…said, Thomas Campbell, in Hallowed Ground (1825). This is so true of people who leave an indelible, forever mark in your lives!
That’s what Jayadev did. In mine, and in a lot of others’ as well.
Here’s an excerpt of what was written about him in an invite to his memorial. So true, every single word.
It is said that the cosmos often conspires to reclaim the truly special, much ahead of their time. Nothing else can explain the sudden passing away of Jayadev on the 17th of October 2016.
Jayadev did not have acquaintances—he only had friends and family who loved him deeply. He never just “knew” people—he knew them well. He didn’t just “spend time” with anyone who was fortunate enough to interact with him—he was deeply invested in their well being. He made every one feel special and always seemed perplexed when the recipients said that of him.
Jayadev was my first boss. The first “Managing Director” I went to meet, knees shaking as a novice “job seeker” in 2007. It was the best interview ever. I stopped being scared of MDs 😀 After I joined for work, it was never an office I went to. It was always extended family. Both Jayadev and Chicku played the role of father and mother to all of us, whether we liked it or not. And trust me, we all loved it.
He was eccentric about a LOT of things in the sweetest way possible. He could blow his top one minute, blast the joy out of our lives and then call us back to apologise and make sure we were happy to continue working there 😛 He gave us subsidised meals. “Why would I give you free food? I’m not running a charity here!” he would say, and then charge us Rs 32/- every month for a sumptuous full-day meal (tea, the most balanced lunch, tea again, and dinner most days). He would spend his own money and organise trips for us (inclusive of bus, stay, lunch and a pre-trip “class” on the place we were being sent off to see)! He would make us re-do and re-align copy and design a dozen times just to get it “right” — and those would be things we’d never notice if it weren’t for him. He would get annoyed when I do not carry out some of his copy edits because Chicku would tell me to leave them, get annoyed at me and say “Call Chicku here!”, wait with a pissed off expression, only to smile that sweet smile and say “Hi Chicku :)” when she walked in. Oh, he was so in love with her 🙂 And how cute that always was! That’s what I want 🙂
He genuinely cared about each of us and our career growth. It was important for him to stay connected and continue to see how much we all still loved Resource. Which is why he organised Nostalgia Nights like these, all expenses borne by self. All he wanted in return was to see the joy in us, have us back all in one place and have our laughter and memories and “Ooooh do you remember…” conversations fill those rooms! And boy, did we do that!
I can go on and on and on and on and on about him, her and the life at Resource. I have already written quite a lot when I was just 4 days away from my last working day there…and about the void in my life after I left. There is a WhatsApp group called Resource, with 5 of us girls who worked together. The group was pretty silent till we heard of Jayadev’s passing…and it brought us back together like how. Some of us hadn’t spoken for over 7-8 months and the way we reconnected was exaaaaactly like how siblings would after a long gap. No awkwardness, no uncomfortable silences. We just went on and and on for days, discussing how this man enriched our lives and made us what each of us has become today. One of them said, “This may sound silly, but it feels like we’re siblings and we just got back together. Feels so much like family”, to which I said “We were the only people we hung out with 6 days a week, nearly 14 hours each day. We’ve GOT to be family!” and everyone agreed.
Jayadev: he was an extraordinary man. And as long as we continue to think back on what he taught us and follow all of his instructions subconsciously, I will avoid the past tense and say Jayadev is an extraordinary man!
Thank you, Jayadev. You’re the reason I am where I am today. And, I am in a pretty great place. I can really never thank you enough. I am glad I met you before I went away to Kuwait. As always, you were petty perplexed that I willingly cut short a vacation to come meet you to accommodate dates! You’ve no idea how grateful I always am for taking me under your wing. You changed my life, you really did. Thank you!