What do you say about a twenty-five-year-old boy who died? That he was never a boy. He was far beyond his years.
I had nothing much else to say but I had so much told to me today.
He was an Arsenal fan and his family learnt to expect banged doors when they lost.
His last name showed him to be Maharashtrian but he had a Sindhi mother and he could speak both languages fluently.
He was a brilliant mimic and his family recognized everyone at the office from his impersonations.
All I knew was that he was just there like the walls of my building were there. He thought lunch was what you ate after 7 p.m. And he really never stopped smiling. Not joking. Jokes were his forte.
Sidh@nt died of a severe asthma attack on 4 December 2008.
He worked for me, with me. I was his last boss and he was my best man, my right-hand man. I feel paralysed, crippled without him. I never told him just what he meant and I regret it. It never even occurred to me that I wouldn’t have a chance to – we both had our careers stretching on ahead of us, so we could concentrate on making other people’s lives better and worry about our own later.
I always thought we learn from people older than us, senior to us at work but I was wrong. Each day I try to add a little extra to my work and to who I am by thinking of what I would do. And how trite that sounds!
Years ago when I chose this for my profession, I rued that it wasn’t something that allowed for caring or passion of spirit, nothing that would deeply touch people’s lives. Sidh@nt showed me I was wrong. Only someone with a real zest for life and an unshakeable commitment to other people’s happiness could have been remembered as he was today, by family, friends and colleagues together.
For Sidh@nt, one of the sweetest, most complete human beings I’ve had the good fortune to know – and I had that honour for six months – your memory lives on every day.