A few days back, I checked into to this company on the first day of Summer Internship. I was assigned a cubicle and a Compaq that refused to run on Windows! I was asked to meet the administrator regarding my comp, in the server room. So off I went in the general direction of the server room and yanked opened the door.
This would be the last time in my short life that I open a server room without knocking. The scene before me was horrific. Leaning languidly against the wall was a tall and strappy young woman kissing a man who seemed halfway down her throat. She was pretty engrossed in chewing him but soon noticed my presence. She stopped mid chew, regarded me with great interest and spat out the poor guy who wobbled out in a jiffy. I retreated from the server room ashen and shaking.
1 pm: My computer was now behaving like a good comp and I was busy with the half done tasks of the last incumbent. Suddenly a blow landed on my back and I was eyeball to eyeball with the keyboard. I have never been so close to the keyboard, in fact I have never been so close to anyone. I collected my breath and looked up fearfully. The ‘server room woman’ was regarding me with an amused expression on her face.
“ Hi, I am Sunitha from Q&A . You the new Communications Intern?” Her face was friendly and I reluctantly nodded my head in affirmation.
This is how I met Sunitha two months back. Two months, that was to change my life so drastically that I once attempted……..immigration.
Sunitha was ( I am sure) a Texas cowgirl in her last life. She was part Coorgi, part Punjabi and part man-eater. She rode a Yamaha (or was it a Bajaj or a TVS?), weighed 150 pounds and was bright eyed and bushy tailed even after dunking a couple of gallons of beer. She lived life kingsize and smoked the same brand too. Sunitha drove at a break neck speed of 100 or 120 kmph on Bangalore roads. And red lights would see her sail effortlessly into the rear window of a BTS bus or the lap of the nearest software techie on bike. She would then flutter her lashes and act like the ‘maiden in distress’.
She became my self appointed guardian and friend and nicknamed me ‘billi’ that’s Hindi for ‘cat”. No, I don’t have blue eyes but a light brown that she said reminded her of her cat back home in Madikeri !
Friday nights turned to nightmare as she regularly landed at my room to drag me Pub hopping. I had trained my friends to thwart her when the door rattled at 7:30 pm every Friday night.
Friend 1 tremulously: Who’s there?
Sunitha! Where’s billi ?
Friend 2: Gone to Kerala
Friend 3: Gone to Commercial Street.
Friend 1: Gone for a walk.
Sunitha would snort in exasperation and push open the door and glare contemptuously at my brave friends cowering like frightened mice behind the door. And I would be dragged willy nilly to the nearest pub. Over a period of time I kept a scarf and dark sun glasses near the door that I could grab while being dragged out. At the pub, Sunitha would demolish pitcher after pitcher of draught beer while I took tiny furtive sips from my small glass of beer. I would of course be wearing the scarf pulled low over my eyes and the dark sun glasses kept my identity a secret.
She would roar as I made ads describing the 'challenging environment" my company offered to prospective employees, and chuckle at the brochure I designed describing our spectacular first quarter growth and would roll on the floor laughing when I made product brochures that expounded their superiority over the competition's!
An outrageous flirt, she could have the best of ‘em weak on their knees and did her best to ‘fix’ us up with what she thought were ‘good bets’. The good bets were smooth, urbane and immoral creeps.
“But what the heck yaar, at least they won’t insist on getting married.”
Her wisdom beat me hollow and she soon realized that she would have to choose between friends and match fixing. She chose the former.
“What the heck yaar, I prefer friends to one night stands.”
To this day I haven’t understood what she meant.
Sunitha is flying across the seven seas to a job in the west and we are going to miss her vivacious presence terribly. Life seems much duller somehow.