A Dear Friend, Mentor and Guide Passed away today. The only silver lining is that I – for once – followed my gut and took time off, went to see him a few weeks back and got to spend time with him.
Atul was one of those guys that you either hated or agreed with. He’d never let you love him, because that meant he had to be nicer to you and can’t pull you up when you screw up. If you laid the whole issue on the table and at some point realised that he benefits from none of it, you also realised that he only pestered you because he personally took on the responsibility of making everyone a tad bit better.
It annoyed most people, but it made me so much better. He used to flaunt that he doesn’t write code, but writes people. I dont know how many can humble themselves and agree, but I can only modestly accept.
This is the same guy who would write furious mails in the middle of the night because the logo on the site is 5px further to the left than the others, and it is “unacceptable”. He made us all better – he made me better. Sorry guys, but when I nitpick and am so upset because something isn’t perfect, that’s Atul Chitnis’s code working through me.
There are a few people that I’ve had the luxury of, in my lifetime, that I can genuinely say made me. None of us are born as geniuses – and rarely are we with priviledges, we just stand in the shoulders of friendly giants. Atul was my friendly giant. And he definitely made a major part of who I am today.
I feel bare, and a bit naked and insecure, because this is the guy who’d shoot me an email if he knew i was going a bit too much over my capacity on social media or chasing a troll that just wants to have fun (and missing on what i am out to do and accomplish). He kept me on the track. I knew he was watching me like a hawk – and that kinda allowed me to do what i wanted publicly (social media and otherwise) having that sense of security. I feel bare, like a chick in the middle of a road with a thousand vultures around me, because i know my guardian angel is no more. I’m going to have to do the watching myself. I’m going to have to grow up.
Spending time with him few weeks back, was nice because cancer hadn’t won. He was still the same as ever, sharp and clear on what he wanted and what he set out to do (and was mostly done). That was my morrie moment. The pain that I feel right now, should pass soon. But the Atul Code, will live on – in me and everyone else, he made sure he imprinted on.
For now I only have tears for you my dear friend. Hopefully before my time runs out, I’ll make you proud.