It would surprise most people if I were to tell them that I had never wanted to do an MBA, or stay in Chennai or work for a newspaper. The surprise lies in the fact that I have managed to do all those things despite not wanting to do it. Believe me pressure factor was nil when it came to choosing the above mentioned. In fact was ready to embrace my choices. I never did think of the positive side of these choices though.
Without a doubt it’s when you are done with a particular phase of life and ready to move on to the next that you stop for a moment and think “Wow! Those were some good times!”
Same is the case of 3.5 years in Chennai. This is a city that is hot, humid, dusty and reeks of everything you could possibly imagine and yet, not for a moment am I unhappy to call this city my second home. There is something about Chennai that grows on you. I cannot say that it is the epicenter of all things “awesome” and “happening”, yet its gentle lull will put anyone at ease. Setting foot in this city and hunting for PGs during my first year here did not go down well at all! A cramped little room with 5 beds is not exactly my cup of tea. And it is a wonder indeed that within a short span of time I have learnt to adjust better than I have ever had! (Not that I would dream of setting foot in that PG!)
My best and fondest memories here (and most would agree with me) would be the pigging out! Needless to say, my mother had many a sleepless night over this fact! Ask me about any restaurant, hotel, café or chaya kada in Chennai and I would know it of course for directions you would have to contact my trusty sidekick and roomie Jewel!
In fact, we have been so religious with food, that “Thanal” the mallu restaurant we order from most of the time knows which address to come to the moment we say Nandanam! It is quite an embarrassment actually! But what the hey! I am shameless that way!
The most embarrassing situation was when jewel and I ordered half the menu at Cream Centre and the waiter took one long look at us and asked us “Will more people be joining you?” Trust me that would not have been a funny moment if I were not in the right company!
As I leave this city for good, I am overwhelmed by a wave of emotions that all point me in one direction. Relationships.
This is the biggest factor that made me fall in love with Chennai. The amazing friends that I have made! I truly believe in keeping a short supply of friends because that in effect makes you value relationships more! I am glad to say that I have a set of friends who would make super midnight buddies and I for a fact know that they would be my friends for life!
Of course I start with Jewel Francis who’s been bearing the brunt of me for the past 5 years. We did our MBA at the same college and did not get to be pals until the end of our second year. Little did we know that we would end up fending for each other in a city that could be as cruel as it could be loving. Our final year together brought us closer and the one thing I would never forget are our binges! Be it food (mainly) or clothes or movies I have completely enjoyed our binge fests! Come home soon and we shall continue our binge fest in Cochin too! Cheers to my classmate, roommate, colleague and dear friend.
Do read “My Blooperific Buddy” http://mybathroommirror.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-blooperific-buddy.html my dedication to Jewel!)
Asmitha Ashok, is someone who I owe a lot to. Not too many people stand by you in your time of despair and the night I met Ash, we knew squat and about each other and I was in a broken state! For someone who didn’t even know my last name, she did a pretty good job of wiping away my bitter tears and setting me back on track. She made me feel so special every time we met and always, always had something to say that would light up my eyes and make me grin, giddy with happiness! You are a wonderful person, so full of life and so giving. I am so happy to have met you and would never want to give you up for the world! I know you for just 3 years Ash but I feel like I have known you all my life! Can’t give enough “LOU” to you!
(Do Read “Black Rain” http://mybathroommirror.blogspot.com/2011/04/black-rain.html for my ode to her gorgeous hair!)
Another person who had truly touched my life is Madhuri Arni. She was my boss in office and I must say more than an amazing boss, she is truly the definition of an amazing human being. She is the most genuine and loving person ever and I am so honored to have befriended her. What you want most will happen within the blink of an eye Madhuri, I assure you! The only word, as simple as it may sound describes you in totality is “GOOD” and in a sentence “a heart of gold”. Thank you Madhuri for taking me under your wing, for being my confidant and above all a wonderful advisor and friend.
Urmil Bhatt! What do I say about you? Because no matter what I say, I would definitely not do you justice! I think you are a fine person with astounding values and a sense of humor so splendid, it never fails to uplift my bad moods! I think and I take the liberty to say that I have found a brother in you and that for me is so reassuring. I know there is always someone keeping vigil and taking care of me and making sure that I stay happy always. Be it going to Blackberry services to repair my wreck of a phone or watching Transformers and on cheering Optimus or even getting a pastry at Ecstasy. You have given me so much strength and courage and made me fall in love with myself all over again! I could not ask for more from you Urmil because before I think it, you know it.
It’s always better to make a friend late in life than never make one at all. This holds true for Sethuraman Iyer! This is the only guy who’s managed to make me understand the basics of Cricket (which I assure you is no easy task!). I have never met someone with so much patience and respect for those around him. And he would make an amazing father! Just promise to not force your child into joining the Indian Cricket Team! Sethu has always been rock solid. I know that if I were to go wailing to him right now, he would make me feel better in a minute. Your love and care will be truly missed Sethu!
Do read: “Another Cricket Hating Femme Bites the Dust” http://mybathroommirror.blogspot.com/2011/04/another-cricket-hating-femme-bites-dust.html My dedication to sethu!)
If creativity is gold then Vijay Menon would be the richest guy around! He is one person I can spend long hours with jabbering about absolutely nothing at all! I will always remember him sprawling all over this office chair with a completely laid back look. The moment you knock on his cabin door, a lazy hand manages to come up and gesture toward a bean bag right by his desk. You sit down and the jabbering commences! Thank you Vijay for some of my most fun moments!
If I were seen heading to the scheduling department, you can be rest assured that I would be found in Sripriya Ramachandran’s cabin going blah! Blah! Blah! When I need advice, a lot of love and a shoulder to cry on, Priya has always been there. She has always been like a second mum to me (she looks too hot to be one though! ;)) and I thank you so much for the hours of reassurance when I sat shedding tears in your cabin. It’s too bad that I could not meet you before I left but I am definitely coming back for a visit. You owe me a nice lunch spread!
I am sure to end up bawling like a baby when I leave Chennai. But somehow I don’t think that sadness would engulf me as it should, because the friends I have made here would just not let me give up that part of me that belongs to this remarkable city.
Thank you Chennai for helping me rediscover myself, for making me go through hell so that I finally appreciate the goodness that’s coming for me and in every sense, making me a better person than what I was when I first embraced you as home.