From the very start, I’ve had a thing for confident and strong men. I don’t know whether it’s their fierce attitude or their ability to never give up that make them irresistible in my eyes. The person who embodies these qualities the best in my eyes is none other than my former boss.
In fact, I met him when I least expected to. It was the last day of our college exams and everyone I knew wanted to celebrate. My friends were going drinking, and urged me to join them as well. Just when I was about to get into the car, I got a buzz from a popular TV channel asking me if I could make it for an interview as there was an opening. I was thrilled and asked them whether they could push it to another date as I had just gotten done with my exams. To my disappointment, they said that the offer would only last for the day. I had to make a choice. A choice that involved my friends and a choice that was about to change my life. I chose the latter.
I got into a train and made my way to their office in Andheri, Mumbai. To be honest, I was nervous and quite unprepared. I sat in the reception area, waiting for them to call my name. To my surprise, I spotted a familiar face. She was a senior from my college and happened to work in that same firm. I felt relieved to have met her, but strangely, she wasn’t the one who was looking for me, someone else was.
She walked me to this huge conference room and told me to go in. Sitting there was a man who looked too engrossed in his computer to really pay attention to me. The first thing he asked me was, “Where has your longest road trip been?” (Totally random, I know!) I said, “Lonavala.” He laughed so much as if he was tripping on something. (FYI Lonavala is less than 2 hours from Mumbai, so I guess it was justified.) His laughter suddenly faded away and he asked me If I was interested in being a contestant on a show. This didn’t seem like a job interview - it was just like a casual conversation. He then asked me if I could drive, I said no. He thanked me for my time and said I could leave.
Boy was I surprised! I mean, he just crushed my ego and asked me to bounce. Even as I headed towards the door, I realized my ego wouldn’t let me leave without a fight. I walked back to him and said, “Road trips aren’t just about the person who’s driving, it’s about the friends sitting in the backseat too. It’s their company that makes a trip so memorable.”
Happy that I had actually stood up to him, he asked me to stay. He said he admired my rebellious attitude and gave me a chance to be featured on his web show. My tone and attitude, he said, made him think that I could become a web jockey. As for me, I wanted to do something with journalism, but I was glad to have this opportunity to showcase my talents.
I did the show, of course. In fact, I won it! When the time eventually came for me to try for a web jockey role, I asked him for a career direction shift. I told him I wanted to join his team as a digital content writer - something that was more in tune with my journalistic leanings. He was surprised no doubt, but he accepted my choice. And joining his team meant that I was no more an acquaintance or on the periphery of projects he was looking after. He had now become my boss.
From that day onwards, our relationship took a drastic shift. Quite unlike the previous meetings, where we’d joked about stuff, he now treated me like the rest of his colleagues and set targets I had to meet.
It was after my first team meeting under his supervision that I started developing feelings for him. That meeting made me look at him in a different light. He was decisive, bold and had a fabulous way of putting his points across. The beauty of him was that he knew everything about anything! His knowledge was vast and and no one - I kid you not - could win an argument against him. It was like he had an answer to everything!
After that meeting, every single day, I tried to get his attention little by little. Pitch new ideas to him, talk to him casually during a smoke break, do my work super efficiently... I wanted him to notice me and to take my work seriously. After a few trials and errors, he did. He started seeing potential in me and pushed me into handling different projects. Even though I had hell lot of work on my plate, I loved the attention he showered on me.
Whenever he gave me feedback, I would gladly take it and work on myself. His approval at that time mattered to me the most. My definition of crushing on him was nothing lustful at all. Instead, it was about intelligence, power and charm. And, trust me, he had those three qualities in spades. I could listen and talk to him for hours and never get bored. Our debates, arguments and brainstorming sessions would go on for hours.
To be honest, he’s one of the people who’s behind my success. He’s never been easy on me, and I’m glad about that. He always pointed out my flaws and motivated me to work on them. He was truly my mentor. A person who I will always be remember and be grateful to. And he was the one who was there to provide me with support and advice when my next break came along.
Even though we don’t work together anymore, we do keep in touch. When I need that motivational push, he’s still there to have my back. That’s why I’m thankful to the universe for making us cross paths - even though I will never tell him about my feelings. Uncertain relationships always have the most interesting stories behind them. Ours is one of them.
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Published on Sep 30, 2015