Archive for July, 2009

If there is something which is constant in life, then it is the ‘change’. It’s an old saying, but holds truth. Changes are an integral part of life… and of XIME too.

The main topic that was discussed in the college during those days was ‘placements’. Recession was at its peak. Newspapers were loaded with the news on ‘unemployment’ and ‘pink slips’. Most of the companies had already shifted to ‘firing’ mode by then. The remaining ones… did put a sudden halt to their selection process…  

“Sorry we froze our recruitments indefinitely!”….  

“We will get back to you once we have openings!”…

These were the common feedback that we got when we approached the companies for job.  Well, we can’t blame them too. They were struggling for contracts and had hard time taking the business forward. Infact, they were looking for new ways of cost cutting and the concept of ‘hiring’ suddenly seemed to become a taboo everywhere.

Now the second topic that was hot in the campus was about the faculty. Almost everyone was leaving… But that wasn’t a surprise for us as we were used to those kinds of changes…

I still remember the chaos that prevailed during the second trimester when they had difficulty in fixing an economics teacher for us… Three teachers came to teach that subject for us, that too in a span of three months, and nobody stayed for more than a month…

For some reason, they never did stick much with the college. Sometimes I felt that it was a serious drawback as it failed to build a bonding relationship between faculty and student! Usually most of the colleges encourage that… Unfortunately, here the Management, Faculty & Students seemed to walk three different roads!

***

Days passed by… Bangalore was getting ready to welcome the summer season. The days gradually became warmer…

One fine day we came to know that the schedule for final exams was put up. But most of the students were not serious about it that time. One reason was that the most of them had secured a decent CGPA by then and they knew that it wouldn’t go below 5 unless they screw it up big time. The other reason was that they were keen about blasting the last few days of their school life. So that approach of the majority threw an opportunity for the low CGPA scorers to score their maximum… That was their chance to go way up the ladder… that too just by putting a little bit effort.

“Oh man! 4 more nights and we are done with this crap” Inder said irritated, on the night before the first exam….

“True… and then no more exams… wow… final exams of our life…” with that I started dreaming…

I think it is a worldwide phenomenon…  Students eagerly wait for the last exam since the beginning of their exams and a part of their time goes into planning or dreaming on the programs for the ‘last day’. And when the last exam gets over, they are at a complete loss… They suddenly have all the time in the world and… and they simply don’t know what to do with that!!!

I can’t forget the last exam. It was ‘cross cultural management’. The paper was short and easy too. So I completed it in less than an hour. Soon I tied the paper and kept it along with the pen on the desk. The professor who was in charge of invigilation was the same one who helped me with the tour program…

“If u have finished, you can leave the hall, Amal” he suggested…

But I just smiled back…

I didn’t want to leave the hall that early. I knew that it was, most probably, the last school exam of my life. I wasn’t sure whether I was happy or sad at that time… I guess, a mix of both. I looked around. Everyone was busy writing… For most of them, that was the last school exam of their life…

I sat there thinking for another 15 more minutes. Many thoughts flashed through my mind. I thought about my engineering exams… then about the first year exams at XIME and even the previous mid-term exams… It looked as if all those had happened just a few days or hours ago… It was weird…

‘Enough’… finally I said to myself… breaking the chain of thoughts…

I handed over the paper to our professor and thanked him.

“This is my last exam. I just wanted to ensure that I remember this all throughout my life. That’s why I stayed back even after finishing the exam.”

He didn’t say anything, but just gave a smile back and nodded pensively… I was sure that he understood me.

That was on on April 11th 2009…

***

The management extended our hostel stay for another 20 more days as our placements had not reached anywhere. That was a great move from their part even though they didn’t do much about the placements except giving ‘empty’ promises…

Those who were not placed stayed back… But, those who were already placed by then had started leaving…  

“Are you going home this week?” Vijayanand asked me…

“Ya, may be this weekend… but just for a couple of days…”

“I guess Inder is leaving on 14th morning… seems Pulusan too is leaving soon…”

“Ya, I know…” I looked outside through the window… The clouds were thick and dark…

We always had dreamt about a great farewell… All leaving together, happily …to a new bright world… but…

But things were different… It wasn’t the way we wanted…

“Keep in touch buddy. I’ll meet you on the convocation day… Also, Good luck with your job hunt” said Inder, before leaving to his hometown on 14th morning…

His cab was waiting outside and it was chilling cold at 4.30 in the morning… We helped him with his luggage…

“Take care… okay… and be cool” he was sad. He tried to cover it with a smile but it failed to deceive his close friends…

Vijayanand and I bid farewell to him… Even though we knew that we would meet him again on the convocation day, we were very sad when he left…

We walked back to our room, room no.13, the room where we spend some of the happiest days of our student life…, but spoke nothing on the way… We knew that it would never be the same again… That wonderful life no longer belonged to us anymore… and never would again…

The corridors we walked, the courts where we played, the rooms where we lived together, the classes where we learned, the mess where we ate, the auditorium where we assembled, the 120 ‘seater’ where we gathered for guest lectures, the basket ball court where we got together during birthday celebrations, the quadrangle where we partied, the garden where we relaxed, the steps where we sat in the evenings and all there in XIME would soon belong to someone else… to the new generation… Nothing could have been done about it then or later…

That’s how the world works… Nothing is permanent here…

As I reached our room, I switched on my laptop to see some movie, even though I had no mood to do so…

 

To go back to the main page:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/its-my-life/

To read the previous chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/part-12-%e2%80%93-the-royal-feat/

To the next chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/part-14-%e2%80%93-the-life-after%e2%80%a6/

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The winter vacation was, again, fun filled… Like last time, we three met up and discussed the plan. It was a one day trip last time and we felt that it was too short. So we decided to organize a two day trip…

“How about Ooty or Kodaikanal?” Irvin asked…

That was a great suggestion but we opted that out as we felt that it would take a long ride to reach there. We listed out some of the places where we wished to go… I guess almost every place were there in that list! However we did strike one by one out from that long list and finally it left us with the place we wanted…

On 26th December 2008, my friends and I headed towards Munnar, a hill station in Kerala… and one of the heavenly places in ‘God’s own country’. We knew that it required a long drive to reach there… probably somewhere around 7 or 8 hours drive… So we hired a car this time. We booked a Black Boleno, a Maruthi product and fortunately that car had a fancy number too…

I was thinking about a nice and relaxed journey. But once Irvin started the car, I felt that the term ‘relaxed’ never existed… Many times I felt that I would crash through the roof and make it to outer space!!! Seatbelts, of course, had limits!!!

“Hey, somebody take the photo of this dashboard. It again crossed 160km/hr…” Irvin shouted.  I was sure that it was great fun to him and he was thrilled and excited beyond words… but, the others…!!!

Lloyd was busy giving instructions to Irvin about the directions and side roads and also the other vehicles following us… Alex was trying hard to take a photo of the dashboard, but it was damn difficult to balance or steady oneself inside that car then…

Finally he slowed down when we reached the base of the hill. From there it was another 2 hours journey to the top…

It was around 11pm and the roads looked very deserted… Dead silence prevailed all over. The ride was not easy as the roads were steep and curved… The sign boards planted at various spots were the solitary guiding souls…

The Boleno sped through the curvy road ripping the darkness apart. The only sounds I heard were those of engine and of the wild owls… The mysterious woods shot back a threatening look as the car’s headlights struck them… making it clear to us that they didn’t like our intrusion at that hour of darkness … I couldn’t prevent myself from imagining how bizarre or dreadful that place would have looked some centuries before…

We reached there by around mid night to be received by the most chilling time of the night. It was freezing cold there. Later we realized that the temperature went far below 4 degree Celsius during that night…

We made a mistake by not reserving the hotels or rooms and we had to pay massively for that blunder. We thought it would be easy to find rooms there. But it was Christmas vacation and the rush was unbelievable… No matter where we knocked, the reply was the same… ‘Sorry, no vacancy!’…

Finally we gave up as the cold was unbearable and we decided to go ahead with the last option…

We spend the rest of the night in our car!!!

When I woke up with the sun in the morning, I had a sneaking suspicion that I was in some eternal world as I couldn’t feel my body… I thought I was frozen to dead last night itself… Numbness had seized me, completely… It took me a long time before I could sense my body again…

With the help of some locals we managed to find a dormitory soon enough… And I was so happy to see a bed!

I don’t think we let pass anything Munnar offered… The hills, the wild life, fresh strawberries, sweet carrots, homemade chocolates, tea estates, cashews, fruits, beautiful hill stations and everything… It was a marvelous banquet for both eyes and soul…

The ride back was dreadful as it was Lloyd’s turn on the steering wheels… his turn to display his driving skills… Unfortunately, he was not that keen on displaying his skills on the dashboard but on the ‘drifting’ skills… that too on those dangerous hair pin roads… Alex and I, together, would have cursed the EA Sports a thousand times for making that stupid ‘NFS’ game…

I must say that a considerable part of that journey was filled with excitement and uncertainty… The ‘excitement’ part lingered only for few minutes and soon it became a nuisance as I was thrown up and down or left and right according to the ‘drifting’ of car… But this apart, the trip was fabulous… We all enjoyed to the core.

****

The 6th term classes had commenced on the 3rd week of January and unlike other terms, it had a dull start! May be because it was the last term … anyway students were relaxed and chilled out. Most of them were set to enjoy their last few months in XIME. Even I thought I should take a break… I started going to gym again…

It was during the last week of January, that XIME organized the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) International Conference… It was held at our XIME campus, Bangalore. That conference was one of the supreme laurels that XIME had added to its name during that academic year. It was also considered as our president’s greatest initiatives, for the welfare of XIME, of all time…

Another event, but the most significant one, everyone looked forward to was the placement week. Surprisingly, our placement week was scheduled on 22nd February 2009. Yes, very late when compared to most other colleges in our country! It was delayed just because of one man’s persistence. He insisted on that date and also boasted to everyone, including the media, on that. He was confident that it would bring in companies to the campus… but!

As a matter of fact, our placement week was a complete flop. Not even 20 students were placed during that week. Most of the companies declined our invitation to visit our campus for placements…

“we started hiring long back. You should have let us come there months before!!!” that was their response…

Now in July, the total number of students placed is 78 out of 113. Also the average salary plummeted to a different level, far less than last year’s figure! Recession, also, played its part well here.  

However, I am not saying that we all would have been placed in case we had started our placements long back in September or October like most other colleges.  Recession took its full form only after September. Some of the students who got selected at that time received apology letters from the company, later, when the recession hit them with full might. Then again such unfortunate incidents happened only to a few. In my personal opinion, it should have been lot better if we had started our placements long back. All my batch mates too share the same opinion…

***

We had lot of time in the last trimester as there was less number of core subjects. More over everyone gave importance to the placements. So the classes were fun and short too.

Like most others, I spend my extra time sleeping or watching movies or reading books. I started visiting gym regularly and I was so happy about it… I was enjoying my life there. One evening, when I was sleeping peacefully in my bed, my mobile rang… It was Neethu, my classmate.

“Will you treat me if I pass a grand news to you?”

Well, Neethu is a different person… I don’t think there is any word like ‘rest’ or ‘relax’ in her dictionary. She would be working 24/7, but for others… Many times I felt that she would, someday, become someone like ‘Mother Teresa’…

Yet she always had time for her friends… a nice and reliable friend, she is… and one of my good friends…

“Alright, you got it kido… Now tell me the news…”

I said… But the news she passed to me was something which I would never forget. It changed my life in XIME…

“U scored a GPA of 6+… And your CGPA shot well above 5!”

I didn’t speak for some time. I was so happy. I felt I was floating among the white clouds…

I got up and walked to college to see the result myself.

GPA of 6.18 …

That was something great… And my CGPA has moved to 5.16… Yes, the dark clouds hovering above my head had disappeared completely.

‘I can relax….  Also I can enjoy the rest of my days…’ I knew…  

Yes, it was a royal feat…

 

To go back to the main page:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/its-my-life/

To read the previous chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/part-11-%E2%80%93-the-devil-named-%E2%80%98recession%E2%80%99%E2%80%A6/

To the next chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/07/28/part-13-%e2%80%93-the-batch-13-farewell-%e2%80%a6/

One day when I went to college, I saw some of my batch mates talking gloomily about someone…

“Who thought man that this would happen to Lehman!” One guy said sadly.

“Ya, that’s true. But, what will happen to the rest of them now?” the other one responded…

I stood there baffled… “What happened to our Lehmann!” I thought.

The only ‘Lehmann’ I knew then was the Australian cricketer ‘Daren Lehmann’! He was a great Australian cricketer and I liked his style of play. I rushed to the library to see what had happened to him! I took the ‘Times of India’ and on the front page I saw it…

Oh, it’s not our Lehmann, some investment bank!!!  “who cares, anyway…”

But that ‘some’ i-bank brought the most dreadful mess we ever had! In a way, it marked the beginning of the darkest era of this century. Being a science student, I had no clue about economics except for the dry theory taught in the class. But after the fall of these giants, I did a sincere attempt to understand how the economy works. Thus newspapers and Wikipedia became my friends.  The more I tried to understand it, the more fascinated I became and from then on economics became my love.

That ‘some i-bank’ issue didn’t end there! It did introduce another nonsense to me…

The second devil that came to my life without being invited was ‘recession’. From the day one of its appearance, it had been a great nuisance to all… It still haunts many across the globe… including us… & it’s the only reason why many of us remain jobless, even today!

Also it is this same devil that caused the unemployment ratio of the planet to skyrocket to a different level. Many individuals and families suffered heavily…

But the ones who suffered most, unnecessarily, because of this ‘recession’ are the management students! No doubt about that. What all stupid things we had to do and suffer because of it. Our assignments, presentations, quizzes, class tests & exams were all heavily loaded with this barbarian!

I had chosen 4 electives, during this term, along with the other regular subjects. Fortunately or unfortunately, we didn’t have a faculty for one elective, materials management, as they couldn’t find a professor to teach that subject. So that became a self study subject. The other elective classes were quite interesting and I loved attending those classes… partly because of the faculty and partly because of the fascinating topics…

After the internship, I found it really easy to compare the class room topics with the real world scenarios. So I felt some sense in the lectures… one big advantage of summer internship!!!   

***

By then, i guess, the dark clouds that were hovering around me had started moving away bit by bit… One evening, when I was doing my assignments, the message came…

RESULTS out!!!

I became anxious all of a sudden… I was waiting for this for a long time… But I didn’t rush. I took my time and walked slowly to the campus… yes, I was nervous…

“5.5! good work Amal” some of my batch mates congratulated me when they met me on my way to the college.

“Thanks dude”

But I went to college to see the results myself and it was there, in the notice board. That was the first time I was crossing 5!  

‘5.5 GPA’ was actually not a big deal… but considering my position then, it was… Yes, I became happy and most importantly I felt bit relieved…

Thus my CGPA moved to 4.84… But I had miles still to walk before I slept… I knew that and so I decided not to relax but to continue the same amount of effort and work… I came back to the room and continued my assignment…

That was the only time I scored a band 5 GPA!!!

***

During this time we had a finance professor, Prof. MT. He was too good at his subject, but his communication skills were his Achilles’ heel. However he was very polite and ‘always available to students’. It was he who made me good at economics. Whenever I got time, I used to go to his office and discussed the then present economic situation.

He had a different ideology. Once he said “First, I analyze the student’s knowledge and then explain to him/her in a way they would understand. You have an engineering background. I cannot talk to you like I talk to a finance/commerce student. But in class I cannot apply this theory as it’s a mix of all. I wish I could customize for each and everyone… but…”

He was very patient and many times I had a strange feeling that he was considering me like a nursery student. Anyway, I benefitted a lot. He explained to me the basics of Economics and Financial Markets. He gave the simplest examples to support the theory and connected it well to the then present economy… Gradually my knowledge base improved…

Moreover I started reading the news papers regularly… Analyzing the market trend and keeping track of stock markets became a day to day activity… Gradually I realized that the core subjects were becoming too easy for me as almost every subject had got some connection with those I learned…  

But only few of my batch mates made the right use of him. For most of them, he was a piece of ‘nonsense’ as his communication abilities were not good. Unfortunately, he didn’t stay for more than 3 months in XIME.

In my personal opinion, XIME lacked such ‘real’ faculty in the campus who could dedicate their time for students. In my two years of life here I understood that they failed to bring in such talent* to the campus and if by chance they did, they couldn’t  retain them for long… as a result the faculty here were compared to the ‘winter wheat’… Nobody really knew whether they would be seeing the same faculty again in the succeeding term!!!

* ‘talent’ and ‘high profile’ are entirely two different things… Teaching is a skill…

 

To go back to the main page:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/its-my-life/

To read the previous chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/part-10-%E2%80%93-the-new-%E2%80%98test-pieces%E2%80%99-walk-in%E2%80%A6/

To the next chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/part-12-%e2%80%93-the-royal-feat/

“Baiyya, ek cover dhoot de dho” one among a group of boys asked the shop keeper. They all were talking animatedly about their classes … Yes, those were the new test pieces of XIME… the ‘Just Joined’… & enjoying their honeymoon time!!!

It was around 9.15 pm and I was returning to my room after my work at Print Point. That was the last week of my summer internship. Usually I worked there till 10 or 10.30 pm. Not because anyone compelled, but because I just loved that place…

The shop keeper eyed me with a smile… It was not hard to understand what he meant “Look, your preys have arrived” I just stood there like a stranger… However I noted the champ who drank one cover of raw ‘Nandini’ milk…

Probably some of them must have felt the same thing that I had felt one year back, when our seniors walked into the campus… Anyway, we didn’t break the custom of welcoming them … The usual ‘harmless’ ragging session followed… Then again the customary ragging sessions for ‘boys only’ in the hostel gym… All these were meant to be fun and these never went beyond a limit…

But some of the guys in our batch, or say some prodigal kids, took it to a different dimension. They called some of the juniors to their rooms on a daily basis for a week or two and ragged them. Now the problem is that, these ‘victims’ will do the same thing in the coming years and it might go on… & gradually, it might become a ritual … Just because of the immaturity of these idiot kids of our batch, the future generation is going to suffer!!!

*****

Our etiquettes Professor was back after a long time (induction classes)… This time he taught us Global Economics Environment. We missed his ‘masterpiece’ demonstrations; but, any day, his classes were fun and harmless except for the marks & loads of assignments he gave…

“Can you locate Papua New Guinea here in this world map?” he asked a student pointing a stick to the World map which was pasted on the wall…

That guy started searching for that place, frantically …

“That place sounds like ‘chicken gunia’ to me. What’s so special about that place? He always talks about that place!” Kadavanthara whispered to me…

“Yes, Mr. Kadavanthara, do you want to locate ‘Saint Petersburg’ here?” Professor’s ears were sharp, I guess.

Kadavanthara had been to Russia once and had some ‘bitter’ experiences when he was at Saint Petersburg. However that ‘bitter’ experience of Kadavanthara sounded funny to us… as a matter of fact, to all, except him… I think it still haunts him!!!

“No sir. I am fine. Thank you” he shrugged.

I had a hard time controlling my laugh. But I kept looking down as I didn’t want him to ask me to locate some weird places on that huge map…

Well, he was a very pleasant person and was very famous for his diplomatic words. His presence in the college itself was a great credit to the college as he was a very eminent persona. However, his evaluation pattern was bit different. Like many others, I shared the opinion that he evaluates a student on basis of his perception….

The campus was very lively for the first two weeks mainly because of the new arrivals. Beautiful chics were surrounded by our aspiring managers! Many relations and brand new couples popped up from here and there.

In point of fact, it was green everywhere except in my world….

I wasn’t concerned about anything except my studies as I knew well that if I didn’t do well, I would be stuck up in that jungle for an extra time. I couldn’t even have dreamt about that!!! So I tried to think that every class was interesting… that every lecture was a boon… I began doing my homework regularly and what more; I used to sit in the first bench!!!

“Hey Amal, what happened to you these days! You are not sleeping in the class!!!”

That was my classmate, Sau. She was a nice friend and was one of the most studious and hardworking girls in our batch… but many times I felt that she gave me the toughest competition in terms of ‘sleeping in the class’…

Also, we never used to miss a chance to tease each other on the same, but on a lighter note.

“May be you should start taking sleeping pills from now” she laughed as she said that.

“Well, nothing Sau… just thought of concentrating a bit on studies. You know, trouble times… Can’t afford to compete with you like it used to be” I smiled as I said.

“Ya… I appreciate it… Although it’s a big surprise to see you not sleeping in the class!” she said pensively.

***

Sacrifices have a great role to play in one’s life… You can’t conquer everything… Those who attempted collected their lessons before departing… History says it all… “The choice you make today, determines your destiny …”

The fourth term was different… I was different… When the whole world was out there in the snow enjoying their time, I stayed inside… I ignored the snowballs that came to my room through the window. I pretended that there was no world outside… I told myself that, that was my world…

Little I knew then that I was changing rapidly… that I was losing many things in the campus, that I was missing out the real fun…

But when I look at it now… I would define it in this way: ‘U cannot gain anything without sacrificing something…’ In economics, they call it ‘Opportunity Cost’… And that was my 3rd lesson!


To go back to the main page:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/its-my-life/

To read the previous chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/07/13/part-9-%e2%80%93-crashed-into-the-rock-bottom/

To the next chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/part-11-%e2%80%93-the-devil-named-%e2%80%98recession%e2%80%99%e2%80%a6/

The Monsoon season had already started… one of the loveliest climates … The rain and the chilly weather in Bangalore during this time seduces one to be lazy and cozy all the time. The one who suffers most here is definitely the alarm clock… It starts the day receiving ‘breathtaking’ abuses from left, right and center!

I was staying in a room which was some 20 minutes away (by foot) from the Print Point Pvt India Ltd. (in Electronic city, Bangalore), where I did my summer internship. By the way, Electronic city is a well developed place…may be you could compare it with the cities in Great Brittan! Avoiding manholes and pits and reaching office was an everyday challenge… but I was lucky all the time…

The first thing I did after reaching my office was cleansing my pants & shoes!!! Otherwise I would have had look like a leopard … with all those mud spots on my pants!!!

Print Point was heaven. I enjoyed each and every moment of my work there. To be frank, that was the first time when I felt that I was learning something useful… after coming to XIME! Learning with fun – that’s the precise word.  

During the third term there was something which really annoyed us – choosing the ‘major’. One day when I walked into Pakru’s room, I saw Pulusan, Kadavanthara and Pakru engaged in a heated argument. Pakru was trying to establish that Finance was the best option one could ever pursue in life. On the other side Pulusan proclaimed that the world would stop all of a sudden if there were no Marketing professionals.

But it was Kadavanthara’s views that bamboozled us…

“Look, where is this world going?” He asked to everyone and waited. Nobody responded.

“Well, you are right. You don’t know that… just like me! My dear friends, all I want to say is that this is an era of Globalization!” He spoke like a great politician.  

“What will you become at the end? At the most, some VP of Marketing or Finance, right? Look guys, this won’t take you anywhere. If you want to become a CEO, just like I want to, then you need to know the whole stuff” he paused.

“So the point I want to make is simple: Only those who do general management survive!” He then looked at us…

I was sure that Pakru wanted to respond. But he was too paralyzed to do that!

Different people chose different ways to select their subject… some consulted their professors, some their parents or friends… Some went with the majority, some took it because their girl friends or boyfriends took it … & there were some who decided it through poll!!! 

But mine happened like this. I didn’t like marketing – enough of ‘targets & numbers’; then finance, sorry boss… I was too scared of that; and HR, – oh – my -god!!! not my cup of tea… so that left me with two harmless choices, Operations & Systems… & I took those…

Now once you do that you have to select the subjects accordingly. We have ten electives spread over a period of three terms. I chose 3 electives for the 4th term.

***

The next thing that we looked forward to was the selection of rooms and room partners… First year there were 4 people in one room and that too put according to the roll numbers! For the second year we can choose the roommates as we wish… I was lucky to have two great friends as my roommates, Inder & Vijayanand…

Everything was going well. I got nice roommates, a nice project, a happy and satisfied management… I thought it was probably the best time of my life… but…

Happiness or sorrow never last too long. Life always strikes a balance between them… Yes, something brutal was hunting for me out there!!!

It didn’t take much time for that fiend to find me… in a little while; I received the most brutal kick in the teeth… Again it came in the attire of the three lettered beast: GPA!!!

One day morning, Vijayanand rang me up and informed that results were out. I rushed to the college, holding my breath… I don’t think I expected anything. I just wanted to see where I landed …

…Straight to the crux… GPA of 4.46 and the CGPA glided down to 4.66! (OMG!!!) Yes, I crashed down to the rock bottom… My chances of completing MBA became dim… I really got scared …

“I can’t go below this… it’s the limit…” I said to myself…

Later I realized that it’s the XIME way of doing things. They pull down the grades drastically during the third term so that students become cautious and get geared up for the coming terms… Can’t blame that ideology, though people share different opinion…

Two days later I received a call from my sister. She said that she received a letter from my college…

“What the hell!!” I was shocked!!! My next question was “did father see that???”

Fortunately, the letter found him when he was working… So he gave it to my sister and asked her to let him know whether there was something important in it or not.

My sister said “Oh! Just that he is doing fine there” !!! Love you sis for that…

Then when she phoned me, she read out the entire letter for me and the last line was ridiculous… “If he doesn’t score above 5 CGPA by the end of this year, he’ll not be eligible for the degree!!!”  

Petrified… that’s the word there!

Thank God that she didn’t say those things to dad; otherwise he would have had the greatest shock of his life time!!!  

“it’s the last time… yes, never again …” I was determined.

 

To go back to the main page: 

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/its-my-life/

To read the previous chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/07/11/part-8-%E2%80%93-two-things-that-changed-me/

To the next chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/part-10-%e2%80%93-the-new-%e2%80%98test-pieces%e2%80%99-walk-in%e2%80%a6/

‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you gonna get!’ the famous quote from the Hollywood movie ‘Forest Gump’ and one of my favourite quotes… One should Always be prepared for the unexpected… that’s the second lesson I learned, but through the hard way.

Lot many things were happening in the college during that time and those made college lively. Seniors were gearing up for their final placements and juniors for their summer internship. Go anywhere in the campus, you will see people taking about this very animatedly! For some reason I was not much interested in any of those…

I had something else in my mind, the trip. It was scheduled on a Sunday. As decided, I started collecting money on Tuesday itself. But suddenly I understood that many are backing out! People started giving weird reasons and on the Friday morning I realized that I didn’t have enough money to pay the advance. Only 17 people had confirmed!!!

The excuses given by my friends were really bizarre. I found it hard to buy those… yet…

“Dude, my roommate is not coming. So I don’t think there would be any fun!” As if others were all ‘boring to death’ creatures!

Some opted out as their girlfriends or boyfriends chose not to go for the trip.

There were some who said “boss, I think with this money I can go to multiplex with my girl and have fun!” Ok whatever…

“I am broken … why don’t you make it a free trip?” The trip charge was hardly 200 rupees!!!

I chose not to respond to any of these as I thought I would be humiliating myself by doing so. But my inside was burning… like a fired up sopping piece of wood… I didn’t want to accept the reality that all my hard work was going for a toss…

I had repeatedly sent notifications through common mails and classroom boards since beginning. Still…

The day dragged… I was praying for more response… but nothing happened… nothing at all…

Disappointment turned into irritation which at later phase transformed into fury. By the end of the day, I was boiling with rage and I felt like shouting and screaming at everyone! The animal in me was controlling me then!

Nevertheless, I thought of addressing the class… All I wanted was just to yell at them. With that in mind, I proceeded to the podium…

“Last week I asked for the confirmation and 67 students gave their names”

I displayed that list…

“I clearly mentioned at that time itself not to give your names in case you are not sure of coming. Still you gave. Now look at this sheet. Hardly 20 people!!!”

I paused… Pin drop silence reigned….

“Now does anyone of you know the amount of work we have put into it… Do you know how many times….”

Suddenly I stopped… I realized with horror that my voice was shaking… My voice was getting stuck at my throat!

“What the hell ….” I asked myself… but yes, my heart had already started ruling my head…

I was completely emotional… I couldn’t speak anything else (yes, definitely ‘the’ most embarrassing moment in my life). Nithin took over from there. He tried his level best to make the class understand… but I felt that his words went into the deaf ears!

Nithin was a part of the committee who helped me a lot, both the times, to manage the trip.

Once he finished I said resolutely “I am done. This is the last time … Never again…” With that I walked out…

Yes, I really meant it. I didn’t want to do it again and never did organize any trips thereafter in XIME…

***

For some reason, I didn’t talk much to anyone for the next few days. Nobody did that to me either as they understood that I was bit annoyed…  However people didn’t talk much about the ‘dropped trip’ because there was something else to grab their attention…. Results!!!

This world is a strange place to live in… It is said that when trouble comes, it comes as a package! & all you can do is ‘nothing’…

4.78, that was my score for the second trimester. It gave me a shock of a lifetime. Even after doing a nice job, I ended up in the same band!!! I couldn’t believe it. I believed that I deserved more, not at least the same band! But all I could do was ‘nothing’… because the woods were dark and deep!!!

None of the professors whom I approached could tell me clearly why my grades went low. “Oh, Amal, even I was shocked to see your grade”!!! one replied. Obviously my next question was “Sir, was it not you who put my grade for your subject!!!”…

Well, I learned something there… This is a different game. You have to be different to score here!!! It’s not just what you puke in exams that matter…

These two incidents together had substantial impact on me… I pulled down my gears swiftly and I decided to be invisible…

From then on, it’s a different world to me!!!

To go back to the main page:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/its-my-life/

To read the previous chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/07/09/part-7-%e2%80%93-just-before-the-plummet%e2%80%a6/

To the next chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/07/13/part-9-%E2%80%93-crashed-into-the-rock-bottom/

 

The energy levels were pretty high on the campus during the first two weeks of third trimester; possibly because of the long winter vacation we had… But for me there were couple of other reasons too. My midterm exams during the second trimester went well and also I had performed quite reasonably in the final exams. So naturally I was expecting good grades this time. More over I had great plans for the next trip. I worked out a nice plan during the winter holidays and was eager to put that into action.

“da, have you decided the place?” Kadavanthara asked.

“Well, that’s a secret for the time being” Since I wanted to surprise them, I thought of keeping it a secret till the last moment.

“Alright, then keep it to some place like the last one where there are waterfalls” He winked at me.

“But waterfalls were not in our plans last time. It was an accident!” I recollected. “Ya, but everyone liked that it became a hit because of that.” I added.

“oh! Then make it purposefully this time. May be we can go to a water theme park or so!” He smiled as he finished… I understood that, so I laughed too…

“Why is that? What’s so special about waterfalls” Pulusan was confused.

“That’s a secret. Besides it’s not for kids” Kadavanthara whispered to him…

I went ahead with my original plan. But this time things weren’t easy like last time. College put lot many constrain into it and I had to meet our director and admin-dean quite often. But that was an easy task compared to the other headaches I had to suffer. Most of the people who helped me last time chose not to be a part of organizing team for some reason and that put me into turmoil as I couldn’t find immediate replacements! This single fact multiplied the amount of work I had to put into it. But I was determined and so I went ahead doing most of things myself….

In between, there was a huge surprise waiting for me in our classroom … Our president got busy that term with some work and so he decided to share his ‘Managerial Skills 2’ (MSK) classes with some other faculty. That was great news to us… ‘Stress reduced by 50%!!!’ that’s was what we thought initially. But life is like a box of chocolates … u never know …

One fine morning she walked into the MSK class, wearing churidhar and white Reebok shoes!!! I was literally paralyzed to see her again in the class… But she seemed happy to be back in the class.

“Now Amal, read that paragraph for me…” She said.

I started reading that and in between somewhere she asked me to stop. “Hold it! Now say ‘remarkable’”

She pronounced ‘Remarkable’ in typical British way. Her mastery over the language had surprised me many times. In fact, she was very good at British accent. I tried to reproduce that… but…

“No no… You don’t have to roll your tongue that much, you understand”

I tried again. Maybe because I had used it that way for more than 2 years, during my work at BPO, I couldn’t change it all of a sudden… it had become a habit by then. There I had to roll my tongue for ‘R’ as our customers were Americans. I tried to explain the same to her.

 “See, don’t give me any silly excuse. You have to do it. Now try once again” She seemed not bothered about that.

Even I was irritated… I was not there for accent training! I repeated the same way…

Unfortunately, our egos clashed all the time for some ‘unknown’ reason and I had a hard time spending time in her class… I always thought of planning a one man mutiny against her!!! but it remained only in dreams.

***

Marketing Management, Human Resources Management, Financial Management, Quantitative Technique etc… all were there; the usual nonsense topics, but with a twist. Amidst all these there was another class which compensated for everything – ‘Research Methodology’ which was handled by our ex – director. He was a great man. He loved his students very much and was always available to students.

No doubt, he was one sweet heart of our college. But, whatever he said seriously was a comedy for us and whatever he said comically was stupidity for us!!!

However, I think, he never knew this… So, often his classes were one great domicile of entertainment.

Here goes a live example: An incident that happened in our senior’s class.

He took a test in the class and in between, a girl had some problem with her pen. She tried to borrow it from her neighbors, but they didn’t have an extra pen!

So our kind hearted Director took his pen and gave it to the boy in the first row “babu, give this pen to the madam”

He passed it on to her. But she seemed to have trouble in opening it. So to help her, our professor called out, innocently:

“Screw it ma’am, screw it!!!!”

Just imagine the outburst of laughter that followed!!!

One day after the class I met him and asked the permission for the trip. That was not the first time I was asking him, so he said “Make sure that some faculty is accompanying you.”

“Also gets a declaration letter from students stating that they themselves are responsible for the adventure they undertake! In case something happens, I don’t want anyone to blame the college!!!” 

That was information overload for me especially at that time … I got very much excited when he gave the permission.

I said “yes sir… I will do it.”

Some 60+ students gave their names. Well, that was a decent number, considering the fact that the strength of the whole batch is 120. So I started working on the finance part which obviously was a pain in the neck… Once that was done, I met some of the bus service providers and booked the buses. One by one I set everything and I was getting more and more excited.

But there was one task left … collecting the money…

 

To go back to the main page: 

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/its-my-life/

To read the previous chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/part-6-%E2%80%93-into-the-world-of-colours/

To the next chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/07/11/part-8-%e2%80%93-two-things-that-changed-me/