The year started with a New Year party to remember at our place at Thane. Popat, Kachhu, Cheeku and yours truly. A wild party....a way to bring in the year that would be.
First week end saw me traveling to the other end of Mumbai, for XAT. The CAT results were out just before and I saw no hope for me. XAT was decent, as usual, one kindda tends to become used to this after umpteen number of attempts...looked around for Arjun; he was not to be seen. Big deal...went back home. Next day come to know that Arjun was dead drunk, too drunk to come for XAT. The realisation of what he missed dint hit home until later, when the results came.
Back to work, good old Syntel. Night shifts galore. Praksh was coming back for sometime, it was hell. Portal was supposed to be our domain now. New team members, Mani, Harikesh, and Sukant holding fort. Thanks guys!! You people deserve a mention.
Jan end, XAT results, I have an XLRI shortlist. Good. Then an XIMB and a GIM. Life looks up. Tell my project manager, Manas, that I might leave. The best words ever from him, "If you are going for the interview, go with the confidence that you will leave Syntel, else dont go." Words, that inspire, and command. My first boss, and role model, Manas Padhye. Hope I get a boss like you again.
Feb went in a flash. Reading up, work pressure being handled by the team. A team, spread across geographies, but united nevertheless. No MBA institute can better epitomise team work and team spirit. The big days of March. The first interview, XLRI.
March afternoon in Mumbai, bit hot. Quite humid. Reach the interview location. No mistakes this time. Previous candidate comes out, and yours truly barges in. Interview panel, PR, AP, Fr.A. PR looks up, who are you? Wish the floor opens up and swallows me. My dream institute. Come on. What did I do? Anyways, collect my wits. Stare stupidly as they mark the previous candidate. Anyways, the interview is on.
Come out dazed, stopwatch in pocket says interview lasted 6 minutes. 6 minutes, that's too less. Call up my Guru, Tanmay. Tanmay, diplomat, says, 6 minutes means they liked you or they dint. Am like, dude, I know that. Tell me something I don't know. Went over word by word analysis. Then Guru says, think you should make it. Tere mooh mein ghee shakkar...thanks mate. Optimism pays.
Rest of the interviews go in a blur. Work is getting hectic. It is getting irritating travelling in the Mumbai heat. Nights are getting longer. Kanjur station is a welcome respite, for home is just 15 mins away now.
March end. The wait ends. Results are out. I am in XLRI. Hand in my resignation to Manas. Maybe am the first employee, who asks him the format of the resignation letter. And he gave it to me. Gave him ample notice. But now, not interested in work anymore. Some how come to office and do the least amount. Train the new comers. Fraxing starts already.
Time to shift house. The lease has expired. We find one, closer to the station. Nice place. Bachelors shifting house. All our worldly possessions fit in two autos. We shift in. Cheeku decides to leave us, he is quitting Mumbai. He moves on. Now it is only the two of us, Popat and me. Kachadiya decides to shift in.
XLRI fees has to be paid. SBI goes on a strike. Heart in hand. I wait. Thankfully things work out. No issues.
One month, passes in a whirl. May end. My bags are packed. I am ready to go. My last day at Syntel. Exit interview is done. The HR lady asks, what happened, dint like the project. No, mam, loved the project. Leaving to follow my dreams.
At last, the day to leave. Guys come to see me off. Dadar station, Chalukya express; headed home, to Bangalore. Bye bye Mumbai, with all your heat and humidity, your floods and traffic jams, you taught me to take life, each day as it comes, and to chill out when your work is done, as if there is no tomorrow. Will miss you. Will miss a lot of people too.
Bangalore....home sweet home...some work to be caught up on. Lots of people to meet. And, of course my sweetest Ruchi. Fifteen days later, it is June and I am headed to Jamshedpur.
Jamshedpur, the place that made a man out of mama's boy. The place that taught me a lot and also taught me engineering. The place, that let me make friends. Some for life. And the place which gave me a better half in life.
Dusty, sleepy industrial town. Nothing much changes here. Moved in to XLRI. The place is small, but am looking forward to meeting the people.
XLRI. Dream world. A place where people dream to get in, then work their backside out to get out. Met some nice people, some super nice people, some good people and met a crazy air force pilot with a heart of gold. Fl. Lt. Rajat Shahi. Person par excellence. A gentleman to the core. But, yes, he is mad. Induction programme came and went. Lot of academic work. Met a quiet little girl, and a bond developed. A brother with his lil sister. Komal made an appearance.
First term showed how rusty I was with books. Writing notes in class was a torture. I had not used a pen after college, except to sign cheques and fill MBA forms. It was relearning how to study.
Introduction to XL culture followed. Adventure and village trip. The other side of life. Playing badminton and getting wet in the rain. Living a life.
September end, term 1 ends, the end term exams are on. Shit!!! I don't know a thing. Last minute studies and mugging. One week and the pain is over. I am headed back home.
Week later am back. It is the second term. Time for SIP. Companies, PPTs to attend, forms to be filled. Everyone wants a SOP, short and long term goals. Short term goal...that's a joke...it is to survive here. Calls to Ruchi increase. I am not able to handle this. Shortlists are coming out. List after list. Name in not there. Death is a great leveller, campus placements are too. It doesn't matter what you know or what you don't. Nothing else matters. It is one company that wants you.
Day 1, no luck. Day 2 no luck till the end. Have to move on to slot 2. That is bad. Heavy at heart go back to sleep. Am woken up by Rajat. "You are through in IBM". He actually spent the night waiting for the results. Thanks man. I am out of the process.
SIP end, time to catch up with all the missed work. Classes are on. The term is ending. The end terms are coming. And suddenly, it is time to go back home. End of term 2. End of 2006.
Overall a roller coaster ride. A year that saw me move on to chase my dreams. Sometimes there were doubts. Sometimes there were fears. I metamorphosed from a software engineer, to a student. And now, waiting for the new batch. I am a senior student. A year that taught me more than my other years put together. A year that showed me that the world is tough, but tough people survive. A year that was all things good, some things not so nice, some tough, some soft, some filled with laughter, some joy....spiced with little tears, some heartaches, a tiny bit of sorrow. Years will come, hope each year is as wonderful as the last. My wish for the new year is that I wish to start on the following long pending work:
- Have some patience while taking decisions
- Some career planning
- Where do i want to go from here
- Get a new hobby