Woh lamhe...woh raate...koi na jaane...thi kaisi baate...
Seriously it gives me the shivers whenver I think of those nights when I slept with uneasiness gnawing at my heart and all the time knowing that I had to take adequate rest to perform from early morning the next day. Frustration, exhaustion, fear, doubt, attempts at motivation, all rolled into that one little head in the darkness and calm of the night...it was a nightmarish few nights!
I'll skip day 2 of the process since nothing much happened really. Had one GD and being the first one in the process, you seriously should not expect me to perform! An HR consultancy firm decided to interview me and posed all sorts of situational questions to which I had standard kgpian answers of Illumination and other Hall activities...how the hell are we supposed to conjure up situations that wud compare with those having work experience? Anywayz, no cribbing! Oh yes...another GD in the evening and one of the topics I remember!!! "The humble farmer and Murthy"--plz enlighten me with your views if u have any...personally I took affront at the topic and decided not to make the effort of speaking!
Day 3: Slot 1
Wake up to find my name on just one new shortlist out of some 5-6. HLL Sales n Mktg wants me. Very nice, indeed! I' m absolutely cut out for marketing!!! Somehow get over the newfound frustration and make it to the arena.
Back in the same suit, new shirt, same tie. New faces arriving. Old faces there, too. Everybody raring to go. The wait starts, yet again.
Can u believe it? I'm still waiting and I have multiple shortlists today! Have the guys at controls gone nuts? Is my reg no. missing from their list. I'm turning paranoid.
My day is made. HLL calling for a GD. Nice start. Some topic about killing a character in a saas-bahu soap opera. Goes passably well. Get up to go. Oh no...what's this. Another GD? Back to back? At that point I start hating all marketing companies and as a mark of sincere protest, desist from speaking.
1 pm to 7 pm
A blur. That's all remains of this period. I'd heard that people forget the name of the company they are interviewing with. I was lucky that didnt happen with me. I forget the exact no. of interviews I had, interpersed with a few GDs, one of which (E n Y) went well! (I was actually performing at GDs...man am i changed!)
Back to room after dinner. Lots of small talk. Irrelevant. Try to think about my chances tomorrow. Not feeling very confident. Another bad night.
Day 4: Slot 1
8:30 am-12 pm
Okk today I'm out of the arena in a flash. Thank u controls. Couldn't have tolerated a third day of that fag-mint-wait routine. Had 4 interviews back-to-back. Interestingly, I was a very confused man at the end of it all. One Systems firm, one Fin, one Consult, one Marketing...my core competency had changed so many times during a stretch of 2 hours that I did not know whom I was bluffing! Man I must really have confused the interviewers. I'm not sure whether I highlighted the right focus area at the right place. By that time, I had almost stopped caring. Thought of giving my best. Just not doing it.
Not much activity the rest of the day. No other shortlists. People again start getting offers. RS makes it ti Citi finally. First kgp conversion in the slot. Me and Y start walking aimlessly. Arnie has an offer, too. Many ppl smiling. Me burning? Offers to be declared at 7.
SAP shortlist out. 6 names. Mine included. A sharp pang hits me. I know this means sth is wrong. No Slot 1 for me. Damn. People still don't want to believe. I do. And somehow, my resolve steels suddenly. Telephonic interview at 7:30. Go back to room. This is my last chance, I tell myself. Focus. Convert. Focus. Convert. What a feeling. I forget everything else around me. No worries. No tensions. Just do it. Too melodramatic? So be it.
Waiting on the Place Office stairs for the interview to start. Can hear the Slot 1 offers being announced and ppl clapping. Again the burning in the heart. Know my name's not on the list. Can't believe it somehow. Come to terms quickly. Telephonic interview. I have to show energy, Arnie had told me. Build up energy. Write points down. Even a opening line. I'll have to do this. No escape routes.
8:00 pm -9:00 pm
What an interview! The guy tells me then and there that I've made it to the second round. Done half the job. Half still remains. Have reached a state of peace by now. Know things can't be any worse. So from now on, no more worrying. Things will take their own course. A confident end to a bad day.
Get ready for Slot 2 and Marketing. Crasher on marketing fundae. Dude am I multifaceted now!
Next instalment: The remaining phases.