You decide for yourselves but whatever it was, I enjoyed it through and through 🙂
As a few of you might be knowing that I had my FCI tier 2 exam scheduled for this 3rd Feb. I was pretty excited and nervous. This exam if cleared could end my job hunt and secure my life with a government job, otherwise you know what. My exam center was at Umes Chandra College, Kolkata. Usually for exams in Kolkata I go to my big brother’s place on the day before.
I had tickets for the Kolkata bus scheduled to depart at 1:00 am from city centre. I reached there with 15 minutes to spare. Ten minutes to the departure, I was sitting at a place. My mind toggling between the exam, and jobs I had applied for that morning. My phone rang up, I received the call. The caller was an unknown lady, asking me if I was Somesh. She then told me that I had an interview scheduled for 4th feb 11 am at Kolkata. I was exhilarated with the opportunity after a long time! I had a little consultation with my friend Arijit and accepted the offer. Then there was a bolt from the blue! I remembered that I did not have a single pair of formals. This was the first time that I was leaving for Kolkata without an extra pair of interview formals, coz I had a 8-10 kg yam (harvested from our backyard garden) for my brother in my backpack. Bad luck or pure co-incidence, I didn’t know what.
On the GT road towards Kolkata at a distance of about 45 minutes form here, is a place called Panagarh, infamous for traffic jams. Anyone leaving for Kolkata dreads Panagarh like anything, and if one is on a tight schedule he/she prefers taking the train to the bus. We were lucky, or so I thought as we passed through Panagarh without a hitch. By the time our bus stopped at Shaktigarh (halfway to Kolkata) I was pretty sure of reaching my destination before the evening rush hour traffic. Little did I know that a few traffic jams were awaiting us on the way ahead. At a little distance from Shaktigarh we could see an increasing number of police vehicles along the way. Barriers were placed at numerous points on the highway to throttle traffic. Naturally we were delayed. Was this the price for our good-luck at Panagarh? Or pure co-incidence, I didn’t know what.
We reached esplanade, late by an hour. As usual I took the metro. But it was rush hour, I got myself jammed against the sliding door. At each station I had to get down and get back on. I got off at Tollygounge, took an auto-rickshaw. I was lost in my thoughts about the exam on the next day and didn’t notice anything else till the road and surroundings seemed unfamiliar. I asked the auto-wallah if I had crossed Ranikuthi, I was supposed to get off there. At once he stopped the auto and asked me to walk back, I was way past my destination. I won’t say this was bad luck, this was my fault. My streak of bad luck had finally ceased. 🙂 There was chicken biriyani for dinner! With tummy full, I went to bed early. I woke up early in the morning, perhaps due to exam tension. Got ready and left off for the exam. It took me around an hour to reach college street, still I was there pretty early. I didn’t have any friend or acquaintance with me, so I was kinda lonely, tired too from standing for half an hour.
The exam center was a named Umesh Chandra College by my admit card. On reaching there I found out that the same building had 4 different names including the one in my admit card. On inquiring I found out that the same building housed four different institutions, at different times of a day! This was one hell of Multiplexing I have ever known 😉
My seat was at room 27B, 4th floor, it was quite tiring climb. Some were climbing the crowded stairs with their shoelaces untied. If someone had stepped on their laces by mistake, it would have been an accident of the scale of a stampede. Carelessness at its worst! Anyway, we were at our places on time. The OMR sheets had been distributed and we were busy filling it up. The question papers were being distributed when someone raised voice saying he had got the wrong question paper. We were supposed to get Paper-2. But it turned out that our invigilator had brought the set of Paper-3. The room was already buzzing when another guy came in running saying all rooms had got the wrong set. The college itself had got the wrong set of papers. After some time 3 official looking men came into our room to inform us that the exam had been postponed until further notice as all the exam centers in Kolkata had got the wrong set of papers. Some were infuriated. They had the LIC ADO exam on the same day and they didn’t get to sit for that because of this one. Their candles were burnt on both ends. But I was happy! Terribly happy because I had a few more weeks at least to prepare better. I came out with everybody else. It was time to go back home. I was waiting for the bus for Esplanade when I saw a tram of the same route coming up. I never had rode a tram before and I always wished to do so. There it was before me.
Now the problem was that I didn’t know if trams had any fixed stoppages or just stopped wherever needed like buses. I put out my hand to signal it to stop, but put it down quickly thinking it might look awkward. The tram didn’t stop, it slowed down. I guess the driver didn’t notice me, it slowed down for the traffic ahead. Whatever, I got up in the second
compartment. The conductor and the 2 passengers were looking at me as if thinking “this guy is insane”, because I was taking clicking pics of the compartment 😀 😀 . For me it was ten minutes of fun ride and I was excited like this was my first plane ride! 😉 Stupid, isnt it? I got off at esplanade took the Durgapur bus leaving at 11 15. Another coincidence was awaiting me. On the previous day I had got seat number 8, right behind the driver. On the way back, I got the same seat again! 😀