Mile Sur Mera Tumhara…

I have some memories of this and of the man who made this. Suresh Mullick of Ogilvy and Mather. I was a young trainee journalist with The Asian Age. And duly packed off to interview Suresh Mullick. It was a good thing for me that back in those days we had no internet and google baba and I was appropriately raw to not be overwhelmed by the great advertising and marketing gurus I interviewed. So I interviewed Suresh Mullick and Shunu Sen and S M Dutta with the kind of insouciance that comes from extreme youth and ignorance. Had I been doing those interviews today I wouldnt have been able to get the questions through from chattering teeth.

Back then, I think I wouldnt have been overwhelmed by anyone except Bon Jovi and Michael Jackson, I was at that age. So off I trotted to the Ogilvy office, hoping to wrap up the interview in an hour max. I learnt, to my surprise, when I landed there, that my subject had very different plans. In fact, my subject dapper in a suit and a very oldfashioned pair of spectacles had kept his entire day free for the interview. Which was not an interview of him, but an interview of me. We went out for lunch to the Library at the President. Lobster was ordered. I was a greenhorn at managing cutlery to attack the crustacean, he laughed and ordered me to use my hands. He asked me about my childhood, how I grew up, my family, I could barely get in a word edgewise to ask him my questions about himself. I drew out little bits of information in the course of our conversation which I had to commit to memory. I was not allow to jot down notes. Mullick was a nice avuncular gentleman, and someone completely different from anyone I’d interviewed earlier. He had a subtle sense of humour, a slight Woody Allenesque look and a gentle interest in what I planned to do with my life, quite flattering for a little nobody just out of college, and who had wandered into journalism quite by default. He knew and knew about things. Music, books, art, cricket, I remember feeling quite awed by the breadth of his knowledge. And his words still stick in my head, “Always do what you enjoy. The moment you stop enjoying something, move on.” I didnt quite understand him then, but I do now. And I think its a maxim I’ve adopted. He would call up occasionally. Chat a while. Always asking what I was working on, if there was anything interesting I was writing. Asking me to send in copies of the interviews I’d written for him to read. Discussing articles I had written, dissecting them in the most gentle disarming way.

Thank you Mr Mullick, for your kindness to a trainee journalist. You made me believe that true greatness is in making the other person feel good about themselves rather than tom tomming one’s own achievements.

I’m not going to write about his work, there are folks who have done that better and more indepth than I could ever hope to in a five minute post.

Sridhar, (ex Director O&M India), has just launched a book on  Suresh
Mullick, the Creative Director who directed Mile Sur. Read it here:


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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9 Responses to Mile Sur Mera Tumhara…

  1. JLT says:

    Just finished reading the pdf (at work). Couldn’t stop once I’d started. Thank you for the link.


  2. Pingback: Mile Sur Mera Tumhara… « Thirtynineandcounting |

  3. Sorcerer says:

    Thank you for the good writeup.
    i liked the new release of the song and I think I still much liked the older original version.
    Its soo touching than the new one


  4. Orange Jammies says:

    When I graduated from school, a classmate wrote this in one of those schoolgirl autograph books that everyone seemed to own back then: It’s nice to be important, but it’s a lot more important to be nice. I took it to heart and still try. Some days, it isn’t easy. But given that I’m never going to be the former, I may as well try being the latter, non? What an interesting personality, K.


  5. Aditi says:

    When I looked at the title of the post, I was wondering if this was about the new Mile Sur – the Bollywood’ised version. But it was about the man behind the original one. And what a wonderful collection of writeups it is ! Thank you for pointing it out 🙂

    My pleasure Aditi.


  6. sridhar says:

    Hi Kiran,

    Nice piece.

    I am the Sridhar you have referred to in your blog. I did not launch the book on Suresh. Several of Suresh’s friends & colleagues came together to do it. My role was like that of a good Account Executive. I want people to know that had it not been for people like Mr Ayer, Suguna Swamy, Anil Uzgare, Farida Sabnavis and another friend called Rajesh aaravamudhan, we could not have brought out the e-book.



    Hi Sridhar,
    I’m glad all you good folk brought out this e-book on Mr Mullick. It was long overdue.


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