“Benjamin, we’re meant to lose the people we love. How else would we know how important they are to us?”
– Mrs. Maple, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Five years and 359 days back, she happened. Back then, I didn’t know that she’d grow to be one of the, if not most, influential people I’ve ever had in my life. When I started in IQZ, I thought my journey would mostly be a lonely one. I didn’t know what plans TK had. I had been promised a platform to build what I desired and I started based on that promise. But I also knew, that whoever joined next, may not believe in that promise. It was also very unfair to expect them to. So, I thought, that it’ll mostly be a small scale, lonely journey at IQZ for me. And then she happened.
When I interviewed her, I didn’t know who I was getting. We had interviewed a couple of people before and they were all not very exciting. So, the expectations were rather low for her. But she surprised me. From the way she showed an interest in technology to the way she carried forward an interview conversation, she was a breath of fresh air. And so, she was on-board. Little did I know how important she would turn out to be in my life then.
Over the course of five and a half years, we’ve been through numerous adventures - some amazing, some heartwarming, some sad, some joyful, some painful… but she was there - a colleague, friend and companion - to brighten my day and to keep me in place whenever I got too cocky. She taught me life lessons. She taught me how to have fun. She made me realize that there’s more to life than what I had known. I’m grateful to all of these.
But you know as they say, you can’t just cage a bird, give it food and toys and expect it to be happy forever? In a lot of ways, I think that’s how she felt here in IQZ and Coimbatore. This city was/is/and probably will always be too small for a spirit that was as wild as hers. So now, she’s flying free, far away. And in a lot of ways, I’m happy for her. I hope she discovers amazing adventures - far better than whatever she had here. I hope she experiences life - far amazing than whatever she enjoyed here. She was amazing and she deserves it.
Deep down though, I’m going to miss her. When you grow up around a person for almost six years, especially when you work with them over many many problems late into the hours, you form a very special bond. It can’t be explained in words, but when you start seeing blocks of code and realize immediately who would’ve written that particular block just by the style of code, you know you’ve spent the time. Those long coding sessions, those evening cafe hangouts talking random shit about random things, those moments where we covered each other’s backs when we fucked up with deliverables, and lots and lots of laughs and those momentary tears… all of those are memories now which I’ll carry close to my heart for a long long time. And I’ll miss them.
Looking back, the years gone by has taught me a lot of things. I wasn’t a perfect friend. I made mistakes. I learnt though. I’m glad I had someone to point it out for me and was patient enough to see me grow better. Perhaps now is the time for me to move on ahead alone, maybe because finally I have the strength and sense to do it without needing a person to see through? Is this what this universe is telling me? Or is it that I’m so unfortunate and unlucky that I cannot have something good forever?
Goodbyes are hard. Especially if it’s a person your brain spent close to thirty thousand hours keeping in memory as someone living close enough to say “Hey, let’s hangout!” and not having to think too much about it. How the fuck is it supposed to reverse it immediately?
So, here’s to you, Sunitha, a person I deeply admired and genuinely cared and wholeheartedly wished nothing but the best, for more than half a decade now - Bon Voyage! I hope you have an incredibly awesome journey ahead, dude. I always wanted for you to rise up your career in an amazing manner. I dreamed of days when you’d talk to a grand audience showcasing a product. And while I’m a little sad that it’ll no longer happen while you are here, I’m glad that you are probably still going to achieve all that from somewhere else. All the Best!
“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
– A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh.
Thank you for making me feel lucky.
Until better days,
8th February, 2023.