It was just another day, few months ago.
Only a couple of things I recollect were different – I returned slightly later in the evening than usual from work, and was not greeted by the running advances of my one-year old since my wife and he were at my in-laws’ place outside Bangalore.
There was something else which happened that day though.
One of the things I strive for is being on time and appreciating others’ time. In work context, this translates to planning ahead for meetings. And when I can’t make it or am running late somewhere, I almost always let the meeting host know beforehand – though I may be delayed, the timely information and accompanying clarity from my side will not, so the moral code stays satisfied. And not all people I have met do this, so it is refreshing every once in a while to find someone with a similiar style.
For me, that person was Minaxi.
We met as both of us volunteered to lead a resource group within our company to ease the transition of new employees – aptly called the “Organization of New Employees (ONE)”. She was the VP while I was the planner in the team. If you’re tying this to my general liking for planning and time management, that makes two of us.
Very uncharacteristically on that day though, Minaxi skipped a ONE meeting without notice. We knew she was on vacation the week before this. I did check on her after the meeting but received no response – in the regularity of day-to-day life I forgot about it.
And then later that night, devastating information reached me simply stating that “Minaxi is no more.”
Processing grief is something which can never be taught, it is moulded by our experiences of ourselves, or others around us. Speaking to mutual friends as well as with my dependable circle, the denial to acceptance path got started for me. Still, rarely has a day gone by when I do not pause and casually stare at some of the “designated” meeting rooms we met in, pondering about my departed colleague and the many experiences I had with her, as well as those which are now perennially denied to me. When I did so, with time I forced myself to smile with the same feverish energy she always had on her face, never mind what circumstances were at play.
This event reinforced two things quite strongly in my mind, shaped of course also by my past experiences:
1. Life truly is short – keep sharing more of your love with others. Tell them something you find beautiful about them. I never told her about her lovely smile.
2. Be patient with people specially when it is difficult to be. Check in on people who couldn’t make it to a meeting. People may be going through various things sometimes.
Dear Minaxi, as you rest in your heavenly abode which sure was premature, this is another ripple of energy in the universe reaching out to you for brightening the life of those you have left behind. You will be missed, as will your radiant, unwavering and characteristic smile.