16th March 2010
Dear John and Chris
I’m going to address this blog post to both of you whether you read it or not because that’s how I can best put down what I shared with both of you this past month. I haven’t posted in over a month so this may be a long one! Honestly speaking, when we heard that both of you were coming down for your internship, the first thing that struck me was, “Damn, we’re not the new kids anymore!”. And in no time, WE were the ones putting together welcome baskets and designing welcome posters. WE! The Indian interns! Ah, how fast we grow out of fashion. But let me tell you before I say anything else, I am pretty darn glad that Dave and Colleen decided to have you both down here.
Chris, here’s a secret: When we came down to the airport to pick you up, Sneha and I found you really cute. Ha ha, but that was until we discovered you’re insane and live in la-la land with Christine .
It was immense fun to put together the welcome poster. (Sorry Johnny, we squeezed your name in later ) You should’ve seen Sneha colouring with those crayons (she had trouble keeping within the lines), it was like her life depended on it! And even though Ms. Katie Martin decided to snort at our creation (she actually laughed and asked “who made this?? ha ha!”), it was pretty cool. I especially like the M-CAM Inc. symbol – that was way cool.
Monster drinks, Fruity pebbles, snow mobiles, 90s rap, dumb old funny movies. What do all these things have in common? John! a.k.a Josep. Our dear old Josep :-). I have said this before and I will say it again, John, you are one of the most well mannered, well brought up, honest and loving kids I’ve ever met in my life.
Right from the day you came from Wisconsin, you made it a point to be one of the family and guess what? You are. It’s just so wonderful to see you helping to set the table, helping to get the groceries in, pitching in wherever you can with the cooking, always volunteering to shovel the yard, and doing all this with all your heart and not because someone told you to. That’s a heart winner right there John. Not very many people have the ability to do that.
Chris, dude, did I ever tell you that I kept trying to get you to talk just so that I could hear your accent? Jokes apart, I definitely think we broke the ice the day I saw you with that gorgeous camera. The day we went sledding down the hill, I remember you had your camera and you seemed quite content just holding on to it, catching shots when you can. All of us hulligans rampaging up and down that hill, screaming and shouting and falling over, and you were happy in your own world, very glad, I’m sure, with an opportunity to click.
You see, I relate to that. I’m positively excited if there’s a chance for me to click and the rest of the world doesn’t matter at that time. All I want to do is look at it from another angle, another perspective, capture something no one else would’ve seen or noticed. I guess that’s how every photographer is. And by the way (this is for the people who weren’t there that day), Dave, Zach, John and Akash bulit ramps on the sled path down the hill, and when I went down, I went up so high in the air and landed so hard on my behind it wasn’t even funny.
It was an amazing experience for me, personally, to see you guys go through training in office. One, it felt so awesome to actually know what Dave and Mr. Pratt were talking about. Just to shake that head in response to what they were saying felt so cool! But two, when you guys asked certain questions, the only thing I could think is “Oh my God, why didn’t I think of that!”, and I cannot tell you how enlightening it is to sit in on a discussion and have other people look at things you think you know from a different angle. It’s like zooming in on a picture you think is clear just to find out that it was fuzzy all along and now you can see birds on all of those trees! I admired how you, John, kept asking questions that would help you figure out why you had to know this, why this training was important to you, how it would help you in the future. And I think that’s awesome because you never really learn something unless you know what to do with it. And I posistivel loved how Chris would find ways to better things, whether it was a suggestion for the system, or for an analysis, or for sentences in a paragraph (eh, Chris? ;-P), he would stick it out there.
It was quite a party on Sneha’s birthday with the Martins, Adam, John, Chris, Sneha, Akash and me. Colleen helped me bake a cake for her and it was absolutely gorgeous. By now you’d have figured out I fall in love with things I create with my hands and what anybody else says after that doesn’t matter. Chris, I think on of my favourite moments with you was when we were playing Dutch Blitz. Ok, rest of the world, imagine a game where four-five people are standing around the table, cards flying all around, people banging them on the table, shouting and yelling at each others’ partners to be faster, flushed, excited and yelling Blitz! Well, Chris happened to be in on one those scenes and he was playing. Now, all of us were excited. Chris was doped. He was jumping up and down, laughing like a maniac AND throwing stuff around. It was so intoxicating seeing you so happy Chris! You should come out of your room some more and jump around a lot more!
A marked moment in history would be the day I gave John the name “Josep”. It fits him perfectly and if I ever get to meet Mr. Bob Kendel, John’s dad, I would suggest a name change. For those of you who’re wondering what I’m going on about, it was just a name that stuck to my head after watching this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxXemG19Eu4 (it’s a Jo Koy show)
and I realised that in my head, John had always been a Josep
Oh how much we used to rag the boy about his accent (it’s supposedly how people in Wisconsin talk and it has a marked difference to the accent we’re used to in Charlottesville), which is really wierd, because we were INDIANS teasing an AMERICAN about his own accent . It was so nice of you to be so sportive about all the teasing John. Oh, wait. Didn’t you shoot me with that silly nerve gun for all of it? Then I guess it serves you right mister.
At the end of their one month internship, these two kids went for a trade show where they faced real clients (huge ones at that) and were actual representatives of M-CAM Inc. With all their learnings of one month! John, we heard you did really well at the pumper cleaner show. Dave told us all about how you never gave up and how you kept going out there, even if you messed up. Good job buddy. I bet your parents would’ve been proud. And Chris, even though I met you after the show, I want you to know that we’re really proud of you for being brave and giving it your best shot.
John and Chris are two boys I had never known in my life, spent time with for a month and probably will never meet again in my life. But the fact that I miss them so much right now shows what broadened minds, expanded horizons and a good healthy environment can do for human relationships. There was no necessity for John and Chris to open their hearts to all of us, give us a place in their lives, neither did we. But we did. We did because it wasn’t a necessity, rather it was a pleasure to accept each other with all our differences, culturally and individually. In the period of one month, we spun out beautiful relationships that will live forever. You know what the beauty of all this is? If I meet John or Chris ten years from now, even twenty, we can pick it up from where we left it, and it will not be marred by anything else in the world. Thank you David and Colleen and everybody else, for making M-CAM a platform for growth, because that’s what it is. Well, maybe we have hope after all, maybe we’ve found the ark that could save us when 2012 is upon us. I’m not talking about M-CAM, rather I’m talking again, about a society that accepts and embraces. Peace.