The mesh came out like a damp candle. The days became shorter, nights shorter still. In all the glooming nights there came the flickering flame of looming PAFs [refer appendix]. The atmosphere is rather taking an agonistic behavior. Freely roaming skulls near canteen arena and about corridors, trying stay in shadows of frozen nights. Every now and then one of them is taken away to the land where none wish to step. It is where the unwary are dragged to work into the ungodly hours of the LAN-free night, breaking their backs over bamboo brackets, tying rope onto those shaky frames destined for their three hours of glory. Glue, papers bearing old news, and posters have something to do with it all, if I remember correctly from the early days of my captivity. Talking about days that comes into life of all the freshmen on the holy land of IIT.

My Journey from 1st to 5th year was rather eventful, five year apart yet looks so overlapping. My first bondage with PAF was at times of ‘Kasturi’ (whom I am pleased to belong) whose scars finally got faded in my fifth and last year on set of ‘If Tomorrow Comes’ by hostel 3, 8, and 11.

If Tomorrow Comes, was a story about a man who finds himself living the same day over and over again. This man from Mumbai was reluctantly doing a job in some campaign advertising company. Everyday he keeps on facing the same problems on his way to office and back to home and he makes no effort to hide his frustration. On awaking the ‘following’ day he discovers that it’s the same eventful day again, and again, and again. First he uses this to his advantage, then comes the realization that he is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in the same place, seeing the same people do the same thing.

dsc017781Depicting the same thing in theater in single cut was one hell of a task. There were teams of Acting, Script, Choreo, Voice-Overs, Music, Fine Arts, Lights, and the backbone Prod. Definition of successful PAF as i heard in my first year is the skillful coordination among all these departments and large participation of freshies. Fortunately this year we were blessed with both. It was very much enjoyable feeling to watch that set of people; more like a military regime, from 1st to 5th year and some chicas from 11, working at 10pm then the same set at 2 am then again at 5 am and then at 8 am.
img_22961The dedication show by kids from both the hostel in prod was commendable. They were so enthusiastic and fresh even at those oddly hours of day. I want to name so many here who worked with me but not writing for the sake of those dearly names which my stupid mind forgot. We worked in deadly night , we worked in scorching Sun, we worked without sleeping for those 3 godly days but never no one gave up. We gave OAT the look which would remain unforgotten in Chronicles of PAF.

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Everyone who even once lifted a pliers, bamboo, drilling machine, script, paint brush, mike, guitar, chicas 😀 in OAT was a part of this successful production. Thanks a lot people. I hope and wish that we will win too, Can’t think of a better passing out gift then that. Still results do not matter, it was a successful and cherishable time for all of us specially for batch of 2004 from hostel 8.

Appendix: Performing Arts Festival (PAF), is an annual event in IITB of a scale in its own league. It aims at a production of about an hours’ duration that will encompass all performing arts (viz: Acting, Music, Dance, Voice-overs) as well as other aspects like Fine-Arts, Lights, Sounds and Sets among other things. 2 or 3 hostels pool in quite a lot of their strengths to ensure the success of their PAF’s, in what is the culmination as well as the high point of Cultural Activities for the Year.

Bright Colors, Spicy Bhajiyas, Punjabi Dhol and Thandai with bhang (which unfortunately i was tricked into!), so my last Holi in IIT was started in style. Among all the festivals and holidays this is the one which has some invasive qualities i have always been aroused of! This is the only festival…ohh yea apart from THE Valentines Day that we all GUYS celebrate together and with utmost passion. Celebration this year was though no different than the earlier versions but the feeling that this is it..no matter where i go what i do, i won’t be playing in this manner ever again, really add on to the excitement. People roaming around in torn clothes, rags and undies. Doors were banged hard, some were forced open and the people were dragged outside and stripped half naked and then hysterical mass of color all around.

When I was a child I used to make water balloons to throw them at the people passing by from our ceiling; balloons with some messages written over it. I attached notes and message – detailing every wish, and fantasy that i had at that age, with the notion that if the balloon hits someone then God definitely would grant me that wish.

water-balloon4 Everything was fun but more to it..there was Hope, some tiny little infinitesimal hope that my balloon would not gonna go waste. Many balloons got hit and many got wasted; something stopping me to recollect what all wishes i wrote on those balloons but i guess that this something is again nothing but Hope.
So I hope that all those balloons which got hit on target would have something i really wanted then.

I’ll gonna miss the insti holi hope that holi brings colors in my life and makes it beautiful and great..

PS: A Very Happy Holi to all of you!!

When the placements haven’t started and actually in the last placement i saw tht many people follow many totkas and all kinda superstitious stuff before their interviews, i always felt it a bit stupid..But now im in ring..though i didn’t followed all the stuff that feel is crap..
Its just that i wore same shirt which i myself tagged it as my lucky shirt for some no reason, over and over again. After first few interviews it got sweaty and ironed over and over again. Did few more things which some of you nerds might think of as crazzy but whatever. Not writing here for some manoti copyrights and censor issues.

Okay enuff crap..now back to business..after having the first interview i waited for next seven days to face interview..it was the choice  i made to wait skipping few interviews in bw..Unfortunately and to my surprise and adding to my tension this decision was  right according to few and was wrong according to another few..

Mistake was that i talked with many people(read irreverent) and unnecessary busted my mind and in bw got hold of few special friends who really helped me in my decision making process. All this time i knew that im going to get into company i like but was worry and tensed from inside that wat my parents wud be thinking of me right now. I don’t know how to pour this into words or say this but whenever im in trouble and needed to boost up my confidence i got a call from my parents. This time was no exception. Dad talked with me for like 20 mins with me on phone and and as soon as i hang up i knew what i had to do and all my trouble went in a blink. He just told me, not to worry or panic and just prioritize your parameters, you already have a job you wanted so just wait till you find a company with better work profile than this one.
One of my friend also has told me the same thing sometime back but when dad said this thing, i got relieved.

So I was in for Market Rx’s on 7th day. I gave this interview keeping in mind tht i don’t want this one..and it  worked..He asked me 2-3 puzzles..Two of them were some probability based and one was of river crossing..after solving them he gave a sentence to fill in.
It was : I is ?
I thought and first wrote alphabet and after crossing it out i said vowel..he smiled..
i knew tht i was half way through..in between i messed up with company name.. said market research instead of market rx..he laughed..
His face transitions in this 20 mins told me that im in for 2nd interview and within 5 mins he called me for tht..now this  guy was bit more serious. Interview went for 30 mins where he was trying to convince me that i have skills for all the sector but analytics and all this time i was doing otherwise.. so in the end i  didn’t got through..was sad as soon as i heard this but as i got my senses back i realized tht its good for me only..

Was shortlisted for Sony Japan and just before it was scheduled to arrive, news came that Sony is shedding 80,000 jobs worldwide. Still those 15 Japanese came to India. It seemed much that they came to party then to select candidates.

We(wing mates) as sincere descendants, followed the ages old legacy of our wing’s forefathers. Our wing was jinxed that no one would going to get a job as long as the person who has already got in near past has left the wing. It was said and written and we started justifying it with full faith!

First Sahil got job in db, he was in wing for next 5-6 days and left for home. Just after that aman got into market rx..when he left yogi got into sabre and when he left dhakad cracked mecon..and just when i was hoping its now my turn guess what happened..yogi came bak to wing..hona kya tha..how cud i disobey the age old tradition..companies came and went and i didn’t left the ground.. :((

Neways then this company came and i didn’t believe it when i saw its jaf. It has precisely the contents i was looking for. I gave its written test and got a place in 30 shortlisted. While i was waiting for my turn for interview one person came out after his interview and told that they were asking nothing but mathematics.. statistics.. expectations.. probability and all.. as soon as i heard this my eyes got flashed and i knew that this is the chance i have..as tht was the course i had read recently and was good at. I knew that very few people over there were familiar of this. My turn came and they asked me something like 3 dozen questions on Stats..  Probability.. Analytic Maths..after this interview i had no doubt tht i won’t make this round. And i did..9 selected out of 30 and went in for more grilling mathematics interview. This time panel has got more people and far from my expectations this was a stress interview. They asked me questions mostly on resume and general knowledge and watever i answered they said that its wrong..but i stick to them. After interview i was all tensed and had feeling that im not going to make this one. Felt relieved actually when all candidates who went thru that panel came out feeling the same.

Finally list came and i found my name on top. Mission Accomplished. So happy ending for the story.Thanks to the stars for favoring me in time. Except a little less pay package everything was exactly i dreamed of!

Came back to hostel, met wingies..and yea i broke that jinx our wing has got 😀

I know it has been really long since I wrote something and probably no one reads my blog now but i guess thats the way it is…
But here i am back to this hoping again that i will actively pour in something everyday here.. The idea here is to capture all the light–soft-dark-lucky-fun-happy(with their respective antonyms) moments that i came across or was forced into in these last two hilarious months. Why hilarious? Because this ride of this placement season was no less then the intraday snapshot of the BSE index. Full of up’s-down’s of state of mind, this small brain of me has seen so many transitions in this little time. It is actually ironical that the company i got placed into derived its name from the word Brain.

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Anyways first of all a few updates….before a tormenting placement season started i had a PPO from one financial company i did my intern into and surprisingly i liked the work over there, the money that was offered to me also good so all cards were on place that time. But then September came and it burned all the dreams into ashes, actually it tried but still few tits-bits of that still hovering over my mind. Still i had this thing in mind tht watever be the case i now going into finance.

Uncertainities of I-Banks in placement made me think whethere i need to buy the traditional i-banker suitss or not. But unfortunately i did. Phase 1 over…Pockets empty…The grand total neared 8 grands. Then comes uncertainties,well there was only one – whether you are gonna get the job or not?!! Well despite of me being positive i voted for a “no” as the only preparation i had for an interview was based on keeping financial companies in mind, read a course that i did on statistics (had no idea why i read this course particularly).

Even more interesting was the interview preparation season.Two days before the interview u can see people carrying a “Be Prepared”, “HR interview questions ” . Preparation ranges from Case Study and Finance to Coding and Tech(there is no go dear,the resumes are already prepared and now we gotta justify it). There were many companies for which i gave aptitude test and was waiting fr shortlists. Just 2 days from starting of placements a shortlist of P&G came. and surprisingly i saw my name on it, thogh i did good on my aptitude test and was truthful on psychometric test but to be frank was not expecting to clear that tedious process.

Neways i was in for day 1, and then my stupid comp got busted. Somhow i prepared for it n went for the interview. The D day…Everyone dressed up in formals,some looked cool ,some looked boring while some(like me) looked struggling to breath some air.

My first interview, was feeling nervous to be frank- all i had in mind was man! its P&G, it was all so much hyped in my mind that i started sweating and perspiring. Just before my interview my managed to get out of tht phobia though. He (The Interviewer) called me, the guy was so soft spoken and told me tht this is going to be the most casual and simple interview of your life. He cracked a joke, we started talking casually, he asked me about my family and stuff..this initial conversation really help me get hold of my bourses. The questions he asked were purely situation based and behavioral. Few of the questions that i remember that he asked were-

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Describe a situation where you have faced a difficult situation and came out of it successfully
  3. Achievement you are most proud of?
  4. Were you had led a team and delivered result
  5. Were you had faced time-resource constrained
  6. Where you didn’t live up to people’s expectation
  7. You were wrong and ur teammates were right and failed/ still got good result

There were some 8-9 grilling questions that he asked. When I got out of the place i felt that now i know more about myself than i did before. The only thing in doubt was whether i must go home now or i shud wait for solanki to finish his Interview. Finally the results were out. I thought i’ll get through this but unfortunately i didn’t. Was dissappointed but nothing can be done then. It was an unforgettable experiance, those 45 mins gave me hell lot of learning that i can carry whole thru my life. So Day1 was over. Sahil (my wingmate) managed to crack DB, wing’s first job…actaully hostel’s first and only job on tht day..

Now the waiting game begun, faced no interview for next 6 days. Mumbai attacks add on to it after the recession hit. Many companes back-out from the campus recruitment, many postponed their visit. So the dream of getting into good financial company was getting diminished. Coz of the PPO in hand denied interview to few companies and didn’t signed the jaf of many companies for which i regret for next 15 days.

Will post the remaining placement scene in my next post. Till then Xo Xo!