How We Nurtured A Lifelong Friendship That Goes Beyond Work

Through life’s triumphs and tribulations, my friend H and I remain each other’s confidantes, upholding a connection that spans time and space.

In the vast labyrinth of corporate corridors and cubicles, where time is measured in projects and deadlines, there do exist some threads of connection that defy the transitory nature of the workplace.

And I am fortunate enough to be at one end of this thread.

My friendship with H was born amid the hum of laptops and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee at the office cafeteria. It is a friendship that transcends titles and designations, a relationship that has evolved over seventeen years, woven with camaraderie, shared milestones, and sage advice.

How do I capture this enduring bond in a few words? It is a dilemma I am grappling with, even though I am a writer.

The first stitch in the tapestry of our friendship

The tapestry of our friendship was woven on the very first day of my corporate journey. It was a day that bustled with anticipation and the scent of new beginnings. I was a fresh-faced graduate from IIM-Indore, eager yet uncertain about the path ahead. H, on the other hand, had already traversed a year in the corporate world before her stint at another premier institute.

It was amidst the corridors of a Big-4 firm that our paths converged. Fate had positioned us within the same strategy consulting team, and tiny cubbyholes of workstations placed us in close proximity. Amidst the ebb and flow of discussions and deliberations, the exchange of banters eventually led to watercooler conversations.

“Can I say something?” I looked up from my laptop into H’s earnest face one day. “Don’t read the newspaper in the office, even though you come very early,” she said in a soft voice. “The Director here calls you a Sarkari Babu.” Her advice echoed in my ears and is still etched into my memory.

Least bothered about what others thought about me, I was touched by the palpable concern etched across her diminutive frame. She was clearly worried and deeply cared about my impression in front of seniors.

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Little did I know then that this seemingly mundane piece of advice would mark the beginning of a bond that would grow stronger with time.

An organic connection: friends in the making

The evolution from colleagues to confidantes was organic, unfurling like the petals of a flower under the gentle caress of the sun. Our shared interests and experiences effortlessly bridged the gap between our professional personas and personal lives.

Serendipitously, our marriage anniversary dates aligned, binding us in an unspoken thread of synchronicity. To date, we breathe the polluted air of the same city and watch our children grow side by side, their laughter intertwining with the laughter that often echoes between us.

As time flowed and we grew in our careers, so did the currents of challenges and decisions. In the heart of professional crossroads, H’s counsel always shone as a beacon of wisdom. She has always been my sounding board for professional discussions.

“Your anger is justified, but don’t act in haste lest you end up inflicting more loss on yourself,” she once advised me during a moment of frustration at words. Her words were a balm to my vexed thoughts and a testament to the depth of our association.

Beyond the professional: an unfading connection

I changed my job after some years. With a different professional trajectory, our physical proximity waned, but the threads of our connection remained unbroken. Phone calls bridged the gaps between meetings, and the distance only served to strengthen the intimacy of our conversations.

Through life’s triumphs and tribulations, we remain each other’s confidantes, upholding a connection that spans time and space.

Two years ago, when I embarked on a career pivot, H stood resolute in her support, one of my steadfast pillars after my immediate family. As I scaled new heights, she cheered louder than most, and her words offered solace during setbacks. We celebrated my victories with shared joy and dissected failures with unflinching honesty.

In my early days as a coach, the first news of a significant client win was always conveyed to her. She was the one I turned to for accompanying me in my TEDx talk.

For every writing piece I pen that gets published, including on this platform, the first link is always shared with her. Her thoughts and reactions hold significance beyond measure. A missing response leaves an unspoken void.

“Sorry. I read the story but forgot to comment. Here’s what I think…” reads one of H’s WhatsApp messages to the story link I shared with her. It’s an admission that resonates with an unspoken affection that transcends screens. Her presence is one of the things I am grateful for in life.

A grateful reflection: shared challenges and dreams

As I reflect upon my corporate trajectory, gratitude envelops me. The experiences, lessons, and trials have all contributed to the entrepreneur I am today. And in this mosaic of memories, a prominent piece is the friendship that has weathered time’s vicissitudes. H, a name that is inseparable from my narrative, a friend who has been not just a part of my past but also a guiding star in my present.

In the pursuit of ambitions, where objectives often take precedence over emotions, the tale of my friendship with H stands as a testament to the profound impact that true workplace friendships can have. Through shared laughter, challenges, and dreams, our friendship thrives – a thread of connection that defies distance, time, and the constraints of office cubicles.

And now, as I pen this story of our friendship, I eagerly anticipate her feedback, knowing that her response will breathe life into these words.

Image source: friends by VikramRaghuvanshi from Getty Images Signature Free for Canva Pro

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About the Author

Smita Das Jain

Smita Das Jain is a writer by passion who writes every day. Samples of her writing are visible in the surroundings around her — her home office, her sunny terrace garden, her husband’s car and read more...

41 Posts | 51,367 Views

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