Punju Pals

I'm going to come straight to the point, just as a friend recently advised. I've been noticing a lot of Punju or Punjabi presence in my circles lately. And there is a pattern that has emerged: they are all darn warm people and would do anything it takes to help me professionally.

I first met Deepak in Bombay through a friend, at a casual dinner. He was perhaps the only guy on the table who chose to make more than token small talk. A year later, we reconnected and this time, a bond was forged. However, I'm guessing that the fondness had nothing to do with my innate charm (or the complete absence thereof). I had to leave Bombay soon after, but the friendship deepened with Deepak sending work my way. Back then, I cribbed about there being no money in it, but today I'm thanking him for the invaluable experience he gave me in writing corporate film scripts!

My stay in Pune too, has been marked by the presence of some excellent members from the community - both, at work as well as outside. First, Sanjam and later Manish. The first from Pathankot and the latter quite a dapper Delhi boy. Not only have both constantly been around when I needed advice on personal fronts, but when it came time to help, man they were after my life with a whip!

This so called pattern assumed concrete form, though, with Jagpreet Singh Vij, or Bobby, as everyone is expected to call him. [I have yet to understand the Punju fascination for these pseudo nick names - Bobby, Robbie, Bubbly among others - but they somehow seem to personify them with a rather spontaneous ease.]

I had just been given a new script writing assignment (the prior experience for which I am in gratitude to Deepak for). Having received little or no help from my Copy Head or others who had worked on the film, I was pretty much at bay.

That's when Bobby made his grand entry. A few tips here and a little hand-holding there, and I was good to go! Not only did I manage to come up with two original concepts, I was also ready with a rough draft of one script by 2.30 last night.

Sanjam's briefings for every piece of creative copy she extracted out of me were always accurate, concise and simple, without being lucid. Manish's aggressive efforts to find me good openings in Pune were beyond comprehension for me - he hadn't even seen my work!

It wasn't inspiration, it wasn't even spoon-feeding, but all of these people seem to know how to part with just the right amount of wisdom, faith and support to carry one through. And I may not owe my existence to them, but my self-esteem does swell a little when their words and actions convey a high sense of worth they attach to me.

Thanking them on a blog sounds pompous. Then again, it's the least I can do. The overwhelming sense of gratefulness makes me want to promise them a loyalty so blind, they'll probably slap me out of that too!

Yes, that's precisely what I probably adore about them, Without running themselves or others down, Punjus seem to possess this general talent for garnering joint force to produce a certain level of quality. Is it a communal quality of insight or simply my own luck to have bumped into these gems who judge accurately, I do not know, but they seem to have this aura that speaks volumes about their self-confidence, awareness and exposure to the world around. Frankly, I feel rather juvenile in their midst, often.

P.S.: That advice in the first line of this post too came from one of these fab Punjus ;)

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