The Last Man Standing at Jyoti Nivas College Road

It was the first week of August in 2016, I believe, when I rushed to Bangalore to start my internship a full month after everyone else. It was my first time in Bangalore, and I remember being intimidated by the city itself. It was very different from everything I had known. The very next day, I was to start my internship at a management consulting firm called Zinnov. I knew one college senior who worked there, so it was a relief that I’d have a familiar face around.

I entered, filled out a heap of forms, and then was ushered to another building on the same fateful “Jyoti Nivas College road,” barely 20 steps from the main office. The words BSR arcade glared at me as I entered the office. The HR brought me to the first floor, where I saw about 20 people working on their laptops. I was introduced to everyone there, but I barely remembered anyone's name. I was assigned a seat and told to wait for the manager, who was busy with a meeting.

I opened my laptop and waited for it to start. In that time, two boys, one really tall and for some reason very familiar, and another a little shorter, looking half stoned, approached me. I was already nervous by now. I thought they were employees, so I braced myself. They sat down and started talking to me animatedly, shooting random questions at me. It turns out these two were also interns. Over time, these two idiots would become very close to me. On the same day, there was this woman sitting next to me. She realized how nervous I was, and she talked to me, trying to calm me down and filling me in on a lot of details.

Then there was this really goofy guy sitting near the back of the office, which seemed to be a zone of a lot of laughter and commotion. He was a senior from the same university and probably the most fun person there. You might have read about him in my blog; I call him Lil Bitch. This goofy guy gave me some really hard-hitting advice when I was at a trough in my life and has helped me in so many ways; I have stopped keeping count now.

My first project there was with this guy who seemed to know everything about everything, and his look went from a good schoolboy to stoner ***** in about the two years I was there. He was an oddball, and I loved that about him. He’d recommend some awesome books and bizarre TV shows that I loved and made the best homemade fries anyone ever could!

Eventually, I became a little chill and would go to grab an occasional smoke with my goons. One such day, I saw this man wearing grey formals on Diwali when the entire office was dressed in ethnic colors. And this guy is talking about some movement that took place in some remote corner of America. We ended up becoming really great friends, emergency ice-cream buddies to the person I’d call at 3 am in the night just to chat.

I became really close to all of these people over the course of my two years at Zinnov. I am still in touch with most of them. What propelled me to write this blog is that the day before yesterday, I got a message with a screenshot of a resignation letter. The last man standing had finally put in his resignation. The last of the lot. Over the course of the last two years, we all became really close, breaching the boundaries of a work friend, extremely engrossed in each other’s personal lives. The GEIP people. Now, if I go back to BSR arcade, I will recognize that sign, the stairs, and even my seat, but I think that’s it. The floor will have completely new faces who have no idea who I am. Hell, even the name of the team isn’t the same anymore. But somewhere in those tiny conference rooms, the rasam-soaked cafeteria, and the laughter emerging from the last row, a bunch of us will always be there, laughing and trying to avoid work. Or so I'd like to think.


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