What can I tell you about Poonam ??? That she was disarmingly beautiful or that she was unquestionably confident, unapologetically bold, naturally assertive and an incredibly strong personality.
I met her while auditioning for our annual Diwali fest. At the time, I had recently gone through a break up and had taken a spontaneous India trip to elevate my moods. As it turned out, the mood elation was quite superficial. Once back in town, and faced with the brutal familiarity of city streets and restaurants, horrible memories of dinner conversations riddled my mind and I decided to engage myself in campus activities. Academically, it was the most unsound decision I had ever taken. Whoever, knew of a student hosting Diwali in his defending semester!
I had gone to the audition confident and assured but jaded and fatigued just the same. And, before we knew it, we were faced with a problem of finding a suitable female host. Poonam and Shalini – it turned out were quite the inseparable friends…. I had interacted with Shalini before, and so knew that she could do the part well – and so wasn’t thrilled at the idea of losing her…. And so I suggested why not have them both do the event ??
I still distinctly remember the clarity of my logical mind undoubtedly challenged and muddled by the beautiful spectacle of Miss Thimmaiah. Half way between considering the pros and cons of having two hosts for the event, my stupid mind went ……. “How the hell did I miss her on campus!!!!!” She was without a doubt the most appealing sight from main street to Old Main Hill…. I could only come to the conclusion – that the break up had indeed hit me hard and that my natural radar was sorely in need of immediate repair..
My recent experience with female beauty led me to believe that she would most certainly be ….. the attitude filled princess, the kind of person one becomes when used to undiluted attention from an early age. As our practice sessions progressed, I was delightfully proven wrong ….. princess she was … no doubt, aand she had a healthy share of attitude as well but she had many other virtues which justified her perks.
The first thing you would notice about Poonam would be her oval face. I have seen beautiful faces before, but this wasn’t quite the same. In that unlike most faces, Poonam’s face continued to surprise you time and again … may be it was the infinite range of her expressions or the natural actress in her persona… Her face had a transparency that flawlessly portrayed a perfect underlying bone structure, coupled with amazing functionality. Many of us do not readily remember the primary function of the human face …….. communication. A task at which her face was unmatched in its clarity.
If you can move on ahead past the engaging face and her naturally well defined physique … well – you should be complemented for a more than average intellect. And I can assure you – you wouldn’t be disappointed.
I am quite sure she doesn’t realize this – but her gifted beauty is quite intimidating to both men and women alike… Men – for it makes them assume an ‘act-to-impress’ attitude and Women – cos it makes them just plain jealous….
I was therefore most happily enchanted when I discovered just how human she could be.. I still remember (quite fondly) the time when sitting at the library cafe – she described how her advisor was taking undue advantage of her and how she had in her child-like innocence assumed that she would be paid more money than was promised.
I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or to cry. Her expression was one the funniest things I will ever remember. The very fact that I can not keep myself from smiling even now – months from the time the incident occurred – stands testimony to the superlative communication abilities – that I have ascribed to her face before.
As I choked over my coffee - I was intrigued – the person in front of me was unmistakably honest and genuinely human …… I was hooked ….. may be there was more to this princess – than I initially thought ….
As our friendship grew, I realized that she was quite versatile in her professional experience. And, so I asked her to consider my job as a technical programmer after I would leave the university….
My work experience with her – was no less rewarding than recreational … she turned out to be one of the most fertile intellects I had encountered …. Needless to say it was a delicious pleasure teaching a sharp student. What she lacked in depth of knowledge, she more than made up for with exceptional powers of deductive reasoning.
At this point – she would be wondering what the hell am I talking about??? To put it simply, she had the uncanny ability to learn from examples – while still remaining unsure of the underlying concept. A talent which comes in handy in ones life as a graduate student. I for one never had this ability. Until I researched deep and wide into the intricate workings of a concept, I could never learn from examples. I envied her.
My initial jitters and worries about how she would get things done at my job were soon allayed. The IT industry lends itself naturally to people who can learn from examples.
Aside from the physical and intellectual shades of her personality, Poonam was blessed with a multitude of delicate little idiosyncrasies that made her unique.
One thing was very clear – this was one woman you would not want to mess with! Her enthusiastic perseverance at revenge could make the most hardened souls tremble. This was one girl who could quite deliberately cause a rift in her ex-boyfriend’s love life and walk away without a trace of guilt. But like all things thimmaiah, she could perform each evil act with as much finesse and class as the rest of her individuality.
From an honest to GOD party soul to the most astonishingly fresh fashion sense Poonam was ages ahead in the evolution curve as compared to some of her peers.
If you were however, lucky enough to be one of her trusted friends, you could hardly find anyone more compassionate and friend worthy as her. Poonam possessed the most zero-tolerant down-to-earth attitude that I have ever seen. A quality that comes in handy amongst ones friends. Given a tough situation, she could reliably block out meddling emotions to make the correct decision. A quality rarely seen in women.
Courage is the traditional virtue of the male gender (hardly true), yet if you knew her long enough you could find an underlying reserve of rock hard courage in this girl. Be it traveling unfamiliar roads to Canada at 3am or accepting a new job with significant challenges, I have never seen her courage falter. While she was not unsusceptible to fear – she was gifted with the ability to control it. A virtue – which I dare say I have rarely seen my male friends.
I could go on and on ….. but in a nutshell Thimmaiah was 1 part Man 1 part Woman and 2 parts Cat. She would walk gracefully and you may think her to be a kitty – but beware of her claws! She knew how to hunt and would use it if she had to :P