Yesterday, my brother, who is moving on to a new assignment, asked me to write a farewell email (to send to his colleagues at his current assignment) that should be funny and at the same time, with tons of sentiments. So, I wrote this.
My last day, working for [XXX], as all of you know, is this Friday (tomorrow). It feels like Friday, the 13th, though it’s actually not.
I couldn’t believe 5 years have passed since I joined [XXX]account. 5 years passed like Christopher Nolan movie – very fast.
In the last 5 years, I learned “No pain, no gain.” I gave my 100% in whatever activities I did.
Today, I’m learning “Gain, pain”. Yes, I did gain your friendship, and now this separation does pain.
But then, I don’t want to stay in my comfort zone – I want to break out of it and seek a change.
Change is inevitable. Even the presidents change every 4 years. (I support Donald Trump this time. No, I’m just kidding).
In fact, this change will bring good things to me – new role, new challenge, new girls to look at.
Thanks for putting up with me for 5 years – 1327 days to be precise (I’ve subtracted weekends, 103 planned leaves, and 26 sick leaves).
Thanks to all my past, present managers for guiding me in the right way, for being supportive, and for giving me good ratings.
Thanks to all other colleagues for being there when I needed you, for helping me shape my career, and for treating me to delicious food whenever you got promoted.
Please stay in touch. I will always be just a stone’s throw away (but please, don’t throw heavy stone at me).
My personal email id is smile[his name]firstname.lastname@example.org. (No, I don’t wear blazers; I don’t have guns; but I do smile).
You too keep smiling…
With warm smile,
This email drew lot of compliments.
Many colleagues said that this was the BEST farewell email that they’ve ever seen. Some colleagues even said that they are saving this email, so that when they leave, they will use this email to say goodbye. Feels good.
With warm smile…
This is a true incident that happened during my 4-year vacation to Madurai. i.e. my college (TCE) life. And that is the second funniest thing that happened in my entire life. The first funniest is the fact that my vacation didn’t extend to the 5th year.
Let me not talk about the first funniest thing as it involves boring incidents like waking up all night before the exam, drinking coffee after coffee, reading each and every part of the book to prepare bits and master bit. So let me tell you the second funniest, which also involves bit (A).
When? II year B.E. CSE
Day Scholar or Hosteler? → Hosteler
I should first tell you about the Vinayaka temple in our college campus. This is the place which many people visit during important occasions, such as distribution of kondai kadalai (chickpeas). You can see a board outside this temple, which reads
Peak Time: Result publishing day
Non-peak time: Any other day
I am not sure if that board is still there. Or anyone has taken that to hit hostel warden’s middle head.
It was a Saturday Morning and it was Vinayak Chathurthi that day. None of my gang friends had gone home that weekend. When you’re in a gang, you can’t do things alone. You should go to college together, go to canteen together, go to bathroom together. Er, not the last one. So if I had to go to the temple, I should go with my gang friends.
I woke up very early (at 8:36 a.m.) that day to wake my gang friends up. Don’t think I was trying to go to temple just for kondai kadalai. They were also giving kozhukattai that day.
Arun is one of our gang who is never late to anything. He is always late square. With tough tasks ahead, I didn’t have a clue how to get everyone ready. Dragging them to temple was one option. But it would make hostel mates suspicious. I realize now that I could have covered that up saying, “These guys are starting Angapradakshinam from hostel itself”.
Somehow I managed to get everyone ready except SR. He took too much time to take bath. I found that to be very unusual. Yeah, taking bath on Saturday is unusual. He finally got ready at 12:23 p.m. Then we started walking towards the temple, but I asked everyone to run. We rushed to the temple.
The temple was crowded as if they were screening Vishwaroopam before the theater release. I sneaked into kondai-kadalai-giving-area. The person who was distributing kondai kadalai smiled at me and said two cricket-related words: “Over Over.” I replied to him, “Idhu romba over, anna.”
After witnessing that incident, SR tried to escape, but I got hold of him and scolded, “Dash Dash Dash, unnaladhaan da dash, kondai kadalai dash theendhu pochuda dash.” where dash is the S word (in Tamil) used for male reproductive organ. Some people in the temple looked at me strangely. Maybe they also didn’t get kondai kadalai.
After I finished that dash sentence, one guy who was standing beside me asked, “Do you know what place is this?” I said, “Yes, I know. This is the place where you don’t get kondai kadalai.” He asked one more question, “Do you know who I am?” I replied, “Maybe you are one of the people who has eaten kondai kadalai.” He again continued, “I am the deputy warden of this hostel. Ask your dad to meet me on Monday.” (I don’t remember the name of that guy. He’s a ECE dept. staff)
I didn’t know how to break that matter to my dad. All those days, my dad was thinking that the only bad word that I knew was Pakistan. I brought up the courage to say the matter to my dad and I did. But I didn’t tell him the exact dash word I used.
Monday evening, 4:00 p.m.
My dad arrived at the hostel. He was in our room. All my room mates returned from the college. And this was how the conversation went.
My dad (to Arun): Which word he used, thambi?
*I was signaling to Arun – Keep quiet. Keep quiet*
Arun: Not a big word and all uncle. He just said ‘dog’. As it was temple, deputy warden got tensed.
My dad: Just for the word ‘dog’, they have asked me to come here, huh? Very bad.
5:30 p.m. – Warden room.
Attendees – Warden, Deputy Warden, me, my dad.
Warden (to my dad): Do you know what your son did?
Dad: Yes, I know. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing (my dad was thinking that warden was referring to the word ‘dog’).
Warden: What? Do you know what your son said in the temple.
Dad: Yeah, I know. This kind of words are normal at our home. It’s even normal in our city.
Warden: What are you saying?
*I couldn’t control laughter, but I managed very hard*
Warden: See, we are talking very seriously, and your son is laughing.
Dad: If I had said this to my wife and my another son, they will laugh too.
Dad: What’s wrong with that word? In fact, I have one too (Note my dad is still talking about dog).
Warden and Deputy warden stopped the conversation after that. I said, “Sorry sir, sorry sir. I promise it won’t happen again. Please leave me just this time.” They left me without punishing. After my dad and I left the warden room, my dad said, “Useless fellows. Just for this simple matter, they have made me travel a long distance and wasted a day. He is a dash dash dash.”
Note: The dash that my father used is different from the one I used.
A Hindu marriage can never be done without an Iyer (pandit). Sometimes, it can even be done without the bride and groom. But without iyer, it’s impossible.
Not only in marriages, but in any Hindu ritual, Iyer is the key person. He chants the mantras in Sanskrit. You will never understand a single word coming out of his mouth. Like, “Snathkumara, bhagavath, sarvajoshi, viseshast, aasthikya” etc. The only sentence that you can understand an Iyer speaking is when he says, “Iyer fees 16,000 bucks.” That’s too costly, isn’t it? This gives the kids of these days a 3rd option to the question of every uncle: “What do you want to become, beta? Doctor or Engineer?”
As you can’t understand Sanskrit, you just have to believe that the Iyer is only chanting mantras for goodwill, and not scolding his wife in Sanskrit for not making puliyodarai and thayir saadham (curd rice) that day.
We did our house warming ceremony couple of months ago and -you have guessed correctly- we were in need of an Iyer to do all the rituals. All the Iyers in Karaikudi (hometown) were booked. In olden days, the sequence used to be like
1. Build a house.
2. Book an Iyer to do the rituals.
But nowadays, it’s the exact opposite.
1. Book an Iyer.
2. There is no point no. 2 because you will have no money left to build a house.
Luckily, we managed to book one of the famous Iyers, who has done a lot of Iyer roles in Hari’s movies, for our function at an affordable rate (slightly lesser than Vishwaroopam’s budget).
The Iyer asked my dad to buy many things for the ritual (which he’ll take home after the rituals). Following is the list
1. Apple – 76 kilos, Orange – 98 kilos, Jack fruit – 62 kilos, Kiwi fruit – 36 kilos, and some more fruits, which we clarified that they are available only in the supermarkets in Antarctica. With the fruits that the Iyer asked for, he can celebrate first nights for the rest of his life. He can even leave some fruits for the next 3 generations.
A sample “family will” written by an Iyer for your reference
“The third son gets 296 kilo apples . The second son gets 765 kilo oranges. And the first son gets 16, 582 ritual bookings.”
2. Bengali Cotton Sarees, Kancheepuram Silk Sarees, Sambalpuri Ikkat Sarees, Banarasi Sarees, and some more varieties. When the Iyer asked for these sarees, I clarified that we were only building a house, not a shopping mall.
I can easily imagine the following scene happening in the Iyer’s house
Mami (Iyer’s wife): I need new Sarees na. All my Sarees have become old.
Iyer: OK di, I’ll get some. How long have you been wearing those old Sarees?
Mami: 16 hours.
3. All costly nuts – Cashew, badam, pista, almond, walnut etc. Basically he was driving us nuts.
4. Ghee equivalent to the weight of the Iyer – to build fire in homam. The Iyer weighed 126 kilos. Now you obviously know that the ghee doesn’t only build fire in homam, but also in our stomachs.
When the Iyer came to our home to collect the money for ghee, we treated him very well. We gave him a cup of tea, then few chapathis with the spicy capsicum curry, a banana and anything which will help quick bowel movement and reduce couple of kilos body weight. When the Iyer was about to enter the toilet, my brother asked him whether he needed a cigarette and newspaper. And when the Iyer came out, my brother asked, “More bananas?”
The list contained even more things like, milk, towels for cow, banana leaves, shaving cream, Clinic all clear shampoo, washing liquid, Samsung 42 inch LED 3D TV.
For you people who are building new houses, I can give you only one advise if you want to cut down these costs: Look for a very lean Iyer. Or if you want to cut down more cost, then go buy a book “Learn Sanskrit in 30 days”. If you choose the latter option, keep an important rule in mind: Never eat at your clients’ home.
P.S: If this post hurts your sentiments, I just want to tell you that I’m not against Iyers. I like them. Especially the one who acted in “Avan Ivan” – Janani Iyer.
If you like this post, you may also want to check other posts in this series here.