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Thursday, June 28, 2012

He was  The Boss.  At the second job  I held.  Owner of a DTP set up.   I  remember  how I landed at his office.

While studying for a PG Diploma , I had secured  a placement at a firm which manufactured and marketed Electronic Typewriters.   The job gave me my  first taste of independence.  The upbringing at home,  had always been pretty orthrodox and strict.

 The team I now worked with, was a young team.  I was all of 20 and the average age of the group was around 25.  We bonded well.

The job was pretty demanding .   As a Marketing executive, my work involved a lot of field work.  With the exams approaching, the parents were keen that I put in my papers.   I had to comply.

Soon, the exams were over and done with.  I missed the work environment, the freedom and  my new friends.   Once when we met,  they suggested   I submit my Bio-data.  (yeah, it wasnt called a resume or a curriculum  vitae ,then )  to an Employment agency.

Off we went to an  Employment Bureau, following the classifieds.   Filled up a couple of forms and was  directed to my new place of employment.

I checked out the 'new office', with a dear friend for moral support. .  Office?   It was a garage.  In a residential building .  And the esteemed neighbour - a istriwala bhaiya. I made up my mind to let go of this offer  My friend convinced me to at least speak to the people there,  and  then decide.  

The next morning, I was there.  For the 2nd interview of my life.  The job profile was good.  I got the job.   The fact that the proprietor belonged to the same community as mine, made it that much  easier to convince folks at home .  They weren't too excited about the set up though. 

I soon grew to enjoy each day I spent  there.  I was speaking to  Ad agencies I had only heard about or read about.  .  I learnt about Fonts, Lettering, exposing and developing the roll, talking to a whole lot of people, billing.......

He was about 16 yrs my senior.  A rebel, who followed his heart.  Had worked with reputed engg firms and yet had given it all up to do what he thought he liked best.

Till I joined him , his staff comprised of 3  delivery boys and 2 girls who were  data entry operators.  He seemed  glad to have me on board.

I celebrated my 21st birthday a few days after I joined there.

My tenure there was a measly 4 months.   But we bonded.   We spoke a lot.  About anything and everything.   At least I did .   He was a good listener.  Never judgemental.   Sharing with him, would always help me see things in a better perspective.   He became a good friend.   A well wisher.

I was quite aimless at that time.  Quite content to follow the route chalked out fr me , by the folks at home.   Graduation, a good job, a good alliance and then, well,  a "they lived happily ever after.".    At one point in time,  I had wanted to be a teacher.  At another. an airhostess.

 The mother dreamed of a Government job fr me.  Banks, LIC, GIC.... I was appearing for all those exams.  He did not dissuade me or express displeasure when he realised, that I was looking at other jobs.   Soon he was helping me with my resume and we were mailing them from his office.

In the meanwhile there was an opening - a temporary placement - at the father's place of employment.   With an assurance of a permanent post, based on performance.  And I  had to make my choice .   I didn't want to.  I  had to.  Going against the parent's wishes was never an option.

He said, he won't be looking for a replacement fr me.  My chair would always remain vacant.

 I kept in touch with him on the phone for sometime. 

Then   I moved on

After I got married , I took the husband to  meet him.    He had been  a part of an important phase in my life.

The next time I met him was in 1995.     He had diversified his business and was doing well too.  About me, he said, "U have lost all your  restlessness.  Finally ,  you seem  content.   ".  It felt good to hear that from him.

Today  I  had planned to meet up with friends , a stone's throw away from his office.   I called him  and asked him if I could visit him. He was as pleased  to hear from me.   He had an appointment around the same time, so we left it open.... if he was done with his meeting, we would meet.   Fortunately I did not have to wait long and he called me over to his office.   I was expecting to see an  aged HIM.  I was no longer 21, but a 42 yr old.  that made him about 56 yrs old at the least.

He was at the door  , looking out for me.

It was with a spring in my step and  excitement  that I entered his office. A huge grin  plastered on my face... a big smile on his .  His eyes radiated the same joy.

I was glad I had made that call in the morning.  I was glad I was there.

It was like the old times. We were sharing news and highights of  the  years  that had passed since we had last met.   Our dreams. what we had set out to achieve, what we did.   He remembered  fondly, my indecisiveness,  my impulsiveness  as a 21 yr old.   Like the one time when I had decided to join another firm,  said  good bye and then  reported back at his  office  the  next morning,  declaring  - I am not going!!

And then I started talking .  .... restless again. aimless again, drifting , unsure,  unhappy again. I was unburdening. Like I had always done. Not really asking for solutions.

He did what  he had always done.   Listened.   Suggested .  Guided .  Reassured me.  His approval  mattered.  That he had slipped back into  the same role with the same ease, comforted me.  Twenty two years and the relationship hadn't weathered nor withered.  Probably that was what I was looking for and hoping for.   A reassurance of my place , my role, of my status in a relation.  Whether the other person cared as much  as I did.

It felt good.

It felt good  to  go down  memory lane once again. To feel the same warmth once again.   To commit to paper memories, emotions   which might fade with time.  To remember those who touched my life and left their mark. 

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