2009. Induction meeting in Delhi for MBA graduates who were to be part of the fast track management trainee program of one of India’s largest telecom companies. Lots of us excited MBA graduates ready to set the corporate world on fire and all that higgledy-pigglidy.
A casual first meeting, I suppose; one that I cannot even recall now. Another face in the crowd, probably…Five of us were going to be based out of the same city and he was one of them.
Half a decade and half way across the world later he is one of my closest friends.When? How? Really?
Friendships. It is interesting to see how the important ones began. You allow yourself a little smile when you go back into time and see for yourself in a little self-directed movie how it all panned out.
Nik and I were together in the same company for a grand total of 3 months in 2009. Remarkably,that was the only time we have spent around each other. The five of us were a big, tight group, the tacit promise of helping each other see through the horrors of the internship ensuring that we had much to talk about, share and laugh at.
A finance role in a telecom company was never going to keep him for long, and he left soon after to join an investment banking firm, to do things he really, truly wanted to do. I stayed on in the company for another three months and then moved to London.
Since then, I got married, wrote a book, wrote another, then another and then ANOTHER! (Not all of them will be printed s don't freak out about the number of books I have in the pipeline )
Every author has a friend who reads the books they write as they write it. Typically, its their closest friend. For me, my Dad and Nik do that. We have spent hours discussing the characters, the plot and why he thinks what I have written is great/ ok/ utter rubbish. He was also the brain behind the title of the first one and he will name my second.
Today is his birthday.
Last year, towards the end of December, it struck me that the entire year had passed and I had not wished him a happy birthday. Had I missed it, I asked him innocently, as I paced my garden back at home in India.
The answer, of course, was that I had indeed and he had been waiting for me to realize that I had!
I still mentally LOL when I think of that conversation.
Good friends are precious, very precious. And while my behavior hardly shows that I hold that thought dear, I dooooo!
Nikhil is one of the very few people who understands me even when I do not say anything (and I mean this literally). He is also one of the very few people in front of whom I can be me without fear of being judged. And I count that as a luxury.
Along the years, we have helped each other take some of the biggest decisions we have taken. Often not by giving advice but mostly by just hearing the other one out.
And, so, on this august day of Nik’s birthday, (;) ;) ) I would like to wish him a world full of happiness.
Happy birthday, Nik.
You simply rock J