We are approaching the last hour of 16th April 2012. HE is still undisturbed on HIS face, while HE is driving HIS Swift on the Mumbai-Nashik Highway or the NH3. HE had probly mentioned somewhere in the timeline, about HIS weariness as HE has been driving since 03:00 pm. There was nothing insignificantly visible on HIS face of the driving fatigue. The spikes were still erect, like the way they were made during the morning Gel-Wash! A chequered shirt teamed with the blue jeans wasn’t a new thing on HIM. It had been bit backbreaking to catch up with HIM. Those memorable moments, flashing in your brains, from a four-year long relation sometimes create a gush of tasks for the Neurotransmitters and Receptors. I didn’t realize if it was right to open up and make a conversation or just lay back and visualize those good days. Shinde was the one to break up ice and thankfully he wasn’t creating any noise. I had assumed about this journey going all mess in Shinde’s presence but for the last-hour’s-sake it was all calm. Partly thanks to IPL Feeds on Shinde’s blackberry, that kept him away from creating the havoc.
There I had a small conversation about what HE has been doing these days. And exchanging some of the names-I-knew, coz I had worked once where HE is right now. As the Swift pauses near Majiwada Junction, I could do a propa adios instead of just vanishing-away-act. While I am eating wind for the last mile to my home, the red-tee and khaki-colored-cargo-trouser clad chap flashes on the Neurotransmitter. It was 1st December 2007; I got introduced to HIM, say at about 11 am? Not just me, but the entire new team joining one of the finest offices, I have worked in this life. A rectangular conference table occupying almost of a room, and filled up with all of those devices – Video Conferencing Equipments, LCD Screens, Projector, mechanized Backdrop, Microphones etc. HE is our Guru-for-the-day to shepherd us through the Procedures and rulebook of this new work place.
HE started with an introduction of HIM, which most likely took about 2-3 minutes, and expected a quick introduction from us. We did that, well no choice either! A lunch followed on a big table into the cafeteria and a session again. This awareness-session on Saturday ends up almost by 7:00 PM and we are finally good-bye-ing all the new faces that we have met today. These are the new-faces who would be soon colleagues Monday onwards. It’s just a matter of hours!
3rd December 2007, I have my formalities done at Security Desk and I am guided by the Security Personnel to reach on 12th Level. When there, I realize, my team operates inside a training room. Most of the workstations that I see have the screens locked with a human’s Login-ID. Glenn arranges a chair next to him and confirms me, this is temporary. I have a look downwards to have my eyes stuck into a workstation class machine. Glenn has collected, and sounding best of his calmness on this conference call that he is logged into. I still keep my eyes scanning the entire room. It seems to be a full of those mess, messed up with the pricey devices and brands that I have never heard of. The wait ends when those humans enter the room. The ones, who had locked the screens, #YouRemember? I along with Gopal Keswani, we are introduced to HIM & Vikash Das.
HE is equally calm when compared to Glenn, but seems to be no-fake-accent guy. So there I am handed over to HIM and Vikash for the next phase of mentoring. The exchange of words happens both ways and HE has to, probly, analyze me and Gopal for spoken skills? No? Okay. We are handed over a bunch of manuals which I tag them as a S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedure). A discussion again happening in Evening about our roles and now we have some questions to be asked to him, but only with regards to our Work Profile. Days pass by and I realized he is the Spreadshit Guru…errr….Spreadsheet Guru (I don’t feel like using backspace, sometimes). Vikash sometimes cracks a joke, asks everyone there, “what is 2+2?” and Vikash himself answers, on HIS behalf as, “Start > Run > type EXCEL > press Enter! And then calculate. The answer is 4.”
This is what exactly HE was, I realized today, observing HIM all the time that HE has been with me as a Colleague or as a Mentor or as a Time-Sheet Approver or call it anything. Except for the last 1 year or so from current date, as Vikash has been my Manager. HE has HIS own way of magnifying things and thus the answer to a simple math problem like 2+2 is that long. HE has HIS own way to deal with things. One who can listen to you completely, thus not sounding prejudiced about you? HE had his own ways to earn respect. I am glad HE allowed me to use some of HIS tricks, when I was feeling humiliated in my role. You should be aware of the art to decipher HIS questions, which come as an answer to the questions you had for HIM. HE had the patience to bear all of non-sense happening with me.
HE always had a question for me – “agar MAIN chala jaunga toh tu kya karega?”, and I had an amorphous answer – “AAP jaake toh dekho!”. That mini-heart-attack I encountered, when HE declared HIS Business Trip to our US Office in 2009. I managed to survive the day, when I got this news; I had expectations of Vikash’s leadership while he was away. The next day it was badder than expected! Vikash was accompanying HIM to this trip to US. “For how many days?”, I ask HIM. HE answers, villain-ously, “Days? Months! At least 4 months, may extend for more time!” They left in such a precipitance on 12th September 2009. They settled there. timezone changed. Barely any communications on firm’s IM. Email exchanges happening. But sometimes, you crave for a Voice chat.
The lucky day comes in, when all the voices (that I was craving for) glide in my ears, but in a rotten way. An escalation in my Mumbai office for a certain Excel-Access-Citrix-Issue, which makes me stretch in office till 22:30 hours (I.S.T.). HE knows the fix very well, and is guiding me over the IP-phone (not I-Phone). Joys and Pains were circulating with blood throughout my brains. JOY of speaking over phone with HIM and Vikash; PAIN of the technical issue, which I was dealing with. However I left office, when the fix was halfway. HE expressed to take care of the fix.
He was back, probly, on 26st January 2010, into Mumbai. Vikash was with his in-laws, in Ranchi probly, to celebrate the joys of being a PAPA on 25th Jan 2010. I have got my life back in motion. We worked together on many complicated Projects with limitations on Resources, for next 12 months almost. The Captain of our ship, Rusty, moves into a bigger cruise (Rusty quit in September 2010, probly). The Leadership changes happen at top-level and thus functions get separated. The Leadership changes then propagate to lower level as well. Now Vikash happens to be my Manager. For a day, I thought it would be tough to swallow the change. But it wasn’t that tough.
Communications with HIM were reduced to Kilobytes instead of Megabytes. A loner or narcissist like me, assumed a sheet of ICE building in between us. Obviously, the same sheet of ICE glaciated me, while I look at HIM growing in HIS role. Back in 2007, HE was managing 4 people and 1 function. In 2011, HE is managing 2 Functions and more than 20 People?
A decision HE takes to move away, in December 2011! A farewell, which I didn’t attend intentionally. 1 of the 2 reasons – May be I didn’t want to see HIM go away or the Venue was out-of-world for me (Somewhere in Goregaon.) Delhites, don’t mistaken it for Gurgaon. It’s HIS Birthday on 17th Feb, and I feel it awkward to call up and wish HIM a great year. HE gets a baby boy and I find it more awkward to call up or text on the celebration. HE arranges for a baby-naming-ceremony and I feel it bit awkward to attend. Thanks to momma, she has another set of tasks planned ahead for me on same day and I got no room for attending the ceremony.
Finally on 19th hour of 16th April 2012, we are driving in his Swift to Sunil’s marriage. The ICE Sheet is melted and we have words flowing out both ways. While driving HE raises HIS right hand’s index finger to comfort the itch in HIS nasal cavity, and I realize HE hasn’t changed much with the time. A beef that existed between both of us all through these 4 years – HIS liking for automation of jobs and MY liking for executing jobs manually.