Archive for the ‘My life at xime…’ Category

EPILOGUE…

Posted: March 1, 2010 in My life at xime...

It is said that everything that has a beginning has an end…

The past is dead and gone. My life at XIME is a history now. But it did hand over a key to me… a key to the door of another world.

When I opened it, I saw nothing but a deep and dark forest with no sign boards or trails to follow. I looked back, nervously… No, there was no turning back! The road that had taken me there had long gone and disappeared.

I stood petrified in that virgin forest. A thin breeze of fear and anxiety washed over me! What should I do? Where should I begin? Whom should I seek assistance? The anxiety and fear in me then turned into anger blended with hopelessness!

I shouted desperately at the woods and stamped hard on the ground… But there was no answer.

No! Miracles won’t happen. I gnashed my teeth. I have to walk this alone. I have to find the way myself… but!

The fear in me again seized control over me!  

…but where would this lead me to? Would I find my way out?

While I stood there battling these thoughts, the environment changed without any warning! A cold breeze passed by waking me up from my anxieties…  

Only time could tell you that… You just believe in yourself and walk without fear… The woods whispered… for the only time!

I wasn’t sure whether it was the woods or just a feeling. But it did inject a fresh life into me. I looked at the woods confidently. Yes, this is my life and this is my journey. I have to walk this, myself.

Determinedly I set my foot ahead… I didn’t know what time had in its store for me. I didn’t know where it led to. But I knew this much:

If I find my way out, I’ll become a legend one day; else I’ll die like a common man…

 

My journey in quest of glory begins here….

 

 

 

 

A debt of gratitude to:

My sister – for the encouragement and support she bestowed upon me…

My parents & brother – for everything…

All my friends – for motivating and believing in me…

XIME faculties – Prof. Suresh Chandra, Dr. Easaw, Ms. Samuel, Prof. RTR, Ms. Rose Mary, Ms. Mathew, Ms. Austin…

Ms. Monroe –  for the wisdom and words of advice she shared…

& finally

To all my wonderful readers – who made this blog a happening place… Thanks a lot for the ineffable support and encouragement you showered upon me, visibly or invisibly…  My humble reverence to you…

& &…

A silent thank you to The Almighty – for having blessed me with the skills to express myself…

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Some believed they had never seen a batch as fantastic as the 13th one, while others carped that they had never seen any worse. People shared different opinions! But, if you ask him about his personal opinion, he would say that the 13th batch was neither better nor worse than any other batches before or after it. If anyone had a different opinion, it was just because they had either under or over rated the other batches…

But the 13th batch was special and unique in a way, because of the tragedies it bore… Like all other batches, it started off with high flying dreams and energy. It had everything a batch wanted: talent, achievements, passion, glamour, romance, adventure, good times, bad times… everything. But at the end, it went down… silently… just like the legendary ship ‘Titanic’.

Some managed to find a place in the rescue boat, but others? They simply drowned; with all their dreams and hopes clutched close to their heart. The dawn was dark and cold then… and the evil fate stood tall at a distance, wearing a callous sneer on its face!

The old giants on the shore with big name tags could do nothing to help them, but just watch them drown. But yes, they had heard the whimpers and screams of the victims; they had seen the look of helplessness in their tiny eyes; and they had sensed that they were too young and inexperienced to face the brutal fate alone.  Yet, they stood like stone sculptures; close to the evil fate!

As time went by, everything became history…

The world might forget it. The ‘giants’ might try to bury it deep inside their hearts. But… but will the victims ever be able to forgive or forget it? He doubted.

***

Even though he started hesitantly, he did a ‘decent’ job as a placement coordinator. It wasn’t an easy task for him as he was steering the reins against the raging storm! Many promises and words of inspiration gushed into that chaotic world… even from the ‘giants’. But all those promises remained empty forever!

He tried; yet couldn’t steer the ship to the shore. But he stood tall, till the last moment… like a lighted candle spreading a radiance of hope.

***

One evening as he locked the placement room and turned to walk, he saw Prof. EG standing with Pakru and Kadavanthara in the corridor. It was evident from their faces that they were discussing something serious. As he walked towards them, the professor looked at him.

“Amal, its time… It’s official now! June 10th

He didn’t say anything. He knew that it was coming. He looked at his friends. Silence reigned…

On June 9th Pakru, Kadavanthara and he stepped down the XIME stairs with their baggage. An unusual stillness bloated the atmosphere that time. The tranquility she wore then was quite contradicting to her true nature…

Strange! He smirked. After all, he had never felt that he was staying in the XIME hostel those days. It was like an abandoned kingdom, once gloried with happiness, life and hope!!!  

As he walked through the corridor on that day, several thoughts flashed through his mind: the selection process, the ‘unexpected XIME phone call’, the day he had come with his father to pay the fees, the first week at college, the hostel ragging, friends, classes, CGPA, the tour, the party nights, the last few days… Everything then flashed through his mind like a dream!

Yes, life is a climb… There will always be stumbling blocks or dead ends to face, to overcome, to conquer. There will always be some mysteries to solve. There will always be uncertainties to deal with!!

But… but when will this stop? Won’t my life be free of uncertainties? His young mind raced for answers…

The XIME garden and the lovely flowers in it stood there in stunned silence… He was their favourite and customary photographer who had never failed to capture their beauty when they were ready…

The XIME gate opened with a frail, creaking voice…

No, uncertainties will never spare you; but that’s the beauty of the life… A mysterious smile blossomed on his lips.

As the gate silently closed behind him, he turned and spared one last look at the building… ‘Farewell XIME

 

(I chose a 3rd person’s view for writing here as I felt it was apt here…) 

 

To go back to the main page:

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

To read the previous chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/part-15-%E2%80%93-something-comes-my-way/

Epilogue:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/epilogue/

“Hope I am not disturbing your writing” Pulusan walked into my room on that convocation night.

He had become one of my great friends by then. Also, Pulusan was not a ‘stupid kid’ any more. Two years of MBA life had changed him a lot… He was hired as a Marketing Manager by one of the reputed banks in the country.

“I am leaving tomorrow… I’ll stay with my parents for some days… may be, till the bank sends me the offer letter.” He was sad… he loved hostel life and everyone knew that…

Silence reigned for sometime…

“Abraham is also leaving tomorrow. There won’t be anyone to take care of ‘placements’ after that” he paused.

“You know, you can do something there…” That was the second time he was mentioning that.

“I understand that… But … you know, I am really enjoying this writing. I don’t know whether I can fix my mind on anything else now!” I gave an honest reply.

“Well, maybe then, you can make calls … considering that you have experience in BPO?”

“Er – ” I was hesitant…

“Ya, maybe I can spare one or two hours daily for that” I said, even though I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to do that…

The discussion then drifted to something else… After a while, as he left the room, I returned to my writing…

***

“Oh God… Dude, its 11.30… how can I sleep like this?” Inder said as he woke up. “And you are ready!!!”

We had planned to go to KFC at 11.30 am… Inder and I loved KFC madly. We used to go there on alternative weekends and usually settled for nothing less than a bucket chicken!

This time it was his treat. When he asked where I wanted him to throw a treat, I didn’t even take a moment to think…

KFC … the one and only! I proclaimed…

Inder also got placed in that same bank. The treat was on that joy.

“Come dude, let’s go.” Inder announced, still lying on his bed.

“Dude, don’t you think that you should get ready first… and most importantly, that you should get up from the bed!”

He just smiled. “Twenty minutes champ. I’ll be ready by then”

“Let’s see that then…” I challenged him as I knew that it was the only way to make him get ready in twenty minutes…

“Inder, I’ll be here in the corridor or downstairs. Let me know once you are done.” I told him as I put my camera and wallet in my jeans pocket.

My mind was full of my stories. I had reached 9th chapter by then. I was trying to give it a shape…

Tossing those thoughts deep in my mind, I walked through the corridor…

“Hey Amal…” A familiar sound pulled me back from that magical world…

I looked around to identify the source of that sound. It was Abraham. He was in his room packing his stuff.

Abraham was a part of the committee and was doing a great job. But some personal matters came up in between and it demanded his immediate presence at home…

“Hi…” I greeted. “So leaving today, right?”

“Well, yes…” he nodded.

I looked around. His books, clothes, electronic gadgets, files and bags lie scattered there… Shifting room was always a tedious task. Packing, transporting, unpacking, and finally arranging all those again in a new place… a total headache thing!!! I hated that… like everyone else…

“Hey, there is something you can do!” he gasped as he pulled down something from the cupboard.  

Suddenly I recollected the chat I had with Pulusan last night…

“Ya, I know… yesterday I talked with Pulusan and I think I can take calls for…”

“No, no it’s not about the calls…” He looked at me thoughtfully. “Well, I think you are the right person to handle the BoM”

BoM was coming on 15th to the campus to participate in the campus placements. But Abraham’s words came like a thunderbolt. I never wanted to coordinate that or even go anywhere closer to that…

I was about to say some excuse, but then

“Look, you have to coordinate everything. Also should be in touch with one Mr…” he started explaining.

I thought I would give some excuse once he finished explaining. But… he was giving some details… & I listened…

Minutes passed… After some time,

“Now take down this number ….” He said and I saved that number in my mobile.

“I am sure you will do it well and in case of any clarification, please feel free to call me. And don’t worry; Baby will be there to help you.”

Baby was standing next to Abraham and he nodded his head approvingly…

“Now look, who’s late here! Come on, buddy…  We are already running short of time. Let’s go!” Inder shouted from behind.

“One sec, dude… I’m coming”

I then looked at Abraham.

“Alright… You carry on…” Abraham said. “And do remember the guidelines… Good luck!”

I was baffled!!!

What have I done now? Signed up for something which I had never even thought of getting associated with!

Just then Inder gave me a sharp look while tapping his index finger on his wrist watch.

I bid farewell to Abraham and rushed to Inder…

***

KFC was fun. But the Recession had hit them too! They had reduced the size of the chicken pieces and that greatly did upset me. I wouldn’t have felt that bad if they had increased the price. But reducing the size was not at all acceptable!

I concentrated on the bucket chicken. However my mind was not completely on the crispy chicken pieces. BoM thoughts popped up occasionally and frightened me…. I doubted whether Abraham was making a horrible mistake!

We reached our hostel back by evening. I tossed the same matter, again & again, on my mind. Finally I decided…

“Alright, I’ll do this… and I’ll take this forward and be with them as long as I can…”

That marked the beginning of my role as an unofficial, yet, official ‘placement coordinator’…

 

To go back to the main page:

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

To read the previous chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/part-14-%E2%80%93-the-life-after%E2%80%A6/

To the next chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/part-16-%E2%80%93-in-the-shadow-of-light%E2%80%A6/

PART 14 – THE LIFE AFTER…

Posted: August 7, 2009 in My life at xime...
Tags: ,

It had been in my mind since the beginning of the sixth term… I always wanted to start it. Yet I couldn’t…

When my exams got over, I found myself in a different world… like most other students. Uncertainty and fear of unknown orbited around my small world all the time. I wanted to do something in the operations or systems management side, but the markets for both were down. Tension swelled up with each passing day… Many times I felt like compromising on the profile… but something in me gave me the courage… the courage to hold on…  

Days dragged… I felt that I was sailing my ship to nowhere… Pressure for doing something mounted up… At last on 28th April, I convinced myself to start what I wanted to start for a long time. I opened the Microsoft word file & named the first part as ‘The boy who lived the reverse biological cycle”…

That marked the beginning of my ‘writer life’…

Well, the secret to being creative here is simple: Just create your own world and dwell there… and never let anyone smash it…

I did the same. I spend most of the time in my room, either thinking or writing… Again, the best thing about this world is that you can create anything, you want, here… at anytime… It was wonderful. I was enjoying each and every moment of my new role. I almost forgot about everything else in the materialistic world…

***

“dude results are out. Did you check yours?”

Somebody asked me when I was writing in my room…

“Oh! I didn’t know that. Thanks buddy… I’ll check it now…”

But I wasn’t that keen at that time. I continued my work and in the evening I went to college to check the final results. I wondered what my results were… I had already crossed 5 by then. So I wasn’t worried in anyway. Besides, these grades never played much a role when we were out of college. All that the business world cared about was the student’s capability and the potential to be a part of their team…

My memories travelled back to the previous year. I thought about the letter they had sent to my dad… That time I had made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t let my grades fall ever after… and it never did…

It was around 7’o clock in the evening when I reached my college. The college corridor was deserted. Dead silence prevailed there except for the occasional hissing sounds of summer breeze… Once the most happening place… I thought! It used to be the realm of couples in the evenings… always full of life… but today!!! I walked towards the notice board tossing those thoughts in my mind.

But the instant I laid my eyes upon the results, all those nostalgic thoughts vanished to nowhere…  

I was satisfied and pleased to see my GPA. I had hit ‘6’ again…

A GPA of 6… and my CGPA touched a new level: 5.27… The final score…

“The war is over!” I declared to myself like a great commander of ancient Roman Empire…

Yes, it was a great relief…

After a while, I walked back to my hostel… leaving my college to sleep peacefully in that lonely summer night…

***

The days were warmer during those times and the brutal summer sun forced the people to stay inside their artificially cooled rooms… But the nights, on the other hand, were cold and chilly. I guess that was what I wanted!

I locked myself up happily in the dreamland… ‘My life at XIME’ was growing steadily…

One day, a phone call broke my chain of thoughts…

“Hey champ! Whatz up?”… It was Inder…

“Listen buddy, I am coming on this Friday evening. We will have a great time there. Call Vijayanand too. It’s my treat on this Sunday!”

“Oh that’s wonderful, dude. Let’s make the last day memorable” I was so happy that we three were meeting again.

Vijayanand had moved out some days back to a rented house in Bangalore. Also, he had started working with a BPO. I rang him up and communicated the message…

“That’s great. The final get together… Cool man.” He was high on spirits…

***

“Do I look like a bat!” Kadavanthara was bit anxious about his looks.

As a matter of fact, we all looked like that when we wore that convocation gown! It was a thin black open cloth which was thin and fragile… Luckily, it reached, at least, till our upper calves! I thought that we would get full gowns… but never expected handicapped ones like that!!! It was only then I really understood the true feelings of ‘Ron Weasley’, Harry Potter’s best friend, who always ended up wearing some silly old gowns, send by his parents, for important functions!!!

On top of that we had to put a green velvet shawl… just to make sure that no one escaped that ‘buffoon’ look!

“Batman! I thought you looked like a clown….” Pakru scanned Kadavanthara and gave a dirty look!

“Where the hell is the bonnets, by the way?” Kadavanthara asked Pakru, ignoring his comments…

“We don’t have any…”

That was weird… Convocation without bonnets!!! May be, management was afraid that we would hurl it towards them rather than throwing it up!!!

“Come… we’ll take some photos…” I called out.

“Hello, Mr. Batman, come along if you want some of your photos in this fancy dress!” Pakru shouted.

I don’t remember how many snaps we took then! But we went on clicking until dean told us to enter the hall…

“Ready for the show?” Sau asked me while we were standing in the queue outside the hall.

“Well, I guess so” I smiled…

“Now you must be relaxed, right?”

“Ya, I am… no more CGPA threats” I laughed as I said that.

“But Amal, I guess you would miss your favourite sleeping spot!” She was the same… Never missed a chance to pull my legs…

“Ya, same goes to you too, buddy” and we both laughed over it…

“Hello, everybody listen… You may enter the hall now!” Dean announced.

We proceeded slowly to the hall which was well decorated and illuminated… The soft music that was played on the background added charm to the situation… The podium too was beautifully decorated… As we entered the hall the relatives of the students, who were sitting on the left side, rose and applauded.

I looked around… Everyone was beaming at us… The camera men turned their complete focus on us… Lights flashed from all directions…

That was a great moment…

Slowly we occupied our seats and waited for the dignitaries. The hall was silent except for the vague murmurings from here and there…

The dignitaries entered the hall in a while. Our president led our guests to the podium. They were all dressed in charming gowns, like the princes in fairy tales. The shawls they wore were colourful and attractive… They settled down in a while…

Happiness filled the air…

Gradually, the proceedings started…  The chief guest and others addressed the function and wished good luck to us.

When the presidents turn came, he, as usual, boasted about the college and the placements… He even declared that all students would be placed by June or July end… Yet another unfilled promise… as proven by time…

Time passed by …

“Now you may rise …” the chief guest announced! That was the moment… We were honored with the prestigious degree… Camera lights flashed… The cheers and applauses reverberated in the hall…

I looked around… everyone was enjoying that magnificent moment. I waved my hands to Kadavanthara and Pakru…

“Congrats buddy! Finally all our hard work got paid!” That was Singh, who was standing next to me. He winked as he said that!

“Now say good bye to all stupid assignments, seminars and presentations!”

“and exams too” I added & we both laughed.

“Yeah, true… Thanks dude & congrats to you too…” I wished him…

Soon our National Anthem followed…

 

To go back to the main page:

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

To read the previous chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/07/28/part-13-%E2%80%93-the-batch-13-farewell-%E2%80%A6/

To the next chapter:

https://lapillus.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/part-15-%e2%80%93-something-comes-my-way/

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/

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/