A job interview: My luckiest day ever!

(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”.

I felt like this!

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 🙂

Bad-luck, Good-Luck? Or just co-incidence?

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.

A view from the 4th floor balcony of the college
A view from the 4th floor balcony of the college

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

Inside the tram
Inside the tram

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! 😀

A job Interview, an adventure -> 2nd day, Written test and Card tricks

Funny enough, this day started around 4 in the morning! Actually, it was a cat moaning, and those who know it know well how much disturbing and irritating it is. A few times I left my bed to shoo away the cat, but it was beyond my reach behind a door. By the time of my 4th attempt, the cat had dared to appear before me. I was so angry I could have strangled it bare-hand even before it could take out its claws but, fortunately enough, it managed to give me the slip by a few centimeters and fled for its life. Next thing I remember is waking up around 5. A thought hit me like a hammer, “OMG! I have forgotten to bring my resume!!”. Imagine my situation. I had gone for an interview without my resume!! I felt chilly for a few seconds, but then another idea warmed me up! I would have needed the resume on the next day only if I managed to pass the written test.There was ample time in hand. So, I was back on track! here are some pics I snapped in the morning..

Sudipta had finished his morning business in the only toilet for the whole floor and it was my turn. Avinandan was as late as ever. Even after jostling him we managed to get him out of bed only after 6. By the time he was ready and packed we were at Sealdah station buying tickets. Among the three of us, Sudipta is the most punctual and Avinandan the least. I am somewhere in between 😉 .  We were waiting.. waiting on the train..waiting for the train to leave or Avinandan to come, whichever came first. All of a sudden Avinandan’s head and his tall figure popped up among the crowd far away, then he ran the length to our coach with the air of a “Bollywood hero chasing his love“. Half a minute late and he would have missed this train. We departed from Sealdah, promising ourselves that we wont go to that horrible hotel again no matter what happens.  On our opposite side, a young man in interview formals was sitting beside the window. I was hungry. Decided to have a pack of “CHOLA-MIXTURE” (sprouting grams mixed with chopped onions and salts). Since I was awfully hungry, I hadn’t noticed the dripping spice water smeared all over my hands. At last I washed my hand and shook my hands dry (my hanky was in my backpack) and that window side person gave me a glare. Though I told him an inaudible sorry, the milk had been spilled. At least it animated his expressionless face to some extent! 😛

Getting off at Madhyamgram station Sudipta and Avinandan had a cup of tea each. Both were too tense to eat anything. The drone of a plane  passing overhead told us that we were quite near to the DumDum Airport. Looked above, it was an IndiGo plane.  I had a funny yet strange thought seeing the planes overhead, passing so near. I thought what if the plane stops mid-air and falls on our heads, coz literally they looked like hanging from the sky 🙂  We were told that we were gonna be picked up by a bus at the station, and then at another bus stop. We were confused, didn’t know which way to go. Started walking. After a little distance we noticed there were bands of guys and girls who were no less confused. They too were wandering without a clue. The looks in those eyes, we knew we were in the same boat. The scattered groups congregated under a flyover. Someone told “lets go to the next pick up point”, and we all did so. Groups of 4-5 took a rickshaw van each and off we went. It was a fun ride!

Got off at Madyamgram Chowmatha. The traffic police gestured us to go to the other side of the road, the college was in that direction. Soon a small yellow bus appeared. We scrambled to get on to it. I was luck, I got a window seat. Within minutes the bus was jam-packed and we started for our destination, “Camellia Institute of  Technology”. I didn’t look behind but I was pretty sure that many were left standing at the bus stop. It took around10 minutes.

The college campus..

The college is situated in the middle of a grassy wetland. No facilities such as transport or any good hotel nearby. The entrance itself smells awful coz of the high drain passing in its front. Anyway, we had to ourselves registered and authenticated. To that I said to my friends “None except those who have lost their minds will come here willingly, so there isn’t a need for authentication. We won’t have come here unless we desperately needed a job” . We were asked to sit in a medium sized auditorium. there we were supposedto take the test there. The people from “Exilant Technologies” had come. At first they arranged us into neat rows and columns. Then we were given answer sheets and question papers and the test started. It was a test of 15 questions, 45 minutes. My question set was easier, I had completed it within 20 minutes. Most of those sitting around me were slogging on till the 45th minute calculating and writing. The papers were taken back and we were told to assemble by 3 pm for the results. We went to the canteen for lunch. Avinandan had come here before, so he led the way. On reaching there we got a surprise!!! Another group of student from our college had gone there. We were searching for them, they for us and we hadn’t discovered each other till then 🙂 I had 4 parathas for lunch and back we went. There was a lot of time left so we decided to roam about in the college. After some time we sat on a balcony. O! I forgot to mention. Sukanto and Debashish, another two friends of mine had invited us to stay at their hostel for the night. I was immensely relieved!!

Sitting on the balcony..

By 3 pm sharp, the company guys had came to the auditorium. To my utter surprise my name was 2nd on the list! I had cleared the written test. Waow! what a feeling that was with the whole room looking at me. My friends congratulated me. I was asked to go to another room in another building. It was for a pre-placement talk. Sitting in that A/C hall, I was wondering if any more of my friends had cleared the test (Later on I came to know that another one did clear, but he had left for home already). I was a bit sad that neither Avinandan nor Sudipta had cleared the test. The placement talk went on for an hour and we were on our way back. Sudipta was feeling sick, so he had already left for home. Avinandan was kind enough to stay back with me, even though he didn’t have anything else to do. We went to DumDum. There we called up Debashish for the directions. He asked us to take an auto to “Khamkheyali Songho”, which means “the absent-minded group”. Kolkata is famous for such funny names! We were escorted to their room. Compared to what we had gone through the previous night, this place seemed like heaven! Soon we all went out for a meal. Sukanta was the hungriest among us. We went to a resturaunt, woke up the sleeping owner-cum-cook and ordered for 5 plates of noodles. Afterwards we returned as we were too tired to hang out any more.

5-6 people live in these guys’ room. The funniest of them all is a skinny Sikkimese. He is a student of BESU, Sibpur. He looks like he is always sort of intoxicated (which he actually is). Never mind, what I liked most was his card tricks. He is a master at card magic. He deftly performed many tricks leaving me and Avinandan awestruck. Initially I was an active audience, but after a few tricks I got too embarrassed to be fooled again. I pretended not to notice, but who could resist.. He is awesome!! Raghu, Debashis and Sukanta did treat us well. Sukanta even gave me a animated movie “Puss in boots” !! I would like to thank them again, they saved us from going back into that hell-hole. 🙂 For dinner I had a Bengali Thali and a bottle of Amul KOOL!

So this is how the 2nd night ends.. U know I skipped a lot of things, otherwise this post would have been even longer.

A job Interview, an adventure -> the 1st day

Let’s start the story on the day we left home. Me and my two friends Sudipta and Avinandan, were supposed to meet at Durgapur station. We were a bit late, still we managed to catch the train to Dakhineswar, the Jammu Tawi Express. We had general compartment tickets, but seeing the general compartments packed full; we decided to get on the sleeper coaches, which is illegal. Bad luck, we were caught by the TT soon. He was hell-bent on slapping a fine on the three of us. Thanx to Avinandan, we somehow managed to convince him and he let us go. He gave us strict orders to get off at the next station or go to the general compartments. So we did. Just as the train reached the next station, we got off and ran. Bad luck again, we were into the coaches near the end and the general coaches were right next to the engine. After running the whole length of the train panting for breath, we hopped on to the general coach and the engine gave the whistle. There was just space for the three of us and our backpacks. We were a bit tense if we would have to stand throughout the journey, but thank God! Halfway to our destination at Burdwan station, the crowd lightened up and we got seats. It was raining hard, so all the windows were closed. In such a closed coach if someone next to you farts every minute, what would it be like? It was horrible. It was like getting drowned, literally I could not breathe. Someone really needed to go to the toilet, I just could not guess who. At last, around half an hour to our destination I got up from my seat. I could not have sat there for another minute without killing myself. So, finally we were at Dakhineswar.

Dakhineswar station

This place is the famous for a temple complex of the Hindu goddess ”Kali”. Legend says that Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra to destroy the body of Sati, then her right hand thumb fell at this place, so a temple came up here. Also, this is the place where the legendary Ramakrishna Paramahansa was a priest in the East India era.

Me and Avinandan
Sudipta in the front
This is the station ticket counter, designed just like the main temple of Dakhineswar

It was still raining, I wanted to go straight to Sealdah, but Avinandan was adamant about visiting the temple. He is damned good at convincing others, so I didn’t have much of a choice. We 3 were off on foot for darshan.  The rain was attacking us from all sides in turns so we were adjust our umbrellas at different angles. On entering the gates we saw many going here and there. Some were barefooted, some weren’t. There was the main temple complex on our left and the offerings shops on our right. Following the other people we went to a place where we kept our shoes for a token. Then we made for the main temple complex. While entering everyone has t pass through a narrow alley after a little checking. The narrow alley opened up into a huge open space, with many little and medium sized temples arranged neatly along the sides. We could not decide which one to visit first. Anyway, we started off the nearest one. The second one housed the main idol of Ma KALI. Here we had a hilarious incident. The temple itself was on a raised platform, and had quite a number of stairs. We first started on one side, got up the stairs, found our way blocked, came down. Went left, repeated the same thing 3 times, only to find that we had chosen the wrong way all 3 times. Finally, we found that the entrance was on the right side of the stairs we had climbed the first time! It would have been a fine script for a show of Mr. Bean! Laughing at ourselves we went to the other side for darshan. This side had 7 small temples of Lord Shiva, right next to the Ganges.
Taking back our shoes, we left for another temple named ADYAPEATH. On way, we had to ask a lot of people for directions. After walking for about 5 minutes we were there. This place wasn’t as big as Dakhineswar, but a lot more dense with many temples. We were hungry, had some snacks and made for the station. On way, there was a overflowing drain which had drowned up a long street in knee-deep water. Initially, we performed some daredevil long jumps along the little islands on the sides. Ultimately we had to give up. I took lead, dipped my feet and started wading along the street. It was funny and frightening at the same time. Funny coz I like walking in the rains, walking through puddles. It was frightening coz we didn’t know if we were gonna step into the next big pothole. At the end of the ordeal, I was utterly surprised! Avinandan was chatting on the phone throughout!  Talk about multitasking!!
We got to the station and boarded a train for Sealdah. The train was almost empty, given the bad weather. We got off at Sealdah and started our hotel hunt for the night. We started off asking a lone policeman for the nearest hotels, then passed underneath the AJC Bose flyover to the other side. It was muddy everywhere. We went from hotel to hotel but were told there wasn’t any vacant room. Only the A/C ones were vacant but they were gonna burn holes in our pockets. After a long search we managed to find one called Hotel Shefali Dx, where after a hard round of negotiation we got a room for the night for 400. The owner was a fine specimen of a typical boss! He is such a person who never talks and always barks!!He barks both at customers and his assistant (who is always on the edge of losing his temper and killing him). No doubt, customers come to this hotel and put up with this unbearable menace only when they have no other choice.  Just 20 minutes with him and we were going mad. Whenever he turned his back, the assistant silently muttered the worst slangs in his direction. We got a good idea of his frustration when he came upstairs to show us our room. Finally, we got a room. The room didn’t even have proper lighting arrangements. We took a CFL from the bathroom and fitted it in our room for the night. Before going for dinner and retiring for the night we took some pics from our balcony.  The room wasn’t good, but the view of Kolkata was awesome!! The pics we had taken aren’t good enough. This one is the flyover right in front of our hotel.

Look carefully, there is a warning painted on the road

P.S.- Whoever is angry at me because I didn’t visit ur blog, blame it on this 🙂

The most prominent scar, college life left on me..

These last 4 years left some permanent marks on me. Some emotional burns, cuts, bruises, and wounds left their permanent scars, which have shaped me into my present self.  The most prominent one which  actually made me write this post is that, I am a lot cooler than I used to be. I don’t mean handsome kind of cool, but cooler by state of mind. I shall explain with an example. Read on..

Just take the situation yesterday. I and Avinandan had gone to Kolkata for an informal job interview (we had a reference). By the time we were done with the interview and lunch, it was quite late. We were gonna miss the last buses back home. We hurried to Karunamayee. Bad luck, we didn’t get a ticket for the last bus which was leaving right then. Given the time available we couldn’t have opted for the train. So, we thought of going to Esplanade, hoping to get a ticket on another bus to Durgapur. We had no idea if we had already missed the last bus but we were hoping to be there in time. Owing to traffic jam on the way, our bus took around 1 hour for a route of 30 minutes. Luckily, we were there in time. Buying the tickets, we took our places on the bus, informed the ones concerned and everybody heaved a sigh of relief.. Avinandan asked me if I was tensed about missing the last bus and being stranded in Kolkata for a whole night. I said “Nope, I am much cooler now, thanks to you and my college mates…”.It made me reflect on what would have happened if my 18 year self had been through this.

First of all, hearing he had already missed the last bus at Karunamayee, he would have been half blinded by fear. He would have felt hugely nauseated and a migraine would have set in for sure. Each and every second on the bus to Esplanade would have been a huge torture for him. He might have cried out or fainted in the heat of summer. In the mean time he might have lost his mobile phone, bumped into a dozen people already destroying his specs and so on.. Cumulative anger and frustration would have made him half dead by the time he would have reached Esplanade.

Amongst all the different character traits that I have gained through my 4 years of college, this one is the most prominent. Knowing, believing and feeling are 3 different things.. There was a time when everybody used to say to me “don’t panic, everything will be alright”. Slowly I began to believe, but I never got the hang of “everything will be alright”, because I never saw beyond my immediate neighborhood. College life forced me to take a broader perspective and that changed me for good! Now I feel “whatever happens is always the best that can happen, my duty is just to hang on tight and enjoy the ride”. Whatever situation I might face, ultimately I am going to be alive, which implies either I will be successful or I will be defeated and embarrassed. In case none of these happen, it will be much simpler! I would be dead and be spared the trouble of facing others with the embarrassed look!

Thank you my friends! Thanx a lot..

I got drenched!

You might think, what’s so special about getting drenched that I made a post of it? Read on please!

On this lovely day, I have come to Kolkata for our exams tomorrow. I and my friend Avinandan got off the bus at Esplanade. Lucky for us, the lights were still red. A short sprint and we were across the road. Within minutes we were down at the metro station, waiting for our rides. Avinandan was luckier, he got an AC one on his way to Dum Dum! I had to travel in the usual one. Never mind. The fun started at Tollygunge station. As soon as I got out of the station and boarded an auto, it started raining hard! On way, I got soaked to my underwear, but just on my left side. Anybody and everybody on road was cursing the rain, except me!

Guess why?

Coz this year I haven’t had the chance to get wet in the rain. Obviously, this was special! And moreover I got drenched in Kolkata for the first time! “So far off home“, “traveling alone” and “getting drenched in the rain” all together at the same time! To top it all, nobody was gonna scold me! It could not get any better!! So, I was really happy and excited! I could not contain my glee and my smile was driving my co-passengers mad! 😛 My co-passengers were an elderly couple. They were to attend a party. So obviously, getting wet was a real setback for them.  They were already frowning and my glee added to their anger 😉 .  Getting off the auto, I had a change of mind. I didn’t have any umbrella or rain coat.  I thought it might be  seriously careless on my part, if my exam hall ticket gets soaked in the rain, so I should wait till the rain stops. Yet, I could not resist the temptation of getting totally drenched. After a little fight, the devil won the match. I said to myself, “I haven’t actually prepared at all for this exam, if I don’t get an entry into the exam hall it wont be much of a loss. I am gonna lose anyway, so why not enjoy while I have the chance“. So, I decided to walk the rest of the distance, 15 minutes on foot.

I was enjoying every moment! My socks getting soaked in the puddles, dodging the potholes underneath, the vehicles passing by, their splashes, my windscreen (specs 😉 ) getting hazy, sudden thunder,lightning and the immediate following darkness… It was an experience worth in itself!  Loved every bit of it!

being Xaverian for a couple o’ hours

The thought of being able to attend an exam in the prestigious St. Xaviers college had me going “WAAaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAOoooow!!!”. It was a chance of a lifetime for an ordinary student from WBUT, to spend around 3 hours there. It was like a dream come true, (although I had never dreamt of it :D)

We started off on our journey around 8 am. Took a bus to Park street. Getting off there, we asked a policeman about St. Xaviers college. He directed us towards another road and we went off walking. It is no mean distance to walk, when it is a summer day. After some time, we saw a crowd in a distance.The first thing I noticed was a huge red building with yellow bordered windows. It was the St. Xaviers. There were some banners hanging outside. They were about the reunion of the alumni and some tech fest. I asked my friend Avinandan if I was dreaming, and he pinched me 😉 . There were around a hundred people. All waiting. The studious and serious were revising. Some were chatting on phone, mostly girls. And as usual, guys were gawping at the perfect figurines. There was one with so much of eye makeup, one might have mistaken her for having 4 eyelids! 🙂

Around half an hour later, we were asked to make a queue. There was a brief rush and the footpath was clear. The queue started advancing. Being at the last, I was looking at all the heads ahead. It was funny to see all those heads in a line, swaying to and fro, bobbing up and down. Reminded me of centipedes. Once inside, we were directed to our designated class rooms. My place was room number 12, 1st row from the door, 3rd bench. Then there was the usual exam scene. The room was buzzing. At the stroke of 10, the room fell silent. The questions were twisting my brain out of shape and I was telling myself “Shoot, how am I gonna spend 2 hours???”

Anyhow, I managed to spend the time answering 30 questions out of 60. Afterwards, I was very thirsty. Searching for water, I went further inside. A corridor led me to the playground. Rooted to a spot I did a 360 degree turn, and once again, I was going “WAAaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAOoooooooww!!!”. It was magnificent and huge.

There were some foreigner students taking snaps. With so many blondes all around, I was a bit uneasy. Walking past them, I was humbled. I wondered, “তোরাই জীবনে কিছু করলি, আমরা  শুধু বোকার  মতন  তাকিয়ে  তাকিয়ে দেখেই  যাব ”      (You r great, you guys have actually done something in your life, we the fools will always be left watching)









We were walking back to Park street bus stop. On the way, we walked past “Music World” store and “Flurrys“. Flurrys reminded me of a  scene from the film “Parineeta“, where Sanjay Dutt bets a game of cards with Riya Sen. By now, I was quite used to so many blondes roaming around. Thus the Flurrys didn’t bother me much. Then there was the historic “Asiatic society“!! I was thrilled. For a moment, it felt like things were coming right out of my old history books. Afterwards, we walked to Esplanade. There I witnessed for the first time in my life, a gay couple. Among the two, one looked like a normal guy, but the other looked like a girl to the bone 😉

My first metro ride!

The day began with an unusual excitement and slight tension. Tomorrow I got to attend another job interview. This time, I have to take the whole journey by myself,  all alone… After packing, I went to buy the tickets, the shop was closed. A look at my mobile told me, I had gone there early. To pass the time I went to visit my friend Arijit. 10 am in the morning, and he was still sleeping. Noticing that, I thought of running off, but aunty wouldn’t let me go. I was very much pleasantly surprised that Arijit wasn’t angry at me for waking him up 😛 . Helpful as always, he gave me some proper directions to reach my destination. He also gave me some contacts, whom I may ask in case of emergency and the most important thing!!! He had given me detailed explanations on the way to travel by Metro trains.

By 12:30 I was on my bus. It was time for departure. contrary to the cold and cloudy morning weather, now it was a warm noon, leaving me sweating under my jeans.. The whole journey was quite uneventful, except for a little jam at Panagarh. By 4 pm, I was at esplanade. Knocking down people with my huge rucksack, I was walking up and down around esplanade. For this is the first time, that I had such a  chance to explore a new place all by myself. No rules, no limits, nobody to tell upon me..

Keeping exploring aside, I called up my elder bro to inform him of my location. He straightaway replied “take the BBD-Garia bus, and come to my place”. Bit apprehensive, I asked him if I could take the Metro Train route. He paused for a few moments, my hair was standing on edge for the climax

Finally he said,”yes, if u have traveled by a metro before”.. I went ecstatic!!!! Crossed the road in a run, and there it was. A LED display board over my head, inviting me into esplanade metro station. At first I couldn’t find the ticket counter. A policewoman gave me proper directions. At the counter, I was given a plastic token. Then I crossed the barrier. Took the escalator, down into the station. I asked a person where to wait for the train and went to the platform indicated. I was a bit nervous. But the height of it happened when a crowded train came on the opposite platform. People were jostling to get in and out of the train. I was thinking, “this is no 8B bus that will wait till I am in. If the door shuts with me in between, or worse, if  I am not able to get on the train at all…”  I must have shown some signs, or maybe for my perspiring forehead, some people were curiously looking at me. That was complicating matters even more.. that is why, I was both surprised and happy when I saw that my train was quite empty!!! The train came to a halt, the doors opened. Instinctively, I sort of jumped in, my rucksack knocking off two men 😉 . No empty seat, I had to stand. Standing near the door, my eyes were wandering over the numerous heads and faces. I was sure no one around me was a novice at riding a metro. Some were dozing off in their seats. Some blabbering among themselves, some others looking at them and listening as if students in a class. A few tall heads were towering over all. In the meantime, my attention was interrupted by the mikes announcing the station names. Some had noticed my curiosity and were trying to be curious about me :-P.. All of a sudden, the announcement said “next station, MAHANAYAK UTTAM KUMAR, platform on the left side”. I got ready. The train came to a slow halt. This time I got off smoothly. Following other passengers, a deposited my token and got out of the station.. My first metro ride, all alone!!!!

P.S. sorry to disappoint my readers, but I couldn’t get pics good enough for this post