The Eternal(?) First Impression

I heard it from my third grade Moral Science teacher first. I still hear it from random people all the time. But I do not agree that the first impression is the last impression. The first impression can get you a job but not help you keep it. It can get you a date but not a companion. It can make you look forward to the rushes but cannot make you watch the movie.

The crybaby who lived next door peeved me just because. Even at eight years of age, I was very fussy about friends. I had talked to him just once before and hated it when my folks announced that I was to spend an entire evening with him while they (and his parents) went partying. I wasted some good four hours trying to get the silly kid talk. Talk he did, much later though. He went on to become my first-ever best friend. Together we bruised knees trying to get to the topmost branch of a litchi tree, cycled for hours in the rain, caught chickens, played dolls and guns, read fairy tales, and watched doordarshan*.

Self-absorbed, selfish, and immodest were the words that came to my mind when I first met her. She reminded me of Scarlett O’Hara. During the lectures, I went out of my way, literally, to find a seat away from her. But circumstances (same course, same papers, same neighborhood) got us acquainted. It started from sharing class notes and cold coffee in the canteen. Overtime, we discovered common interests, developed mutual hobbies, and learned to respect each other’s exclusivity. Today, after almost eight years, she is my dearest friend who knows me inside out.

“Oh my God, not her” was my exact thought when I realized that the frail lady sitting across the table was to be my manager. It was my first day on the new job. People seemed friendly and the place was reasonably welcoming. The only uncongenial face I had seen since morning was that of a lady squalling at a timid girl. Late in the afternoon, I was informed that the owner of this uncongenial face and ruthless voice was to be my boss.

It took me a few weeks to discover a tremendously affable and peculiarly amusing side of her. Today, I work for a different company but the same manager.

* If you can watch the programs on doordarshan with someone and not get bored, you cannot become any better friends.


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