I first met Atul many years ago in PCQ where I had joined just out of college. I was impressed by his knowledge of technology in general. But even at that time our potential battle lines were drawn – He supported FOSS and Apple, and I Microsoft. We had many arguments over these topics – not just then but in the following years as well. We even stopped talking to each other a few times. But both of us knew that the limit of differences was just that – beyond that we were really good friends. In fact, there were many things we actually liked in common.
I remember watching the entire series of Star Trek: Voyager being shown on TV sitting in Delhi and discussing the plot points with Atul in Bangalore watching the same – all on SMSs. I also remember the advice he gave me when deciding to start up on my own – in a way following the same path. He was constantly pushing me forward when I had some personal issues to sort out. He came to meet my wife and me extending his stay in Gurgaon when we were expecting our kid.
The last few days, Atul and I talked quite often – on SMS and Twitter DMs. I was in fact planning to go meet him knowing that his health was deteriorating quite fast – but could not make it in time. The only thing that I feel nice about in this is that in one my last messages to him, we shared a laugh, ironically in a message that combined derision for his support of Apple with his love of Star Trek.
A condolence sounds too little to give in return for all the times he’s been there for me and I really wish I could have met him as he too wished in a heartfelt message to me just a couple of days earlier. Atul: I will miss you dearly.
Vinod Unny (@vinodunny) is a Consulting Editor at PCQuest