook hands for the first time. “Yeah, I know of you,” I replied, looking at an amazing tie, having designs of flags of different countries, which he wore. “I have read your bylines. You write well. Keep it up, young man,” he complimented, as we struck a chord. “Well, your tie is lovely, befitting the organization you are part of,” was my appreciative comment. And pat came the quip: “We all are global citizens and should have international aspirations.”
This was in 2005. And the occasion: a convention of Rotary International District – 3260 at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack. I had been selected to represent the Rotary district in the United Kingdom as part of its prestigious Group Study Exchange programme (which is for non-Rotarians) and hence hogging some limelight at the gathering. And he was there, of course, because he was a member of the club.
What struck me then about Bijaya Sahoo, then a noted chartered accountant (a partner of SRB & Associates in Bhubaneswar) was his ability to network and connect. Though our interaction was brief, he definitely left an impression on me, someone you would want to keep in touch with. And so we did.