Rahul was my boss for 7 years. What I'm going to do is tell you about my friend. Not about his fondness for the Sunday Times cryptic crossword, or his book for children that will be published soon. Not about his love for food or classical music.
If you're a woman reading this, perhaps you already know that female bonding is what keeps you sane. It’s deep, real and intimate. You share from your heart. It is well established and verified that the more friends a woman has, the less likely she is to develop health issues, as she gets older.
If you are male or for that matter female you will know that male bonding is entirely different. Men chat, they don't share. They compete. The language of male bonding is a congratulatory punch in the shoulder after a few beers, a few expletive sprinkled verbal endearments, Trump’s locker room bluster, matters of wealth, wine, sport and politics... Most pals don’t discuss anything remotely personal. Unfortunately for men, a part of defining masculinity, is not allowing your emotion, your insecurities to trickle through. It is akin to standing naked with a bright spotlight on your weak spot. What most men do is to stuff their anxieties deep down. They think that if they push it down deep enough, it goes away. But, as they sooner than later realize, it really never does go away.
Fortunately Rahul is blessed with a fine variation of the X Chromosome that works rather well. He is not careful in sharing his fear, his insecurities. And when he does, you drop your guard and share. You talk. You talk about your children, fatherhood, your professional anxieties, your depleting self worth, your life, your consistent experience of life's fragility (and the good news is that you do all this while drinking vodka). It is comforting to meet Rahul every other month. Almost therapeutic.
Everything about Rahul is real. There is no lack of authenticity. Expect hundred percent genuineness. He is comfortable catching a DTC bus or drinking chai at a dhaba. There is never ever an attempt to ever impress anyone with an appearance of greater importance. With Rahul it’s always WYSIWYG - What you see is what you get. And what you get is gentleness, genuineness, niceness, comfort and yes brilliance too. It is extremely difficult not to like Rahul.
There are few people in this world who listen, are sensitive and truly want to help. And when they help, it is understood that it is unconditional.
Always being there and being oneself is the kind of allegiance and support that is normally associated with family. With Rahul I have received this always.
Rahul is a strange alchemy of inner spirit, spontaneity, calming energy, genuine concern, kindness and gentleness.
A good man.