Those who know me well know that at one point of time I could not talk enough about my first (and only-at that time) team mate at my first (and current) job. For those who don’t, allow me to introduce Ravi Iyer. They say your first job is what shapes your entire career; so it is very important that you choose well, and give it your all. I think, what is more important is that you are lucky enough to land yourself in a team that helps you bring out your best. I think I was.
From day one, Ravi had been very patient with me, teaching me things (repeatedly, if needed) and made me feel at home. It was like- it never did seem like my first job after one point of time. I learnt a lot of things from him. The first one being, how important it is to work as a ‘team’. There had been many times when, due to ‘labor crunch’ we had had to stay back and work really late. Most of the time Ravi would have finished his tasks and I would have been slower than a snail, patiently working till 7 or 8, and then freaking out looking at how dark it was outside. Then he would say ‘Get up, get up, move, I’ll do it’ and finish whatever I estimated would take at least an hour, in a couple of minutes. I remember the first time he left what he was working on to help me out with some presentation I was struggling with, I told him I was sorry for taking his time or something of that sort; he said ‘aisa nahi hota hai yaar’- It doesn’t work that way. You want help, ask. It’s ok to ask.
He loves to teach- small things, big things. Some people, especially in such IT organizations, zealously guard whatever little they know from you, lest you climb a rung higher than them. I learnt that it is a joy to share what you know. For, when you teach, you learn too.
I remember this once, when there was this huge task that needed completion. Ravi was done with it and had to send it to a superior. It was very important that the task was error free, and he triple checked it before he clicked the send button. But the mail wouldn’t go. So we sent it from my mail id. As expected, the task was done error-free. And guess who got appreciated for it? Me. If I was in Ravi’s place, I would have torn the place down. (Appreciations are a big thing here) If Ravi felt bad; he never showed it. That made me tell the boss that it was him who did it, not me. But it also sealed my faith in him, that he was a friend and that he could be trusted. And I was so glad I did not have some bitchy, whiny girl for a team mate.
He has an opinion about everything. Sometimes he counters his own opinions. (It is a lot of fun when he does that). He can talk about any topic under the sun. He is very well read, but he never shows off. You would never guess it till you spoke to him. He comes up with the most unimaginable questions. The most recent one that he posed was, ‘People plug their ears with their fingers when they burst those loud, noisy crackers. If people don’t want to hear the noise so much, then why burst them anyway and ruin everybody else’s peace?’
Though we had some rough patches (once he wouldn’t speak to me for a week), every time I think of him, I think of only the good times that we had. This week is his last week at work, and throughout his notice period of 3 months, I was dreading the last day, because working without him is going to be very difficult indeed. His head wouldn’t pop out from his cubicle when I yell ‘Ravi, Help!’. I’m going to have trouble with making graphs, and he is not going to be around to tell me how to sort it out. But this I know- When I see my new team mate struggling with something, I can see myself helping him and telling him, ‘Aisa nahi hota hai, I can help!’