Saturday, 9 June 2012

Leader of the band

When I first saw him he was prancing around the bushes and trees with pretty young things.  He was tall, slim and had the school boy kind of looks.  Locks that fell over his eyes, the woman found him hilarious because he just couldn't talk.  Yet he tried every rope in the book to hook up with some girl or the other.  There was pretense which was justified under the guise of the famous old saying - Everything is fair in love and war. Pretty soon when the time came, he rolled up his sleeves and got to work, people just loved him.  As he grew older he stopped worrying about his looks and let his mouth do the talking.  Never have I seen another wearing ill fitting clothes charm the wallet off the client.  The gift of the gab is the most important thing, and I do believe he had it.  I adored him, saw him as my mentor, there were people who saw this and wanted to stop him from noticing me.  Jealousy raised its head in every meeting,  afterall, who would want him to take me as a protege when he had an entourage of followers who strongly guarded their turf. 

It so happened, that in 1998, I began to work under him and slowly got used to his ways and his thought patterns of life.  I came from a background of enterpreneurs, and he from a family of working professionals.  I had this straight backbone which refused to bend even in front of my boss.  Any other person would have told me shape up my act, but not him, he pampered and cajoled me into working on themes that I loved and liked.  I had before joining him done a small unsuccessful stint as an entrepreneur and with that kind of baggage behind me, it was hard to let go of my pride.  I lied in the interview about my success rate as an enterpreneur and was still hired by him.  "We need this guy", was the common refrain about me, was it my looks or did they just need somebody to work independently like an entrepreneur in the confines of a corporate world.  Maybe the HR department sympathized with me and were trying to help.  And he certainly was trying to help, I couldn't see that then, as I can see now oh so clearly. 

E-learning is a hard nut to crack and requires a lot of effort in terms of content development.  Technology and delivery engines you will get dime a dozen, but the content that will make people understand and sit up and think about whats been taught is very difficult.  I presume, most people think of E-learning as a waste of time, it doesn't work, classroom is much better.  The thing is, content is the king, and he was the emperor of content.  Understanding the subtleties of text, how it rolled on the screen, intuitiveness, design and structure of the interface, planning the delivery mechanism and rolling out specs to the developers.  He knew it all and in all brainstorming sessions we would prick his mind left right and centre to figure out how a particular module would look and read out the best.  It was just a matter of triggering the right button to get the appropriate response from him.  For people with very little time, he was god sent.

And then he promoted me, just before he left the organization.  I was sad to know, the day he said he was leaving the organization, said something about finding his own path.  The sorrow I felt was inexpressive and I didn't tell him that I would miss him.  Maybe I should have, atleast there would have been no regrets.  But then this blog post is a salute him.  May he shine and do the very best in life in whatever endeavour he chooses.
K.K, all the best, all the best, yes you are the best.


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