master's in English Literature from Patna University, DN Sinha – or simply, 'DN' to his close friends and colleagues – started out as a journalist in The Indian Nation, the largest circulated English daily of the time in Patna, in 1962.
During his ten-year-tenure, as he rose to the position of Chief Sub-Editor, he worked both on the desk and as a reporter. In 1972, he joined Tata Steel, Jamshedpur, as an editorial assistant in the PR department, where he assisted the editorial team in writing and editing in-house publications. In 1981, DN was deputed on lien to former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra as his Press Advisor for three years. In 1984, he returned to Tata Steel to resume his editorial and training responsibilities. His successful tenure with the chief minister prompted Russi Mody, the then Chairman and Managing Director of Tata Steel, to retain him as his Press Secretary from 1989 to 1993. In 1994, he retired from Tata Steel after 22 years' service. He now lives in his village Sugauna, Madhubani, in Bihar. Copyright © 2013 DN Sinha Edited by Anuradha Altekar Illustration by B Rajkumar Designed by S Sri Rama Sarma and Mitul Chauhan Printed in digital offset by Tegra
lives no less colorful DN Sinha
inside natureâ€™s amphitheatre
buster of gloom and doom
the blessed professor saâ€™b
friend in deed
perennial charm family comes first teacher forever
the high ground
Jayant Kumar Jha
Dr Vivekanand Jha
could take it no more
never a dull moment
inside Tulapati N Singh
I'll sing if I please
happiness his mantra make our day, jyotishiji he dared death
Satchidanand Jha Kamalakant Thakur
Chandra Mohan Mishra
25 27 29 31
dancing around its tail
a twinkle in every eye
handsome every way lifeline express
Girish Chandra Mishra
heart on his sleeve
Pinakdhar N Singh
much more than a healer life begins at 84 captain pureheart
Dr Ajit Mishra
Kalanand Mishra DN Sinha
37 39 41 43 45 47
natureâ€™s amphitheatre My Backyard
any wild plants thrive in my backyard. They need no watering, no manuring â€“ no care at all.
Sunshine and occasional rain give them all nutrients. They tend to wilt during long dry spells only, living merrily for the rest of the year. In sunshine they smile. When a wind rises they toss their heads like the audience at Tyagaraj festival. Come drizzle, and they dance with joy, keeping time to the pitter-patter of rain. They also play out the perennial theme of decay and regeneration. On the same branch of a tree covered with young green foliage I also see
yellowed leaves waiting to spin to the ground at end of their life cycles. I am grateful to the plants around me, offer me as they do company and valuable lessons in joyful living. In moments of gloom, I step into my backyard to see how my plants are doing. And invariably I find them singing the same refrain: â€œWe live in the present. Be it sunny, cloudy or windy, we stay happy. We do not kill our joy by thinking of the distant dry spell.â€?
buster of gloom and doom Ashok Tomar
n his friendsâ€™ eyes Ashok Tomar is the sweetest rogue they know. His mere presence is enough to dissipate gloom from anywhere and liven up any company.
This is but one facet of his character. He may not be the master of any one subject but he knows something about many things. Some years ago he was with a BBC film crew when a jingle came on TV. Ashok amazed them all by identifying the tune correctly as the opening bars of Mozart’s 25th symphony. He is also known for his repartees. His boss once told him, “You will go to hell, Ashok.” He shot back, “I have always followed my boss, Sir.”
The same boss wrote in his annual appraisal, “He has in him the PR bug.” He has indeed! His wide contacts and networking ability are incredible. Above everything else, he has a heart of gold which comes into real play when a friend is in crisis. Call him at midnight, and he will be at your elbow in minutes. If you need a blood transfusion, don’t worry. Ashok will donate blood without even letting you know.
the blessed professor saâ€™b Hiranand Mishra
hose who have only a nodding acquaintance with Hiranand Mishra may find in him traces of the absent-minded professor who is known to have once gone to college wearing a sandal on one foot and a boot on another.
But to those who know him intimately he is one in a million – a man possessing the finest sensibility and always at peace with himself and the world at large. He harks back to an age when people lived at their own pace. And his paan-stained teeth testify as much to his hedonistic belief as it does to his laid-back temperament. At 81, Prof. Mishra is thrilled as much to watch the sunrise, as he is to hear Vilayat Khan’s sitar or to read a D H Lawrence poem. He also sings well
and writes beautiful English prose. However, he has allowed his bashful nature to cover his musical and literary talents with a thick shroud. The professor, a veritable sage, accepts both good and bad events in life as they come – never crowing, never complaining. He has no ambition, actually never had any. When a friend asked him recently what he would ask of God if He appeared before him, Prof. Mishra said wistfully, “To teach me to play the sitar.” 06
friend in deed Alok Sahay
lok Sahay is a living example of ‘a friend in need’.
After a cancer-ridden friend of his flew into Delhi in February 2013 Alok never left his side till he had brought him to Bombay and made all arrangements for his treatment. Even as he was doing so, his teenaged son tore a ligament in his foot. Still he stuck to his friend, of course doing by remote control all that was needed to be done for the boy. A much decorated IAF Wing Commander, Alok is a toughie. However, his heart melts to see someone in distress. While driving home late at night at Gorakhpur
some years ago, he found on the pavement a woman with her sick child. Not only did Alok rush the duo to hospital, he gave the woman money to buy medicine and food. Alok has achieved much in life but he has had to struggle hard at every step. What has helped him most is his ability to get on with people of every rank plus his PR skill. He is adored by his subordinates as much as he is trusted by his superiors. I feel that having shaped his own future Alok could make an ideal life coach for aspiring young talents. 08
supreme talent Barun Banerji
ne friend who has been throwing me into the recycle bin off and on but only to restore as often is Barun Banerji.
When he gets into the thick of work, he pushes everyone out of his mind. But when he is in a joyous mood, as he was in January 2013 at the wedding of his Boston-based son Richie, he not only sends out invites to all his pals but also follows up with phone calls. As a long-time friend, I know how generous and warmhearted he is. Add to these virtues his handsome looks and rich talents. Barun, I am sure, could have chosen any calling and excelled in it. For instance, by
virtue of his learning plus his gift of the gab he would have made a most successful professor of English literature. Or, with his supreme command of the English language, he might as well have been a reputed writer. And if only he had trained his beautiful tenor voice he could have been an opera singer on the European circuit. By a quirk of fate Barun is none of these. Nevertheless, he is doing very well as a corporate communications executive in a big corporation. 10
perennial charm Gopa Banerji
opa Banerjee gives a lie to the belief that feminine beauty has a very short shelf life.
Her ageless charm makes me wonder if she guzzles the nectar of youth on the sly daily. Or, does she stand at her doorstep every now and then, a broom in each hand, ready to swipe at the witch called Advancing Age, every Eve’s scourge? No wonder, if the petrified enemy has not shown up yet. When I met Gopa in Delhi in October 2012 after ages, she looked younger and prettier than ever. Time appears to have flown past high above her head, singeing not a strand of her hair, touching not even the surface
of her ‘alabaster’ skin. If anything, like vintage wine, she has improved with age. Husband Barun too has thrived in her company. His slight paunch has halted in its track as has his receding hairline. I still remember a newly-wed Barun, deep in uxorial love, often reciting in his Pavarottilike voice Christopher Marlowe’s famous lines: 'Was this the face that launched a thousand ships...' Dim-witted that I was – and still am – I never thought he had in his mind anyone else except Helen of Troy. Now of course I know better! 12
family comes first Madhubala Mishra
adhubala Mishra redefines the homemaker's role. Not only does she run her home in Chembur, Bombay, like clockwork – performing every task at the right time and to everyone’s satisfaction – she also does so with a smile. 13
She has been working like this for 28 years. Son Siddharth, now 20, can’t imagine a world without her. For him Mom is ‘indispensable’. So is she for her mother-in-law who always addresses her as Sapna, she personifying her dream of an ideal daughter-in-law. Madhu served her cancer-ridden father-in-law with such devotion that during his last days he would often tell her, “I do not know whether to call you my daughter or mother.” Madhu, who holds a
law degree and practised in Patna High Court in the 1990s, could have chosen to be a career woman. However, this thought never crossed her mind. For her looking after her family is more fulfilling than anything else. She would rather see her senior journalist husband and college-going son make their mark in their careers than think of charting an independent path for herself. No wonder if a bird of passage like me, who nested in her home for just a week, will often sing her praises! 14
teacher forever MN Jha
N Jha is neither a neta nor a baba but is still used to getting his feet touched, and that too with far greater reverence than either.
Some of his most devoted former pupils drop in at his village home from time to time to pay their obeisance. All this shows the measure of respect which he commands. Even though he retired from Sainik School, Tilaiya, in 1993, he continues to enjoy teaching and that too for free. During his visit to the UK in 2007 he agreed to teach an Englishman Hindi on the condition that he would offer him no remuneration. His love for teaching comes into full play when his teenage grandsons, studying in
London, come to live with him in his village. He takes them out into orchards and fields to give them practical lessons in botany. Mr Jha is a model of rectitude, an ideal community leader and a shining example of simple living and high thinking. At 79, his zest for life remains undiminished. Apart from taking a keen interest in literary, theatrical and social activities in his village, he keeps open house where he welcomes everyone with open arms. 16
could take it no more Abhay Sinha
f the many virtues Abhay Sinha possessed, saintliness shone through his persona most.
He was loving, kind and generous, giving away freely anything he had â€“ cash, books, furniture or whatever. To top it all, he signed away his valued urban property in favour of a relative who was less than fair to him. Abhay had the purest heart, ill-will and rancour having no place in it. A most principled and rational man, he was appalled by hypocrisy pervading all walks of life. During his final days he turned into an iconoclast, tearing to shreds all cherished beliefs about the
superiority of Hindu religion and culture. (He put these thoughts down in a Hindi novel titled Janam Ke Bandi, crying to be published.) He also found our political and social systems rotten to the core. All this he called the â€˜absurdityâ€™ of life which, he wrote, he could take no more. Abhay committed suicide on 30 July 2011 at the age of 55. He did this on a Saturday morning so that friends and relatives were less inconvenienced by the funeral the next day. 18
the high ground Jayant Kumar Jha
e may appear to some as aloof, stand-offish and even vain. But such vibes are picked up only by those who either do not know Jayant Kumar Jha well or have not succeeded in breaking through his reserve.
Mr Jha is, in fact, most courteous and warm-hearted. Only his choice of friends is restricted by his exacting yardstick for judging people. A top-ranking government officer known for his probity and righteousness, he expects every civilized person to stand on high moral ground. In his heart of hearts, Mr Jha is a lonely man who is in search of a retreat for his
restless soul. Since he is not the person to seek happiness in the gratification of the senses, he is often on a spiritual quest, finding comfort in the teachings of sages like Ramakrishna and Vivekanand. Mr Jha, however, is not indifferent to the affairs of the temporal world at all: well-informed, he knows as much about global events as he does about happenings in India.
erudite historian Dr Vivekanand Jha
e can't shave without nicking himself or pour water from a jug without spilling it or tie a shoe lace securely, says a friend about Dr Vivekanand Jha, the Delhi-based famed historian.
This statement exaggerates highly Dr Jhaâ€™s slight lack of day-to-day practical knowledge. However, he more than makes up for it by his scholarship and human qualities. Dr Jha has done pioneering research on untouchability and caste in early India (also the title of his book under print) and lectured on the Gita abroad. In the early 1990â€™s he suffered a grievous tragedy which threatened to ground him for life. However, he pulled himself up by bootstraps
and immersed himself even more deeply in his work. His tomelittered bed says much about his research-oriented mind. Dr Jha is deeply attached to his family, relatives and friends, and keeps in close touch with all of them. Should any of them, however, make the slightest transgression, he does not hesitate to reprimand them. He is forthright in his views, and expresses them with equal vigor.
never a dull moment Sone Babu
one Babu is a devil-maycare person with a laidback attitude. He cracks jokes, tells tall tales and keeps everyone amused.
Monotony fears to tread around him. Witty, glib-tongued and smart, he can worm his way into any charmed circle. He is known to have broken through the security cordon at a function in the Indian embassy in Kathmandu once. Dressed immaculately, he walked into the august assembly with such aplomb that no one dared stop him. The stories of his exploits are legion. Till a few years ago Sone Babu carried a lot of clout. If you needed police help, you couldnâ€™t
do without him. At the police station, he would create an impression, and convincingly too, that top politicians or bureaucrats ate out of his hand. He would thus turn the tables so completely that the petty police officer would now seek Sone Babuâ€™s help in getting a lucrative posting. But times have changed now, he being reduced to a shadow of himself. To give him his due, he still has much entertainment value.
iâ€™ll sing if i please Tulapati N Singh
ne friend I find most difficult to shake off is Tulapati Narayan Singh, or Lal as we call him fondly.
If at times I succeed in dodging him, he barges into my consciousness to prod my sense of guilt. Whether you like it or not, he closes his eyes and breaks into a self-composed song or recitation of his own English translation of a Veda richa or whatever takes his fancy. He once told Indira Gandhi proudly that he had rendered Hanuman Chalisa into English. She was not impressed. But he had better luck with Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Lal is always very warm and affectionate. If he comes to
your city he will seek you out, no matter whichever obscure corner you live in. He is also very tolerant, unmindful of friendsâ€™ jibes. Till some years ago, his was a happy family which sang together every evening. Now his wife is dead, and the sons live with their own nuclear families. When I heard of him last he was at Jaipur, being looked after by his Cordelia-like loving daughter Neelam. I wonder if he still talks nineteen to a dozen and continues to sing with the same zest. 26
happiness his mantra Satchidanand Jha
hat the young learn from the old is received wisdom.
But 83-year-old retired District and Sessions Judge Satchidanand Jha has put this belief on its head by accepting the tutelage of a young man to learn computing, and he is enjoying the experience. Judge Sahab, as he is called, has always trodden a straight and narrow path. But he confesses to having slipped some money into the palm of a petty police officer once – not to seek any favour but to ensure that he didn’t harm a just cause. He eats sparsely, his lean frame being a proof of it. He used to read
a lot but can’t do so any longer due to poor eyesight. Hyper allergic to noise, he quits his home at Madhubani during festivals to find refuge elsewhere so he can escape aural assault from loudspeakers. Judge Sahab is gifted with the exceptional ability to stay cheerful. He says that events, good or bad, happen as and when they will. The best course is not to be swayed by them too much. No wonder his face is ever lit by a broad smile. 28
make our day, jyotishi Kamalakant Thakur
glimpse of Pt. Kamalakant Thakur in the morning is believed to make oneâ€™s day.
His face mirrors inner peace and contentment, and it exudes universal goodwill. Jyotishiji – called so, respectfully – happens to be among the blessed few who remain in full possession of their faculties even at an advanced age. At 84, he is fit and agile. He also reads without glasses. Jyotishiji, a famed astrologer, has more visitors than have many doctors. A close friend calls him ‘Fate Surgeon’ because of his supposed ability to tweak the fates of his clients. Although he belongs to the old
school, he is modern in his outlook and very adaptable. For instance, he feels as much at ease in a fivestar hotel as he does in his own village home. He has at the tip of his tongue hundreds of Sanskrit shlokas but he never recites them to parade his knowledge. He quotes them in context only. Whether for naming the right day for a wedding or thread ceremony or for resolving a family dispute, Jyotishji is for many the ultimate reference point. 30
he dared death Chandra Mohan Mishra
fter battling with cancer for incredibly long he quit this world on 3rd January 2000 but on his own terms.
In 1984, he had told a super specialist in Bombay, who had given him only five years to live, “I shall see you after 15 years.” And he did, amazing the doctor with his supreme will power. That was Chandra Mohan Mishra, always bubbling with restless energy and never fighting shy of battles. After his lifelong career in journalism Mr Mishra switched to politics but he remained till the end a politician without the vices of a politician. Transparent and guileless, he went
out of the way to help many. And never did he bestow favors in expectation of any quid pro quo. As well as being fearless and frank (brutally so at times), he was very kind and warm-hearted, totally untouched by pride or pettiness. His sympathy for the underdog was undisguised – which explains why he had embraced Marxism. Mr Mishra was, however, a rare breed of communist, abhor as he did the very idea of harming others. 32
dancing around its tail Bobby
s I open the iron gate of my daughter Neetaâ€™s home with a clang, her pet dog Bobby comes bounding to greet me.
Her wagging tail, twitching ears and soft wuffs articulate her joy. She raises herself on her hind legs and tries to lick my hands. Not fond of animals, I keep them out of her reach. Undaunted, Bobby keeps tailing me till I sit down in the living room and stays close to me. Last March when my daughterâ€™s entire family had to leave home for a couple of days, they put Bobby under the charge of my wife and me. Thatâ€™s when we saw playing out in slow motion the canine
sense of attachment to the master. As soon as the family was gone, Bobby went into a deep sulk and refused to eat. She lay almost lifeless on the floor, keeping her head buried between her front legs, her eyes only half open. She appeared to have gone into mourning. The pall of gloom, however, lifted as soon as the family returned. Bobby was once again her old self, full of joy, chasing her own tail.
a twinkle in every eye Neighbourhood Children
he children in my neighbourhood are a loveable lot.
They often come to my home to play in the shade of my portico. Poor they may be, they do not seem to mind too much being so â€“ not yet. The only thing which gives away their under-privileged status is their clothes and diction. They are almost always cheerful, chirpy and fun-loving. They cry at times but far more frequently do they smile and laugh. And the twinkle is never absent from their eyes. Always glowing like an ember
on a winter night, it gives a sparkle to their faces. If you have established rapport with them, these boys and girls are ever ready to oblige you by running errands or getting a refill of fresh drinking water, as they do for me. I give them nothing much in return except a biscuit or some other ordinary stuff, and that too only occasionally. What I get back is far more valuable and enduring â€“ their genuine affection and trust.
handsome every way Girish Chandra Mishra
hen I search my contact book with a fine toothcomb for someone exceptional my marker involuntarily ticks the name of Girish Chandra Mishra.
He is indeed a person with many unique selling points. Quietly efficient, he executes every job, whether in office or home, meticulously. He is also very kind, considerate and always aware of the sensitivities of others. In my reckoning all his virtues are rooted in his innate goodness – reflected as much in his speech as in his body language. It is this rare quality which has won him the affection and trust of a wide range
of people. Maybe he knows the pitfalls of goodness, limit as they do one’s capacity to size up people properly or grasp situations fully but this awareness does not stop him from being good. Mishraji does better than epitomize the proverb ‘Handsome is as handsome does’ because not only does he do handsome but also looks, even at 65, dashingly handsome. Forgive me, Mishraji, if you find my tribute embarrassing!
lifeline express Lalan Yadav
t 37, Lalan Yadav is the lifeline of many in our village.
As I live next door, I am sometimes awakened by the hollering of late night callers visiting him in dire medical situations. A yawning Lalan answers these summons ungrudgingly. He is no medic with a degree but by virtue of his deep insight and diagnostic ability, gained through 11 years’ experience, he is in great demand. All kinds of cases come to him but he takes up only those which he feels he can treat with confidence. Lalan chose to be in the ‘doctori
line’ after he struck friendship with a physician’s helper during his own illness. He had aspired to study but had to drop out from college due to ‘family circumstances’. Lalan is happy with what he is doing, and he has no larger ambition than serving the people whose trust and goodwill he enjoys. Until recently he went round patients’ homes on a bicycle. Now he has bought a motorbike which proves to be of great help to both himself and his patients. Best of luck, Lalan! 40
heart on his sleeve Pinakdhar N Singh
y cousin Pinakdhar Narayan Singh – Lachhman to us – is either very effusive or very frosty.
He never treads the middle path. He explodes in anger as easily as he dissolves in tears. For his every quirk, however, he possesses three virtues. He is generous to a fault. A man owed him money which he insisted he must repay. But when he knew that the debtor was in dire straits, Lachhman gave him a wad of currency notes. He is transparent like a sheet of clean glass so you know where you stand with him. As a son, he always acquitted his role admirably,
sending his parents a regular monthly allowance from his modest earnings. And when he was forced to slash it slightly to balance his tight family budget he grieved over it for a long time. One of his sons, wanting to become a doctor, sat at the entrance exam. He was then so hard up that he prayed that the boy should fail the test because he could not afford to send him to a medical college. Thatâ€™s quintessential Lachhman, baring his soul! 42
much more than a healer Dr Ajit Mishra
f Dr Ajit Kumar Mishraâ€™s patients revere him as a divine being and his loved ones regard him as pride of his family, their admiration is not exaggerated.
He is dedicated to both equally. Ajit offers tea and sympathy to all those who knock on his door and does his best for each of them. In spite of his crowded calendar he forgets nothing. If he promises you something, it may slip from your mind but not Ajitâ€™s. Although he burns his candle at both ends almost every day, he always stays relaxed. And mind you, he devotes as much time to his last patient of the day as he does to the first one.
Ajitâ€™s USP, apart from his healing touch, is his unfailing courtesy and charming manners. And one virtue of Ajit, not known to many outside his family, is his skill as an event manager. If there is a big family function, Ajit takes over command and handles everything meticulously from beginning to end. He is also a man of crisis. And why not! He is after all such a calm person.
life begins at 84 Kalanand Mishra
dread going senile but wonâ€™t mind plodding into my 80â€™s if, like my dear relative Kalanand Mishra, I too age with grace.
He carries his 84 years as lightly as the jacket he wears. Most of the hair on his head is still black, he walks erect and he pipes into the phone so loud and clear that the person at the other end can hear him without the aid of a wired or wireless device. Mr Mishra is endowed with a photographic memory. For example, he has a vivid recollection of the 1934 earthquake, and he can rattle off passages from Anna Karenina or
Mayor of Casterbridge or any other classics which he had read in the 1950’s at college. He can also give a lively blow-by-blow account of events leading to World War II or India’s independence. Rational to the core, he believes God to be man’s greatest invention. According to him, no other human find has exerted so powerful an influence on mankind anywhere in the world. May you live to be a hundred, Mishraji!
captain pureheart DN Sinha
y first encounter with DN Sinha, or Sinha Sahab, was almost 30 years ago, in 1984, as a goggle-eyed newbie placed under his charge at Tata Steel's PR in Jamshedpur. He had just returned from his lien to the then Bihar chief minister's office as his press advisor.
“Banish all adjectives” he remonstrated as his pen welted a word from my first piece for the in-house magazine. “How, then, do I describe something?” I tendered. “The usual way,” he retorted. The admonishments didn't stop. “Use shorter sentences”, “avoid using a long word where a simple one would do”, and the one that topped them all: “Never fall in love with your own writing”! These—and many more pearls of wisdom that were to follow in the years that I apprenticed with him – remain, to me, edicts etched in stone, now more than ever, as the co-founder of a full-services business communications consultancy.
Not a mentor to me alone, Sinha Sahab was ever on call for anyone seeking help with reports or letters or advice on critical department and even personal matters. His own work and penmanship spoke for his brilliance and was guaranteed for outcomes. When Tata Steel was downsizing its workforce, an overactive rumour mill created a concern for the top management. Sinha Sahab proposed the idea of a cartoon strip series of a lovable rumourmonger named Mithailal and Sancho Panza to his Don Quixote Imritilal. The character was 48
launched in a new fortnightly Hindi publication called Talmel. Within days, Talmel, Mithailal, and his sidekick effectively scotched the rumour with their antics. It strikes me now that his felicity with writing, perhaps, overshadowed another great quality – his impeccable articulation of the language. If his pen touches a chord in you, his spoken words are a veritable sonata – structured, precise, and flawless. Sinha Sahab embraced new technology with alacrity, far ahead of any officer (across all levels) of his generation and much before many of us who were much 49
younger. I vividly remember him hunched over an IBM PC – desktops hadn't made their appearance in Tata Steel yet – programming away in COBOL or some such language, much to the bemusement of his colleagues. At 76, Sinha Sahab's love for gadgets only grows. He recently replaced a perfectly working laptop for a new high-end HP Pavilion dv6. He continues to discover new highs in creativity with lensmanship. He now covets a camera that fits his exacting specifications. For now, though, he makes do with his Sony DSC W130 for shooting pictorials of the local flora and fauna and portraits of
exceptional and ordinary, everyday people which he posts on his Facebook page. As always, Sinha Sahab is never happier than when he's engrossed in a Beethoven symphony or his favorite radio programs on BBC World Service. At such times, people and his surroundings blur quite like the bokeh in a sharplyfocused photo. Cherished by family, friends, and wellwishers, he now lives at his ancestral home in remote Sugauna, in Bihar's Madhubani district, where he settled after he retired from Tata Steel.
In Sinha Sahab I have seen an example of leadership in its finest form and all that's good and decent. With characteristic modesty, he would, perhaps, dismiss my eulogy as idolization. Be that as it may, I am thankful for the rigour and discipline that he inculcated in me early in my work and for our long association.
Anuradha Altekar July 2012 Mumbai
rought to vivid life is a motley cast of commoners in DN Sinha's delightful vignettes of people, a backyard, and a dog. Inspired for the most part by his village Sugauna in Madhubani, in India's eastern Bihar state, Lives No Less Colorful features 23 characters, each one an oddity but all, without exception, colorful and endearing. Be it the PR pro with a heart of gold or doctor ever on call, the professor who never tires of learning, or the fortune-teller who can make or break your day, DN Sinha's sharp eye observes them all.