(Some of you might be knowing that I successfully cleared the 1st tier of IBPS bank clerk exam, today was the day of the interview)
Today wasn’t a dream come true, rather it was a live dream. Let’s have a replay!
My day stated at 5:50. Dad called up on my phone. With sleepy eyes I went on with my daily morning business. Then took a bath, got ready in my new formals (this was to be my first off-campus interview in full formal gear). I had a light breakfast, then put on my shoes, bah-byed my elder sister and left off. Stepping on the road I remembered that I had left my money purse on the T.V. I can’t have gone anywhere without it. I ran back and found that I had left my files and documents along with my money purse! Momentarily I had a flash-forward of a future in which I was appearing before the interview panel, without any of my documents. This whole thought made me go a little dizzy. I dropped on a sofa to catch my breath. My heart was chasing Ussain Bolt and it did take me a few minutes to gather myself. I thanked god from the deepest of my heart and went off again (Let this be a reminder to us all as an example of a grand blunder, caused by tension). From that point of time, everything went downhill.
Within a few minutes of reaching the bus stop, I got the bus. The venue of the interview was very close to the Chetla rest house, where I have stayed a number of times with some of my friends and had a few memorable days (click here). I reached there with an hour to spare. Waiting outside in a line, on an Indian summer day is extremely uncomfortable. But it wasn’t as bad as that. The sky was cloudy and the place where we were waiting had a lot of trees to shade us. Having nothing else to do I got acquainted with some. All of them had come from different places and different backgrounds. Each one had a different story but none was even close to mine. Suddenly the crowd at the gate thinned. The candidates were called in. There were four interview panels of 4 people each. I was assigned to panel number 10. The interview was scheduled for later on, first our documents were to be verified. We were seated in a room having the design of a very small auditorium. Seats were raised progressively from front row to the last one. We were told to arrange our documents with photocopies and get it verified from them. Many had not brought all the documents, but they did not fret at all. Even when I went to submit my documents, I was a little tense and shaky. The person at the desk noticing me, asked me to calm down. His words were “Don’t be tense or your interview will be ruined. We are here to take care of all the formalities. Calm down, you have nothing to worry about”. Just imagine, such a reassurance from a person on a desk job, handling so many documents, simultaneously verifying them, it is too good to be true. Same was true each one of the staff whom I met. They were surprisingly calm and reassuring; one of them even cracked little jokes to keep our tension at bay. One can’t ask for a better venue for an interview.
After some time it was my turn. I went in and with the usual formalities took my seat. First question was
Mr Mahanty. Are you by any chance related to (a short pause) Ramesh Mahanty?
(Before I go any further, I gotta say this was a sort of trick question. Mahanty-s are rare in this part of India and Debasish Mohanty was a famous player in the Indian cricket team. So, the question was supposed to go along the lines of “Are you related to the Debasish Mohanty”, and I was expected to answer with a “no, Sir”.
Instead he changed just one word and asked “Are you related to the Ramesh Mahanty”, but I saw through his trick)
I replied “Yes sir! He is my father”. The interviewer seemed impressed at my prompt and correct response! Then there were the usual questions like “Why banking after B.Tech”, “do you think your skills are going to be of any use?”, “What are interpersonal skills” e.t.c. The fourth person, a lady, was obviously a person of technical background. She asked me some basic questions from networking and programming (Electronics graduates are not supposed to know in depth about computers and programming, so she wasn’t expecting any answer from me but I proved her wrong). The interviewers were impressed. One of them began in Bengali and gave a long speech of 10 minutes concluding with “boy, you are a born officer, don’t chase such petty jobs as that of clerks”.
When the interviewer praises you, it is hard to keep your teeth concealed behind your lips. I was feeling so buoyant I might have floated off the chair!! With a lot of restraint I managed keep it limited to a modest smile. They wished me good luck and I left. Coming out of the room I was so happy that I grabbed my bag and ran off!! I was so, soooo happy! People of Kolkata are too busy to notice anything else other than their own business, but if someone had seen me then, he might have thought of calling the Mental Hospital. My luck had not run out yet. I was buying tickets for the metro at Kalighat, when I met two celebrities. One was the star of a Bengali daily soap, another was a veteran actor of Bengali cinema. I might have approached them for autographs, but didn’t. Coz none around me seemed to be noticing them. Like I said before, people of Kolkata are too busy. I could not dare to stand out from the crowd and approach them, also because I could not believe my own eyes seeing them. As usual I took the bus for Durgapur at Esplanade. Luckily enough we didn’t get stuck in jam at Panagarh (the most dreaded place on the Kolkata-Durgapur route). Even better, as our bus entered city center bus stop, I thought I would have to wait for an A-Zone bus to take me home. Like I said before, waiting for anything on the noon of an Indian summer day, is terribly punishing. But today was my lucky day! Right then an A-Zone bus came in. I was thrilled! Had I bought a lottery today I would have hit the jackpot for sure! Thanx to all of them who wished me luck for the interview 🙂