Wednesday, June 07, 2006

abad, an interview and myself

Hotel Abad Plaza, Cochin.

That didn't ring many of you a bell right ? What is there that is to be told about to be a star hotel in Cochin.
For me and scores of those students who were aspiring to be software engineers, Abad was the destination, where one would rush off after clearing of those strenuous tests from SHREDS Kerala, Edapalli.

Its would all start with the advent of the glorious final year of the college. People are busy to get a job, and get registered in SHREDS. And then for people like me the cycle starts, an early morning bus or an evening train to Cochin, reach Edappalli High School and then that long queue for the registration with a Hall ticket and 100bucks and loads of marklists copies stacked up, filed and held on to your armpit. It was a site you know, people from all over Kerala concentrated at a single center with hopes and aspirations. Companies came and went. When we hear abt the CTC, we will divide it by 12 and think about the money we are getting in our hands monthly.

"Oh Da Mone, 12000 Rupa masathil entha pinne vende..". A he or she will yell.

After those vicious tests, some pass some fail. Those who fail, catch the next bus and return back to their colleges and those who pass catch the next Red Bus to Abad Plaza. By the time one reaches there, his attire would have changed. He would have put in a nice tie and full sleeve shirt and inserted it and will look a perfect executive. I don't think one will get a good reception while you enter, atleast I felt so. They needn't to rt? Who are you after all for them, just another passer-bye. The person at the door himself will know where the person should be seated and then you have to go there and just wait. Wait for the time when your name is called. Then when it is called, you walk with your body shivering unless you are some real cool guy like Kich.

I still remember those long narrow corridors were I waited for my Future Soft Interview. My Anonymous ex Roommate was there on the other side, and then there were also my other friends. As I enter the room, I remember seeing this really beautiful HR lady, whom I looked for a few moments or so.

"Hello Dhanush". She said and thus started my first professional interview. I remember I was trembling and stammering a lot and also in the whatever time I could face her, I was admiring her beauty :-). She might taken notice of that admiration and must have thought, this guy will be after me if I take him aboard and thus I didn't pass the first round.

Since it was my first chance I was never worried, I came back to Edappalli High School and attended tests. With the Industry booming like a rocket, companies came in thick and large. But never I climbed those stairs of Abad Plaza again, until during that Onam a company called Mahindra British Telecom Ltd came and I passed the test, probably because all the creamy guys of our class and other colleges joined the mighty companies which came earlier with better pay package and higher cutoff mark. Or else in plain words, I was just too bad to clear them off. I remember one day my father asked me about the complexities of these tests. He would have thought why I am not clearing, while a lot of my friends and his friends children got into big companies. Also with the amount of money I was spending, it was quite normal to a father to be anxious abt his child. But worse memory was a classmate of mine asking me

"Neeyokke kore kaalaayallo pokunnu, ennittu vallathum aayo".

Well whatever is the case, MBT asked me to report at Abad at around 7 in the evening. There was my close friend Sandeep, Joju, Abhilash n KP of ECE and a few others I don't remember. I wore the best shirt I had, a beautiful checked one which my aunt gifted me. I dont remember if I tied up a tie, no I didn't. And I waited in that soft sofa.

Finally I was called, and the person was a techie guy and unleashed a lot of question. Operating Systems, DBMS, Compilers. It was an okey-dokey interview and I still remember one funny answer I gave. The person asked about different keys in RDBMS and asked What a composite key is.
"Sir, we study DBMS this semester and that portion haven't been yet covered. We have reached till Primary and Secondary Key only" . Huh what an answer- he might have thought. But somehow he must have been satisfied with my performance on the other questions and I got selected to the next round.

Now only Vivian Fernandes stood in front of me and an offer. At 10 in the night I was called up by him for the HR round. After the formal introduction, he asks me:

"How long is Calicut from Cochin". Oops, what kind of question is that. I think, but gave the answer too and then he explains me that he needs to go there for some function. He made me comfortable and so I could open up during the talk, ask abt the company and other blah blahs. The final question from my part was, when are the results going to be published.

He replied "Before Satyam guys are gonna catch you".

Satyam Computers were coming the next day and that reply of his gave me a faint hope, but I dwelled it down telling to myself - If you are worth it, you are gonna get it, otherwise you perish.

Next day it was Seena's Birthday. We never knew each other that time, otherwise I am sure she would have gave me a treat.
Next day I reached there early, for the Satyam test. Registered for the test and as I was abt to attend it, the results came in. I didn't knew it, then I saw Sandeep running towards me, with a big smile on his face and finger pointing towards me.
"Eda mone, nee select aayada". Well that may not be the exact words, but that's what he conveyed. I hugged him and asked, "What abt you "
"Its only you,da, only you". I was crying with both joy and sorrow. Happy beacuse I got in, but sad because my best buddy with 10% marks more than me not getting through. I was really sad, for the earlier night while walking back home he said, "Just think we both in Pune together, adichu polikkada". And that wish was not going to happen. I think he was lucky to be in a different stream and take up his own career different from the software world and today he is settled and all set to marry his sweetheart.

I was the 25th person from my class of 51 to be campus selected. The next day we had a meeting with the MBT guys where MBT T-Shirts were distributed. 6 people including me were selected from GECT to join on August 6th 2001 at the Pune office and only I joined them on June 2nd 2003 at Mumbai.

A few good memories after I got job:
- When I was telling Vrinda Madam about my MBT result, she told me that she was always thinking it was high time I too got somewhere, while others were conveying their success stories earlier.
- Tanuja telling me her mother used to ask her whether I got in to some company.
So there were a few people who thought I could do it much before.

But then as another friend of mine says, It just a matter of time, Dhanush

Sheesh .. Loooooong Post, but not bad alle?

PS: Abad was reminded to me today by a friend of mine and this post is dedicated to that person who triggered me to unleash a good memory from the beautiful college days. Those were the best days of my life.


yetanother.softwarejunk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
yetanother.softwarejunk said...

Hey Dhanush !!

Do you remember that Shreds’ guy ? who said...
“who is joju...yeah...ohh....its you.. are not selected !!!”
At that time, you were waiting for your MBT interview, I guess.

I don’t know whether it is a co-incident, but Abad stories are almost ready in my draft :-)

Anonymous said...

its been almost 5 yrs...I cant think that its been so long since we went seperate ways...

Seema said... put down each n everything in such does it feel a trip down the memory lane...nostalgic sure many will be able to relate to the days when we all were waiting for our first right jobs...those were the days!!! you've put each emotion so well...
pinne the bit on admiring the HR lady was adipoli..hehe interview aanel enna..u did not lose the opportunity to admire beauty ale ;)

Suneesh TP said...

Nice post dude...quite nostalgic. It reminded me many of our weekly trips to Cochain to pay 100 rupees to Ruby Mathai & Family :-)

Indeed, it was for FutureSoft interview I visited Abad first. There were quite a lot of interesting moments during the campus interview time. Do you remember these?

- While waiting for a company's interview, one of my close friend challenged me that he will propose to our common crush if he is selected. Fortunately or unfortunately, he was not selected.

- Another friend wanted to do suicide by jumping from top of Abad Plaza after his interview, because of feeling depressed by some of his blunder answers in the interview :-)

Dhanush | ധനുഷ് said...

@joju - Yes Man I remember that. So what,Publish it we all will read. It will be from your viewpoint rt?
@anon- yes da, and dont you feel like seeing us all.. my anonymous roomie
@seema - Thanks Yaar.. Pinne oru ivwinu pokumbo nammal athinte ella aspectsum padichirikknanmalo.. athinu vendi maathram :)
@alexis - Yes A lot man.. A lot ... from some budding engineering college in Kerala, to the most employed IT organization. Thanks Buddy.
@tp - I think for Future Soft a lot of guys from our class got shortlisted rt ? Sheesh .. That was me rt .. After Nest interview Shucks.. Second friend I dont remember man

Anonymous said...

hey Dhanush ... u brought back old but fond memories ... though what happened afterwards was real heartbreaking ... but pro'ly whatever happens, happens for the best ... :)

Lekshmi said...

Nice post Dhanush. Still remember Mrs R's polished smile, which used to turn rude, sharp words hurting our unemployment wooes......

I used to tell myself not to repeat it, each time when I ask Rs. 100 to Achan for the test.

Dhanush | ധനുഷ് said...

@cna - Come Back.. Let kichan work from there and send you the Shillings ;) - and oh yes .. for you it turned out great I would say.
@vinod- you the same GECian who was with me ? If so yes was heartbreaking
@lekshmi - Yea R was Ruthless :-)

Reshmi said...

heyy..u have brightened up some memories...gud post..:)
well..satyam caught me thru shreds in 2004..!!

Krishnan said...

The only thing i remember about MBT interview was hitting on a girl called Elizabeth while waiting for the interview. Anyways she didnt get through :-)
I dont know how i missed Tijo during the next day program. Were u there as well?

Dhanush | ധനുഷ് said...

~reshmi - In one way we are all gratefull to Shreds, for providing the lesser known colleges an oppurtunity. But 2004 was a different story altoghether, wasn't it ?
~kich - Ninte Bhagyam.. atho Seenede Bhagyamo ;) . Yes I was there, but ningal CUSATkkar valya aalkkar nammale okke mind cheyyumo ;)

yetanother.softwarejunk said...

At last I am done; Added my interview stories(not all) to my blog.

silverine said...

What a coincidence my next post is on Interviews :))

p..s you are tagged.