He won a golden plaque … for his heart of gold

Subbu has been the canvas on which we drew our life’s picture….

I met Subbu on the same day that I met Krishnan and he has been  a friend since then. The telephone bills that he prepaid so that my mom-in-law would not know what the bill amount was, to telling her that I was fat, dark and really ugly before she saw me, so that reality would be better than what she expected, to being the first person we turned to for help every single time. A friend who has seen the best and the worst of our lives, a friend who never doubted our integrity at a time when there was every opportunity to doubt … 

The struggle to move Subbu quickly from his office to watch a movie, or his characteristic stopping at every step to think if he has missed taking something, to the countless hours spent talking about everything under the sun – business, life, books, philosophy. We never called to find out if he was there – we just dropped in and he was there – he has always been there… we had to perforce break off and move to a different city. But distance doesn’t change anything. Six years of forced silence also did not change anything. 

On Thursday Subbu called at 9.30 and I knew he was in Delhi even before he told me, but the great news was he was getting a national award for having created a component used in cardiac procedures out of polystyrene whereas it was usually made of polycarbonate. He has therefore helped reduce the cost significantly. We caught up over lunch and then when I got back from work – it didn’t matter that we didn’t have an extra bed to offer, the carpet was fine and we spoke to some more friends and we were as updated about each other as though we met everyday. Guess we do meet everyday, since we keep each other in our thoughts !!!

The Ministry of petrochemicals awarded Subbu with a golden plaque, a scroll and a shawl besides the monetary award. When I saw the golden plaque I said to myself – it is fitting, a golden plaque for a man with a heart of gold. There aren’t many of his kind around and it is an honor and privilege to be counted amongst his friends…

I don’t want us to ever repay the emotional debt we owe him, because we want to remain indebted 🙂 


2 thoughts on “He won a golden plaque … for his heart of gold”

  1. There is a saying “show me your friends and I can tell you who you are”. I am glad to say and shout with joy that Subbu is our friend. Subbu is an extraordinary human being whose core has not changed in the 25 years that I have known him. It is friends like Subbu who by their way of life demonstrate the true value of friendship, and what life is all about.
    More than IQ, EQ, BQ, MQ it is very important to have the right FQ. Before you get ideas, FQ stands for Friendship Quotient.
    One famous Tamil song has a line which meant that the only ship that can never sink is ‘friendship’.
    Long live Subbu!


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