Thursday, April 16, 2009

Visting The Office... That Used To Be Mine

Why would people find it so difficult to believe that I would go to the office just to see my friends again? To make the most of my remaining days of independence? Like I said in my last post, leaving my office was at about the same level as leaving my home after getting married. And after you leave your home on your wedding day, you do go back just to see your family, don't you?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Musings For Today

I had almost forgotten what it's like to be able to relax. I had forgotten that one can take a nap in the afternoon. That one can sit down and chill in front of the TV in the evening. Call friends and catch up.

The last couple of months involved a lot of wedding stuff, plus the knowledge transfer and everything else at work. Even on my penultimate day at work, my boss insisted that I should submit my performance appraisal form.

Today's been a relatively slow day, but it takes just such a day to realize how sleep deprived I've been lately, and how much I was in need of such a day.

It's also been a day of getting calls and e-mails from people who cannot make it to the wedding. Slightly disappointing, but, hey, when you send out wedding cards, do you ever expect all you invitees to show up?

And then there is this childhood buddy of my brother's. He's been like another little brother to me. He's working in another city and was talking to his boss about taking time off from work. The boss was not too keen on giving him Monday off. He told his boss that he was going to attend his sister's wedding, which is on Sunday, so there is no way he could come back on Monday. Now rather than coming to Delhi and calling up the office on Monday morning to tell them that he wasn't coming, he'd obviously prefer that they grant him his day off peacefully. Poor boss had to give in.

There are some friends who mean just as much as your family means to you. In the last one week, I've re-realised that I have an amazing bunch of such friends. Which is why leaving my workplace was no less emotional a time than leaving my home on the wedding day will be.

A Little Love And A Little Friendship

I had a good day on Sunday. Met up with a couple of friends in the middle of all the running around from one end of the city to another. Spent some leisurely time catching up with them. Came back home and had a nice, long conversation with my two best friends in Melbourne. It reminded me that geographical distances between friends are hardly consequential. When people know each other and understand each other well enough, it doesn't even matter if you are out of touch for a while and then get back in touch one day. It doesn't matter if you are so far away that when you are eating lunch, they are eating dinner and when you are putting up with scorching heat, their winter is on the way.

It feels a little strange sometimes, when you look back at how quickly time passes. When my buas and mamas refer to me by my childhood nicknames, I kind of feel like the chubby five year old who used to play with her bua before the bua got married and whom the bua used to call Bhabchu. I remember dancing at her wedding at that age. I remember, a cousin bua danced at that wedding, wearing my mom's wedding lehenga. I found that lehenga as I was sorting out some stuff today. I think mine is about seventeen times as heavy.

It was slightly weird, getting up in the morning and not needing to go anywhere. Since the 14th of February, I have been running around so much and getting up at seven or eight every morning, including weekends and other off days. Yesterday was the first time since then that I did not set an alarm. And today was probably the last time I got to sleep at leisure, until the time I land in Boston. Even so, these three and a half days have just whooshed past me in such a hurry, with so much to do, that I haven't really had much time to realize exactly what is going on. There were so many things to do at home, yesterday and today. I don't think I will have time for that in the next two weeks either. In between, I try to steal some time to check my mail and update my blog.

So many changes, so much going on, so much excitement. And so much exhaustion. But so much to look forward to. Life is good.

Four days to go.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Now that I've had a little time to settle down emotionally, I'm back to feeling all happy and excited about my wedding, and I'm taking with me happy memories of my time with my friends in the office.

I must mention, I really loved the amount of thought that people put into the gifts that they gave me for my farewell. When I use to miss Sumit, I used to pet the kangaroo he got me, or listen to the last song he copied on to my computer for me to listen to (thankfully he did not sing it himself!), and feel better. Now I have ways of feeling better when I miss my friends from work. I have the long list of songs, and the gifts. Which reminds me, I have to come up with a name for the Grim Reaper (as my brother calls it) which does a funny dance. This was supposed to be a collective gift but I'm told it was selected by Ashish and Hemant. And, in keeping with the naming convention adopted earlier, it will be named after one of the people who gave it to me. I feel like calling it Ashu, after Ashish. Maybe he is going to want to punch me or scream at me when he reads this. But I find the idea pretty likeable.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Parting Words

Yesterday was the first of three big good byes that I have to say. It was my last day at work. I did not expect it to be this emotional. My school and College farewells were not even halfway there. And the transition from MCA to the job was so smooth, with the internship in the last semester and so many classmates around, that I didn't really notice the change too much. But this farewell was way too overwhelming. In the morning and afternoon, a number of my friends got a little too emotional and I was the one consoling them. I was all smiles and excitement. But after the formal team farewell, I don't really know what happened. I know when it happened, though. I was sitting in Ashish's cubicle, chatting with him, and he said something to the effect, "Kuch time tak to ajeeb lagega, but slowly we'll get used to it." It was then that I realised that it was the last time I was sitting in his cubicle, talking to him in such a leisurely way. I don't know why that realization was such a big thing. I don't know why that statement let loose a torrent of tears. I've gone over that one statement about a dozen times in my head since then and each time it's led to the same thing.

Almost all my friends sang for me that evening. I will cherish the memory of Hemant singing Ab Na Jaa, Ashish's Amber and Chalte Chalte, the Tujhe Dekha To duet with Anuranjan, Neha's Jab Koi Baat, Abhinav's Chaand Taare, Bhatti's Puraani Jeans, Balab's Zehreeley (totally awesome!), Namrata's Kabhi Alvida... I hope I didn't miss anybody out. It was great knowing that people like me and care for me so much and are going to miss me so much. It was pretty apparent from the thoughtful farewell gifts and the way everybody was talking about me leaving the company. Bhavna, Abhinav, Bhatti, Alok, Aman, Anuranjan, Neha, Chaya, Namrata, Sandy, Ashish, Hemant, Gauri, and of course Mohit: I'm going to miss all you people so much. Love you people. You were great folks to work with and be with. Keep in touch, people, and be there at my wedding!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Penultimate Day At Work

A rather emotional day for me. Abhinav wanted to take some time in the morning and say stuff that would get me all sentimental and make me cry. Because apparently, he's a little too busy to do that tomorrow. Alok took me out for lunch and we had the loveliest time. Bhavna and Abhinav took me shopping for a little while and we had our share of laughs and making fun of each other.

Small digression. One thing I wanted to mention in this post that I forgot. Ruchi said that she could write a book about the nine years that she and I have been through together. One of the guys was rather curious on whether anybody would read it. Ruchi said that if a book was ever written about Bhavya, it would certainly find a lot of readers.

The coming ten days are going to go past me in a bit of a rush. And when I come home at the end of a full day, I just feel like plopping down on my bed. I don't generally have enough energy to sit up in front of a desktop computer. Which is why I believe that this blog will be on a bit of a break after I return this laptop tomorrow. But I will definitely resume blogging in full swing once I have had a couple of days to settle down in the US.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

For Varun

I don't generally write dedicated posts for people who don't actually read my blog, but some people are just that special. I actually intended to write this on his birthday, which was on the 14th of February, but, that being the day I first met Jatin, with my roka ceremony being the next day, the day was a little too hectic for me.

Some of this is lifted from the testimonial I wrote for him on orkut, but I have made my modifications.

It's been seven months that he took up work at the same office as me. We've actually known each other for about five years now, and we were always friendly with each other. But when we started carpooling, I started sharing almost everything with him, because for about four months, it was just the two of us in the car. I've discovered that he's a guy who can give even a girl like me (who tends to be rather unstable emotionally) a very objective and reasonable perspective on a lot of things. He's a guy who can cheer me up on the worst of days with his jokes that a lot of people classify as PJs but I tend to like. He's a guy who can actually figure out just when I need cheering up, based on the speed at which I drive.

In the days when I was carpooling with just Varun, on days when I was really exhausted or frustrated with someone or something at the office, I would look forward to getting out of the office, not because it would mean that I would get to go home, but because of the drive. Before that, driving all the way to and from work was quite a pain.

He's the kind of guy who won't let you stay too serious for too long. He just cannot formulate two complete sentences in succession without dealing a completely senseless joke, which is sometimes exactly what one needs to lighten the mood. Or to keep up the good cheer, if the mood is already light.

Keep the PJs going, dude. Will miss you lots.

The People I Will Miss - Chapter Four

I did not write about two of the guys at work in the third chapter of this series. Never mind about the reasons. But somehow, it is more difficult to articulate my thoughts for these two guys than for the others. It is virtually impossible for me to say anything serious to either of them because neither of them can go for more than five seconds in conversation with me without pulling my leg really hard. Hence I chose not to even try doing that at lunch.

It's actually a very good thing when the somebody keeps the atmosphere light, keeps you and their own self laughing, even if it is at your expense, and keeps you from getting too serious. Especially so for people like me who tend to be overly serious and sentimental at times.

In Ashish's case, since I've had opportunities to discuss serious stuff with him, I also know that he is capable of conducting a serious conversation when the situation demands it. That he is capable of telling me that I am taking things too seriously, even without laughing things off. I haven't had that sort of opportunity with Hemant, though.

It's sometimes quite endearing, the way Ashish will first find a way to irritate me on purpose and then be seen scampering around for cover. The way he sometimes still teases me about the time I told him that Hemant is the better singer of the two. The way both of them make fun of songs I like. Of everything that is remotely connected to me.

It's beautiful, the way these two guys sing. The way they always make it a point to say 'Hi' or 'Good Morning' every day. In Hemant's case, he'll always deliver the greeting with a bright smile. I'm going to miss all of that.

Happy Birthday, Bhavna

I think I haven't written a birthday post in quite a while and will not be able to write another in quite a while either. But I certainly owe Bhavna such a post. Everybody who called her today to wish her asked her what she did last night and what she was going to do today. And she told everybody that she was partying at night and also during the day, but for a different reason. Amidst all the farewell stuff, she didn't really get to celebrate her birthday, except for the two cakes, about which it was not clear whether the cream was sour or if they contained liquor.

Bhavna was the first good friend I made in this office. Two days after she joined, it was my birthday. I remember, we were already pretty good friends by then. And two days before I leave, it's her birthday. And we are still good friends and intend to stay this way.

She's been a great source of emotional support for me. She has managed to retain her childlike innocence after all these years. And yes, she's one friend I can talk to about just about anything and trust completely. She's also been a great mentor, and sometimes, functionally, almost my boss at the workplace.

Will definitely miss you, dear. Stay in touch.

Farewell: Chapter Three

I actually wanted to go out with my friends from my University today. Apparently they had other plans. They wanted to make me believe that they didn't have time to go out for lunch and spring a surprise upon me on Tuesday evening. They didn't know I already had dinner plans for Tuesday. Yesterday, Varun called me around 3 o'clock in the afternoon to ask what time I wanted to go home. It did strike me as slightly odd that he was calling me that early in the afternoon to ask this question, but I think I had too many other things to worry about. So the plan for the surprise was spoilt. But well, it's obviously the thought that counts. And I was touched by the thought.

So we went out for a well planned evening outing today where we had another round of talking about stuff that we would miss about each other. I suddenly realized that I am also leaving behind friends like Ruchi, with whom I've been really close for nine years now. And Varun, who's been, among other things, my emotional stabilizer until I met Jatin. And Tulika, who's still a cute little girl who's always been like a little sister to me. And I know how much all these people are going to miss me. I was really touched by whatever they said about me. Even Neeraj's "Vaise to tu sahi hai, bilkul perfect hai, but thodi ajeeb hai."

Love you guys so much, Ruchi, Varun, Tulika, Neeraj... everybody. You guys have been really significant in making me the person that I am today. Will really miss you.

Farewell: Chapter Two

The second farewell was at lunch today and was hosted by my immediate team. I'm really glad that it was just my immediate team. That made things all the more personal and memorable.

People asked me to make a farewell speech and enumerate the things I would remember and miss about the people in the team. And they were asked to do the same for me. The good thing about it was that each time I was on the verge of getting a little too sentimental, someone or the other would poke fun at me or somebody else and get everybody laughing.

Mohit, my boss, said that my leaving the team would leave a big hole. Gauri said that Jatin would always be very happy with me and would never get a chance to complain, and even if he did, he wouldn't have the courage! Almost everybody said really sweet things about how I always take their comments sportingly and don't have airs.

I've been lucky in this regard. I've had a great boss to work under. A terrific set of colleagues. I've found some really good friends here at this office, many of which I would like to keep in touch with for the rest of my life.

Farewell: Chapter One

So the first in a series of farewell parties from my friends at the office happened last night at dinner with my regular lunch group friends. I went to this place called crazy noodles for the first time and saw just how crazy it was. I think everybody had a little too much to eat there. Chaya and I found it slightly difficult to walk after that.

People wanted me to sing my favourite bhajan for them. Bhatti later suggested that I should sing a non-bhajanable number so that it would be a challenge for the guys to clap to the tune and make it sound like a bhajan. Somehow the mood of the restaurant didn't feel quite right for me to sing.

Chaya needed to visit the Staples outlet at the Great India Place. I accompanied her there and hence visited the only Staples outlet I have actually seen in India for the first time. (For the uninitiated, my soon to be husband works with Staples. And no, I am not authorized to get Chaya or anybody else a discount on their merchandise.)

Oh, and yes, Bhavna and Neha took me shopping for a wedding gift. It was a nice experience, which washed away some of the sour aftertaste of a recent unpleasant jewellery shopping trip I made with my mom. We bought a lovely pendant, which apparently has a J and a B embedded into its design. Namrata was the first one to be able to see them. Certain people insisted on pointing out a Z (or N, depending on which way you look at it).

We wound up the evening with Bhavna's birthday cake. Her birthday is actually today, but last night was a good opportunity for all of us to celebrate together. We were all so full that we could barely look at the cake. Apparently there was something wrong with the cake, although Sandy maintained that it was perfectly fine, but it just had a little liquor in it.

Liquor or no liquor, no cake can match the sweetness of the bond we share with our friends, now, can it?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Last Week At Work

This morning, as I was dusting my room, I was brushing the dust off my laptop and it struck me that I'm cleaning this laptop for the last time. The computer I used for writing all but two of the posts on this blog. The computer which I used to watch any number of movies and TV shows. After I return it next week, this blog will probably take a long break.

And then there are the bigger things. This is the last time I'm going to bed on Sunday night, knowing that I have to get up and go to work for another five days. The last five days of driving all the way to Noida. Of talking heart to heart with my friends during that forty kilometre drive. Of entering that familiar workplace and seeing those familiar faces around. Of reporting to that familiar boss. Debugging that familiar (almost familiar!) code. Swiping the same access card every morning. Having lunch in that same cafeteria every afternoon. Taking a walk around the same campus.

It's not just the people at the office I'm going to miss. I'm going to miss this office.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Things I Re Learnt

  • It is always great to visit friends and spend time with them.
  • It is also great to visit a friend's place, even when the friend in question is miles away from home. It helps relive the good times you spent together and all the time you spent hanging out at their place. It helps you connect with them without seeing or talking to them.
  • One needs to learn to be able to let go of the little things and not lose sight of the bigger picture.
  • One meets a lot of people in life. Some are significant and some aren't. You need to be able to tell the difference.
  • There are lots of issues you'll face in life. Some are significant and some aren't. You need to be able to tell the difference.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thoughts For Today

I never knew that I could actually get sick and tired of shopping. It's one thing to revamp your entire wardrobe, but it's a different thing if you have to buy more clothes than you actually need, just because there's a tradition of carrying a certain number of items in your trousseau. That had me a little tired. Of trying on all kinds of clothes and all kinds of shoes. So I'm pretty thankful that I was all done with it today. This leaves only the jewelery that still needs to be shopped for.

There are so many things I like about India, but there are a whole bunch of them that make me feel thankful that I'm leaving the country. Why do we let pandits take us for a ride for their own profit? Why do we let every uncle and aunt execute their own whims and fancies at an event which is supposed to be our special day?

Well... but I guess it's not that big a deal, really. Two years from now, I'll still know that I found a great guy. But I won't remember all these little irritating nuances.