First I want to pay homage to Ranjit Gupta and convey my personal condolences to Ranjitda's family.
Indian football has lost an able administrator in a very tragic way...
I had the pleasure of meeting Ranjitda the first time in 2000 through journalistic friends.
Ranjit Gupta, the then honorary secretary of the Indian Football Association (West Bengal), had heard about me, IndianFootball.Com and the work I was trying to do online for the promotion of Indian football.
It was early days for me in Indian football, but after meeting Ranjitda I knew that here was a man who genuinely wanted to do something for the development of Indian football.
Ranjitda was the man who revived Bengal football, brought in new sponsorship, tried to focus on youth development and much more.
He was genuinely interested in what I was doing, why I was running a site like IndianFootball.Com from far away Germany. I explained to him that I was interested in football and India besides learning the basics of journalism. It also gave me a way to stay connected to Indian football. And that I wanted to help in the development of the game.
Later on I would help Ranjitda set-up the IFA's first own official website.
Ranjitda was a man of principles, he even went against the strongman of Indian football Priya Ranjan Das Munshi for the interest of Indian football as he termed it. He failed to dislodge Mr. Das Munshi, but he at least tried to make his point.
We would have many conversations about Indian football, the opportunities and its problems over the years...
The last time we met in September 2009 at the IFA offices. Ranjitda was on his way out, I was rushing in; so we didn't have the time to really talk except asking each how we were and if things were otherwise fine.
May Ranjitda's soul rest in peace.