August 15th, 2013, my last full day at the KPR office! We decided to have a board meeting in the morning. There wasn’t much for the board to meet about, because most major decisions had already been taken, but it seemed like a fun idea. Jaynal Uncle is on the board and he’s the person who takes care of all things official. As we do for all big meetings, we sat on the floor of the office, and, with the help of Jaynal Uncle, drank tea and discussed all things official. I herded the board members out as soon as 11 am rolled around, because all other KPR members started to arrive to rehearse for the event on Saturday. As it turned out, this rehearsal was mostly me sitting cross legged on the sofa and shouting instructions that most people probably didn’t listen to. But that’s how most things go down at KPR, and somehow things happen anyway. Samir and Sera decided to sing a duet, to the wild applause of the KPR-crowd.
The rehearsal ended, but you see I was leaving in a few days, and some sort of mysterious surprise was in the works, so everyone continued to mill around and stop me from going into various rooms. I’d try to go from the staffroom to the front room, and Rozy would suddenly grab my arm and pull me into a corner to talk about something arguably important but totally irrelevant to our already too-busy day. I’d get away from her and suddenly Hammad would be standing in the way. I’d peek over his arm to see the volunteers bent over and scribbling at something. They’d see me peeking and everyone would sort of squeal and try and cover whatever it was they’re doing.
It was all just too delightful.
Hammad and I took a rickshaw to go get lunch from BFC, last rickshaw ride and last BFC of the year! Back in the office, laden with chicken-ticken, we crowded on the floor of the staffroom, dropping little bits of the oily chicken breading all over the floor. (It was actually pretty gross, and worth mentioning because it has become a KPR-benchmark of general grossness. Like someone will say, “I saw something really gross today” and someone else will say “How gross? I bet not as gross as that time we ate BFC fried chicken in the office and dropped oily breading all over the floor.”)
We then continued to work all day, preparing for the event, speaking to invited guests on the phone, going over speeches. The day didn’t get heavy until evening or so, when we were all exhausted and it started to kick in that I actually was leaving. Everyone’s face got tight and we all got a bit quiet and stopped making eye contact with each other. It was night shift that night, but I wasn’t staying, at that point it was Rozy and Lata doing all the work. I was leaving in a few days, and everyone insisted I go home to spend time with the family or some such, so it was Rozy and Lata managing things, and taking calls, and being in the office for more than 24 hours straight.
I managed to not become a sniffly, teary mess that day. Saved that up for the days that came after.