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.