It was a Monday then, and I walked in to the office and met my brother. We also moved offices that day and one of my requests to the universe was met – I had commented to Krishnan when the Center Court building came up that it would be nice if I could work in some office there as it was so close to our house. All my life till then I had worked in offices that were between 12 to 25 kms from home. When Mohit called Ashok my “bhai” he didn’t know, that he was so right. After all, Ashok, 5 years later was the one who managed to get dad admitted to Apollo in Hyderabad when Krishnan and I couldn’t reach in time. My ten years with Aon Hewitt has had its fair share of life events – birth, marriages, death, promotion, job loss, friendships, rivalry, weight loss and weight gain, competition and cooperation.
Some special moments stand out – Rajeev’s comment to Mohit that he has a weighing machine and decibel monitor at the entrance of the office and only hires people who are above a certain weight and have a loud enough voice. Mohit forgetting my birthday in 2004 and coming home to wish me. My discovery of Thai food and Gurinder taking us all to Moets and how much trouble I gave him over the taste. The sudden lunch trip to Haldirams. Kabir’s joining and the way it was announced to us … And my step-brother ensured that bhai was moved away from the 3rd floor. Haven’t forgiven him yet. Our constant fight over who was Mohit’s favorite and why, it’s unresolved still – Kabir, Meenu, Satya, Narinder, Srini but never Ashok or I. We also built an awesome team – many of whom still are part of the organization.
The scrabble games with Geojo and hiring Anupam by showing him our fancy cafeteria. The first townhall in the same space where the cafeteria is today and the makeshift cafeteria on the 3rd floor. Our AMM’s and the first manager promotions of Ruchi and Vikrant and then their marriage … Kabir’s daughter being born, Ashok’s younger daughter’s first birthday, then the ship shaped cake for Kabir’s son’s birthday. The new buildings coming up, the day when we switched off shared PC’s and the tech team got mad with us. The phone call to say something went horribly wrong in a rafting trip … The hairline fracture of an associate’s finger during a team building outing. The first time we tried playing golf to being asked by Arjun to be his partner for golf on the first day I was meeting him.
Our living room on the 3rd floor and the conversations there, Sunil’s farewell as he moved to Mumbai, the expression on Mohit’s face after an associate started to cry, Kashiana’s gift of a lucky stone to help Kabir and I in our interviews … To the discovery of the “bead shop”. Dhruv’s disbelief and my constant endeavour to enter the Mrs. World contest, the countless lunches at Mega mall to gossip. The rain ride with Kirti and her wedding to her on boarding me in my new role. My girl child, her “Shri”, and Geojo’s “sataye huwe log” lunches. The countless visits and the first 2000 people townhall, the midnight SMSes from Sri and Gautam to confirm the last associate has left the party avenue. The special townhall where the chef walked down the aisle as Mohit was sharing the quarterly results. Trying to convince Sanjay that we just had 3 people in a special team that built tools to Narinder’s first joke and Srini’s “Sholay” comment just before an important meeting that made it difficult for me to keep a straight face !
I also remember the first meeting in LS where I shared how much it costs to have a baby in India and the context building video … Ramen being called in for Bhelpuri and getting in the middle of a puddle with Troy. Taking Jan for shopping at Santushti complex to being the tour guide for the CEO. The numerous bailout calls to Betty and the interview before I joined with Cheryl and Betty on the lane in Okhla. Meeting Tanya and the interesting old bus …. To the tour guide’s comments at Qutub Minar nearly costing my job. Mohit’s farewell to my farewell as I moved to a new role, to Shilpi’s farewell lunch that nearly would not have happened had Jo not run across to Pind Balluchi 🙂
The number of broken chairs that Jasjit had to go through and the number of unopened books that lie in the boot of Rohit’s car. The drive to Noida that got delayed to Abhishek’s farewell. From my single ID card to the countless cards that Abhishek lost and continues to lose. Dilip’s marriage, discovering Shakun is born in Jan (difficult Capricorn people), Raghavan’s pithy comments and Shalini’s Friday madness. Visiting Venu in hospital and the news of his death, and I never gave him the book “if tomorrow comes” … His tomorrow never came. 🙁 Hewitt cares morphing to Aon Cares, meeting Anshu and many change makers.
The “destiny” series and the APAC change, my ID card working at Orlando and Matt’s not, Rama’s victory over cancer, Artell not hearing Kabir’s question because he got so lost in his awesome voice, yes Mohit, also the one Sunday hour where the numbers changed completely !! The special cabin which never allowed anyone to stay beyond a few months, to Ashok and Gautam’s boss jinx :), from having a hotline to McD to their refusing to deliver, the simple cake from Jallandhar as payment for Gurpreet’s leave to discovering all the managers in a new team had been hired by me.
Moving to Bangalore to the office which I had used monthly for a week for two years, being both the customer and the vendor, making new friends and discovering all roads leading to “God”, in a short span of 9 months almost re-living the earlier nine plus years !! Making new friends, meeting old ones .. Interestingly the family is all here as Geojo said, bhai, Kabir and I in the same city. Making Gurinder eat dabeli in Vashi, the relay race to get lunch from Halli Mane and finding a bigger nag in Bala than Jo, my new Coorgi friends to Kabir’s fancy office.
Oh what a journey it has been …. Can’t be captured in a day and in one blog, so much to remember and so many people to thank for making it a memorable decade of memories, and hopefully I continue making a difference in the changing world.
P.S – My 5.5 year old Advisor Aaliyah asked her mom why I have been so long in the same school and my answer to her was “because I take time to learn and I really like my teachers and classmates in this school”.