Friday, February 03, 2006

OF PEEZAZ , WORDS AND WUNNERFUL FRIENDS

31st Jan marked my last day at work. I have accepted a new assignment which, will begin shortly. Writing from home, I miss the old familiar feeling of being with my junta.

My faithful desktop, headphones sans the sponge and the optical mouse have silently and willingly suffered at the hands of a harmless, but an incorrigible owner. I have dropped the mouse a million times, and the first couple of times, Wendy, felt really sorry for my techy-partner and tried knocking some sense into my head, while The Ghost (another pal who sits on my left), just gave a knowing smile. (Translated, this smile would mean, *this is just the beginning, you can expect more through the day*) After some point of time, I really felt sorry for the voiceless one, but for some unfathomable reason, more accidents of a similar nature took place at regular intervals. On such occasions, the usual routine would include flashing a sheepish smile, ignore both partners whose jaws have dropped to the floor, and proceed to listen to music at a high volume. After ten months of adjusting and tearing at the headphones, the skeletal frame had managed to survive the onslaught, while the ear-sponges were not so lucky. Yeah, and whosoever came by to my desk, invariably had to remark, “O, what a big head you have”, and this meant readjusting the frame once again, which sounded like a gun loading, click, click-click! Well, that just added to the long life of the SONY headphones.

During the short period when I announced my departure, I did not really think that so many people would miss me. I made a lot of pen-pals here at work. I never owned or carried a pen to sign in the register. I borrowed pens from my colleagues and ended up striking a conversation. And that’s how we became pen pals. AFJ was constantly surprised by the enormous number of people I used to wave out to, and flash a bright smile. There you have it AFJ, my little secret on how I became POPULAR.

And I did not even spare the helps who worked in the office. They are the most dignified and sincere group of people I have ever met. This includes, Illayaraja, Iqbal and Udayakumar (and others). There has never been a single day that Illayaraja has missed greeting me in the morning. “Good morning, Madam” and a nice smile to complement that. It made me feel like a VIP. Of special mention is Iqbal, whom I used to address as Abdul (to this day, I have no explanation for my fascination with that name). Absolutely polite and caring, he would personally come upstairs to find out if the rest of us, lazy people, wanted coffee, and will deliver it right at our desks. I suppose they enjoyed listening to our chit-chats during the tea-breaks and sorely missed our presence when we failed to turn up at the usual hour. I made it a point to personally inform them, because they deserved that much for their dedication.

Just before I wrapped up, the entire office came together and bid me farewell. AFJ was jumping for the final speech and I managed to repeat the same sentence thrice. Isn’t it great, even in the end, I managed to make a fool out of myself. I had the opportunity to work with some fantastic people, very talented and absolutely genuine.

As Wendy would have remarked, “save the best for the last”, I decided to share my thoughts on my circle of friends who have tolerated all my antics and crazy harebrained ideas.
The trio: Wendy, Tza Tza and AFJ.
Wendy and Tza Tza are the un-identical twins, while AFJ and I are like Tom & Jerry.

Tall and well built, she always managed to turn heads around at work. Wendy is also my self-appointed Sasu Maa. She will be right after me, hounding me to check mails, follow-up on some protocol that I have missed, or constantly quiz me about my mobile. The mobile is a device that I absolutely loathe, and on most occasions, I forget to carry it with me. At the end of the day, I would have amassed a wealth of messages, missed calls and heaps of curses! I have enjoyed all our early morning dates on the bike, screaming out and scaring hapless passers-by and on more instances, scandalized my pretty friend with my bizarre behavior. Oh, how I loved doing that!!!!

Tza Tza, is one of the most generous, giving people I have ever met. There is a lesson for everyone to be learnt from her. She is a great looker, absolutely impeccable dress sense, and looks stunning in any damn piece of clothing she chooses to wear. She has pampered the entire lot with cookies, cakes, gifts and lots of affection. I will miss having you around Tza Tza.

Need I say anything about AFJ. We fight in the evenings, and go out for a movie the next day. We are one crazy pair. The last adventure was a ride in the cycle rickshaw. On the last day, the three musketeers took me out for lunch to Pizza Hut. For some odd reason, the menu had combos and dishes that were not available. We finally managed to settle for some grub and of course, the final bill drove them to bankruptcy. While the twins took off, we decided to walk it. On the way, I spotted a lone rickshaw and pestered AFJ to cover the rest of the journey by this antiquated mode of transportation. It brought back warm memories of my childhood days, when my friends and I traveled around the city for the sheer joy of it. AFJ was quite embarrassed, but nevertheless she was a good sport and endured the pleasant journey to work. Even the auto fellas were quite surprised at my choice of conveyance, and tried explaining to me that they drove an auto, while I was looking at a tattered non-existence piece of equipment. But I stuck to my guns, and took the rickshaw. I experienced the old-world charm, floating through the gullies past the row of British styled architecture, which have since been taken over by the Mylapore junta.

Back at headquarters, the formalities at work kept me on my toes and I had to turn to Tza Tza for help. She helped me clean up my files and folders, and other garbage that I had accumulated over time. In between all these workouts, Tza Tza and Wendy, surprised me with beautiful rolls of handmade paper: rose petals, a deep blue, olive green and crushed yellow tinged with brown, knowing that I loved experimenting with raw materials. And they were not done yet. After my foolish speech, the twins took me to Aries Book Store and asked me to pick and choose any book I liked. I was lost in those mountains of books and once again, the entire team came to my rescue. Thanks to AFJ, I picked up Christopher Wren’s, “The Cat Who Covered The World” and another one that caught my attention was Isabel Allande’s, “The Daughter of Fortune”.
After a hug and a kiss, I let go Tza Tza and since Wendy was averse to such open display of emotions, I simply wished her well. But yeah, our hearts are in the right place. AFJ and I walked the entire stretch home. We decided to part with a hug which was quite confusing because AFJ is not the physical type either. So was it a hug and kiss, or just a small hug? To be on the safer side, we clarified the issue and parted with a big hug and lot of ‘miss you(s)’.

For all three of you, I dedicate this poem written by, Henry Von Dyke.

These are the things I prize
And hold of dearest worth
Light of the sapphire’s skies
Peace of the silent hills
Shelter of the forests
Comfort of the grass
Music of the birds, murmur of little rills
Shadow of clouds that swiftly pass
And, after showers
The smell of flowers
And of the good brown earth
And best of all, along the way
Friendship and mirth.

19 comments:

AltaModa said...

Sonia, I hope you enjoy your new work.
Reading your email, feeling that life in India is so much better/lively than our life in Canada. It's very good for you.
I just got a bid for a adapter at UK ebay (i searched it in the entire world) and got my little Sony access internet. Can chat with you again.

Obi Wan said...

What do I say? This was one of the best farewell speeches I've ever read! Having been through 4 such farewells till now, I can well imagine what you must be going through! Don't know about you, but the biggest apprehension, at times, is whether the friends that we've made while working at a place will remain as thick and as much in touch once we(or they) have moved on and have a different group. But then, we just need to have faith in ourselves(and hence our friends), that friendship is not bound by minor details like where you work or what you do!
All the best for whatever you are going to do now. Hope we'll keep in touch with your life through your blog!

May the Force be with you!

Accidental Fame Junkie said...

Awwwwww! This is the sweetest post that you have ever written! Thanks so much for the tribute! Totally touched I am!

My Ramblings... said...

All I can really do is awwwww! You are such a sweet thing.And very sweet of you to write this post!
I miss all ur jokes (pj's included). :P
Troubling you in the pantry. Irritating you about your hair. Calling you sow sow or chow chow or chowy chowy. *Sigh*

adi said...

aquam,
the saddest aspect of being an aquarian is to leave your friends behind, the best part is that you can go and discover a whole lotta new and interesting people...
and then you make some more friends.
adi

Nothings aplenty said...

*sigh* yes the office is all quiet :(
no one to bug, no one to ask to "open outlook first!!", "no, you will please carry your mobile!", "have you combed your hair??" (and a few million others things) *sniff sniff*

Accidental Fame Junkie said...

Sowsow, you have been tagged. Check my blog for details!

Atul Sabnis said...

very well written, best farewell post ever :)

Rohit Talwar said...

Here's wishing you a totally bomblastic time new workplace! All the best!

And the poem.. very sweet of you indeed!

aquamarine said...

Everyone...a personal heartfelt thanks from the bottom of my heart.Yes, I feel miserable. My eyes automatically follow the clock and I immideiately know what my gang would be upto at that hour
:(((
Hey Obi Wan, you are right. I wonder if I will ever find such friends again. Change is a big deal, is it not!! But, we try n manage to keep each other posted on the day's events. Hopefully, my blog will not suffer the brunt of my new assignment.

Naveen said...

I guess it is a time of change now..I shifted to a new place and now are you moving too..I know it feels very bad when we leave our longtime friends and move on but it is the way it is :(

btw, I could have been your friend, atleast I would have gotta hug and a kiss :)))

Hope your new work doesnt retard you from posting those long book reviews :)

Soumyadip said...

Moving ahead is tough. I too will be in a few days. I was wondering how should I go about writing a post on that, now after this I know.

All the best.

RR said...

U were doing some research on Bob marley na.

History Channel had a good one hour show on him yesterday.
Check out the timings again.

Btw I think it was just at a newbie level. So dont know if its help to u

Ashish said...

AquaM - One great post indeed :), I hate farewells ! Wish you all the best in your new venture YOU ! *Hug*

biju said...

sweet :) Have never moved but have had a lot of close friends move. kinda know the feeling but..

All the best!

aquamarine said...

Hi Naveen, thx. Naah, I hope not, even if the posts are slow in coming, they will invariably show up.

Hey Soumyadip
:) You are a sweetheart. Thx n u too, all the very best.

SHER...u rembd. how sweet of u! THx. yeah, i watched the one hour show on Marley today on Discovery Channel!

Ashish n Biju, thx a ton both of u.

still_figuring_out said...

that was so very sweet, aquaM. sorry i have been absent for so long, but i am now catching up on blog reading :) i wish you the best of luck and wishes for your new career choice.

Rita said...

Gosh! I miss that place too!! The place and you guys are especially dear to as my first pals in lonely Chennai.
Very well put AquaM. My eyes almost filled up reading this! Thanks for this post.

aquamarine said...

Hey Rita,
yeah..me missing the junta terribly.