It was yet another warm winter afternoon in Chennai (a metropolitan city in southern India). We were standing in the balcony, enjoying our coffee along with the occasional cool breeze despite the Sun. With the Chennai Airport nearby, the sight of frequent airplanes taking off and landing filled our minds. Those were the last few days of our training and we were almost permanent now having completed all our tests. It was then when Madhav out of the blue asked me, "You must be wondering, how a boy like me managed to even get into such an MNC". I gave him a smile and continued to gaze the horizon far behind the airport. This was when he said, "Let me tell you my interview story, it is no less than a miracle..."
Madhav is a thin, fair boy from one of the places in India, better known for its riots and/or politics. An extrovert, funny, filmy, at times religious, “Zindagi ekbaar milti hai, maje karo!” (You get life only once, enjoy it to the fullest) amongst many others kind of guy. He's a typical guy who will do time-pass, get screwed up and then work extremely hard to undo it. We met as a batch-mate and our friendship grew thick in those training days. Personally I think, his eyes speak about the "Brilliance hidden behind" and yet he fails to acknowledge it.
The Interview Story in his own words...
It was nearly 3 months; I had attended 10+ placement drives and every time I got rejected either in GD or Interview. Money was running out, pressure from family, cursing my knowledge and fate, disparity starting taking a toll on me. It was then that I heard about this off-campus placement from my friend; with just 2-3 days to spare, there wasn't much I could study.
Finally the day arrived; I went to Hanuman temple (his main family deity) and prayed for luck and better well-being. Arriving at the college, I was mesmerized seeing the number of registrations (7000+). My hope, confidence and above all determination had begun to fumble, but was relieved to know that only 2,500 attended which was yet a huge number.
The aptitudes began and ran late till 11pm. I was confident that I would pass, studying for last few months had some fruits, but it was a tough competition. The results were announced in my favor and most importantly I was amongst the top 256 to be shortlisted.
My English isn't very good and MTI (Mother Tongue Influence) is high, but I didn’t lack in confidence or the Will. Oratory comes naturally to me, even in English (Laughs). Each group consisted of 12 people. We were given the topic "Should financial subject be introduced in school?” By now I had again started to think, this is going to be like any other GDs and I am going to be out.
Everyone was talking, discussing, debating and trying to give some or the other opinion. My stature was quite silent throughout the discussion. Then the coordinator asked me my view point and I opposed the subject. I don’t remember what I said, but all were in favor of the topic except me and one more guy. Oddly only the two of us were shortlisted. I was now amongst the top 148 people to have cleared. Now what remained determined our jobs i.e. Essays, Technical and HR.
As told earlier, my English isn’t that good and written even gets worse, with improper grammar, spelling mistakes, punctuations and what not. The topic given to us was “My Personality of the Millennium". And I failed to understand what the topic meant. I thought we were supposed to right "How we perceive our personality in the coming Millennium" and hence I wrote about what I wanted to achieve and where I wanted to see myself in the coming future. It was only after the submission did I come to know about my blunder. I was now in a fix and knew I would be ridiculed and most importantly rejected. Little had I knew about the unexpected turn of events...
After the disastrous essay round, I was sure that Technical would go on similar lines. With lack of proper technical knowledge, I was ready to get screwed.I thought, 'How bad can this day be further!’ But surprisingly the questions were basic and the usual types. I was able to answer most of them with ease. Perhaps the interviewer was too bored to ask difficult questions at this time of the night.
A fresh new day but mind still occupied with yesterday’s thoughts and today's result. I went to temple and prayed for luck. It was only in the evening that my interview was scheduled. What followed was a pure miracle. My interviewer was a fair person in his early 30’s with a French beard and deep dark stare.
I entered the room with mixed thoughts and the first thing I heard was "That’s a good shirt young man, where did you buy it from?” I was totally zapped, couldn't believe my STARS. I told him it was a birthday gift from a friend and that if he wanted, I shall give him the address of the shop. Next were the general "tell me something about yourself" questions. I told the usual X times repeated tape of my bio-data.
While glancing at my resume at some part he stopped and asked me, “What is your DOB?". I replied him 15th December 1991 on which he said it’s written as March in your Resume. I explained him that my grand-mother wanted my DOB to be in first half of the year and hence my father made the change. He wasn't content with the answer and kept bothering, "What's the logic in that?”. I gave him a lot of so called logical answers, but he wouldn't believe. Finally I told him, "Jis sehar se hum aate hai, wahan agar maa kuch bolti hai toh beta usme LOGIC nahi khojata (The City from where I belong; if a mother tells something to her child, the child does not try to check if the answer is logical)" and then what followed was a frightening silence. I think it took him a while for what I had said to sink in.
Next came the Essay evaluation part. I started getting goose bumps as the time to get ridiculed and laughed upon came near. But what followed was utter fun and insanity. He congratulated me. I didn’t understand, was it a sarcasm or was he really appreciating. He had read the second paragraph directly which described about my mother and how her hardships played utmost role in my upbringing. To my good fortune, he read only that part and thought I had taken "Mother” as my role model. He applauded my thinking and told that he hadn’t come across anyone who had thought on such lines before. At the back of my mind, I was totally praising my good fortune and also thanking the dumbness of this guy. I gave a good smile and the interview was over.
I had mixed feeling about the interview. Part of it had gone extremely well and part of it screwed up. Finally, the list was announced and I got selected!!! That made me wonder, can God really be watching you and helping; quoting the Shahrukh Khan dialog from a movie "agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaaho toh poori kaynath tumhein usse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai (If you wish something from the bottom of your heart, the entire universe conspires to helps you achieve it)" or was it a mere coincidence. All events in my favor, as if someone truly wanted me to get that job. No one would believe, that after such screw ups one could have got this job. But reality is always twisted and you never know what fate holds up for you. This not only made me realize God’s watching all of us but also that hard work will lead you to success some day or another.
That’s my story...
Hearing Madhav, I was as mesmerized as probably any other reader. Although his way of telling the story was extra-ordinary with Hindi movie punch lines and his characteristic accent, I have yet tried my best to express it in words. I leave it to the readers to decide the rift between “God’s Wish” or “Probabilistic Coincidences”.