How I Met My… !

We meet hundreds of people as we go about life. A few just pass by; a few stop, chat for a few moments and then carry on; a few start walking with us. Even for this last set, most of the times, we forget how we had met them, but certain memories do linger on…

In my previous organisation, by a quirk of fate, a few team members and I ended up on the participant list for the offsite that was being held for another region. We hardly knew anybody in those offices but we were a large team and so it did not matter much. We had to get to our destination by bus. On the designated morning, when I reached the port of embarkation, I realised my team members had left on the first bus. I now had to go in the second one with a colleague I despised but knew (let’s call him R). Everybody else in that bus was from the other offices and hence unknown to me. I followed my known colleague and sat with him, spoke to him etc. As soon as I reached the offsite location, I hurried to my friends. During the remainder of the offsite, I would not be found within 100 meters of R. But, by now, the damage was done.

Cut to six months later, I was sitting immersed in my work. We had a hot desk system and there was a stranger sitting next to me. Let’s call him NG. He was not a stranger literally; I had seen him at the offsite, but I did not know him. Being the way I am, I did not bother with NG. A little later, a loud exasperated conversation from one of the department secretaries set both of us giggling. We exchanged glances and rolled our eyes. That was the beginning of our friendship. We started talking. He had recently transferred from the other office and was a reticent boy. I drew NG out into conversations and introduced him to more people. We started having lunches and coffee breaks. One day, after we had become quite friendly, I asked NG why he had not spoken to me at the offsite. His answer had me in splits. Since NG had seen me with the douche bag R, he assumed I was a douche bag myself. I wondered if I needed to be shocked or to laugh. I had myself thought of NG as arrogant because he was the quiet sorts who do not really initiate introductions.

It was good we managed to clear the air; there must be so many who go about life with perceptions about others which do not hold true. I am glad NG & I became friends. He has stood by me through a series of ups and downs. He has been the butt of my jokes, the partner in my crimes and my buddy of different seasons. This makes me realise how true the adage is- ‘Do not judge a book by its cover!’…

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