In October 2000, we were getting ready for Bangalore IT.COM 2000 – India’s largest IT-related expo. As in 1999, the community had got together to put up a big show at the Linux Pavillion of IT.COM, and lots of plans were in the air.
One of the highlights of the previous year was our network – Linux powered, and performing flawlessly. In 2000, we couldn’t afford having anything less.
The day before the event, we began setting up our stalls – a huge, sprawling affair that covered the complete rear of the pavillion. When I arrived there that morning, I watched with glee as bunches of young enthu cutlets put the professionals to shame by setting up equipment, stringing up cables, securing networks, etc.
In the far left corner stood three PCs, which together formed Khader‘s cluster demo. As I approached it, a tall, jeans-jacket clad, skinny guy, whom I had never seen before, rose from behind the table, busily and efficiently stringing network cable around the place. Avinash and I watched him for a while. The new guy clearly knew what he was doing, but never let anyone feel that he was “showing off” – he just did his job, and he did it well.
I remember Avinash looking at me and raising an eyebrow. We have always used events to identify potential new team members. At IT.COM ’99, that resulted in Shanu being “assimilated”, which later brought in Sony as well – and of course our first interns: Kalyan, Madhu and Mrinal (who were all studying then).
Anyway, after we watched the tall, lanky guy at work for a while, we knew that we had another “potential”.
By the time the event was over, this young man, who had never participated in any of our community activities before, and was not even from Bangalore, had become a part of the group – everyone felt like they had known him forever. And as Avinash and I had hoped, he turned out to be yet another valuable addition to our team at Exocore, which he joined a few months later.
Over the years that he worked with us, I watched him grow into a responsible, trustworthy and hardworking engineer, and he (like most Exocore people) became a close and valued friend (and probably the only person on earth that my mutt, Judo, was afraid of – and loving every minute of it).
When he eventually moved on we were all sad to see him go, but happy that he was following his dream.
Since then, he has continued his career in far away lands, with resounding success. When I met his current boss last year, I was thrilled to hear the appreciation in his voice of this young man’s achievements, and how much he valued him.
And yet this young man returned, year after year, during Linux Bangalore time, to help us set up things, make sure that things ran smoothly.
Well, this young man had another dream to fulfil – one he had dared to address just before he left Bangalore.
And today, this particular dream of his comes true, and I’d like you to join our extended family, friends, colleagues and me when I wish him all the best that life has to offer.
Good things happen to good people.