WE’VE often heard Dr. Neelima Desai talk about her gratitude for our colleagues’ support and unstinting love for our Friends and us. I got to experience it firsthand recently.

The day before Dr. Neelima’s 60th birthday, I called our Assistant Manager Mr. Mahendra Suryavanshi and told him to expect a parcel that I had sent. “Though it is marked for Navkshitij, it is meant for ma’am,” I said. I requested him to leave it on her table and ensure that nobody at the office opens it.

As soon as I finished, he said, “Ma’am, we have also planned a surprise programme for her. Please come and join the fun and stay back for the Natyamahotsav.” Suddenly I became one of the co-conspirators, as he said, “Ma’am, please come and surprise her. It will be a great gift for her birthday.” The sincerity with which he uttered the words was so overwhelming. I was touched that the staff felt close enough to trust me with the “secret”. I told him, “Sir, I’m coming next week. In the meantime, tell me how madam reacts to my gift.” Very sweetly, he updated me right from the arrival of the parcel to how it is now on display at Navkshitij.

Our colleagues’ love for us is truly irreplaceable.

By Kanaka Cadambi, Trustee, Navkshitij

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