Palak Kamboj. Well what do I write? Where do I start from? I still remember that fateful day of 17th June 2015. I was working on my computer, preparing for our Live Show when two girls entered the cabin. The generally empty Room N0. 703 of Doordarshan Bhavan suddenly looked quite occupied with me, my Boss (Sushma Maám) and these two new interns. We exchanged formal pleasantries while I judged Palak and Anushka to be a set of another’naive and useless interns. I didn’t even look at them properly because I had been quite disappointed with interns in the past six months. They just came to Doordarshan for the sake of it and never really wanted to work!

After an hour, Palak (wearing black crop top with black pants, standing what looked like 6 feet tall… though she really is somewhere near 5 ft 8 inches) shoved her curly hair back and with a smile asked permission to leave. She said it was her birthday! I thought to myself, “What a liar?” However, me and Maám wished her a Happy Birthday and let her go. The moment she left office we bitched about her. Ha ha…

Today, when I look back to the past 1 year and 10 days, it baffles me. Palak is probably among some of the closest people of my life. She is a friend, guide, support system, partner in crime, sister (sometimes elder sometimes younger). She is someone who has been there for me always. I was also wrong about two other things – A. Palak was there to work not just for the sake of it and she proved it with her efficiency. B. It really was her birthday on the 17th of June.

Reading books at ChaBar, ditching Doordarshan to watch a C-Grade movie in a C-grade hall, eating like gluttons at almost all places in Delhi & NCR, going on drives for no reason, shopping posh, shopping cheap, late night shoots, returning home not-sober, bragging as well as exploiting our posts at DD to negotiate ádvantages’, karaoke-ing clichéd English numbers, yelling Punjabi wraps, covering each other’s backs, sitting at DU doing nothing, visiting the VC and hating it, deciding stuff (including the Fiance;) for my engagement,  attending the boring pre-departure session, dancing like we have no brains, sharing dog love and even talking in dog language, fake calling each other to get out of a boring situation, the Champak Subedar Conundrum, sharing love for the Hemsworths, watching lame videos and sharing them on each other’s walls, abusing our hearts out in theth Punjabi/Bihari and then saying… I NEEDED THIS ;)……………………………. OH MY GOd!!

I am going to miss you like hell Palak Kamboj. You will stay in my heart always. Thank you for being you. I love you. Go Rock Australia! See you Soon 🙂




By Surabhi Pandey

Surabhi Pandey, a former Delhi Doordarshan presenter, is a journalist currently based in Singapore. She is the author of ‘Nascent Wings’ and ‘Saturated Agitation’ and has contributed to over 15 anthologies in English and Hindi in India and Singapore. She writes on topics related to lifestyle and travel and is an active reporter on the tech startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia. She is the editor and founder of The Vent Machine.

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