Friday, November 2, 2007

My happiest day in Life: A personal diary: Part 1

A very common question one asks is which is your happiest moment in life. Well, even thought no one has asked it here, I would still like to draft this for my own sake.

After missing out on couple of occasions TCS and e-Funds, I was really depressed as far as the placement scenario was concerned. I had started concentrating on CAT as it looked like that was the last resort available. Came 25th September 2003, a day when my life was going to change. Previous day eve my placement rep told IBM has opened for us. With a single eve and a company of IBM's stature I never thought I had a chance. Unusually I slept early that day at 10 pm , to wake up and go for the written exam. Written exam was a usual affair for me. 20 questions on general aptitude and 20 questions on computers. Aptitude questions I not only managed to do it but to cross check it a couple of times. But computer questions, all were kind of bouncers. Come on guys!! only 1 bouncer allowed per over but 20 of them.. back to back... too much... mudiyalai... in vadivelu style. With no hopes of getting selected I continued with the normal life, went for lunch and after that went to hear the results out. And I was one among the 47 selected. 2 from my class. Later came to know the cutt off had been 20 and I had scored 21.

Then, began the preparation for the interview. Unexpected selection meant I was not at all prepared. Luckily, Sundaram Claytons was knocking the doors the next day, off -campus at PSG Tech, so had a shirt and a pant in place. Otherwise I would have been in deep soup, b'cos of my body stature. :)

Somehow collected the rest of it and got ready . Interview was scheduled at 6.30 PM but even a duffer could tell that it will be much later than that. Interviewers asking for the syllabus book started giving me goose bumps. Hence, began my preparation, ( lasted for about an hour only) where I was reading through my own syllabus book and making sure I know to speak on each word mentioned there.

I made sure my freshness was confined to my room till it is time for the interview. My friend went to the interview room and was monitoring. Once my turn came, he came and called me and I was set to what happened to be my last placement interview of life.

As this post is getting unusually big, I will post this in parts. So watch out for Part 2.

My Happiest moment in Life : A personal Diary: Part 2

Our calculation was on target and within 30 mins of me reaching there I was given a call to enter into the interview room. It was a 1-1 interview and one Sridhar was there to decide my fate. I was wearing my fav. sky blue shirt , new one ( wore only for the 2 previous interviews) and a cream color pant, a rather unusual combination, thats what everyone thought. But the black pant had been not so lucky for me. I had decided to take the interview my way and the first question" Tell me about yourself" just made things easier for me. After the initial braggings about education and all I went to my favorite topic of paper presentation in IIT Delhi and ended there for Sridhar to pick from there . I was lucky for this trick to work out and hence, began my explanation of my paper where I was in full form.(must be, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this blog)

On software and languages side, I played safe this time saying I do not know any of them. After about 20 minutes of mostly me talking and he listening he seemed impressed and told me to go on for the HR interview , which meant that I had cleared the "technical" interview. Officially I was informed that I had cleared outside by another gentleman from IBM whose name I did not know. Then after waiting for around 30 mins , I was called for the HR interview, there a very stern Balasubramanian was waiting for me. I tried to be as friendly as possible with him. But he was all the same. He asked " you look tired. It is a long time for you". I replied back " It is the same for you sir" . Then began my HR interview. I had questions on my role model which I had put as the Australian Cricket team of 2003. I had questions on 5 uses of pen apart from writing. Again I tried to use my sense of humour to lighten the mood but to no avail. I had questions on my career ambitions and where do I see myself after 5 years. This is where I thought I had blew if off yet again. I replied back " I do not set myself any goals in terms of position and money. I just want to grow with the company. I will look for challenges at every juncture". To which the question was " What if there are no challenges?". A very tricky one indeed. I tried to manage it with some excuses like I will ask for challenging role and that I will fight for it . He was stern on his stand that there are no challenges. The million dollar question. I played a gamble. I replied " In that case I will quit IBM and look for somewhere else sir". His reaction did not tell me anything. He was a thorough professional. On that note my HR interview was also over after 20-25 minutes of what I will say grilling.

Then it was a wait forever, for the results to come. After interviewing full 47 short listed candidates which went on till about 12 midnight, results were finally announced t 1.40 am. All of us, including friends of those who attended waited with out heart in our mouth. Finally , the HR came out with a list. He announced that they had selected 19 of us. Good news! I thought. Then he began announcing the names. And my classmate's name came . I thought I had screwed it up again based on our logic of only one production guy being selected among every two. But still I was praying and waiting. 16th name was announced " Natraj M" and here I was.... Didn't know how to celebrate I just did a punch in air and then ran out. Followed by our class PRs and other friends who were all happy as we had 2 on 2 in IBM. The late night call to my parents by my friend will not be forgotten by them for the lifetime , I am sure. Rest of the night was spent talking and trying to digest the truth. The truth that I had got placed in IBM. And I spent another sleepless night.

Bangalore : Rediscovered!

On Rajyotsava day, I was served with true delicacy of the real Bangalore and its life. I went for a quiz to Malleswaram, the area which supposed to be the older Bangalore (I would say the truer one ). It had a typical small city feeling about it. No big flats, No big malls, not every third restaurant was a place where you burn half of your day's pay for a meal,(there were not much of hotels also), not a place where every guy and girl dress as if they are going to de-throne Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai respectively, not every 9 in 10 people on streets where 20 something's and the best of it a smoother and better traffic . It was the older and the traditional Bangalore at display. A nice place for dinner, New Krishna Bhawan , a place established since 1954 , where you can find all Mangalore style dosas and stuff, which you won't find in any other part of Bangalore. But as soon as I finished my dinner and went on to catch an auto, I was brought to the reality that I am still in Bangalore when more than half a dozen autowallas refused to come to Majestic. Once I reached Majestic, I was completely brought back to reality , mad rush, mad traffic blah blah blah... all which have now become a part and parcel of Bangalore life.