SATYAMITE - "The Truthful"
The above pics show SSCET, Bhilai (Shankara), where this story is based.
Ladies and Gentlemen, guys and gals…no need to hold your heart. This isn’t an emotional story that’ll make your heart run away from you. This isn’t a romantic story that would melt your heart like a heated chocolate. This is my story that’ll represent a part of your life. You’ll find yourself in this piece of literature actually or virtually, and surely can relate yourself with the characters. So no need to fasten your seat-belts; just be patient and read.
Once upon a time…
7th October… it seemed to be the darkest day of my life. Last night, I was rejected in the L & T interview. Rejection…such a strong word. Still it was the truth!!! My head was killing me. It seemed as I was one of the soldiers lying wounded on the battlefield. I switched off my cell coz I didn’t want anyone to show sympathy towards me (I knew they were calling up). I simply hate that feeling. I decided not to go to college. I didn’t want anyone to treat me as a loser. Anyhow, gathering all my focus and confidence (which was as low as grave), I started thinking what I’ve to do next. But my mind was unable to give answers. So I decided to chill out and turned on my PC. My 2600 W subwoofers were blaring but still I was unable to listen anything. I was lost thinking…
“Oh God! What happened wrong? Was I the weakest link? I gave my best shot. I tried everything to impress the interviewers. But where did I screw myself? Now I am so low in confidence that will I be able to bell the CAT?”
So I decided not to pressurize myself and went to sleep. In the evening I met Jha. He was obviously happy as he got selected in L & T. He explained to me how he has become a celebrity overnight (getting selected in a company while studying in BIT is an even bigger achievement than being the Indian Idol). At least his future was now secure.
He told me that how his cell flooded with messages and calls throughout the day, how he became bankrupt ;-) giving treat to everyone. Anyhow after greeting each other, we left.
Next day the college was boring as usual. Everyone told me how Smriti cried in the class yesterday and that really pissed me off. I mean, at least after such worse circumstances a person must take a day off (just as I did). But Smriti is far too sincere. Dr. was the main person who injected some confidence in me and told that Satyam was coming next week. Now, it was the time to tighten up my belt and to be ready for the war. Satyam here I come!!!
12th October – Dussehra
Time: 4 P.M
It was a very quiet sunny afternoon. I was practicing the Satyam question paper I downloaded from the internet. The only sound I could hear was the sound of birds chirping, from some distance away. Suddenly my mobile started ringing in its cacophonous style. It was a call from Tathu.
Anks: Yeah Tathu…bol
Tathu: Nishant sir has called us. We’ve to go Shankara.
Anks: But when…and why?
Tathu: He said that Satyam HR people are coming and they want some volunteers
Anks: But dude, I’m sitting in the test…how I can be the volunteer.
Tathu: That I don’t know, but Nishant sir has called us.
Anks: Ok then pick me up at around 5.30
Around 5.15 PM Tathu came and we set off to Shankara. It was a damn good college. I was there for the first time. It reminded me of the ‘Gurukul’ in the movie ‘Mohabbatein’.
When we arrived there we came to know that HR people are coming and there is going to be a meeting.
At 6.30 PM they arrived. And consequently the meeting started. Actually Satyam people wanted some volunteers who could invigilate in the 15 odd test centres and provide guidelines to about 700 candidates regarding the test. Me and Jha present there were in a state of confusion. We decided not to give our names coz as we were giving the test we weren’t able to invigilate the test. So we humbly backed off.
Some of my precious time got wasted, but one lady HR personnel was so beautiful that the time was worth wasting. Also when we were returning at around 8 PM dussehra had started in many places. The firecrackers and the colorful rockets were bursting the sky apart and such fascinating scenes really elated me.
14th October – Online Test
For the last 4-5 days I was putting in my 200% mugging things up, practicing n cramming up various numerical tackling techniques. The online test seemed to be an uphill climb as we all were oriented towards the orthodox way of giving exams. Thoughts of not getting through the examination were crossing my mind continuously. But still I was focused…at least this time.
Finally its D day. In the morning I decided not to pressurize my mind and hence listened to some soft sentimental Sufi music. My test was to start at 12 noon and my test centre was at the Sify iWay, Chauhan Estate, Supela. I reached there at 11.30, but came to know that the test was delayed by 1 hr for each batch. So we were indulged in doing lukkhagiri and pakao-ing each other. About 20-25 people from my branch were already present there, so passing time wasn’t so difficult.
At last my turn came at 1 PM. I logged into the site and entered my id and password which was provided earlier. The standard of the questions was good but my hard work was paying back. I solved 11 out of 15 questions in about 20 mins and the rest 10 mins I checked my answers again and again. At last when I clicked the submit button a page opened that displayed that I’ve passed in the test. I printed that page out and left the counter. In the next batch Jha, Bhalla, Megha and Sweta gave exams and luckily everyone got through. At the end of the day many were excited because it was their first opportunity of getting recruited. But in my mind there was only one thought that, yet again I’ve cleared the test and may the heavens smile upon me this time coz the next step was GD, and it was my first one in the higher level.
15th October – GD and PI
On the eve of 14th, my success in the online test wasn’t the sole achievement. On 14th I also learnt how to tie a necktie… all by myself (yeah you heard it right). That I thought was an even bigger achievement.
So it was the BIG day. I wore formals and took a while to decide which tie would go with it. Ashish called me and said that he would come by 8 AM to pick me up as we were to reach Shankara by 8.30 AM. Well, punctuality is not one of my traits but because of Ashu I had to leave for Shankara a bit early. I knew how these recruiters love to come late from the pre-decided timings. I’ve experienced it twice and I also warned Ashu about it. But then also we reached Shankara by 8.25 AM. It was amazing to see about 500 students who have cleared the test present there, completely in formals. Mostly BITians were to be seen, so it felt like home.
We were asked to move to the central library as it was the only place that was able to accommodate candidates in such large numbers. It was a huge library. In the library, I got a great job to do. Nah…not reading, but tying the neckties of my homies. Yeah, it was not even 12 hrs since I learnt it, around 8-9 people came to me with their ties. May be a feeling of pride crept into my heart that time. Inside the library it seemed as a large scale get together. Looking at such scenes, we get a live example of high unemployment percentage in India. It was the same scenario, where Jha was indulged in what he does best (...aaaa); Vaidya, me n Bhalla were as usual indulged in daily routine BC. Nikhil was as usual, a victim of our verbal molestation, Arnab n Snehal were quietly indulged into their intellectual discussions, etc. All in all, by this everyone was trying to reduce some tension created in their minds.
At around 10 AM the Satyam HR people arrived. They had a list of all the candidates who have cleared the test (500 to be precise). As soon as they arrived, they told us that they aren’t going to conduct the PPT then because of lack of time and told us that only selected candidates will later attend the PPT. Now they started to call names of candidates in random for GD and unluckily Bhalla got stuck in the 1st group. I literally saw sweat burst out off his forehead. He went to stand with the other lucky-1 people. Slowly and steadily I saw the library getting empty as I waited patiently for my turn. This wait seemed to be the longest. Suddenly I heard my name…”Ankit Biswas, id no. 315”. Darn…my turn was here. Got group no 14. I also went and stood with other 9 members of my group. Again wait was on the agenda. But this time wait was in front of 6 consecutive GD rooms. Luckily I got 5 BITians in my group (including me) out of which 3 were from computer science A; me, Agrawal and Gore. Rests were from Shankara. We decided amongst us that we won’t indulge in any harsh arguments and keep on supporting each other’s views. Now this was tension at its zenith. Man, I am not going to let my GD become a fish market.
“Group no 14” there was hoarse voice calling. We stood up and marched inside GD room no 5 in troops. Inside the room, there were 2 middle aged men sitting who were the moderators. Chairs were arranged in form of a crescent and I chose to sit in the corner-most chair. I don’t know why it happened but as soon as I sat on my chair an elated mood preoccupied me. Now I was buzzing with confidence and shed off my tension outside. The moderators initially asked us to introduce ourselves. Then he asked everyone to suggest topics of their own. Everybody gave their share of ideas. When asked to me I gave 2 topics – “In India, a person can either be honest or successful” and “Tough times never last, but tough people do”. But it seemed that the moderators were untouched by our hastily thrown topics. They had ideas of their own. After baking amongst themselves they served the topic hot – “Is the division of states (like MP and Chhattisgarh, for e.g.) good or bad”. A guy from Shankara started to mumble something and after speaking for merely 30 seconds he idiotically stopped. I guessed this as my moment of fame and grabbed it for the sake of benefit. I started off – “I think you are right my friend but this topic like every coin has 2 facets. But if you are on one face, then I am on other”. Then I told why division of states is bad, because the education is suffering a lot. People are not getting free seats during admissions in the good colleges of MP. Then I explained how corruption has increased quoting examples. But the other members were stuck saying how division of state is good because Chhattisgarh is getting the major share of electricity. Damn, that was sick!! Only 2 members of the GD (including me were supporting ‘division of state is bad’ thing). However the GD ended and the guys who didn’t spoke much were awarded the opportunity to conclude and they did. At last a sarcastic comment from the moderators (not to me, of course) – “So you guys want to divide the nation into 1000 small states. Don’t you know ‘Unity is strength’”? As we left we shook hands with each other. And now it was time for a break.
Time Check: 12.00. I had my small brunch and indulged in chatting with friends. Everybody was talking about how they crapped up in their GDs. I was getting miscellaneous examples of fiascos in GDs given by every person present there. It seemed that we had all the time in the world to waste and hence chatted on irrelevant issues varying from the campus of Shankara, Jha & Anand Singh (u know what…he he he!!), significance of Professional Tutorials and yes, of course, GIRLS. Now as seconds passed by, the heart started to beat in a faster rate. At around 1.00 PM we decided to go back in the library. Till then it was cloudy outside and the weather became pleasant. As we reached inside, hell, the HR people were already present there. They were there to announce the names of the candidates short-listed for PIs. I felt air pass my respiratory cord in quick successions. My hands were cold. “Oh god! Make it my 3rd interview in a row”, I kept on calling Him. They started to call names and I started to feel the pressure, more and more and more. “311 Manmeet Bhatia, 314 Garima Sancheti”…oh man, what the…is my name there? Am I going to give the PI? Com’on…com’on…com’on......”315 Ankit Biswas”. Hell yeah!! The feeling just can’t be ignored. If I wasn’t selected, all these days of shedding sweat and mugging could have went in vain. As the HR personnel announced all the names, they said the short-listed candidates to stay and others to leave. I saw guys, mostly intellects (or in our own words…phodus), move out and that was shocking. So now the central library buzzing with 500 candidates were teeming with merely 103 short-listed ones. However, the HR people distributed some forms and asked us to fill that loaded 3 page forms in the next 15-mins. Urgency took the better part of our happiness and we were again indulged in some work. I don’t know why these companies ask these crazy questions in the forms as they can easily ask them in the interviews. Soon we submitted our forms and indulged ourselves in some last minute mugging.
If people can’t estimate how quickly fate can strike again, then let me tell, how bout a gap of 20 mins. Man, at least give me a break of say half-an-hour. But alas, my turn for interview came at 1.40 PM. I descended downstairs and patiently sat on one of the chairs kept for waiting interviewees. Vinita, Neha and Niket were already present there. So I started chatting with them and asked various questions that could possibly be asked inside. Now another dreaded 30 mins wait was ahead. I don’t know how much these recruiters like to harass these young, easy-going, poor, burdened, pressurized engineering kids, which they keep on doing again and again.
Finally it was my turn and I was called by the interviewers at 2.10 PM. I entered inside humbly and then suddenly I realized the tension has taken its toll. There were 3 interviewers inside – 2 madams n 1 sir. I most stupidly said – “Good morning sir…good afternoon ma’am…good afternoon ma’am”. It was really embarrassing. However I occupied my seat when I was asked to. Then I got a compliment about my handwriting. Then they asked how I generally manage time and learn programming languages. Then there were the usual HR stuff. Then came my tech interview round. I was asked which is my favorite language and I said OOP in C++ and Oracle. I generally don’t mention JAVA because I’m a real loser in this language even if I’ve been learning this since last 15 months. The interviewer drilled 15 questions from C++ and Oracle like raining bullets. But man! I was damn prepared. I’ve worked for this days and nights out. I answered 14 out of 15 questions as I missed on what is a ‘cursor’ (in Oracle). At last one ma’am told me about the bond policy in Satyam and also asked some more questions to check my credibility, which I answered tactfully. Then I said thank you and good day and left the room.
The dreaded WAIT
My interview ended at 2.35 PM. After me there were like 80 more candidates. So I decided to hang out there and check out the campus. Outside it was getting darker and darker and it seemed that a storm may arrive in the evening. But still I went to the canteen with Gaurav and had a Dosa and a cold drink. And then we went to the library which was then divided into two halves – one consisted of the guys who had already given their interviews and the rest were waiting for their turns to arrive. I occupied a seat where some of my friends were already sitting there. So I started chatting with Vinita and Garima and teasing Anusha as usual. Bhalla was already present there bugging people by his sick PJs. Sheshnath and Rajat were on the other side of the table, listening to mp3s in a Sony Ericsson K700i. But it seemed like the time have stopped flying away. Boredom and tediousness were ripping apart their boundaries and the tension was playing a game of hide n seek in my mind. Different moods were mixing up like a cocktail of whisky and vodka and impressed the same effect on me; I was feeling very dizzy as well as drowsy. So I decided to take a nap.
Time Check: 5.00 P.M. I was wide awake and now the crowd was growing in my side of the library. The no. of people who were waiting for their turns was now relatively small. I was feeling a bit uneasy sitting inside so I moved out of the block. Rolled up my sleeves, loosened my tie and started strolling in the garden. It was now very dark. Soon I was joined by Manmeet Bhatia and Manjwani. We started discussing various topics and making fun of each other. Literally, we felt as if clocks have stopped and the tension was taking its toll. Suddenly it started raining. We were about 100 m away from the block. So we started running towards it. Till we reached the block we were half drenched.
After such a long wait, now some of the familiar faces were present there. Some were bubbling with joy and some were crestfallen by their performances in the PI. Anshuman told how he had to face some bouncers of questions whereas Ashu was proudly describing how he flattered the interviewer by his witty answers. Jha was nowhere to be seen. Most noise was coming from the table where around 18 girls were chatting and giggling (…BIT gals are famous for their ultra-loud chats and giggles). At around 7.00 PM, Jha came there and told us how the interviewer bowled him out by some very difficult questions. He was more sure than not, that he won’t make it through this time. Akshat, one of the electrical engg students of our college somehow knew that he was already selected. Now as most of the friends were present there, we indulged ourselves in some real ‘masti-khori’.
The Grand Finale`:
Time Check: 8.00 PM. Suddenly there was some commotion. Everyone came running inside the central library and placed themselves in whichever seats they found. The reason behind this was: the HR people were coming up to tell us the results. Man, the tension that these moments inject, brings the whole previous chapters of your life in front of your eyes. Will the shedding of all sweat, blood and tears, sum up to a null? Will I attain the same results as the previous ones? What will happen if the candidates with lesser calibers get selected? While all these questions were jangling in my brain, my thought process was interrupted by a voice. “So guys we’ve got the names of the candidates who’ve been selected as our future employees, so I’ll announce the names and no clapping please”. Again was the same scenario. They started announcing names and my heartbeat picked up pace. I dropped my head on the table as if I didn’t want to hear the names. I heard Ashish’s name being taken, then came Rajat, Siddharth, GV and many more. I was numb at that time. Suddenly, Bhatia’s name was announced – “Manmeet Bhatia, 311; Garima Sancheti, 314… (dhak…dhak…dhak)…Ankit Biswas, 315”.
Anks was speechless. Tears were about to roll out of his eyes. But joy and ecstasy conquered the tears and prevented them from coming out. God! I am selected in Satyam. Then again there was an announcement for the candidates who weren’t selected, they were asked to move out of the hall. Everyone stood up and started hugging each other. Rajat again unleashed the beast inside him with a bear hug on me. I saw Anusha came and congratulated me and asked me “mujhe congratulate nahi karega“. I was getting happier as I was realizing that many familiar faces were going to join me in Satyam.
Then the HR personnel asked us to take our seats. Then they told us about the training, salary, bond period, etc. After addressing the candidates the HR people decided to leave. Now for us, it was time to leave. My cell phone was ringing continuously as my classmates wanted to know, who’ve got selected and stuff. Soon Asfia, Sweta, Anupam and Anushri called up and congratulated me. Anyhow, I was on the top of the world.
We came out of the block and it was raining heavily. It seemed as if the Gods were showering their blessings on me. We decided to celebrate the moment by getting drenched in rain. Getting wet in the rain at about 9.00 PM when the weather was a bit cold and to add on it, the joy of success; it was an outstanding combination. We got on our bikes, roared the engines and zoomed away, leaving the dark Shankara campus and some lovely memories.
I was congratulated by my relatives. Phone kept on ringing and I kept on attending the calls. I called up Dada Bhai, as he was my mentor and the main person who guided me on tackling of PIs and GDs. He was really happy.
The major consequence came the next day. Giving parties at the coffee corner extracted even the last penny from me and I was literally bankrupt. A series of parties followed soon and till now it’s continuing.
After reading this short story, some may think that getting into a firm isn’t a big deal, but mind you buddy while you study in BIT, it is!!! This story took 10 days to form and 10000 prayers to reach the desired destination. Thanks Mom, Dad and God. Special regards to Dada Bhai, without whom this couldn’t have been possible.
Thank you, for giving your precious time and taking pain to read my work.
Thanks Satyam for recognizing my capability and giving me opportunity.
Thank you, everyone!!!
P.S: Please pardon the writer for his poverty of intellect and mediocre level of vocab.