1. The lady who cleans the washroom in office: At a time when most people around me (including me) are complaining about their jobs, this lady is refreshingly different. I meet her everyday as she sits in the washroom, making small talk with the women, making sure the toilets are clean, the tissue papers in place and the washbasins dry. As we exchange polite smiles, she asked me if I was new. I nodded respectfully as she proudly informed me that she has been in the organization for three years (i.e. she is the equivalent of senior analyst) and she manages the entire floor. Even after three years, even after cleaning up the mess left by other people, she seemed contented, she took pride in her work and she cared enough to make the new people comfortable while most others were out to intimidate them.
2. The Tam room mate: I have never met him, I have never even spoken to him but he dominates our conversations- the brilliant guy who reads a lot, the finance geek who explains valuation model when he is drunk and yet fails CFA Level 1 repeatedly, the man for whom I have somehow developed so much respect that I trusted him when he said inflation is positive in America even though three different sources stated otherwise.
3. The ‘other’ broker: He is the uncouth, unsophisticated typical mobile flaunting Mumbai broker, but at the same time endears himself to you instantly. He calls you even after the business transaction is over, he informs you that he is in the neighbourhood in case you want to meet him, and he checks on you if you need any more help, and yes, he helps you with the curtains and the cleaning up as well.
And most of all, this old old friend of mine, my first friend in Mumbai, with whom I have nothing in common, and yet, who helped me get through college, who showed me all the cheap places to shop and eat, who is suffering from this godforsaken disease which no doctor has been able to detect, who spent a month in the hospital, whom I had almost forgotten as I got involved in my own narrow life…