I met Puneet while I was starting my first job off college in 2012, and the hyper-local news portal I started working at was co-founded by him. He was the technical brain behind the portal created on WordPress. And, I was just starting to learn.
Puneet left the position, and pursued his passion. He later established his own company – Ideabox, which today has several products in WordPress space. The success that came to him was none found overnight. He worked hard for it, and made name for himself in the community – and today he is regarded as one of the first in line of WordPress influencers among our local community.
His company was his pride, and he had the charm to bring together the best people to work with. I’ve seen that he supported every one on his team like family, and they had an immense respect for him.
I used to bug him with all the noob questions, and even whilst he was busy, he found time to answer those. After a few years, we worked together to bring first WordCamp to our city – Udaipur, which was the first one in the state as well. We came close, and I found a guide, and a friend in him.
The event was a success and everyone praised how Puneet managed, and brought the community together. The event was praised as one of the best WordCamps in India, at the time.
Puneet and I started meeting more, and in a blink I felt a genuine connection. He helped me with everything on professional and personal level. And, his promptness to be around to help surprised me every time.
Despite being a traveling soul, he always made time for his family and friends, and especially he loved his little sister with all his heart. When I went to spend more time with him, his mature and emotional side came to light for me, and my respect for him grew more.
Right now, I work at my dream place – Automattic, and if not for Puneet, I might not have applied. I still remember his words – “You’ll do it, and think of it as – what do you have to lose?”.
When I heard of the tragic news of his demise on April 11, 2021 – I discarded it as some confusion, or maybe a foul prank. As the day passed and with confirmations from many, my heart sank and my mind shut. I was not able to process the reality of him passing away, with such a bright future in front of him.
Attending his last rituals today, I still do not believe that he is gone. I feel like I’ve lost a brother, and it’s heart wrenching. I’m already missing him, and something in my brain still says that it might not be real.
I wish I’d have called more, met more, and maybe have done more in any way. But now, it’s just words.
He left a print of memories on lot of lives, and every one loved and respected him for his qualities. We’ve all lost a lot, and not just a person.
I hope he is in a better place, and for any one reading – I’d request you to pray for him, and his family.
This incidence makes me realize that we have limited time here. Between our passion, profession, and leisure – we sometime miss to connect with our loved ones. Try to find the time between priorities.
With Puneet, we were always in communication, but it still feels like there was much left to say maybe. Maybe a one more call, or maybe a one more coffee together?
Rest in peach brother, you’ll always have a place in our hearts.