Friday, April 13, 2012

In Memoriam

It was the summer of 2007, a summer of friendship, love and heartbreak, not necessarily in that order. This is the story of that summer.
Interns are easy to identify, and identify with too. There is a laid-back and unfettered attitude about them, a complete mismatch to their new ties and polished boots and shining folders and lavish laptops. They are revelling in their big city exposure and new found friends, while at the same time fighting head over heels with those very ‘friends’ for that elusive PPO. It is also a time when love blossoms, blooms and sometimes dies, even more hurriedly than in B-school.
Nostalgia hits me as I walk into the same old serviced apartment now, which was home to me for 2 months in 2007.
Back then, I was an intern too, but not the PPO hunting variety. Wide-eyed and awestruck, it took me enough time to take in what would be my first ever corporate experience, leave alone fight for a PPO.
Bombay was unknown, large and looming, talking a language I could not fathom. She was interminably fast, noisy, dirty and over-crowded. Not once did she intimidate me though. I liked her, despite and because of her attitude to life. The weekdays were spent hogging pav bhajis at Chakala. The weekends were spent lazing, shopping and eating at Marine Drive, Colaba and Bandra. Sometime then, I fell irrevocably in love. Little did I know then that this love would prove to be expensive, draining me of my money, time and physical energy, eventually driving me crazy. Bombay, not unlike a courtesan, had begun to employ all her charms to allure me into her folds.
The internship itself was a disaster. “FMCG sales” was not in my breath, blood or even bones. I liked the travel though and unknown even to me, was beginning to form a bond with web check-ins, flights and hotel stays. Perhaps, that was deemed to be my takeaway from those two months. For, I went on to build a career whose backbone lies in travel.
If at all you are wondering whether I made bonds with anything non-inanimate, yes I did. Just like any other intern at that time, I made friends at break-neck speed. Thankfully, not all of them were the “forget-post-internship” variety. The first time V (M’s V that is) saw a photo of M and I together, he thought we are sisters :)
No matter how undeserved it was, not getting the PPO was heart-breaking; and felt then like a failed attempt. Leaving Bombay was heartbreaking too, as if someone had just ripped something right out of my heart’s trenches. Having my biggest fight for this lifetime with V (not M’s V) contributed in no less measure to the heartbreak pool. But, of course, there is no free lunch. If I had my share of fun, I had to have my share of sorrow.
In hindsight, the heartbreak was just as well; for, I can never bring myself to not love the career I eventually found myself in. And, Bombay is back in my life, forever this time, while fights are things of the past.
The summer of 2007 is unforgettable, for more reasons than one. It was a summer of love, heartbreak and friendship, not just mine.