Today is a special day and I will tell you why at the end of this blog. I have been lucky to have interacted with an enigma – Jitendra Jain (JJ). I first met JJ in the gym about a month ago. I only bump into him in the gym. JJ’s gym attendance is like Amavasya. He comes when he wants to. But when he comes, he makes his presence felt. A heavyweight – both by weight and by attitude, his energy is infectious. Many people in the gym consider him to be eccentric, but to me he’s an inspiration. I consider him my lucky charm. All those amavasyas when I have met him, I have had great successes. The last time I met him, I found myself sitting in an Entreprenuer awards function by a great stroke of luck. Mr. C.K. Kumaravel, the founder of Naturals Salon Group, had asked me to come over for coffee at a 5-star hotel in Bangalore. I knew CKK sir from my previous organization where he was one of our key accounts. So, instead of just having coffee with him, I spent the whole evening rubbing shoulders with him and the best young entrepreneurs from India. It was an invite-only function but since CKK sir was the keynote speaker, and I knew him, so I was given a free entry. Luck by chance… like how I met JJ by chance….and I attribute this luck to JJ!!
JJ wears attitude on his sleeves. For him, what he thinks about himself matters more than what others think about him. He doesn’t like the number 1 for some reason, so he counts backwards from 10 and stops at 2 while exercising. He does the exercises he likes, doesn’t do what he doesn’t like, doesn’t care what the gym instructor thinks… He does it for the love of it. His voice may not be the sweetest, but whenever a nice Bollywood song plays in the gym music system, he hums along without bothering about others’ reactions.
JJ is a people’s person. He’s very affable and doesn’t mind talking to strangers. That’s how our paths crossed. He respects everyone and to him, all that matters is respect in return, from everyone. The gym gets very lively when JJ, Barefoot Manjunath sir (he calls himself by this name as he doesn’t like working out with shoes.. but he runs with shoes!!), Umesh sir, Vijay sir and me all work out at the same time. Each of us pull the other’s legs and laugh our heart out. Rahul(naam toh sunah hi hoga), our gym instructor, finds it very difficult to get all of us funny-bones away from each other and focus on the exercises. But JJ doesn’t care. All that matters to him is having a good time. I have never asked JJ what his favorite movie is ; but I am sure Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara must be one of his favorites as he lives life to the fullest.
To me, JJ is a celebrity as his energy is infectious. Love him, hate him but you can’t ignore him-like our Himmu bhai ( if you are wondering who Himmu bhai is, google Himesh Reshammiya ).So I asked him for his number. The him here is not Himesh.. but JJ. You won’t believe what happened next. JJ dictated his number. I saved his number as “JJ”. JJ saw this, gave an exasperated look and pulled the phone away from me. He told me –“Hari bhai .. ye mera naam galat save kiya hai aapne”. I thought he felt offended that I had stored his name as JJ instead of Jitendra Jain. I felt guilty and I was about to apologize. I was lost in these thoughts for a few seconds….
To the shock of my life, I saw JJ’s name stored by the Man himself as “JJJJJJJJJ” – 9 J’s. I was flabbergasted. I didn’t know what to react… to laugh or cry. I wanted to laugh but I was scared that if this was his name, then JJ would get annoyed at me mocking his name. My name is Raghuraman Hari Hara Subramanian, a modest 32 characters. My grandfather wanted to add Vidyashankar Ravindran to this already short and sweet name, but I protested and they agreed. The passport application forms cringe looking at the number of characters in my name. I thought JJ’s name must be Jamnalal Jethmalal Jampalal Javathmal Jaisuraal Jayalalithaal Jahanpana Jitendra Jain ( 9 Js ) or something similar. I guess JJ had read my mind. He looked at me and told – “Hari bhai, life complicated nahi hai … jitna hum log usey banate hain… I have saved my name as the letter J 9 times because there might be other JJs in your life. I am the 9th wonder of this world – you very well know that and its only befitting that I save my name as 9 Js”
I couldn’t stop laughing. Laughter is the best medicine and JJ has truckloads of this inventory. His laughter inventory never gets exhausted…
At the beginning of this blog, I had told you that today is a special day. Because today ( March 6th) is the birthday of a very special individual – an enigma who lives life by his own terms, a joke factory, who is affable and who doesn’t care about the world.
Happy Birthday JJ
Please don’t change.