MUMBAI, Aug. 25 -- A student activist, lawyer, an election campaign manager, leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha, Union minister, but above all, a friend. The demise of Arun Jaitley leaves a vacuum not only in our polity, but also in our hearts.

I first met Arun sometime around 1970-71, when he was a first year student at Shri Ram College of Commerce, and I was in my third and final year at Hindu College. We were both part of the debating circuit at Delhi University and would often come up against each other. To say Arun stood out from the crowd even in those early days would be an understatement. A charming personality and an eloquent speaker, he quickly became the talk of North Campus.

Despite our careers taking us on different paths...