This is the end, my friend.

Some of you may be familiar with the title. It is a song by The Doors and was used to stunning effect in a Coppola film called Apocalypse Now. In the film, it is picturised on a scene where American helicopters are dropping napalm bombs on a Vietnamese village. However, as things turned out, it was the end for the Americans, with Vietnam today being a unified and independent country.

So, in many ways, there must be an end if there are to be new beginnings.

Let us take this column as an example.

More than 2 years and over 75 columns back, ‘PostScript’ was born. 

It was a column which chronicled my professional journey over 3 decades, and was largely in the form of stories, with learnings from each. 

What was amazing is that I could remember most of the interesting things that happened, irrespective of the organisation I was with, along with what I learned during the journey.

Most of these stories, in chronological order, were sent every week to my friends who brought out the most definitive updates from the field of communications.

I have often been asked if I had to think hard to remember all that I shared every week with readers. The answer was a simple ‘No’ because the moment I started writing, the memories magically refreshed themselves and none of the columns took more than 90 minutes to write!

And because there were no ghosts of the past, nor skeletons, the narrative was free-flowing. The images of the wonderful people I was privileged to work with, as indeed the wonderful situations I experienced, all just came back like someone was whispering the stories into my ear. 

I also had Covid times to thank for ensuring that I had the bandwidth to pen my thoughts down.

I was due to retire on March 31, 2020. The lockdown in Mumbai was announced on March 20, 2020.

While that delayed all the consulting agreements I had signed up for, I had all the time in the world to follow some of my passions like cooking and writing! Travel, one more of my passions was an absolute ‘no no’. 

In many ways, my life working for organisations was at an end. But there were plenty of new beginnings. 

Be it cooking, writing, reading, or catching up with the latest playing on multiple OTT platforms☺ – I had the time to go the whole hog.

To be sure, each of the activities I was pursuing had great learnings inbuilt.

Cooking demand a lot of patience, much like when one is waiting for coverage to be published. It also requires a lot of experimentation. Yes, there are standard recipes available, but part of the charm, just like in a plan we present, is in suggesting or doing something new and out of the box. That is what brings the element of surprise into the mix, as indeed the wow factor – when something turns out better than expected, be it in cooking or in the communications strategy being executed the way you had planned it!

Getting back to reading was also a truly amazing experience. Once again, the learnings were phenomenal, and not just because they were relevant to my profession. Reading served to broaden my horizons and took me into wondrous realms of fantasy. If you have not read the book ‘The Great Railway Bazaar’ by Paul Theroux, I strongly recommend that you do. 

In the book, the author travels by train around the world and discovers multiple cultures prevalent on railway platforms. For me, this book was my window to the world. I may have been housebound, but the way the author described India, convinced me that his description of other countries was equally accurate. In many ways, the book sated my wanderlust and left behind many cherished memories.

Through my writing, I learned a lot about English grammar and its usage in different contexts. Mind you, that does not condone the typos which had crept into some of the earlier columns. On that count, I plead guilty.

Writing also taught me how to discipline my thoughts and focus on one thing at a time. This is something which all of us will do well to remember in our professional lives as well. Very often we end up multi-tasking and thus ensure that we do an average job instead of an excellent one.

Possibly the biggest advantage of writing has been the opportunity to put down what I would have otherwise forgotten about. Through this column, I can always look back or read the past pieces and sit in a lounge chair with a smile playing on my lips. There is learning from this for all of us…the need for proper documentation of what we do in our professional lives, be it making a ‘to-do’ list every morning or writing up minutes of meetings promptly. Small things yes, but often subject to the maximum misrepresentation!

Watching movies and serials on OTT platforms also opened my eyes to how new technologies are shaping the world. It is not just about the kind of series you watch or the movie that you see. Think for a moment of how technology has shaped our world, even as we were housebound. And how that process has spilt over into the way we communicate. No personal meetings, so Zoom, Teams, or Google meetings. No more traditional PR only, but a huge focus on all things digital. Be it the rise of influencers.  Be it words like followers/ trolling and such like have entered the lexicon, even as I was sitting silent. Yes, there is a huge amount to be learnt out there. And I thank this period for these learnings.

Even post-retirement, with things opening gradually, and my consulting assignments starting to bear fruit, it is tremendously exciting to be working in multiple sectors and learning from each one of them. Be it education, renewable energy, AI, or online regional media…there are opportunities everywhere, even for those like me, whose sell-by date has probably arrived. 

I am confident that this date will keep getting pushed back. That would depend entirely on how I do things going forward. 

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that this is not the end! It is just the start of a new beginning.

A new tomorrow. Thank you for being on the journey.

Auf wiedersehen☺


  1. There is no end. Only a new beginning.
  2. Focus is critical in everything we do.
  3. There is plenty to discover and always learn.
  4. Patience is a virtue for which there is no substitute.
  5. Embrace the new. There are no options.


The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Atul Takle
German interpreter. Advertising executive. Client. PR partner.

Lintas. Indian Express. RPG. TCS. Accenture. Future Group. SKS Microfinance. Adfactors PR.

International guest lecturer. Avid Traveler.

Pet friendly. Music friendly. Movie friendly. Book friendly.

Generally friendly.

Covid times cook. All times a foodie.

Mad about soccer. Mad about F1 racing. Mad about cricket.

Mad with Trump.

Sometimes writer.

2 Comments on "This is the end, my friend."

  1. Thank you Atul for sharing your special moments and taking us on a wonderful journey. Cant say I read every single one, but i have read most. As you rightly said this us not the end – so i look forward to more of Takle’s Tales in the near future. May the road always rise to meet you my friend.

  2. Seema Sharma | June 8, 2022 at 3:31 PM | Reply

    Actually you are right….there is no end but always a new beginning. Anything that comes to an end ….gives rise to new things, new beginnings. I think that is fact of life too. According to Hindu Philosophy ‘admi Marta hai aur Naya choga pahankar avtarit hota hai Naya janm paakar’. There is no teacher bigger than Nature where cycles exist for anything and everything. It is so interesting to know that how true it is that NATURE is always there to sort out all kinds of riddles a human mind can be puzzled with.

    COVID example that you have chosen to explain things is so very apt. Each one of us has undergone this revolution kind of an experience which has been the greatest teacher of mankind till date

    Loved reading your article. Thanks for sharing.

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