Tuesday, 17 November 2009


If this day hadn't already done enough to merit itself a few inches of space on this Course of Human Events, the events of the last hour have made it inevitable. So much so, that I've succumbed to the thought that - if this post isn't made, nothing else is worth writing about! To begin with, this post could, so easily, have been titled 'Remember, remember; The seventeenth November'.

One major reason I didn't post promptly after receiving two wonderful messages was the fact that I didn't want to sound like a narcissistic creep. The other, of course, was because I wouldn't have had the time to draft one as I was drowned in a deluge of SMSs, GTalk IMs and gargantuan EDC and WONA threads (yes, the latter giving the former a run for its money). Now, however, I realize that this moment of indulgence is perhaps something I must be forgiven for... One of the many reasons which bind me to the blogosphere is the fact that 'konfessionsofageenius' is a chronicle of my life, and if this day didn't make it there among the top days, I don't know what would. Some day I'll look back at this post...

A miss, a mistake and Bang! A strange shortlist and a weird Group Discussion preceded what was to be a classy interview- a dream, to be precise. With no technical question asked and the interviewer delving into subjects like Lit and EDC, I thought I had a reasonable shot. Then finally, when he took a copy of the latest 'Watch Out!', I thought I had it... They made me wait, but yes - I got Schlum.

Just when the formalities of home-calling had been finished and the sluice-gates were gradually giving in, Cogni decides to put up the second overdue list of the day. I wonder whether there are two other such adjacent Cogni rooms in the insti now, apart from Pinky et moi. Well, forget the sluices now. The dam had collapsed.

It took a while for everything to sink in as people all over telephoned and messaged. Thank you, all. Some people went into praise mode, some asked for chapos, few asked me details of the interview, while some said 'I was being too modest'. Still others said that they were doing their best to ruin the day for me. Thank you, Dela. And thank you, Lefty, for having that happen. And thank you, Lit, for everything else about it.

That hasn't dented this evening, but a mongrel almost did. Well, I found myself in Ravindra an hour back trying to get my Practical work signed. A Research Scholar who wouldn't let me into his room with my shoes on greeted me. I took the Four-'K' pair off, of course, and earned entry into the room. Soon, he was using me as an office boy to tabulate his bills, even as he took his time signing my file. Needless to say, I was half Gujju when I left his room, albeit with some A's in the bag, only to see a single shoe greeting me at the threshold!

Who would take one shoe?! Half-an-hour of math was thrown out the window as I realized a single shoe in a Rs.4000 pair wasn't worth two grand. Soon, two madmen (one shoe-less) were seen outside the Ravindra canteen searching for an elusive shoe, which I was told, had been taken by a dog. Soon some others including the watchman joined us in the hunt even as I profusely insulted the RS's lineage in every language I knew. The dog was detected, but the shoe was gone.

Another half hour and thoroughly scanned grounds later, it was discovered beside a bathroom somewhere far-far away! Nothing has gone wrong (yet) and I walk with two shoes.

P.S. Happy birthday, Nimba. The 17th of November will be difficult to forget.

P.P.S. Thank you all. Again.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Interview Do's and Interview Don't's

It was sometime during the first week of this month, when I committed the second mistake of the sem, which incidentally also becomes the third mistake concerning my academic life; the first two being this and ITC. In the latter case, of course, I did not apply for the internship. After a lot of heartburn and having lost faith in all humanity, this disgruntled chap decided that never again would he miss an employment opportunity! And hence put himself in collision course with what could have been.

I know I'm not making too much sense yet, but when I tell you that I applied for 'M/s. Infosys' plainly because I wanted to make sure I didn't miss out on any more just because I didn't try (read into this line all you want), things surely become a lot more meaningful. The day after I pressed 'send', I was asked why I would do something outright dumb. Being the smartalec, I so often become, I quipped, "Even though I would NEVER do a coding intern, I don't buy the concept of letting opportunities pass. I'll screw up the pre-interview examination anyway! Don't you worry..."

It's not surprising then that 'today', as you will soon gather, came as a shock. I reach the Placement Office promptly at 6, to be told that there was no exam! 'A shortlist will directly be put up.'

For the benefit of the layman reader, let me lay down the placement ground-rules:

(1) Once you apply for a company, you can, under no circumstance, at no stage, withdraw the application without being debarred from placements henceforth. (A certain CS girl could tell you more.)

(2) Once you are selected for an intern, you cannot apply to any more companies.

(3) If anything can go wrong, it will.

At 6:15, a list of 15 names was displayed on the projector screen. I was among those. Cursing, I asked in vain how I could opt out. And then even more hopefully, I asked as to what an honest, hardworking Chemical Engineer can do in a great company like Infy. Again, gibberish.

NC Nigam saw me enter at 6:45 p.m., without a resume, dressed half like a dork and pretty much overwrought. I was hoping that sighting a bum like me devoid of even the dire necessity - a resume, I'd be booted out. Alas, they said the interview was to be telephonic.

Amidst all this chaos, there was one man who spiced this up even further - my HOD. In a frantic call to the great man, I heard him say the words, "Infosys doesn't give you 'in-plant training'. So, you cannot apply there! Strictly prohibited ! I won't let you do it..."

Those kind words revolutionized all future cerebration as now, not only did I have to give the interview (so as to not be debarred), I also had to flunk it! To cut a long story short, this is how it went:

The voice: Hello.
I: Hi, sir. A very good evening to you.
The voice: Good evening, Mr. Anirudh. Why don't we start off with you telling me something about yourself.
I: (Some bit of my history goes here...)
The voice: Oh good... You have mentioned 'Fluid Dynamics' as an area of interest here. Let's start with that. Suppose I told you to design a Room Heater, how would you do it?
I: I'd ask for the room size, ambient temperature, the requisite temperature... (This is when I realize I'm doing well)
I'm sorry, sir. I don't think I can tell you any more.
The voice: Why? You are doing really well... Go on.
I: I'm afraid that's all I know, sir.
The voice: Well... Don't worry. We'll go on to other topics.
What do you think is a continuous fluid?
I: Sir, the equation of continuity is...
The voice: No. Continuous fluid.
I: I don't know.
The voice (now a slight drag): Hmmm... Simple question now. What's the difference between 'Thermodynamics' and 'Fluid Dynamics'?
I: Why, sir! I always thought them to be very similar. There are subtle differences, but essentially same!
The voice (taken aback): Let's leave your Engineering skills alone now, Mr. Anirudh. Mental ability, now.
I: Sure, sir.
The voice: (Asks some question which required me to calculate the minimum time which four people require to cross a bridge, subject to certain conditions)
I: (After allowing considerable time for calculations, doodling all the while) Nineteen minutes!
The voice: Are you sure this is the answer?
I: No, I am not, sir. These are what my calculations tell me.
The voice: Well, what if I tell you this is incorrect?
I: Then, I'd have to tell you that I'm incapable of coming up with the right answer.
The voice: Don't get disheartened now... I'll give you a hint. (Proceeds to do so) Now?
I: (Taking some time again) Interesting... Informative, though your hint was, sir, I'm afraid it helps me in no way! I don't exactly comprehend its relevance.
The voice: It was great talking to you, Mr. Anirudh.
I: My pleasure, sir. Have a good evening!

That's that! And God is great!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


A lonely drop did fall through space

Carrying all colours the sky held ere

The hues blotted and condensed

And stripped the Earth of its face.

Into a chasm, the oceans drained

As every door swung firmly shut

Mountains succumbed in a blurry haze

And colours vanished, as it rained.

The world lived, but shut me away.

Flavours and scents and music, all

Fled me, as I stared benumbed

As it was neither night nor day.

“Help me! Save me!” I should have called.

Instead I hung in a languid state

Like a puppet, in entangled strings

Better would have felt had I been mauled.

A dreary state of animated death

I didn’t know the difference now

The sun didn’t rise, the moon had set

I was dead of all, but breath.

I stared back at the childhood dream

At the hopes and plans and merry things

The tears and laughter of that Heart

This Heart tearing at the seam.

There is no suffering and no pain.

Only, the million hues were gone

To yield a life in gray and black

I am oblivious to the drops of rain.

And forth I go on that quest

To breathe in life; resuscitate

Those lost emotions in this void;

Until then, I shall not rest.