sans serif records with a heavy heart the passing away of Allen J. Mendonca, the former Indian Express and Times of India journalist, in Bangalore on Monday. He is survived by his wife Sandhya Mendonca and their son, Aditya.
Allen, the son of a Reserve Bank of India employee, was an old-school journalist for whom no beat, no story was taboo. Starting out at Bangalore’s legendary tabloid City Tab (launched and run by the Tharakan couple), he went on to cover crime, politics, information technology; composed jingles for television; acted in plays; wrote movie reviews; composed and sang music; and played the guitar.
He even starred in the national award film, Stumble, directed by former Indian Express colleague Prakash Belavadi.
At a 2002 lecture at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media in Bangalore, Allen said:
“Journalism of courage has given way to a journalism of consensus…. Although there are some world-class writers in our country, there are very few world-class journalists.”
In 2003, Allen co-founded Raintree Media, a communications and media business process outsourcing outfit with offices in Kuala Lumpur, Port St Louis, and Bangalore.
Last night, he went home after a party and did not wake up this moning.
Photograph: courtesy Facebook
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sad to hear this. allen was my colleague in express in 90.
did not see him later but he remains in my memory as a
cheerful young man brimming with zest and moral indignation.
it was too early for him to go.
I am terribly shocked and saddened by Allen’s passing away. I did not know him during his investigative journalism days, but I came in contact with him when he was leaving TOI and thereafter during his years with Explocity where he has being doing some really great stuff with 080 magazine. Allen was a great source of inspiration for upstart journos like me and was always very patient and encouraging.
Hi Allan, May your soul rest in peace.. All i remember about you is your loud ‘hello’ to all the explocitizens as you entered the office.. also the basket full of sweet chocolates u gave to every one on one particular day! and i know not the reason. i wish that you reincarnate with hairdo like me since i recall that you envied once looking at my hair. I liked you a lot for your ever smiling entry with your beige colored suit. 🙂 bye bye alan 🙂
This came as a shock. Allen was both a colleague and a dear friend. He was a top class reporter who could narrate a story as few others could. While he was versatile and could handle multiple beats with equal ease, he particularly excelled at doing human interest stories and disaster reporting. The desk used to love him as Allen was passionate about dishing out seriously good copies that needed little or no subbing. He was also extremely supportive of rookies like me when we worked together at Indian Express in the late eighties. Personally too, Allen was a nice soul who loved movies, music, good food and good company. I’ll miss him bad.
Indeed a sad day. I am still in shock. I agree with Sudhir, as a sub on the Bangalore Indian Express desk, Allen’s copy really needed little work. Stick a headline, and stick it on Page 1 – mostly. A great raconteur, he brought the copy to life by telling us all about the events in the most entertaining way. Humble too. I remember him telling us about his very first copy – a lengthy one about some VIP’s arrival at Bangalore airport, which happened to fall in the hands of Narayan Babu (the desk chief). Allen would say he learned his first lesson in writing from Babu that night – all that purple prose reduced to a one-para bit!
Rest in peace, Allen. My prayers are with Sandya, Aditya, and the rest of his family.
My dear sister Sandya,
What words can comfort you at a time like this, it is only a reminder that both you and Allen found a special place in my heart.
I will never ever forget the morning I came home on some copy work- apart from that work, I was very disturbed and upset for personal reasons that day-; and I will never ever ever forget the kindness and warmth you both extended to me – your kindness showed me who you both were. I have ever since embraced the both of you as my own brother & sister. Its little moments like this , little sincere gestures that make us live on in the hearts and minds of those we touch.
Allen will therefore always live on in our hearts and minds. The Lazaro family sincerely reaches out to you,Sandya, in this hour of grief – grief that we share as well. We only wish you peace and calm at this moment. I also reach out to Aditya with love and a warm hug and a reassurance that he can always consider us family… always.
Our deepest condolence
John, Barbara, Mark and Jude Lazaro
he was and is an amazing character with that rare sense of humor.
As an Architect I had the chance of meeting him invarious circumstances and each was a revelation in itself.
May fearless journalism with that sense of humor be the tribute to his soul
Allen’s passing away is tragic and a great shock.Bangalore Journalism will never be the same again. For he was a narrator par excellence of the city…capturing its hues and moods. He was such an amiable soul always ready to help others. I knew him since my days in Express Hyd.He loved Bangalore and in turn, Bangaloreans adored him. Our prayers are with Sandhya and Aditya.
Shocked to hear the sudden demise of Allen Mendonca.Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.God grant his son Adithya,wife Sandhya,sisters Mavis & Vivette,and brother Glen, strength and courage to bear this loss.We the family friends of Pintos,Lewis and Roche share in your grief.May his soul rest in peace.We miss you Allen
[…] Also read: Allen J. Mendonca: rest in peace […]
In Kannada there is a beautiful proverb ‘Sharanara Savu Maranadali Nodu’ and the hundreds who came to attend the funeral service of Allen at St Patrick’s Church bore testimony to this. M K Vidyaranya has aptly described the emotions on display at the service. As Sandhya Mendonca so beautifully put it in her heart-felt farewell to her husband, “Allen was a true Karma Yogi.” There was not a single dry eye in the entire church.
thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and memories of allen. you describe his each action and words so vividly, i feel he’s living on in our minds and his spirit will always be beside me, smiling naughtily and encouraging to keep going to fulfill all that we wanted to do together with our son aditya.
do visit http://www.raintreemedia.blogspot.com and see our team’s tribute to him
Allen mentored me during my intership at TOI. it read this news item with a heavy heart, coz although allen did hav his ‘moments’, he was a fun guy, harmless, writing was sheer poetry.
May God bless his soul.
The good go early! I was a lost boy with no guidance, Allen showed me that you first have to ‘carry no baggage’ ‘to be a player in the new game’. I salute you, though I was not anywhere when your time came. But, I always knew you were one of the few with radical thinking. Your lesson that day has taken me places. RIP Allen.