There’s a young girl in my team. Did I mention that I have a team now? And that I manage their work? Wow. When did that happen? So, anyway. There’s this young girl, fresh out of college. I took her on because when I had three people to choose from, I chose her for two reasons: 1) Her understanding of how businesses work, and 2) Foster father said I should choose someone who is likable because I’d have to work with that person for 5 months. So yes, I chose her because she was like a clean slate. I had no history with her. I didn’t have a reason to dislike her.

So this very young girl – and I say young because somehow I have come a long way since my own fresh-out-of-college days – she loves to party and she knows all the happening haunts that serve delectable food (exact opposite of me). And, she tends to want me to go with her to all these places she keeps talking about. Suffice to say that I never make it to any of these places with her. For example, she was in Bandra two nights ago, eating Malvani butter garlic prawns at Jai Hind, Hill Road. She kept saying how I should go there with her because “they’re the most amazing prawns ever.” On that very night, I was making my way back home in a bus mentally taking a stock of what the status of the team was. No butter garlic prawns for me. Honestly, I’m not even complaining.

This young girl is from Delhi, and I always watch her with a detachment that, maybe, I’d watch myself if I were to step out of my own life. Not to say that I see myself in her, which would be quite thrilling, actually. But I let her have her quirks, I let her boss me around; I let her stomp her foot, and I let her complain to me how she can’t get something done. I almost always smile and say nothing. She does her quirky things and she eventually gets things done.

She calls me a workaholic, which is laughable because I’ve never been the sort of person who invests my all in something. I always save a part of myself in case what I’ve invested in fails. There must be something to pick me back up. So far it has worked. However, now that this young girl has her way around me, she’s taken it upon herself to make sure that I “enjoy” myself and that I “get a life” because all I do is “work”. It makes me smile with the same aforementioned detachment.

I could do with the getting a life bit, really, but not at this point. I don’t have a critical analysis of why I work 12 hours a day, but I know that this I’m doing for myself. After the exoneration series, I feel the urgent need to create something that will last. Anything. And since I spend 10 hours at work, I make a conscious decision to go ahead and add the extra 2 hours. This time, I’ve gone all out. No saving a little bit of myself. Although when I unplug from work, I secretly wish I were doing 12 hours of writing. I also wish that there wasn’t the donut hole still inside me but it still is.

Do I like this young girl now, after the slate has been written on? I’d say maybe. But it’s just that I like how unbounded she is. I like how she’s so fragile. I like that she eats emotionally. I like that she tells me to get a life. I like that she doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. I like that she’s homesick always. I like that she throws a tantrum. After all, I did those things too.

I remember, at her age, I was unstoppable. I told her his a few days ago. She said, “You still are”.