Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Au Revoir

"It pains - it truly pains - to give words to your feelings at junctures such as these..." was how my speech started at my college farewell. But I am not going to tread that path again. It is only going to be all smiles this time around - no tears. In case you are wondering who I am writing this for, it is for my dear friend Varun.

Varun and I had joined Tech Mahindra Ltd. (then called Mahindra British Telecom Ltd.) on the same day; infact we were in the same batch for training with 28 others and since then we have been together in the project (he had started in a separate project briefly), stayed in the same building first and then in the same house. By this you would have had a fair idea of how much we have shared and cared for each other.

I was very apprehensive leaving for Mumbai all alone, leaving back my friends and family. What else would you expect from a boy fresh out of college moving to Mumbai - a city where God knows how many people like me get lost each day. On top of that, I had no friend or relative in Mumbai. However, it was the same feeling that I had gone through when I had first left home for Bokaro, then Varanasi and then Kolkata. God had been very gracious and I had been very lucky to have made very close friends wherever I went. They always took care of me and I have always cherished their friendship. And I came to Mumbai with the same hope of making some good friends here too - and God was very kind again, for I met Varun and Bhavin. I would not write much about Bhavin as this one is dedicated to Varun. Still, Bhavin or 'chacha' as we fondly call him is a Mumbaiya Gujju. For those who understand what that means, I do not need to explain anything else, and those of you who do not know, try finding out what it means. One thing that I adore him for is his straight talk and practicality. The fact that he can cope up with my tantrums is his biggest USP.

Coming back to Varun, he and I have a lot of things in common. We talk straight, we are very fond of movies and talking nonsense - he is a big gossip monger and that has always provided us with enough fuel to keep going; and people somehow feel we are very old/ experienced who have all the answers, as most of our time goes in preaching others. Did I say we just love the attention? ;) We are never afraid to confront anyone when we know that we are right and the other person is wrong.Moreover, both of us had left our families and friends behind and come to a new place with the ambition of making a mark in the organization, and hoping to make some very good friends in the process.

Apart from that, he is very patient (a 'must have' if you are staying with me), a very good listener, very intelligent, and a true professional who strives to be the best at whatever he does. Thodee zyada tareef ho gayee kya? I think not, because whatever I have said is true. Do not let his school boy looks fool you... he has a vary matured head on his shoulders. To all that, add the fact that he is a good cook and you will find many girls going for his head (or heart).

There is no point in mentioning what we did together in the almost two years that we stayed together; we did practically everything together (now keep your dirty minds in check for I know where your mind is wandering). I say two years, because since April '07 we have had very less time to spend with each other as first I was deputed in Pune on assignment, then Varun left for UK and now when he is back in Mumbai, I am in UK. Now that he has decided to move back to Bangalore in pursuit of a better job opportunity, I wish him all the luck. I am sure he will do well there.

At this point let me name another close friend of mine whom I met in TechM - Mimi. Mimi and Varun together helped me in more ways than they probably realise. I have not thanked them enough. In fact, if my memory serves me right, I have never thanked them. So here is my chance.

Varun and Mimi,
The two of you have been fabulous friends, very understanding and caring. You were a pleasure to work with, to watch even the dumbest of movies with and share all those stupid jokes and ugly secrets with. You were very patient with me in probably one of the worst phases of my life, the time when I needed my friends from college the most - those who were the closest to me and who knew me inside out. But you accepted everything without asking any questions and it was because of your support that I was able to come out of it and never missed Joy, Yash and Arnab. So... thank you... thank you for being there; and sorry if I have ever hurt you. I might have been harsh/ rude sometimes, might have said many things, but the truth is that I cherish your friendship as much as I cherish anything in this world.

Please do not feel left out as you are not going anywhere. There will be time and then I will sing your praise too.

Lord Alfred Tennyson had once said, "The old order changeth, giving way to the new." How true this has been for me... my old friends went away and I met Varun. Now that he is going, I hope I make some more close friends. Not that they will ever replace him, but will certainly help me to care and share more and make me a better person.

I shiver at the thought of how the office would feel like without Varun and Mimi once I go back to India. It would be very similar to the feeling I had when he was in UK and Mimi had just left TechM. But it was a very short period and I had the excitement of my impending UK trip to keep me occupied. But then, God would have certainly planned something for me, but I will miss them for sure. The thought weakens me, but then the follwoing lines come to my mind:

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

Moreover, I am not losing anything here... a friend is only going away for his good and when I say away, it is only to a different city. So, Au Revoir friend! People use this term to say goodbye. But au means 'till the' and revoir means 'meeting again'. So goodbye till we meet again... and we will meet soon - that's a promise.

Friend 4ever


Varun said...

Thanks a lot for the lovely post. I am honoured, flattered and deeply touched. Never saw it coming which has made this post even more special. I have already saved it in a word document and preserved it.

I was watching best of Friends on Star World day before yesterday and the episode that I was watching was the one where Rachel bids good bye to all her friends. I must have watched that episode more than a handful times but it really touched me when I watched it this time around. I guess I was placing myself in her shoes.

I have the train ticket with me, I know my last working day, I have got a better opportunity, and I am going home, I must be happy. I am happy but have lot of mixed feelings. I feared to come back from London as I could not imagine working in Mumbai without Chandan and Mimi around. But I’m glad that the ever so busy UK frequent flier Bhavin was around when I returned. You have rightly pointed out that God certainly plans something for everyone. I’ve found one (friend) and I am very sure that you’ll find one too.

Words and arrows cannot be taken back once they are let free but In case you can take back the thanks I would be more than pleased. I was just there for you when you needed me. Nothing more, nothing less

I might be going to another city but thanks to technology we’ll be closer than ever. If you were in Mumbai, I am very sure that you would have never written this for me. See… that’s what I am talking about when I say closer than ever :-)

I cannot really quote verses or lines from a book as u know how much I read :-) but I can surely quote one thing from the bottom of my heart. ‘I’ll miss you’

You are absolutely not losing me. I’m just making way for you to find more friends. With me around you wouldn’t make an attempt to find one… would you!!! :-)

Thanks once again for the lovely post… Au Revoir…

Varun said...

I made few people to read your post and here are their comments on it. I wanted the world to read it

My Dad:

Dearest Kitty,
The blog written by Chandan made not only excellent reading but swelled my heart with pride too!! Was it about the same kid whose bag and books I used to carry till the LKG door steps? Or the same boy who used to declare holiday for his school because his Dad had come from N.India ?? Or the youngster who used to jump directly to my arms even while in 10th standard when I used to come from Bihar???? (Thank God he was not so tall then !!!) Well it does appear to be about him alright. Nothing makes a parent more proud than to hear that his/ her child has grown up into an excellent human being. Even though we know it for sure it feels all the more great when we hear it from others. In this regard I should thank Chandan for his nice gesture. Please do tell him. As Chandan has rightly put it 'old order changeth yielding place to new'. He will move on and you too will move on as "Manjiley aur bhi hai ." - but "Yaadein hamesha hamara hi rahega". This one thing we will always carry with us as great treasure within ourselves. Believe me it always acts like tonic transgressing all time and distance barriers. I have a whole lot of such treasures and glad to know that you have started your ' Reserve Bank '. All the best dear boy and keep up the good work. Need I say we are dam* proud of you - well we are. Lots of love, yours affly Appa

My Friend Divya:

Very sweet of him……

My Friend Kumuda:

Hey Varun,
This friend of yours cherishes u a lot :) feel u guys had a real good bonding. Cool blog for a sensible/nice/down to earth guy Nice one :)

My Friend Aparajita:

Beautiful and touching… i can understand it more... And somehow i will miss you a lot too you have become so close that i will have tears when you leave :)

My cousin Pallavi:

Hey good one...ur lucky to have a good friend like him.
Assure him that physical distance never comes in between friendship...rohini and my friendship is stronger than ever in spite of being separated by 7 seas as they say....

Watch the space for more comments :)

Mimi said...

Hey Chandan,

Awesome post!!!!!

Miss you guys....really do!

Thank you both for being YOU, and thank God for bringing us all together so that I could make friends like you.