By Priyanshi Shrivastava
“A-22/3 SFS Flats, A Block Saket”, I double checked the address.
All geared up and suited to enter the office of iPleaders, I rang the doorbell. I heard faint footsteps coming up to the door. I felt the chill rising up my spine, making me more and more jumpy as they approached the door opposite to me. The door creaked open and swwwoooosshhh ran two cats by me. WOW!!
Now that’s what I call a cool office to work in. Although I never had a soft corner for cats, I still had to bear with their presence and pretend to be all cuddly with them as it was my first day in the office.
And the office. Well, the office wasn’t just an office; it was a penthouse with a mini gym, an open terrace and whatnot. It seemed a very sweet, nice and a quiet place to me.
And then I saw the wooden shelf.
Holy crap! Booozzzee….
The next flabbergasting thing I came across after the cats (obviously) was the amount of booze in the rack right in front of me.
The first question that came to my mind was whether the interns get to drink for free whenever they want to. But my soliloquies were smashed when I encountered an amazingly smart plus pretty plus tall woman, Pallavi ma’am.
“How I wished I were a guy, or gay for that matter“, I sighed. She asked me something which I could not reply to properly as I was too lost in taking her in. I screwed up my first impression on her completely because of that beautiful face that she has.
She wore a white summer T-shirt on that freezing winter morning and I was woven and knitted ball of clothes that could barely keep its nose out to breathe and the mouth to speak. Standing right next to her, I felt like a student of 4th grade who had absolutely no fashion sense.
Fashion disaster was oozing out of me. (Aside:It is just a girl crush and I am all straight) She asked me to enter a room where 6-7 people were busy working on their laptops. I took a quick look around the room quickly.
Seeing the lady sitting right next to the door, I had this uncanny feeling that I had seen her somewhere before. And then it came back to me that she was my teacher in my CLAT preparation institute, Ma’am Priyanka. I wondered how small the world is.
My nervousness went for a nice morning walk and the amusement of bumping into her took its place. While I was trying to adjust myself to the eerie silence of that room, I noticed the man sitting right next to me.
His eyes were glued to the laptop screen and fingers dancing to the tunes of the alphabets, hopping from one key to the other on the keypad. We exchanged glances. I smiled at him but he did not reciprocate. (How rude! No one ignores me like that. I am cute enough to be noticed.)
But after some time, the co-interns sitting in the room started introducing themselves to me. Ayush, Shreyas and Mridul were their names. All of them were from UPES and I was the only one from CNLU. I felt like an invader in the UPES territory and I was well prepared for surviving this internship in this alien ghetto.
I sat there for 2 hours without any work to do. I was also too scared to talk to anyone or to ask for assignment.
All this while I wanted to meet Ramanuj sir as he was the one who confirmed my internship and the one I stalked the most on Facebook after the confirmation of internship; but I couldn’t see him the whole time. The day came to an end and by that time I had interacted a lot with my co-interns.
I told them a lot about my college experience and all the cool school stories that I had. All in all, my first day impression among the interns was that of a garrulous girl.
They understood what a chatter box I was and that they would have a tough time shutting me up. And also I got to know that the guy who passed not so friendly gesture at me, was Abhyudya sir.
He directed me to write 10 articles on Prisoners’ Rights in India. I went back home all drained and tired. After recapitulating the day’s events while narrating them to mumma, I was ready to hit the sack. Tired as a dog, I slept like a log.
The next one week was nothing but fun. We all used to sit in a separate room, away from the bosses, and have a gala time amongst ourselves. We used to sing, dance, crack the funniest of jokes (at keast the ones that were known to us) and laugh to glory.
There are very few people who are precious to me and Shreyas, Mridul and Ayush managed to slip their way through in the said category. Shreyas was one of a kind, one which I had never came across in my life.
One can never be mad at him no matter what he says or does, one can never be morose when he is around and it is like some Shreyas Principle that a person in the state of chuckle will burst out in laughter when Shreyas Jain is around and will continue laughing, unless and until an external admonishing is applied and a person who is focusing on work will continue focusing, unless and until he comes into picture and distracts that person.
His mere presence is so rejuvenating and revitalizing, let alone his talks. I somehow started begrudging these guys. Mridul was the one with good face, good brains and amazing silky black hair (Soliloquy: I have always had fetish for men with silky straight hair), Ayush was one upfront and witty lad who respected deadlines and always did his assignments in time, Sumi was one chirpy and emotional lass who always had a beautiful smile stretching her lips up to her cheeks and Shreyas was my type, completely ignorant of what goes on in the office.
We both were the princes and princesses of our own imaginary kingdoms. We would enter the office whenever we felt like and left the office before time; Like a boss. We used to have our lunch outside the office. The lunch would include street side food, cheap and nice.
With the passing days, I was falling more and more in love with the office, its people, my co-interns and the cats. Did I mention about the cats? No I did not.
Ginger, Pepper, Cappuccino, Chupacabra and Godzilla were the cats that used to boss us in the office. As mentioned earlier that I never liked cats, I somehow started liking them. They were too adorable to be snubbed. Ginger was the only female and used to walk like a queen in the whole office. She would pee anywhere she felt like.
She would clandestinely spring up on my laps and curl up in a spiral to sleep there. She turned my tempestuous anger to a breezy love. (Now here is the need for an awww). Other than the cats, my perception about the rude Sir Abhyudaya also changed after I interacted with him.
He was like this cute 12 year old boy whenever I conversed with him. I got to know that he was fond of the Rum-Raisin Temptation chocolate when I offered him one and he asked for more, like a cute little junior school boy.
One week was about to fly by and the internship period of my new friends was about to get over. I did not want to succumb to my emotions and break down on their farewell but it all happened contrary to what I was holding on to. Day before their farewell, I bore my heart out to them and told them how treasurable a bond I shared with them.
They bought me a white rose, white because according to them I talk a lot and white would inspire me to keep shut and breathe between my words.
That was the first time I was given a rose by someone, that too by three boys together. I was reigning the lopsided luck. That very day I came across Sir Ramanuj in the office. He came to our buffer zone (the room that was allotted to the interns, where we had gala time) and we exchanged smiles.
“We just zinged, didn’t we?”, I deliberated while trying to trace my mind back to its place. I laughed at my own pitiable state, I had again gone weak in my knees the moment I saw him. I tried really hard to bludgeon my heart from treading the wrong path; with no avail. Well, we did not zing, it was just me who zinged and not him.
He hardly used to talk to me let alone zinging. I couldn’t get a wink of sleep that whole night. That night I committed the offence under section 354-D of IPC. I stalked him keeping aside every ounce of my shame like a roadside Romeo (or may be Juliet).
On their last day, I finally got a chance to grab a glass and pour in the booze to my glory. One glass down, second glass down, third glass down and swwooosshh!
I felt the alcohol hit the spot and the tipsiness started rising slickly at a snail’s pace and the ever talkative Priyanshi was now an even garrulous version put up in display for everyone to enjoy for the evening. I remember burbling and yammering without making any sense.
Priyanka ma’am was trying to shut me up and I was not ready to do so. I told them most of the things about my childhood and college. I also told them how I wanted to be an actress beyond everything in life and all I remember is them laughing out loud at my insane and unrealistic career plans.
Waking up in hangover the next morning was not so tedious a task but the flash back of the drunken evening was bloodcurdling. The mere thought of everyone pouncing on me for the drama I did last evening, was scandalizing. As the Murphy’s Law says, if something bad has to happen, it will happen no matter how much you try to avert it.
I mustered every ounce of nerve and headed towards the office. Things were more than normal that day. Everyone was teasing me for the show I put up for them. Ramanuj Sir and Najmus Sir laughed at my peculiar way of talking. The day I thought to be the most embarrassing turned out to be one fun filled day for others.
The days of my internship were drifting towards its end. With every passing day, I was learning new things. Every day was well spent there. I came across a lot of revelations, one being that Abhyudya Sir never read my articles and very confidently used to ask me to publish them on of his blogs.
It was only in the end days when I asked him about my writing skills, he confessed that he forgot to go through them. It was also one of my memorable moments at ipleaders.
Sitting in my room, penning down the moments well spent at ipleaders, I am going all nostalgic today.
I miss the people, the cats, Sir Ramanuj’s favorite herbal tea, his drinking tips to me, the punching bag, Pretty Pallavi Ma’am, the epitome of fun- Priyanka Ma’am, the terrace, the tipsy evening, intellectual Amartya Sir, lip- smacking scrumptious chicken cooked by Najmus Sir, the amazing friends I found in Shreyas, Mridul, Ayush and Sumi; and most importantly- the implausible writing skills taught to us.
I could not however, make the best of my internship at ipleaders as I interned only for a period of 2 weeks, which is quite less a time to hone one’s writing skills. All in all, it was a fun internship for me. I found myself some amazing bunch of people and an evergreen crush to flaunt for life.
P.S(1)- I hereby solemnly declare to cling on to some of these people for life, like a honcho, even if they get fed up of my constant pinging and talking.
P.S(2)- How can I forget to write about Laila and Majnu. Well, they were ‘She’ and ‘He’ washrooms, respectively. I so miss that cool place now.