Goodbye, Tools

There is so much to say about Atul that I can’t decide the extent to share. He was a friend whom I admired as also avoided.

I loved to hear him sing as singing would soften his voice and show him as a guy with a lot of feeling; to watch him cnbplay guitar and keyboard that he’d do with equal ease; to feed him raajma-chawal or chicken curry-roti as he’d do justice to any quantity on hand; to read his early technology writings as they made it all seem so simple; to show off to him any little tech gyan I’d pick up here and there as he appreciated tech-orientation in women; and, 2 decades ago, I’d impress him with my interest in moderating conversations on our BBS’s forums and he’d happily participate in women or cooking or travel oriented threads…

I found him exasperating as he would be unrelenting about big or small issues. They spanned a wide range of areas. If I’d let him he’d even decide the sort of crockery I should keep in my house. I was happy to see Kishore and him having got together to speak at seminars in the 90s as also relieved when those whirlwind tours finished.

Despite our minimal interaction in the last decade, I’d been waiting for him to introduce something fantastic – a book that would demystify the ongoing trends or a product that would organize human lives further. He was a brilliant guy, he wrote well and spoke a language that made even the non-techies love technology so I wanted him to attain all technological feats he’d meant to achieve. He was temperamental but Shubha had been coping well with that. Anjali had already found her professional drift that did him proud so why he didn’t write more, I couldn’t tell. He’d been functioning well enough despite his eyes giving him trouble that I thought he’d beat this cancer out of his body too. His breakfast pics and tweets showed him to be so positive that I’d hoped that he’d tweak his system into working well till he was done with life by choice. Unless, his early exit has been a final demo to us that no Tools work against death…


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