The last man standing
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 this management consulting firm called Zinnov. I knew one college senior who worked there, so it was a relief that I’d have a known face around.
I enter, fill out a heap of forms, and then I am ushered to another building on the same fateful “Jyoti Nivas College road”, barely 20 steps from the main office. The words BSR arcade glare at me as I enter the office. The HR brings me to the first floor, I see about 20 people working on their laptops. I am introduced to everyone there, I barely remember anyone’s name. I am assigned a seat and I am told to wait for the manager, who is busy with a meeting.
I open my laptop and wait for it to start, and in that time, two boys, one really tall and for some reason very familiar and another a little shorter looking half stoned approach me. I am already nervous by now. I think they are employees, so I brace myself. They sit down and start talking to me animatedly, shooting random questions at m. It turns out these two were also interns. Over the course of time, these two idiots would become very close to me. On the same day, there is this woman sitting next to me. She realizes how nervous I am, and she talks 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 a count now.
My first project there is with this guy who seemed to know everything about everything, and his look went from 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 home-made 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 is 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 3am in the night to just chat.
I became really close to all of these people over the course of my two years there at Zinnov. I am still in touch with most of them. What propelled me to write this blog is that day before yesterday I got a message with a screenshot of a resignation letter. The last man standing had finally put his resignation in. 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, and 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.