A few days ago, I asked a friend who was accompanying me on a morning walk, how Amit was ,and he gave me the shocking news that he had passed away, about a year ago. I had known that Amit was unwell and passing through a bad bout of depression. To hear he had passed away was saddening.
We live in times when keeping in touch is restricted to the few sms greetings around festive occasions and sometimes a brief conversation when either of us wants to check on something or the other .We hardly ever take the trouble to visit or set up meetings with the waste majority of friends who in one way or the other have touched our lives. So it was with Amit.
I first got to know him when we were grouped together in one of the many snap programmes that we used to run in HCL, in times gone by. People from different functions would be assigned to a project; in this case a bold venture to cross sells all products of HCL into a set of long standing HCL accounts. Amit was in charge of the Hyderabad Region and I was one of his team members. It didn’t matter if we were from Sales or not, all we needed was the passion to succeed.
We hit it off well and I quickly developed a great deal of respect and admiration for him. I liked the way he conducted himself as a leader and reviewed and encouraged us along the way. As we were all from different divisions and with varying backgrounds, it required great leadership to get everyone to gel together and stay focused on the single most important tasks of achieving sales targets .Though, in the final analysis, our results were decent but not much to write home about, an abiding friendship grew between us and we would be in touch whenever possible or when the occasion demanded.
When I was setting up a consultancy operation of my own , I met him and took his advice on how to structure and run a venture which was partnership oriented. He was by then the lead player, among a group of ex HCLites, in setting up and successfully running a fairly large sized company for many years. His advice was sound and the basis on which I set up my partnership terms when I ventured into entrepreneurship. Perhaps the last time we met was when Deepa and I went to his house to invite him and his family to Seema’s wedding. I remembered that to be a very warm meeting as we were meeting after a fairly long time.
It was sad to hear one day, that he was passing through a bout of deep depression and was not communicating with people around him .I was told that this was possibly set off by a feeling that he had not made a success of his life. I didn’t meet him then or get to know the details so I can’t vouch for this view. I only felt that there must be a lot more to have caused him to fall into this unfortunate state. I wished nothing but the best for him and prayed that he would get well soon.
To know that he has passed away in such a tragic manner is really sad .I lost a good and respected friend.