“Where are you both? Let’s have lunch together”- this is a message that my friend, Sajal sent to me and Erin, a few days after college reopened. I will admit, that message was all it took for a lackadaisical day to become one I was happy about. Brace yourself for the story ahead. It has memories, learnings, emotions against the backdrop of an internship at Reliance Industries!
Internship at Reliance, a breeding ground for lifelong friendships
Let me give you some backstory. Sajal, Erin and I did our internship at Reliance Industries Limited and stayed at the same guesthouse. This meant we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner together for two months, gossiped about people and events, watched bad movies, shared our fears with each other and ate ice cream every night with grated chocolate and coffee on top much to the umbrage of my fragile throat and deviated septum. We watched that exciting super-over Mumbai Indians V/s Hyderabad Sunrisers IPL match in the stadium together, we even happened to discover that Navi Mumbai is quite an exciting place, did you know?
Reviewing each other’s reports- Mark of a true friendship!
Just in case you are wondering for all the work during our internship at Reliance Industries Limited, we went over each other’s final presentations with a critiquing eye and well-wishing heart. The end of the internship left me feeling sad- I had the best time and had made some true friends but would they last? Would we go back to college and be the people who only met each other in hallways by coincidence? Or would we find out what the others were up to, through the grapevine? Will we have the time and propensity to reminisce about our shared experience, more importantly, would we make new memories at all?
So, you see, the lunch was an important one. The food was adequate, the environment noisy, the time limited but the warmth was unfeigned. A few weeks later, we happened to do it again, this time we weren’t just smiling at each other gracelessly but were also actually able to hear each other. Plans for ice cream were being made when a fourth person said “Oh so you guys are an ice cream gang?”, to which Erin replied, “No, we are a gang”.
My faith in friendships in this uncoordinated, fast paced, Netflix bingeing, google pay using time has been restored. On a side note, google pay is amazing, do get it if you haven’t already!
After credit scenes
It has now been a month since our internship ended, and three weeks since we’ve been back at college. I’m learning all about change management, compensation and benefits, performance management and the like while Sajal and Erin’s marketing timetables are as chaotic as Ranveer Singh’s clothes. Our WhatsApp group “The Dream Team” generally has only two people speaking to each other at any given time and plans to do things together fail with the same consistency as Kristen Stewarts’ expressionless-ness.
So far, we’ve made and conveniently forgotten about plans to watch Dark Phoenix MIB, Toy Story 4, go to the Irish House, play strategy board games and enter a corporate competition together.
Am I angry or upset? Did my fears come true? Not really because when the two of us meet, we always think of calling the third, when the three of us meet, we choose each other to sit with, when we think of bad movies that we happened to enjoy, in unison we say “De De Pyaar De” and when we meet, we meet with happiness, warmth and encouragement for each other.
Since I moved from Bangalore to Mumbai a year ago, it’s been surprising that a sociable,
outgoing and friendly person like me would have a hard time making friends. However, that is not the point I want to make. Sajal and Erin are special to me not because they’re my first true friends here in Mumbai but simply because they’re my true friends. In their company, I have the freedom to be myself, complete with bad jokes, questionable opinions, lots of energy and lots of genuineness.
“Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened” is a quote I ponder over and
vacillate about. Today, I agree with it. Regardless of whether we continue to stay in touch or not, I will forever be thankful for having met and having to know two individuals as funny, bright, sincere and kind as the both of them. Having spent some time doing secondary research on happiness, a common thread appears. Most researchers in the field say that a sense of community and meaningful social bonds are the keys to happiness. I had that all my life, and never valued it, when I went looking for it, I didn’t find it. When I let myself be, it came to me. In this time of smartphone addiction (because of which we are apparently growing horns, no joke), true human connectedness exists and how sometimes all you have to do is announce “Let’s have lunch together”.
This article was submitted as an entry to Become an Author with Dare2Compete.