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.