Friday, March 1, 2013

Chapters and Lessons

These following stories could be about one of us. Let us call our protagonist 'he' for it is concise and might give you an inkling of having some connection with him.

Chapter 1: B-school
Well, many of his acquaintances tend to attribute his awesomeness to his 2- year education at one of a premier B-schools in India. He was not sure whether to dispute it or to just submit to their innocent assumptions. Somehow deep inside he felt that his B-school was not much of a value-add but just a mere placement agency than some academic institution he had dreamt about. I choose to narrate one of his incidents from one of the most comic times (read: placement times) when he felt shallow and superficial about talking and looking similar as others students.

 Lesson 1: Tanking
So friends, this incident is of placement process at our protagonist's business school, when one of the companies like all other companies, astounded at the number of people interested in joining them, chose to conduct a group discussion (GD) to screen out candidates. The screened-out candidates were mainly poor students who could make themselves heard in all that chaos, pandemonium and ruckus rising out of other desperate jobless students.

The GD he was about to face had the topic "Looming crisis in Indian industries" but the organiser had said it in such a low and feeble manner that only 2 guys sitting nearest to this man/organiser were able to hear it. All the candidates shied away from asking from the organiser directly about the topic because it showed their inability to listen (which was important in a good manager) and hence asked the candidate sitting next to him about the topic. Blame it on Chinese whispers, the whole panel except for the two closest managed to understand that the topic was "Crisis in loom industry". Everyone talked about loom industry and how khadi could help redeem the loom industry and blah blah. They all shouted and yelled over the two guys who were actually aware of the original topic. They all talked about loom and loom and looming-of-our-economy just evaporated itself to the unsound nature of the entire process.

The company, which few minutes before, was very happy on the number of people interested in joining their company suddenly became unhappy over number of candidates tanking in the interview. Tanking is a term in MBA colleges where a candidate deliberately throws away his candidature as he had already been selected by some other company.

Lesson 2: How he got his job
He always felt that his CV was a disaster on both the basis of quality and quantity of it. He, who had read lots of books and was a literature student, even hesitated on writing 'reading' as his hobby because he visualized  being asked annoying questions like "Who wrote the novel- My Great MBA Days". He struggled to fill even a single page of his CV as he who had little time out of reading was a member of no committee and even had won no paper presentations. So his half page CV went to an interviewer who promptly asked him that why had he not written any of the papers or committee names as everyone in his college seemed to have been in a committee or won a paper competition. He was sure that he won't be selected  so early and hence took a chance and replied that he had not felt it relevant to write such petty victories in for interview of an esteemed organisation who surely sought brilliant students beyond their CV points like committees and paper presentation. He was selected then and there.

Chapter 2: Boarding days
Lesson 3: Where Gods lived

He graduated from one of the rare boarding colleges in India which taught literature and gave a degree of Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.

Regionalism was highly prevalent in his college and student bodies were formed based on regions ( Bihar, UP, Punjab, Andhra etc.)

Some of the best political campaigns he ever heard about were from these student parties. He once narrated me about one the seniors luring a junior to join his Uttar Pradesh party:

Senior: have you ever seen the UP map? How does it look like?
Junior: No sir.
Senior: Go and look again. it looks like a tiger.
Junior. Oh yes sir.
Senior: Do you know in which state did Gods Rama and Krishna lived?
Junior: Yes sir, in UP sir.

Hence UP party was great and thus one joined it.

Lesson 4: Word power made easy

He recounted his funny days when he used to go back to his small town during his boarding school vacation days. In small towns, uncles and aunties are the most ubiquitous and awesome species. So one of the uncle got very determined to prove that his son who was getting educated in a local school was much brighter and smarter than our 'he' who was studying in a boarding school far south of India.

So every time he passed by his uncle's house, the uncle called him and asked the spellings of some of the most commonly misspelt words and mocked at him for not spelling it rightly. He was asked the mathematical table of 31 which he could not recite and hence uncle was able to prove that his son was getting much better education by being in home than him who was traveling miles to a boarding school.

Once uncle called him for a game similar to what we call 'Antrakashari' of english words. The game was that the opponent had to utter an English word starting with an alphabet which was the last alphabet of the word uttered by the opponent. If the player 1 said love (which ends with e), player 2 had to utter evil (which starts with e) and now player 1 cannot say love as the word has been taken and hence says loser (which starts with l).

The uncle's son had learnt all the words which ended with the alphabet e and whenever our protagonist said a word like ear he was faced with race, he said elephant and he was faced with tree. An oxford dictionary was kept to be the judge. Fortunately our dude 'he' caught the game and started uttering word which ended with y like early, eagerly, easily, earnestly and our uncle's son could only manage yale, yoke.. It was funny to see the uncle's son beaten in his own game. The uncle intervened and made a rule that 'he' will not utter a word which ends with y. He laughed heartedly at his uncle's rule and left. After that uncle never ever stopped him to prove anything.

Such is life.
I felt


Satya said...

You are awesome

GKK said...

UP Party :) I would make Rajasthan Party :) Awsome ladke :)

Shubhendu Bhardwaj said...

It was a little comical post (i guess rightly so), it dimly reminded me of job searching days at ISM, all that seemed very pointless and rat race like.

anyway grt post, i am sure one of the protagonists must be you ...