When I Left…

Life is, truly, about beginnings and endings. Every single day, we start something & stop something else, whether in our personal or professional lives.


I remember the time I left my first job. Like everything else there, my last date was uncertain. But when it did arrive, I felt strangely void of emotions. I just wanted to escape from the place. I went about the exit formalities hurriedly and mechanically. Nobody really knew it was my last day and so there was no official farewell. But then, I left in exceptional circumstances too. A few juniors brought in a cake & herded me to the cafeteria. I was asked for a speech but I really did not know what to say. I pretty much made up stuff. I was happy to be getting away; that is the only emotion I knew. My first job had given me much but had probably extracted much more out of me. I learnt to live in villages. I learnt to survive without water. I learnt to tolerate disrespect. I learnt that adversity brings people closer. I learnt how to handle ambiguity. I learnt to work the graveyard shift. I learnt that if a leader wants to stand up for her/ his team, s/ he will do so, no matter what. I learnt to live out of a suitcase. I learnt to take early morning flights on auto mode. I learnt to enjoy life only over fortnightly weekends. I learnt the wide variety of bosses there can be. I learnt how much colleagues could care when they turned into friends. I learnt about life-long friendships. I learnt how love could be found in the unlikeliest of people. I learnt how important sycophancy was. I learnt how painful a relationship could be. I learnt the extents of hypocrisy. I learnt, pretty much, about life. My first job was not my first failure; it was my first major life lesson…


The other time, when I left Mumbai for Delhi, I did get a tad emotional. Mumbai had been, largely, good to me. I loved the independence. I love the professionalism. I loved the safety. I wanted to meet everybody before I left but as destiny would have it, I was packing till the very last moment. I was ending a phase of life there too- my single status. Mumbai reminded me of friends, work, partying, Toto’s, cousins, heartbreaks, strength, adventure, mistakes & love. But Delhi was home; is still home. I was excited to return and more than that, I was excited to start my ‘ever-after’ with N. So, well, the tearfulness did not stay for long.


The last thing I contemplated leaving was my current job. I wanted to discover myself. I wanted to write a book. I wanted to find my calling. I wanted to cook for N. Basically; I had no idea what I wanted to do. I am glad I gave up on the stupid contemplation. Work took a turn for the better and today, I am doing what few others get a chance to do. But then, there will be a day when I will leave…


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